I had some quick thoughts while clearing 11" of snow from the driveway that relate directly to Daystream.
In certain areas of technology, it seems ripe to ask the question:
Overall, is the field leveraging user/customer focused advances in technology to benefit users/customers or is it succumbing to a leveraging of other advances by a few, powerful corporations at the expense of users/customers?
I think those two points lie on a continuum and are in some level of tension as a field of technology advances. I also think fields get out of whack from time to time and need to correct, pulling back to the other side. Social media seems to be way out of whack right now, skewing heavily toward the "powerful corporations" side of the equation. I don't see those corporations doing anything to correct this. Indeed, they just seem to keep doubling down on the issue, extracting more personal information from their users and using it in new ways to maximize profit.
Daystream has always been about avoiding that. It is, in fact, a founding principle of our technology. I still remember the early conversations with Jonathan all those years ago. He was the first to point out to me that "the algorithm" is awful. Why should it decide what the users see? Shouldn't it be easy for a user to see the content they want to see and know that, in fact, that's what they are seeing? Boom - enter our elimination of the firehose and replacement with date-based accessors. What did Sally post on her last birthday? Well, let's go look. That has always formed the kernel of Daystream and we continue to extend that founding principle as we grow our features.
We'll always skew heavily to the "benefit people" side of the equation.
The trick is figuring out how to make a go at it while doing that. If we can't, we can't. We won't go to the other side just to keep it going, I know that much.
post published in /2021/02/16