Time to tackle obesity, the data kind.

One of the topics I’m currently working on is how to tackle data obesity. Or rather I’m working on helping small companies and individuals stop feeding the very hungry caterpillars in this world. That is not an easy task, but I strongly believe the world will be a bit better when our personal data is treated with the utmost respect. Most people are sort of aware of this notion, but have no idea where to start. That’s the void I’m aiming to fill.

There are two main themes that I need to address: data ownership and social connection. The data ownership part is pretty straightforward. There are good services available to store your data in a self-hosted cloud, including open source tools to collaborate online. Generally speaking these services are very affordable for even the smallest businesses.

But then the social connection part. Connecting to others online without using the hungriest caterpillar of them all is the tricky part. I want to encourage people to stop using facebook. There. I said it. I’m going to climb the Mount Everest wearing shorts and sandals. On the one hand impossible. On the other hand, absolutely necessary.

Over the years there have been so many twists and turns of this company that it’s hard to begin to explain why I feel the need to show others the non-facebook road. To unravel my thinking I started a map. I wrote down arguments, patterns, concerns and everything else that came to mind when I think about facebook. I also started working on a path towards the other world. The world where we take ownership of our social connections and the data that comes with it. That world exists, but the journey there will be through rough terrain. We will lose some weight along the way and even though for some that will feel like losing themselves a little, as a group we will become healthier.

The map I show you here is by far a finished document. There are many things that I need to research before I can write about it. But writing about it I will. A lot. If you want to chip in with ideas or (re)sources, feel free to connect with me. Leave a comment below, or send me an e-mail.