“The fact that Facebook and Twitter control the business models of so many media corporations, at some point becomes untenable.”
“And those corporations, if they're smart, will move to models they can control the economic model a little bit more.”
A movement is now underway to make that happen; to turn back the clock on what might have been and force future social networks to give control back to their users. Fed up with watching from the sideline while others try to make this happen and fail, Henshaw-Plath, who also goes by Rabble, is now the CEO of Planetary.Social, one of dozens of networks being built by developers who have decided the risks of so much power centralized in one company aren’t worth the benefits.
An interesting article explaining the background to the Secure Scuttlebutt peer-to-peer network, which because it has no central managed server and is based on an open standard, allows other client applications to hook into it and communicate. Patchwork was one of the original clients (no longer being developed), and there are also Planetary, Manyverse, Patchfox, and others. I did a video a while back about what Patchwork looks like at #^https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbzGpKffQuM
Scuttlebutt itself isn’t supported by venture capital. Instead, taking a page from the way Tim Berners-Lee funded the creation of the World Wide Web, Scuttlebutt is backed by grants that helped jumpstart the process. Similar to a distributed autonomous organization (DAO) that connects groups on a blockchain, there are now hundreds of users who personally donate to the cause and an estimated 30,000 people using one of at least six social networks on the protocol.
But without central server hosting and storage requirements, nor a large team of developers, Secure Scuttlebutt does not chew up operational expenditure.
"Though decentralized social networking is proving a difficult way to make money, Henshaw-Plath has plans to sell support services." And there's the rub for companies and marketing firms wanting to profit out of social media, and Secure Scuttlebutt is a whole different paradigm to centralized social media. One example also is, who can't just look up your friends off a contact list...
“The software we're building, when we're building decentralized social media, when we're building new social media platforms, they need to be about people and human connection, not structuring our world through algorithms,” he says.