“One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control. It’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless. You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that software.”

Richard Stallman, on The Guardian – 2008

Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman

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The Problem With Medium

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Funny how things works on the Internet. Since a couple of weeks ago with some friends on Twitter we started a conversation – in italian, sorry – about the editorial business models available today, and how an Author should publish his staff and eventually get back some kind of revenue. Money, job offers, popularity, authorship… whatever!

Many clever and insightful post are published on Medium.com, which, over the last year has become THE network where you publish clever, long, detailed, documented articles on the subject of your choice. They have reinvented the comments on the web, they have boosted the writers’ writing experience over a browser. But…

By furnishing your User Content to Medium, you give Medium a broad license to use and exploit your User Content as it operates and evolves its business.

What does this mean? It means you’re giving your writing to a corporation for free, and they can do anything they want with it. Forever. Without paying you. Ever.

Andrea Phillips, The Problem With Medium

This piece from Andrea Phillips it today over one year old, and Medium Terms of Service have changed dramatically. But the question on how they’ll make a profit over a platform that lives with OUR provided content stands whatsoever.

So, if you are an author you should double guess writing anything really valuable to you only over that platform. Be sure to point your main business website. And always publish it also under the umbrella of your own domain of on a platform – like WordPress.com – which does not get into your business so badly…

Designers should have the authority to lead decisions about how an interface should work and what it should look like, without a need to prove that what they say is right or wrong every time there is disagreement in the team. They are supposed to have the experience and knowledge to make the right choices.

Usability metrics, multi-variance testing and usability testing should all be adopted with great care. Continuous testing can be useful in many ways, but it should not replace informed design decisions.

Luca Benazzi, The tyranny of testing over design

when A/B testing overhauls Design

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The way you beat an incumbent is by coming up with a thing that people want, that you do, and that your competitors can’t do.

Not won’t. Can’t.

How did Apple beat Microsoft? Not by making a better desktop OS. They did it by shifting the goalposts. By creating a whole new field of competition where Microsoft’s massive entrenched advantage didn’t exist: mobile. How did Microsoft beat Digital and the mainframe pushers? By inventing the idea that every desktop should have a real computer on it, not a terminal.

How do you beat Google and Facebook? By inventing a thing that they can’t compete against. By making privacy your core goal. Because companies who have built their whole business model on monetising your personal information cannot compete against that. They’d have to give up on everything that they are, which they can’t do. Facebook altering itself to ensure privacy for its users… wouldn’t exist. Can’t exist. That’s how you win.

Stuart Langridge

THE NEXT BIG THING IS PRIVACY

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