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#1 2017-04-17 08:32:32

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 6,118
Website

decentralized data movement

A good article by Heather Marsh discussing the dark side of alternative platforms.

The decentralized social media platforms on offer solve the problem of control over personal data in theory, but in reality most of them just create multiple little pods, each with their own tyrannical or benevolent admins, like subreddits or irc channels. They also make your data impossible to delete if they are linked to other pods.

Web 1.0 was soooo much better!


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | NeMe @ github

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#2 2017-04-17 15:37:13

michaelkpate
Moderator
From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 899
Website

Re: decentralized data movement

Kevin Marks has been talking about this for years now:

How would today’s commercial Internet fare on a decentralized or distributed web? That’s impossible to say with any clarity. We can’t just turn on a newly decentralized Internet; it looks more and more like a collection of overlays that, over time, could replace some core technologies. Moreover, users like using Facebook and Google and Twitter and the rest. As long as they derive what they consider value from the centralized players, it’ll be an uphill battle for decentralization. At the least, some hope, a corporate web will learn to co-exist with a web where people can find value in keeping control of their own data, where they don’t have to head toward the center in order to function at the edge. – How to break open the web

Unfortunately, lots of things that have been proposed never seem to catch on? Remember OpenID? It was supposed to make it super-easy for people to log into websites without creating an account. Instead, everyone uses Facebook.

I find myself amused at the excitement over Mastodon – because I watched Jaiku and Pownce and Identi.ca come and go.

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#3 2017-04-25 14:23:30

Destry
Moderator
From: Alemannia
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 3,300
Website

Re: decentralized data movement

It’s all about timing, and the time might be right for more decentralization in technology. But it’s not just about using a new tool, it’s about a lot of things that are coming to head: privacy, security, transparency, truth, ethical business…

The problems were always there, but I sense there’s more awareness and concern about it now since the lead up to the American elections and all the threads of insanity that can be pulled apart from the aftermath. Plus you have this shite from Uber and Unroll.me right now… Faith in centralized platforms and network providers is wobbly at best. I’d even say waning for a large base of people.

Regarding the link Colak shared, which is really a plug for getgee.xyz, that’s a very interesting topic/project. I love the idea of a personal data commons. Now is a good time for something like that to get more attention. Thanks for bringing it to mine, Colak. In the last several months I’ve dropped a half-dozen accounts, and they all required several hoops to jump through and waiting periods to process my requests. It shouldn’t be like that. We should be able to just make a couple clicks and poof — gone, or edited, or whatever we want to do with our own account data. What projects like Mastodon should do is connect with a database like that, whether “G” or some other (decentralization of data commons is further goodness), that would be a great win against data privacy and control. Mastodon may not do that now, but other projects might.

The reason a data commons hasn’t taken off to date is because no single company can exploit those kinds of platforms financially, which is the whole point of such platforms — they’re not owned by investors and money-chasers (or any other unwanted ilk). It’s the same reason any company that relies on advertising (most of them) won’t suddenly jump to Mastodon, because a decentralized network can’t be exploited enough to track consumer behavior. Look at just how much Disqus sticks it to you.

Mastodon’s federated network gains about 100 users per hour [that has since jumped up to hundreds of new accounts per hour], on average, right now. It’s experiencing serious growing pains as far as centralized rule-making and UX-thinking goes, but the decentralized aspect of it is keeping it online. People who are used to centralized platforms like Twitter and Facebook, where one is lead around like a cow by a nose ring, are having a hard time figuring it out. It will take some time for dust to settle and a direction to become clear. But one thing is certain at the moment, it’s way too early to write it off, or to say there won’t be some other decentralized option like it that sticks eventually. Mastodon is doing better than Diaspora ever did, I think, and the project doesn’t take investor money.

This is the Silicon Valley brainwashing we need to get past, that everything has to be an investor success story. Those doors are shutting fast. Look at that stupid Juicero startup in the news. The whole startup scene is becoming a joke. And I don’t trust the Internet of Lousy Things (IoT) as far as I can throw a bricked garage door opener, or, well, whatever. The world is full of deceivers, spies, and exploiters.

