How the modern web 2.0 social web irritates me by hiding discussions
Recently an interesting discussion of my entry on what systemd gets right broke out on Google+, including both interesting stuff and some things that I want to respond to. What sucks about the modern Web 2.0 social web is that I found this discussion basically only through luck.
Oh, I knew that someone on Google+ had linked to my entry and had
a bunch of readers; I could see the
Referers from plus.url.google.com
come rolling in in my web server logs. But in common with a lot of
other Web 2.0 sites the
Referer values were of absolutely no use
to backtrack to the actual discussion; they
were encoded and basically generic (if I visited one of them I wound
up on a little interstitial 'you are about to visit an outside
website, are you sure?' page).
This is more severe than my earlier irritation with Twitter about this in that G+ is actually hiding a real discussion from me (okay, people have real discussions on Twitter too but perhaps not quite as much), a discussion that in many other circumstances might have happened in the comments section of my entry (where I could directly see it and address it). Of course this is partly the result of a deliberate design decision on G+'s part; G+ wants you to have your discussion on G+, not on some outside site. From Google's perspective what happened here is not a bug but a feature.
(This is unlike a similar issue with Facebook because the discussion here on G+ is public, not private.)
This is nothing new, of course. I just feel like grumbling about it since I was so directly reminded of it.
Sidebar: How I found this discussion
Someone in my Twitter stream had linked to an earlier Lennart Poettering G+ post that reacted to the whole 'FLOS vs Unix' thing and mentioned systemd in relation to that. It struck me that if anyone on G+ was going to link to my entry at this point it might well be Poettering, so I backtracked to his G+ page and there it was. Had his earlier post not appeared on my radar I would have had no real clue.
(I knew that Poettering knew about my entry because he left some comments on it.)