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Decentralized Systems Will Be Necessary To Stop Google From Putting The Web Into Managed Decline

"The various decentralized social media systems that have been growing over the past few years offer a very different potential approach: one in which you get to build the experience you want, rather than the one a giant company wants."

There's a chicken and egg problem here: while decentralized systems are absolutely going to be part of the solution, or at least hold most of the properties that make for a good solution, they also need to have a critical mass of people who use them.

A lot of people are looking towards Threads to provide this critical mass, but just as I'd invite newsrooms to consider how to gain more traffic without Apple News, I'd invite the federated social web community to consider what a growth looks like without Meta. It's not that Threads won't help - it's that you don't want to be dependent on a megacorp to provide the assistance you need. You never know when they'll change their policies and look elsewhere.

Still, the point stands: decentralization is a key part of the answer. There's a lot to be gained from investing in projects that provide strong user experiences, solve concrete real human problems alongside the ideological ones and the existential threats, and onboard a new generation of internet users to a better way to share and browse.

That's a tall order, but, as always, I'm hopeful.


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