Ordinary users do not want to look uncool and cannot afford to be left out
in this informal reputation economy; this is why they feel forced to follow the herd. We
all still have to get used to the two faces of networked reality: networks are both ideal
to scale-up quickly so that early movers can create new publics, and, cashed-up with
venture capital take over a technology or application in no time. And, in contrast to this
aspect of speed and size, there is always also the distributed and decentralized, infor-
mal quasi-private side of networks. Lately, social media companies have emphasized
the first and neglected the second, obsessed as they are by hyper-growth at all costs.
It is time for designers, programmers, and geeks and nerds of all nations to step in,
realize the dark sides of corporate-state control and become active. Either the startup
cult will have to be radically reformed or blown up all together. Hopefully, this reader
can play a role in this process.
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