Anil Dash enumerates
- A desire to improve and simplify the experience for writing and creating content online. This is probably the area that’s stagnated most until the recent crop of tools like Medium or Svbtle popped up, though there had been a few small improvements in more limited contexts where people carefully reduced the scale and scope of the messages being shared to 140 characters or a single photo or a simple, gestural “like”.
- An understandable, but still geeky, desire to advance the “open web” in a decentralized architecture that mimics the early days of the Internet. Based on the success of early open technologies like email, this technological desire is a useful way of ensuring that new systems don’t simply become completely owned by corporate interests. Frequently accompanied by a preference open source software, this area of endeavor has been characterized by a constant flow of quixotically unsuccessful efforts (Diaspora, Open Social, etc.) but is recently ascendant again with the excitement around App.net. And the fundamental value which has given blogging and social media its moral grounding and its most significant impact
- The urge to make tools for communication and community more inclusive, more participatory and more democratic. To my surprise, this goal has been the part of the social web that has succeeded best, empowering and enriching the lives of many people who aren’t privileged by geography, wealth, inheritance, social standing, or identity. While far from perfect, it’s inarguable that people of many less privileged groups have participated in the social web from the start, and have been able to impact the world around them, and that counts for a lot.