Snowden, the NSA, our broken tech culture, the rotten state of "the cloud" and our privacy has made it very hard for me to keep motivated working on and for the web in the last months. What to strive for if everything around you seems so wrong?
Caring more about decentralization, about open technologies and more sustainable ways to run businesses has led to a new kind of motivation for me. Yet I feel that it is about more than that.
After attending and speaking at beyond tellerrand and organizing the decentralize camp together with Marc Thiele something stuck in my head. I'm not the only one looking for alternatives and new kinds of motivations and the solution is not just technology-based.
When I recap the talks from beyond tellerrand and decentralize camp there's a red line. It's quality and decency. The web community is focusing more and more to work on common best practices and patterns to move the web forward with higher standards. After years of experimenting it finally seems that we start to understand what quality on the web really means. That's a great achievement. That quality goes way beyond design or development. It includes all aspects of our work and nowadays it also includes topics like privacy, security and keeping the web open.
Before Marc and I called our little camp "decentralize camp" we thought for a while about naming it "decent camp" to transport more than just decentralization with that name. We weren't sure if people would understand that and used the more obvious name in the end.
Funnily at the end of the camp there has been a small group of people standing around, talking about the day and suddenly the question popped up why we didn't call it decent camp.
That made me think more about that term. Maybe it could be exactly that kind of term that we need to summarize what many people currently look for — The decent web — a more decent version of the web, including higher standards, more tolerance, more accessibility, more openess, more decentralization, less silos, less broken culture. Maybe it could become something that we use as a foundation for our work. Something people who care about the web agree on. Nothing that has to be set in stone. Not a manifesto or something super serious. Just a couple of thoughts and principles to stick to.
I'm not the one to decide that. I'm not even sure if the word "decent" conveys the message properly, but I just wanted to throw it out there with a little website that lists the first few principles that came to my mind: http://decentweb.org
If you like it, please feel free to share it, fork it or to contribute your own thoughts. It's public domain.
It would be great to extend that site with links to articles and talks and more extensive descriptions for each principle. If you got something to say or link to, please feel free to add it.
Otherwise you can find me here: