This article makes the point that a major reason non-creepy social networks fail is they are made by tech geeks like me that focus on under the hood tech and not making a fun experience with good new features.

If they have a valid point, then one wonders why they wouldn't contribute "good new features" that offer a "fun experience" to the existing Facebook alternatives, rather than creating YAN (yet-another-network).

@indi In other places they have made good points about how complicated decentralized SN are for regular folk to setup or find interesting content on. I agree with them. I will never get my friends and family to actually use it.

While the underlying tech would allow for features to be built on top, it's limited if other people cannot interact with it. I think MeWe and OpenBook might be in the right track to delay decentralization. Wire too. Though OB is OSS and GDPR export ready and EU based.


@indi I guess I value privacy, security and less manipulation over decentralization, federated services and portable profiles.

I value all of those things, and existing Facebook alternatives already provide all of them. The reason they seem to focus on decentralization so much is because that's the *hard* problem... which really makes me suspicious when I see these new guys just shrugging and saying they'll figure that out later.

What existing alternatives lack is:
1) casual-user-friendliness; and
2) a critical mass of users.

If these guys can provide requirement 1 and still promise all those other features, then they should either be able to build user-friendliness on top of the existing networks, or provide a reason why they can't, other than they can't be bothered to try.

@indi that's a good point. And yet, the issue is that all the focus is on an difficult issue people don't care about. In the mean time privacy, security and the mental space of citizens are being exploited and manipulated.

Which do you prefer more? The tech angle or the human angle? I think there is value to social networks but harms in how the popular ones are organized.

What base would you recommend they could start with?

@indi I am starting to like the lead guy's arguments against decentralization for data control (the ability to delete your content) and to innovate. All these systems seen to have solved decentralization and yet cannot seem to innovate.

Your not wrong. It just seems like it doesn't matter or it would have happened already.

It's not a matter of choosing between "the tech angle or the human angle". If these guys are not peddling vapourware, then they *MUST* solve the tech problems at some point. But those problems are *hard*; decentralized networks were designed that way from the ground up because people found that tacking that feature on later just doesn't work.

I am not impressed with any group of people who ask for money while shrugging off the technical challenges they'll face.

If they had a working proof-of-concept, then I would take them seriously. (All they've got now are videos of mockups that just look like Diaspora with a nice theme and auto-playing gifs.) If they showed some semblance of understanding about the technical challenges, and explained why existing networks can't work, then I would take them seriously. But all I see now is a "guys, this will be awesome; don't worry about how we'll actually make it work" marketing pitch.

@indi If it gets popular they will look in to decentralization and SOLID.

To make a killer app I buy that they need to be able to iterate quickly to try features. Decentralization would inhibit that, stop data control and leave the network open to bots.

Do you see the value in these things?

What OSS system could be the base?

Do you see how I might be more concerned with the human cost of social networks over making a perfect social network not many people use?

@indi Also those mockups are the working product, which went live today to backers as alpha. I might get an account in the next few months as the invite non-backers.

@indi But I disagree they must solve decentralization first. It's not their priority, and I think they may be on the right track. Current social networks perform much harm. From how they make money to how they manipute us to how that effects us to how other actors use it to manipulate us.

Having a less addictive and more private, secure social network is a good thing. It getting popular would be a better thing for this world. Even without decentralization.

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