Before I read it, I had some immediate opinions based on the title alone -- half thinking this can't be so.. there's still thriving art communities on the internet, they haven't "fallen" etc, and the other half thinking maybe there's some truth to that, because of how big of a giant social media is, etc.
Anyway, I read it, had some chats with a few friends about it, and wanted to share a few thoughts on it. -- read it if you haven't already.
The best place to jump is the end, which is the only thing I'm going to focus on. The piece ends with the hopeful message that reads "the collaborative, creative culture [of the early internet] is bound for a revival".
Because most of my creative online time is spent on obscure areas of the Internet, my reflex argument is to deny that online communities engaging in collaborative and creative culture ever went away, they just quietly co-existed alongside social media -- there's nothing to revive. But that would be missing the spirit of the message, I think. What my internet experience is isn't that of the author's. If I wasn't actively participating in collaborative communities online, I too would think the net needs a good creative culture revival. I would crave the Internet experience of yesterday, before corporate social media took over. I would be wanting to be a part of something fun and engaging, not something described as "posting bite-sized content as frequently as possible [...] in order to game the algorithms that choose what followers see and reward frequency with more visibility"
If you're currently in a position where you think there should be a revival, know that a revival is completely doable now, today. It will be your own personal revival. You could attempt to be a part of existing communities; or better yet, you could make your own place to hang out and be creative online -- you could/can even lure a friend off social media and encourage them to engage in your new fun space.
But the idealizing of early internet might not be easy for someone attached to social media, which offers very meticulously crafted and very addicting reward systems. And, of course, its also where 'everyone is'. If you did something creative, surely you'd want as many people as possible to see it. What if you were so hopeful for revival that you ditched social media, went somewhere obscure, even if it was your own hangout space online, and engaged in creative and genuinely fun collaborative activity with only a couple of other people, but no one outside that group ever heard about it? It would be as if it didn't event exist to everyone else. It'd be like by leaving social media, you pretty much just dropped off the face of the earth.
Doesn't that sound like fun?