How to find stuff on the net

I just read another article bemoaning the state of the Net, saying things like

There are just four big players, each in its own domain, Facebook for “social networking”, Twitter for commentary, YouTube for video, Amazon, Google, etcetera. So we can’t defect because there’s nowhere to go.

The same fallacy, that the Net is the silos + corporate info-sites. And I, amongst many others, counter that anyone can build tools to publish whatever they like and take advantage of the open protocols that the Net is built on. I can put videos up on my blog, and anyone can view them using standard Net clients like web browsers.

That’s true as far as it goes, but doesn’t account for the reasons that people use, eg Facebook or Bandcamp, which is, I think, discoverability. You can find all the people you want to talk to or listen to easily. Same with Twitter. RSS is how I follow things. OPML was intended as the way to find things you want to follow.

What I’d like from Facebook, for example, is the social graph, but the nodes of the graph should point to content I and my friends maintain on our locations of choice, not on Facebooks servers with Facebooks tools. My scrolling page of goodies is then just the RSS feed of the people I’m friends with. Same with Bandcamp; aggregate releases, point me to the authors site, recommend things by all means but link to content that’s not stored on your servers. If I like the recommendations and the release feeds, bill me for that.

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