The term 'social media' refers to a cluster of applications and online services that support human interaction and content broadcasting and sharing. Current services are isolated islands or 'walled gardens', and are based on a business model that is highly exploitative of individuals and their data. An alternative, consumer-oriented approach is feasible, involving open architecture, inter-operability and portability features, fair terms and privacy-sensitivity. Key impediments to the emergence of such services are identified, and means of overcoming the impediments are outlined..