Someone asked me to make a video as to why I’m not a fan of closed community decentralized platforms that tend to typically run on nodes focused on very specific niches. Here are my thoughts…
Simply put, these platforms are very disconnected and really act as tiny bubbles that cannot interact with each other. Each niche is its own platform entirely requiring you to sign up every time and log in when you switch between them. Most of the platforms have very few users so you’re only talking to a tiny subset of the platform and that’s who you’ll ever be able to talk to.
*I did make the mistake of thinking that you couldn’t even see posts on the network without signing up first, but you can, in fact, go to the “See what’s happening” tab under any of the signup pages to see what people are saying. Mind you, when I originally looked around, I didn’t see it so for the average person, they may completely miss it as well. Also, you should be able to find multiple accounts with the same @ across platforms within the Fediverse so I wasn't totally accurate about that, but for me, I couldn't when I tried to.
I felt the easiest way for me to highlight the faults in this style of platform was to review two of the most popular ones: Mastodon and Diaspora.
https://joinmastodon.org/ - Mastodon has an intriguing concept but is very misleading to boast of a platform with over 4 million users when they are all existing in tiny niche bubbles and have a lot of resistance going between nodes. Aside from what I mentioned Above that also applies here, it also has no crypto monetization or blockchain-related features. While this could be an okay decentralized platform to use, it’s hardly an open social media platform that accurately represents what people think. Given everything is in echo chambers, it’s far from what social media intended to be. To me, it’s what social media shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be a place for us to group into small groups and then ignore everything else and not be involved outside our small circles. It is good for small groups of friends to connect, but realistically you’re just ending up on some random server with random people who may or may not be interested in the topic rather than a community of friends. Maybe this is ideal for some people, but not for most who already have an idea in their mind of what social media should entail.
https://diasporafoundation.org/ - Diaspora is somewhat similar to Mastodon except with way fewer people and its way less friendly to sign up on as if Mastodon wasn’t already a huge nuisance. Trying to sign up takes you to an instruction page that boringly walks you through how you can get started. Finally, you realize there’s only a handful of servers, I searched for Canada and found a few with less than 500 people in each. I was very unimpressed and thought why I would waste my time trying to interact with 499 random people. It’s not that there is an issue in doing so, it’s that my social experience is about talking with the world and getting a diverse range of opinions and ideas, not to be limited to the minds of just 499 random other Canadians. Now I searched Canada, only because there are so few filters that really mean anything to determine where you should even join.
People aren’t trying to spend their time looking through tiny niche node communities to find one they may like but has too few members to really have the social experience they are used to. They want to continue with the same level of performance but with better privacy and control. These types of platforms just don’t cut it and I doubt they ever will. They simply have too many resistance points to deal with.
This site is just a list full of links to the other node based platforms that you can check out if you’re interested: https://the-federation.info/
You can also look at Fediverse for more: https://fediverse.party/
Let me know what you think about this in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!