Ryan discusses the differences between the fediverse and the AT Protocol:
One core difference between the fediverse and the AT Protocol seems to be that AT decouples many key building blocks – identity, moderation, ranking algorithms, even your own data to some degree – from your server. The fediverse, on the other hand, ties them all to your server and sees that as a desirable feature.
I’m probably being a bit presumptuous, but I think there’s actually a difference between a European and American mindset here. (Mastodon is headquartered in Germany while Bluesky is rooted in San Francisco and Austin.)
The fediverse prioritizes communities: each community instance has its own rules, culture, and potentially user interface. You find a community that you’re aligned with first and foremost, and your activity is dictated by that.
The AT Protocol is much more individualistic. You bring your own identity support, moderation, ranking algorithms, interface, etc. You’re using someone’s space to be able to access the network, but ultimately your choices are yours rather than an outcome of which collaborative community you’ve opted to join.
I think both models are good. I like the fediverse’s emphasis on community. I also think by not emphasizing granular community rules early on, Bluesky has the luxury of being able to build community across the whole network more cohesively. I’m glad both exist.