This is a really interesting essay on how to improve the social web (and how we got here in the first place):
Just by enduring, [Twitter and Facebook] have become places for lasting connections and friendships and career opportunities, in a way the blogosphere never was, at least for me. And this means that, despite their toxicity, despite their shortcomings, despite all the promises that have gone unfulfilled, Twitter and Facebook have continued to matter in a way that blogs don’t.
I can’t help but think that if Google Reader was still around, and flourishing, we would’ve had a very different social web today. One in which creating personal sites and connecting them together were not only easy, but the norm.