Online Changes I’m Looking Forward to in 2019.
The internet as we know it is ready for a change. Let me wrack my brain here..
For starters, i’d like the internet to expand beyond a handful of social media sites. Remember we used to go to actual websites without having to be “driven” there by Facebook or Twitter? Let’s do that again.
On that note, I’d like to see prominent news organizations, stop giving these social media sites power they don’t deserve. Your readers are capable of seeking you out and finding you, give them a reason to do so. Take the power back.
Since Tumblr has gotten rid of all of it’s fun stuff, namely porn, how about becoming something that is going to actually help bloggers and writers. The original purpose of the site was micro blogging, correct? It seems like Medium has proven there is a market for what Tumblr once was, be it long form or short.
Rethinking Online Reviews.
An idea for shopping platforms – stop allowing reviews. The cat and mouse game of leaving fake reviews, buying reviews, phony purchases, along with the platform administration’s fight against these tactics have been well documented. What is meant to be a source of information for the customer, has long been used as a way to game the system, and a weapon against competition. This hurts the customer experience as they are getting false information. If Amazon, the App Store, Google Shopping, and countless other platforms can’t get the situation under control, eliminate it. Yes, third party websites, would become the review sites, but those type of sites exist anyways. It would eliminate misinformation at the point of purchase and save a lot of time fighting an endless battle.
Shopify meets YouTube meets the FTC.
Here’s a change that needs to happen – Shopify tutorials, YouTube, and the FTC. I typically don’t take joy in seeing anyone get fined but there is a group just begging to write a check to the FTC – Shopify Gurus. I have no doubt there are people who want to teach others how to make money online, and do so in an ethical manner. If you’re teaching Shopify and you’re video title and/or thumbnail displays how many tens of thousands of dollars someone can make then it’s highly probable you’re full of shit.
For those who don’t know these videos all have a similar pitch. Usually some kid in his early to mid 20s, claiming they can show you how to take a brand new Shopify store from scratch, and build it up to a five or six figure dollar amount, all within a month or so. The strategy typically involves dropshipping products, often from China, and is marketed through Facebook ads. That’s right, it’s as simple as spending $5 a day on Facebook ads and before you know it, you’re making huge amounts of money selling coffee mugs and other commodities from China. Enter eye roll emoji.
These gurus often make their money through the Shopify affiliate program and they sell courses. Either their own courses or some else’s course which, again, they receive an affiliate commission. How often is the FTC mandated affiliate disclosure displayed? Just about never! Lack of disclosure, the exaggerated claims, and often completely fake sales they manually generate on their Shopify dashboard.. everything a violation is made of. These videos are loaded with complete bullshit with the goal of making a commission or sale. The claims and promises get more and more exaggerated. Hope you experts are paying taxes on all those sales you’re putting on display for everyone to see.
I’d like to see more people give up the SEO and clickbait game and write for the sake of good information. Writing with purpose. Hitting the post button without worrying about every last possible scenario that kind of, sort of, maybe, might go wrong with the way a search engine reads the post. I wonder how many good writers quit because they feel as if they’re at the mercy of an algorithm. If you love to write, create, and share information just go for it. Leave the SEO games to those that care to play it. Those sites rarely build a loyal following. That is your long term advantage.
Let the search engine wars resume, like it’s the mid 90s!
I’d like to see the rise of a new batch of search engines. Google can be challenged for the throne. People will always seek information, so there is an ongoing need. When reading up on why Google overtook Yahoo, it is often explained that Yahoo “couldn’t figure out who they we’re” and “trying to be too many things at once”. Google mastered the search engine. Fast forward to 2018 and here we are. Google has attempted and failed many of different markets over recent years.
It is possible someone can rethink the search experience and move in on this space. Duck Duck Go, for example, has shown growth over the years. Bing tends to be the butt of search engine jokes, but it has it’s users. Can anyone take this space by storm? Let the search engine wars resume, like it’s the mid 90s.
Giving the platform control over everything.
I’d like to see writers, bloggers, and other creatives stop wasting time being frustrated with platform algorithm changes. In the last few years, I’ve come across plenty of disenchanted writers railing against Medium, LinkedIn, and Facebook when the heads of the platform decide to make changes. Plain and simple – You have zero control over how the platform operates. This is the reality of operating on someone else’s network.
Not everyone wants to put together and maintain a WordPress site. For these people, social platforms such as Medium offer an alternative. However if views, clicks, control, and financial compensation are a priority for your blog, then it’s worth serious consideration to get your own site with your own domain.
Enough is enough with bullshit news, and shit starters.
I believe we need to discuss real repercussions for intentional and malicious disinformation campaigns. Especially when they severely affect someone’s quality of life or leads to violence. Let me make this real clear.. I’m not talking about opinions, free speech, or basic human rights. Also not talking about displaying a bias, approaching a story from a certain angle, or having a perspective. I’m talking about atrocious conspiracy theories, vile accusations without proof, and the like.
Let me be clear on this, also.. I’m not talking about retweeting something, commenting, sharing, etc. I’m talking about those willfully generating the misinformation with bad intent. On a blog, or on a social site, there is no shortage of people making outrageous claims and accusations about politicians, celebrities, and public figures.
This is a complicated problem and it’s not going away. It’s time we start to solve it. It’s obvious the heads of social media platforms are unable or unwilling to control this issue outside of the occasional suspension or ban. People are held liable for slander and defamation in the real world, it needs to start happening in the digital one.
Crypto should have a year with more grounded expectations, after the beating it took over the last twelve months. I look at 2018 as something cryptocurrency had to go through if it’s going to be something that will be used over the long run. All the hacks, manipulations, thefts, forks, scams, and crashes exposed vulnerabilities. Having a white paper and a plan is different than having the currency operating in reality. If there is no viable solution to the problems that have been exposed, then bitcoin could be back to dark web 2009 status. At least it will have some alt-coins for company this time.
I plan to keep using more news apps. Flipboard and Smart News have been my thing lately. Apple News isn’t bad either but the interface is mundane. Flipboard is cool concept. Unique user interface and user experience has kept me checking in multiple times per day, every day. SmartNews has a more traditional layout but manages to squeeze a lot of content into each screen without being overcrowded or sloppy. Using it daily as well.
Nighttime blogging. I’m going to do more of that. It’s funny how ideas strike in the middle of night.
On that note, I’m out! 2019 is here. Let’s do this.
As always, thank you for reading!