Manifesto for a Humane Web

Michelle Barker has published a manifesto which is stunning — both visually and content-wise.

I like it when people grab a domain, craft a great piece of writing and then specifically design around it. This is what Michelle has done for the Manifesto for a Humane Web.

It’s come at an important crossroad for the web. We’ve been here before with “web3” and crypto, which rightly, nosedived out of relevance as quickly as it arrived. I feel like that might not be the case with “AI” though — in the long term — so these conversations are needed.

This part really stood out to me:

If what we don’t want from the web is increasingly clear, perhaps it’s time to identify what kind of web we do want. How do we define a humane web?

I feel like we’ve needed to have this conversation for a long time. Right now, the web’s direction feels weighted too heavily in venture capitalism and profit above everything. The web was supposed to be a true leveller, but let’s be honest, that’s not the case.

Whether it be a sharp focus on developer experience over developing for people, or every product and service seemingly throwing themselves at “AI”, causing real harms; it feels like our standards have slipped considerably.

Or have they? As “AI” causes more and more damage, there will be a pushback and a yearning for human-centered experiences. It’s why we’re 100% committed to never publishing “AI” content slop on this site, because as I see it, that causes way more damage than a benefit and will almost certainly be yet another fad that sweeps in, makes a mess and disappears. Committing to shunning “AI” slop feels like a good long term bet to me.

I don’t think that of “AI” as a whole, but certainly in terms of garbage content being published, misleading imagery and those horrendous, heavy, chatbots that pollute our experience of the web. There will be uses for “AI”, but not that in the long term, as I see it.

There’s clearly not enough visionaries in the “AI” space right now. Sure, there are some very technically gifted people, but until more stuff like this happens, we’re miles of “AI” being a help, rather than a hinderance.

Anyway, enough of what I think. Go and check out this stunning piece of human work 👇

Check it out