Andrey (azangru) wrote,
Andrey
azangru

I have just learnt of an app called Clubhouse.

I haven't used it or seen it, but from the way it's described it sounds like a new member of a long list of apps that, perversely, strike a chord with the public by degenerating vanilla web experience.

It probably started for me with my continuing amazement at twitter. Why would anyone want a system that arbitrarily limits you to the expressive power of an sms message, I would ask myself, and could never find a satisfying answer. Then telegram — why the hell telegram when forums already existed? Then, recently, tik tok. Given how youtube had started with videos 15 minutes long at most, and then, to my utmost delight, matured to allow longer and longer videos until, for all intents and purposes, the videos could get endless — why would anyone, consciously, choose to use a system that limits the length of videos to 30 seconds? Now Clubhouse — why would anyone choose a system that does not save audio conversations, and that requires a special permission to even drop in and listen to a conversation? What I particularly treasure in online radio is that you can return to a recording at any time; but this Clubhouse thing seems to operate on an entirely different principle.

I can understand how demand for privacy and security may give rise to something like Signal or proton mail. I can understand why the desire of independence and resiliency may lead to something like Mastodon, or Matrix, or Manyverse. I can understand how the distrust of Big Brother can lead to something like Peertube. I can also understand how the need for near-real-time communication produces the likes of Slack or Discord. But those apps with intentionally castrated functionality, whose natural habitat is a phone and whose selling point is the community multiplied by fashion, remain a mystery to me.

(But with the advent of these walled gardens, I can hear, more and more clearly, the warnings, by googlers or someone like Andre Staltz, that web, which I have come to take for granted, could easily not have happened, and can just as easily fail to survive into the future.)
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