Update: Rebuilding The Reform We Lost
Someone else, really, should be the one to write about Anil Dash's thought-provoking blog posts, The Web We Lost, and Rebuilding the Web We Lost. Ideally, it would be someone who's worked inside the reform movement, and remains sympathetic, but is reflective and independent enough to point out where things seem to have gone wrong and what needs to happen next.
Until that happens, let me see if I can describe the basics. The much-discussed pair of pieces document how those who originally developed the ideas behind the Internet 20 years ago and more were over time distracted and distorted to the point that the original (open-source, browser-based) Internet has become eclipsed by what's called the "social web" (but is actualy walled, warring kingdoms with names like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
[Despite its name (social media) and its apparent dominance, social media isn't particularly "social" and most of what's shared online is still shared via email and web links.]
Some will argue with Dash's assessment of the evolution of the Internet, and of course with my comparison to the education reform movement. And there are many obvious differences, large and small.
But the fundamental similarity remains -- to me, at least: Education reform started out as one thing, became something quite different in the process of becoming much larger, and there are at least some now who are wondering how to re-engineer the reform movement to keep the size and momentum but return to some of its core vision and potential impact.
According to Dash, the keys are to: Take responsibility and accept blame. Raise the bar. Rethink funding fundamentals. Pursue talent outside the obvious. Exploit their weakness: Insularity. Dont' trust the trade press. Create public spaces.