News Morsel - STEEM and the Web
Not exactly news
Anil Dash, again
It seems like a while ago, but I think it was the last thing I did a talking head bit about. Anil Dash is something of an old school blogger with pretty wide reach. He put a post up about improving the web. As these things are wont to do, it got around and other people have chimed in on the idea. One of these follow-on efforts came from Mike Loukides on the O'Reilly site, where he says It's time to rebuild the web. This discussion does a good job of reminding us all about the power of using simple proven technology which works, particularly the effectiveness and latent untapped power of RSS. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and an excellent observation about tools we have which could be used in productive ways.
The thing which stood out to me, however, was the limited discussion and seemingly offhand dismissal of blockchain technologies to possibly mold and define a better future. The dismissal comes from a valid idea, which is that usability problems limit the potential adoption. Loukides says that it would require a revolution in UI design for a blockchain centric web "reboot" to have a chance. While there may be something to that position, and revolutionary UI improvements could certainly help, I don't know that it is the only way. I say this mainly because one of the important reasons that I am on Steem is precisely because of the usability problems which have been conquered by this platform in interesting ways. The simple fact of the matter is that MOST of the difficulties that users would face in a blockchain system have been solved with Steem. There are a lot of very interesting details to dive into if you are inclined to do that, but to simply use the platform, a user does not need to know much about how it works to be able to benefit.
There are still challenges. From what I have seen, probably the #1 issue that limits this system right now is the first impression problem with account creation. I don't think that a UI design revolution is needed to solve that one, however. I am also highly encouraged by the fact that this specific problem seems to be well understood in the Steem community and that there are active efforts to improve the onboarding experience for new users. The future of the internet, and in large part the future of the economy, is being built here in my estimation.
Music: Drift, by Separation of Sanity