👓 How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch | Larry Sanger

Read How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch by Larry SangerLarry Sanger (larrysanger.org)
The problem about social media is that it is centralized. Centralization empowers massive corporations and governments to steal our privacy and restrict our speech and autonomy.

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The social media browser plugins. Here’s the killer feature. Create at least one (could be many competing) browser plugins that enable you to (a) select feeds and then (b) display them alongside a user’s Twitter, Facebook, etc., feeds. (This could be an adaptation of Greasemonkey.) In other words, once this feature were available, you could tell your friends: “I’m not on Twitter. But if you want to see my Tweet-like posts appear in your Twitter feed, then simply install this plugin and input my feed address. You’ll see my posts pop up just as if they were on Twitter. But they’re not! And we can do this because you can control how any website appears to you from your own browser. It’s totally legal and it’s actually a really good idea.” In this way, while you might never look at Twitter or Facebook, you can stay in contact with your friends who are still there—but on your own terms.  ❧

This is an intriguing idea. In particular, it would be cool if I could input my OPML file of people I’m following and have a plugin like this work with other social readers.
February 20, 2019 at 12:29PM

We can look at a later iteration of Everipedia itself as an example. Right now, there is one centralized encyclopedia: Wikipedia. With the Everipedia Network, there will be a protocol that will enable people from all over the web to participate in a much broader project.  ❧

As I look at this, I can’t help think about my desire to want to be able to link to a wiki in a post and have a Webmention added to that post’s “See Also” or reference section. With the link automatically added to the wiki’s page like this, future readers and editors could have access to my original and could potentially synopsize and include details from my post into the wiki’s article.
February 20, 2019 at 12:41PM

But how do we make it happen?  ❧

Larry, I caught your Twitter conversation with Aaron Parecki earlier about IndieWeb. I’ve added a lot of the open specs he referenced to my own WordPress website with a handful of plugins and would be happy to help you do the same if you like. I think that with some of the IndieWeb tools, it’s always even more impressive if you can see them in action using something you’re already regularly using.

If nothing else, it’ll give you some direct experience with how the decentralized nature of how these things work. I’m posting my reply to you own my own site and manually syndicating the reply (since you don’t yet support webmention, one of the protocols) which will give at least some idea of how it all works.

If you’re curious about how you could apply it to your own WordPress site, I’ve collected some research, articles and experiments specific to my experience here: https://boffosocko.com/research/indieweb/
February 20, 2019 at 12:46PM

The feed readers. Just as the RSS standard spawned lots of “reader” and “aggregator” software, so there should be similar feed readers for the various data standards described in (1) and the publishers described in (2). While publishers might have built-in readers (as the social media giants all do), the publishing and reading feature sets need to be kept independent, if you want a completely decentralized system.  ❧

I’ve outlined a bit about how feed readers could be slighly modified to do some of this in the past: https://boffosocko.com/2017/06/09/how-feed-readers-can-grow-market-share-and-take-over-social-media/
February 20, 2019 at 12:47PM

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