Cosplaying the Internet

While I’ve been trying to work through a few rejections of the last version from the Chrome Web Store, a number of hot discussions have sprung up around the Cat.

My favorite recent essay that touches on Fraidycat is “The master tapes” by Robin Sloan:

[Fraidycat] presents a lovely, anarchic opportunity: follow all the people you like, no matter what platform they’re using, without having accounts on those platforms. Basically, it’s an “RSS… or whatever” reader.

This comment - and the one at the end - that Fraidycat cosplays a different Internet. Yeah - wow. I guess that’s what is happening here. Can we just do this? Give the Internet the aesthetic we want?

In a way, I hope there is a lot more beyond Fraidycat. That there are more out there who want to take their own crack at piping raw Internet through their own designs. What if Fraidycat is the beginning? And there are other frontiers beyond the news feed, beyond friending, beyond my puny concepts?

I also just noticed that Robin’s blog throbs at the seams. Shyeah.

Yesterday, this little cat got a nice showcase on Hacker News. I really appreciated some of these incredibly effusive comments.

From skoodge:

I had read through the page and figured that it’s probably not for me, but then decided to watch the video based on this comment and it is absolutely amazing! It is not just incredibly well-produced, but at the same time whimsical and a poignant commentary on the current social network landscape.

Some people might be put off by the video’s style and it’s definitely not in the vein of the typical startup product launch, but exactly that makes it the most memorable product launch video in a long time for me, since it’s not afraid to show some personality.

Well, for one, Fraidycat isn’t a startup. It’s just my personal thing. A personal video goes with a personal thing. (And yeah - let’s no forget, major credit to @AngleseaTwo for being a sensational collaborator on this! He did the cats and most of the vid. Also just a true friend in every sense.)

Nevertheless, I love this comment! It’s great to connect in this way, where we share personal feelings for the Web like this. I get being cynical about the Web. I get doubting technology in general. But it’s here now - can we do better with it?

From code_duck:

I like this idea. I’m very tired of trying to sift through publishers (individuals too) sorted by some opaque, perennially ineffective algorithm.

Twitter, for instance - I follow hundreds of people, but my notifications are literally 100% Rick Wilson. I have absolutely no idea how they made this decision, but it’s way off the mark.

On Instagram, there’s an account that’s my favorite. I’ve liked every photo they post. They haven’t shown up in my feed for months. Checked their account and they’ve been posting new content daily for 3 weeks. Meanwhile my fees shows me pics of some guy I don’t care about at all walking his dog in vacation.

This is so reassuring - to see that others feel this loss of control. I don’t know to what extent you regain this control with Fraidycat - but this should be part of our effort. To give everyone adequate tools.

To me, this is the value of Fraidycat’s importances. It’s the simplest way to control the signal.

One of the next questions is: what other (useful) sliders are there? Sure, I can add all kinds of sliders - but are there other controls that could help us tune the personal algorithm better?

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