After the dotcom bust 20 years ago, there was a shift away from attempts to turn the Internet into a portal owned by a single company (AOL, Yahoo, etc) using incompatible and proprietary tech, in favor of open standards.
This spawned a heydey for things like self-hosted blogs, RSS and XMPP powered by Linux. People rejected lock-in and embraced the benefits and freedom open standards brought. Even Big Tech embraced these standards.
So why did it change? There are a few causes, and this pendulum between open and closed tech is always swinging, but to me the single most important cause was the advent of the smartphone.
Smartphones allowed tech companies to rewrite the rules around standards, software, lock-in and #privacy as Big Tech companies all sought to control the new personal computer with rules people would have rejected on their laptops. The rush to control SMS and news portals killed XMPP and RSS, respectively.
@kyle Also reunning services 24/7 with even 99.9% reliability is well beyond most peoples capability, and even if they have the capability do they want to do it? I used to have a full rack in a data center to host seifried.org. Now it's an S3 bucket/Cloudflare. Email is Gmail. I don't want to run all these services and deal with spam/trying to get my email not marked as spam.
Isn't the whole point of IT to automate things and make them more reliable? This tends to lead to consolidation.
@kurtseifried @valhalla The beauty of open standards, open protocols, and services built on free software is that it provides the option for folks who are able to, to self-host, most can't/won't, so with sufficient demand, others who are able and willing to, can offer their own hosted services to potential customers (either free or for a fee/donations/etc).
The consumer can then choose the service (and service provider) that best serves their needs, ability, and budget, just like with email.