This is a good, real-world explainer of a core philosophy behind Mastodon and the greater fediverse of connected, interoperable services, like PixelFed. I’m a big fan of this grown platform of content and social platforms, especially their underlying design and mission.

You can find me on Mastodon for microblogging (Twitter) and PixelFed for photo sharing (Instagram).

Eugen, a core developer behind Mastodon:

Decentralization is biodiversity of the digital world, the hallmark of a healthy ecosystem. A decentralized network like the fediverse allows different user interfaces, different software, different forms of government to co-exist and cooperate. And when some disaster strikes, some will be more adapted to it than others, and survive what a monoculture wouldn’t.

and:

Last but not least, decentralization is about fixing power asymmetry. A centralized social media platform has a hierarchical structure where rules and their enforcement, as well as the development and direction of the platform, are decided by the CEO, with the users having close to no ways to disagree. You can’t walk away when the platform holds all your friends, contacts and audience. A decentralized network deliberately relinquishes control of the platform owner, by essentially not having one. For example, as the developer of Mastodon, I have only an advisory influence: I can develop new features and publish new releases, but cannot force anyone to upgrade to them if they don’t want to; I have no control over any Mastodon server except my own, no more than I have control over any other website on the internet. That means the network is not subject to my whims; it can adapt to situations faster than I can, and it can serve use cases I couldn’t have predicted.

Liked it? Take a second to support me on Patreon!
You May Also Like

Mastodon iOS apps are getting good

Any new platform needs good apps. Thankfully, Mastodon’s have started to mature.

It’s time to give Watch apps another chance

‪Series 4 and watchOS 5 feel like a breath of fresh air for a key aspect of the Watch that hasn’t lived up to its potential.‬

A list of small features and changes I would love to see in iOS 13

We all have hopes and dreams. Some of mine for iOS 13 focus on the polish and little details.

The case for trying Mastodon, a decentralized social network

Mastodon is a healthy and diverse community that’s built by and for people, not investors. Apps are welcome and your feed is chronological.