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Humanist technologist. Equality and adventures.

I co-founded Elgg and Known, worked on Medium, and now invest in innovative media startups to support a stronger democracy at Matter.

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ben@benwerd.com

 
 

TBH is kind of a sweet idea: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/22/tbh-app/

 

@francesbell Decentralized data is core to this! But again: what can we do better with decentralized data than centralized? Privacy for sure

 

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Core question: what can decentralized software do better than centralized, leaving aside ideology? My bet is on business use cases to start.

 

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The problem is pressing. In a world where authoritarianism is on the rise, ethical software shouldn't track users in an identifying way.

 

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Decentralization is not a value proposition, unfortunately. It's important to build great products that happen to be decentralized.

 

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While "let's not build products that could undermine democratic society" sounds like a human problem, most users don't see the need in time.

 

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It's not enough to build a product with a democratic ideology. You have to do the hard work of making sure you're solving a human problem.

 

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Where decentralization communities failed was on desirability of their offerings to ordinary people. Projects were too academic / nerdy.

 

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We now know that targeted advertising was used to attempt to swing a federal election, and that the administration wanted a mole inside Fb.

 

Decentralization communities were completely right about the danger of centralized services as the place where we get and share information.