Idle Fediverse Tech/Meta Thoughts
It's really strange to think back 3 years ago and how much we all believed that decentralized apps would change the internet. There were open discussions about it, tons of small spin-off "clones" of Mastodon trying to improve the software, and even a project dedicated to helping people switch away from the big, centralized apps to more decentralized, sometimes federated versions (switching.social).
Fast forward to post-pandemic Fediverse (which is where I draw the "things really went to shit right around here" arrow) and few people are talking about decentralization as a goal or even a good idea. With the exception of glitch, all the small fediverse projects seem to be dead. Even switching.social doesn't technically exist anymore, though a successor project called "ethical alternatives" still keeps a list of alternative sites... but no longer has a presence on the fediverse, and doesn't seem to believe in decentralization as a main objective.
If 2017-2019 could be described as "the fediverse's optimist years," then I'd say the current era is definitely the "jaded cynicism" era. And the problem with cynicism is that it lacks creative energy, because what's the point anyway? Cynicism will only allow you to stay in place, protected but resentful. Stagnant.
I think the only two real outcomes for the fediverse (as someone who is largely an outside observer at this stage) are:
I honestly don't know if the will even exists to do something like that. These things require more than just a handful of people to get on board, you need a dedicated core of people and a larger community that, at bare minimum, believe that goal is worthy of chasing and that it is achievable.
It's a tall order for 2021 Fediverse.
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