Some tips on how stop feeding the Google and Facebook monsters
And… if you are thinking to start using a Mac’intosh, here is my opinion (read below).
In January 2014 I built Palrobot, a Facebook app which reached more than 4.5 million users within a very short time – the idea was that you choose a persona, and PalRobot will post social media posts on your behalf. In April 2014 Facebook changed their API rules, and disallowed automatic posts on behalf of users. PalRobot died. It was after a long process of me developing for 3rd parties (like Google, Yourtube, Twitter, Facebook) APIs, while in that process I found out that not only that those monstrous companies have got no honest values, but they tend to behave like ugly monopolies – basically they run as a mafia. In that year I decided to re-structure my web presence (which included tens of websites and hundreds of apps) with a vision to completely stop relying on 3rd party companies. Here is what you can do, if you want to adopt a similar vision:
1) Stop using Facebook, Google, AWS or any other 3rd party APIs
2) Start to use Firefox, stop using Google Chrome
I recently moved to work with Firefox – it is open source, and committed not to spy after users. The developers tool in Firefox are much better than in Chrome, and the browser itself is more convenient. By working with Chrome, you give power to Google to spy after you and your activities. This change is fairly easy.
3) Stop using Google ads – use Matomo
Matomo is open source, you can download it and run it on your own machine, and is a much stronger, and much more reliable analytics tool than Google Ads. If clients or partners are using Google ads, I recommend them to move to Matomo: as I wrote before, Google Ads is not a free service – it is a spyware. You can build your own Linux server and configure matomo as a website , just install Matomo as your own managed service – it takes exactly 30 minutes.
4) Stop using Google maps – use OpenStreetMaps
5) Build your own mail server – do not use Gsuite, Open Outlook etc.
When we use gmail or Gsuite – we do two things: we let Google ownership of our communication and data, and we let them decide what is spam and what is “OK” to read: currently Google are using their “spam” policy to censor users and companies – in a very unfair and dodgy monopolistic behavior: as an excuse that your email is spam, they do not let entrepreneurs send their messages, and therefore they keep the center of power in their own hands. Building your own mail servers, based on a LAMP stack server, means that: you own the data. You decide what is spam and what is not. You own the domain name, the policies and the access to the server. YOU makes you the boss, not Google. We are currently working on a new service to build mail servers for companies.
6) Migrate from Whatspp to Telegram
A couple of days ago I moved to use Telegram, as a request from a business partner in Germany. It is beautiful. Yet – do not be wrong – the fact that the encrypt their communication does not mean that they don’t have the power to spy after you. They do. They are just less powerful than Facebook, which helps a little to distributes the centers of power a.
7) Renting a server? don’t use AWS
AWS are expensive, and what is worst: (1) you support the Amazon monster when you work with AWS, (2) AWS try to invent their own terminology and make things complicated – so your ownership and knowledge of how to run your own server will be weekened. There are millions of other service providers like Vultr.com – and do not forget that if you got a fiber optics connection in your office, you can always host your server(s) inside your own offices. This is what we used to do until 10 years ago!
8) How about Ubuntu, or a Macintosh instead of using a windows computer?
Ubuntu is open source and working better than Windows. The only problem with Ubuntu is that most laptop companies (on purpose) do not develop WIfi drivers for Ubuntu. I think that Dell are the only company which develop drivers for Ubuntu (I’m not sure about it, could be that Lenovo are doing the same). Anyway, my laptops didn’t like Ubuntu so I gave up and moved to use a Mac’intosh. Here is my feedback:
– a mac is much faster, and much more reliable than any windows computer I ever worked on
– things on a mac actually work. it can be your best working tool, it is really brilliant, faster, stable.
– lots of simple, traditional software, is missing on a mac: like Paint (the Mac paint – “preview” is retarded), Notepad++… I couldn’t find even not one normal text editor like Notepad++ for a mac… issue is that engineers tend to use a mac and engineers have the habit of making simple things very complicated and complex: so the IDE editors are a pain in the ass: only software engineers could invent a 100 tons tank to smash an ant and then praise it. I’m currently using JEdit, but unlike on Ubuntu, JEdit is not stable on a mac. In general, lots of open source software are not stable on a mac – it looks like Apple wants you to buy software on the appstore i.e. they plot to take your money instead of just providing a good computer.
– Mac is sort of Linux based, so you have a built in SSH terminal or install any – no need of Putty or a similar emulator.
– You hate windows updates? me too… I had one which took 30 minutes, and it restarted my computer 10 min before an important meeting! Alas – Mac Book Pro is no different! I get system updates popup windows every second day… and there is no way to turn them off (as you can do in Ubuntu or Linux). When the mac is becoming slower – you can feel that it is downloading some updates in the background. I hate when companies try to control our life – apple – what a shameful company!
– And last but not least… you must (yes – must) have got an Apple ID to download software for your Mac. this is disgusting behavior by Apple: even Microsoft do not enforce this (yet)
9) Use DuckDuckGo.com instead of Google Search
Google Search, with all their new AI algorithms, are becoming retarded for deep research: you do not get unexpected search results, but the search results that best fits with your personal profile. Duckduckgo.com search results are better and faster. When you use Google, you allow them to take your site and your business into the long tail while they keep the cream – the majority of the traffic – to big companies like them.
10) Lower your playstore / appstore impact, develop for web
The Android playstore, and Apple AppsStore are monopolies, they control the release process, they impose the development tools and they dictate what will be popular on the app stores – those two companies are definitely ugly monopolies. I know that it is hard – but try to develop (and use) the web – instead of apps – to reduce their power in that space. At some point someone will develop an open source smartphone store – until then – I wouldn’t help Google or Apple to grow stronger.
11) Limit your time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
This is also hard – but I hear from more and more people, that they use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram less and less. The main tip here – not to become their worker, i.e. – not to build your business solely on their platform, but build it elsewhere on your self-owned platform, and post links from their platforms to yours: this is exactly what big news agencies are doing on social media: they write to their site / blog, and post it in social media. This is what I do – I write for my blog – so I own the data and content – and then I post a link to it in my LinkedIn / Facebook profile. I own my content. I own my data. I own my server. I own my business. Be the same: own your creations!
Until next time,