How to decentralize social media—Data Interoperability and Standards


Some really interesting ideas in here:

(1) Open data standards
(2) Reliable publishing/storage platforms, controlling your own content

(3) The feed readers. Just as the RSS standard spawned lots of “reader” and “aggregator” software, so there should be similar feed readers for the various data standards described in (1) and the publishers described in (2). While publishers might have built-in readers (as the social media giants all do), the publishing and reading feature sets need to be kept independent, if you want a completely decentralized system.

These are akin to the interfaces by which people access the Interledger. And right now that could sort of be anything.

The author then states (4), the social media browser plugins.

Well this is a fancy way of stating data interoperability. I’m full convinced interoperable standards are the next thing for how we design our systems and software. That means programming languages that interoperate (Rust bindings, wasm), money standards that interoperate (right now that’s the USD), protocols that interoperate (Software Defined Networking) and hardware that interoperates (RISC-V). A neutral standard allows for all the layers above it to integrate and foster overall progress.

Perhaps a theme of this is more about how one interacts on a user level with the different layers. The underlying standards are interesting, but what does it really mean for how we use the system? Interoperable standards do create more leverage for the user. Does it open up more business models beyond a greater distribution of efficient intermediaries? (We had some discussions in this thread about making this protocol mainstream and @scott brought another relevant issue up in another.)