Yes, you can choose not to want those things, but we won’t have a choice soon because everything is being manufactured that way. And the marketers and spies couldn’t be happier about it! How many of you have an Alexa in your home, or one of the equivalents from another tech giant? That’s like having a team of note-takers in your house recording everything you say and do but without you even noticing. A legal bug.

Reaching the apex of my argument’s orbit…

Humanity will be lucky if it doesn’t burn up in another 100 years, as fast as were killing the planet, or get nuked sooner, as so many nutty world leaders are itching to make happen. And though climate deniers are trying hard to keep us in the industrial age, signs show society is waking up to the real threat of the Anthropocene, thanks to sad disasters like losing the great barrier reef, polar ice disintegration, and mass species extinction from habitat loss. But, hey, humans last in line for the fire walk! Even oil companies are now backing the idea of carbon taxes and encouraging Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement (though for hidden reasons, no doubt).

And swinging back to the point…

I expect we’ll see a lot of interconnected changes across politics, technology, and environment — eventually. Notably after the Turnip’s administration is over, but before then too, as people become increasingly distrustful of government surveillance and behavior tracking.

Facebook, Google, Amazon… they’ve all been in the spotlight over the past few years as monopolies, but it’s a subject that’s coming up again, that they have too much power and reach. I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see legislature to cap their growth and ability to buy out competition. And the US asking for socmed passwords at the border? That’s just scaring the people that matter away from using social media at all. Certainly not those very visible targets that humans are assumed to be in love with.

More to the present, people are just getting tired of the same platforms, or at least, in my case, hearing their damn names. It could just be my circles, but I see people dropping out of Facebook and Twitter like flies. If not closing accounts, they’re just not interacting there anymore. My Twitter stream is completely different and I’ve not changed it much in a year. The topics and sources are completely focused on politics and bigger issues in life than digital arts and crafts. I can’t speak for FB users, because I’m not one anymore, but those people I usually expected content talk from on Twitter now seem to spend more time on LinkedIn and Slack than anything else. The former for the business angles, because they have day jobs, and the latter for private groups where trolls can’t get access to the loud and comforting echo chambers.

But I’m seeing interest for new systems though, too, and a lot of digerati people have jumped into Mastodon. It’s still very new for everyone. People just figuring it out. And they’re all over the place on different instances, so you can’t easily find anyone, and when you do you see they’ve somewhat redefined their identity, taking advantage of the new Masto world to express new things, topics they typically weren’t known for in Twitter. It’s kind of fun. Decentralization is fertile ground. It just needs UX brought into it, which is lacking in Mastodon so far.

If you give it a try, I recommend trying to find an instance to enter with that’s more aligned with your own objectives for being there. I entered at the mastodon.social — the main dev’s server — but it’s full of gamers, Manga lovers, and Japanese furries. lol. France and Japan have jumped on the Mastodon train big.

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#4 2017-04-25 14:40:37

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 7,637
Website

Re: decentralized data movement

@Destry: Word.


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#5 2017-04-25 15:30:51

michaelkpate
Moderator
From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 899
Website

Re: decentralized data movement

Destry wrote #305483:

This is the Silicon Valley brainwashing we need to get past, that everything has to be an investor success story. Those doors are shutting fast. Look at that stupid Juicero startup in the news. The whole startup scene is becoming a joke.

Yesterday, we learned:

YikYak, once valued at $400 Million, had some key engineering staff go to Square for $3 Million.

Tilt, once valued at $375 Million, was sold lock, stock and barrel to Airbnb for $12 Million.

Bubble 3.0 has begun.

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#6 2017-04-25 16:04:27

Destry
Moderator
From: Alemannia
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 3,300
Website

Re: decentralized data movement

From the fediverse count bot 3 minutes ago:

Mastodon Users:
485,701 accounts
+1,132 in the last hour
+15,709 in the last day
+126,765 in the last week
1,208 active instances

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#7 2017-04-25 16:34:44

Destry
Moderator
From: Alemannia
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 3,300
Website

Re: decentralized data movement

Mastodon user #Languages (currently)
1:不明(UNKNOWN)32%
2:英語(en)30%
3:日本語(ja)11%
4:フランス語(fr)19%
5:スペイン語(es)5%
6:その他(Others) 3%

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