Thomas Friedman reported today in his New York Times Op-Ed piece that freedom is diminishing around the globe. For the first time since the cold war “almost 4 times as many states — 38 – declined in their freedom scores as improved – 10. The freedom score is a construct of Freedom House.
If you have been following this blog or Zude.com in the press and blogosphere, you’ll note that one of the major tenets and brand planks of Zude is “freedom.” Zude competes in the social media, social networking sphere, a broad user-generated content category, born of open source and “sharing” doctrine. But as the category matures, I’m seeing big evidence that freedom is waning.
Zude is not perfect, and our so-called “Webertarian” ethos cannot in every case be preserved, but our hearts are in the right place. The Electronic Freedom Foundation and others should applaud our efforts in data portability. And our desire to give everyone the ability to have a free, customizable web presence, especially the underserved portion of the population (non-coders, poor, boomers,) is more than noble.
Competitors in this space, I feel, are drifting backwards in user freedom. More rules, more constraints, a tightening of the communities in favor of the “haves” are all seeping into this world. The category, like the globe, is moving backward and it’s a shame.
Zude’s tagline is “feel free” and please know we will keep fighting the fight.