That's a damn shame...

Today NPR announced that they're quitting Twitter because Elon Musk labeled them as "state-affiliated media". On the one hand that's cool that they're no longer feeding the trainwreck that is Twitter, but it also highlights something that has been bothering me for at least three decades now.

On The Fediverse folks were lamenting that NPR wasn't joining the illustrious ranks of news organizations flocking to the Fediverse instead of relying on the whims of proprietary platforms. Oh, wait, I mean the lack of organizations flocking to the Fediverse. See, it seems that NPR is going to keep their Facebook, their Instagram, their Tik-Tok, and god knows what other platforms. They just decided to tell Twitter that they're no longer participating.

That's a damn shame.

I've decided that after thirty years of trying to convince folks of the benefits of open platforms, open protocols, and the like that I'm done evangelizing. Outside of a few friends that were curious anyway it's done diddly-shit to get folks to change their habits.

That's a damn shame.

"That's a damn shame" is now what I'll be using when folks talk about how platforms no longer bring them joy. That's how I'll respond when some Corporate Lucy decides once again to pull away the proverbial football from their unsuspecting Charlie Brown ass and they discover that companies only care about you when you're contributing directly to their shareholders.

"Facebook / Instagram decided I can't share with my friends / family / customers without spending money!" That's a damn shame.

"Windows wants a copy of my birth certificate and a promise of my first-born son before it'll let me open Office 365!" That's a damn shame.

"Discord now needs 120 Nitro-Burning Funny Car Points before my community can access history!" That's a damn shame.

I'm not saying this to be cruel or unkind. If folks want actual advice that they'll follow I'm glad to help out. But screaming into the void telling folks there's a better way has proved exhausting and pointless. Maybe they'll come around to it someday. Until then? That's a damn shame.

And I sympathize. Nobody wants to wake up in a straw house next to the wolves of Wall Street waiting to see if they turn on that giant fan that's perched outside of their window. But eventually you have to wonder if perhaps your chastisement isn't helping anymore.

I'm sure NPR hopes that these platforms will let their Corporate Lucy allow them to connect with the football eventually. But I've seen this play out enough times to know that unless you like seeing stars and looking at the sky that it's an untenable situation.

And that's a damn shame.