Hey, let me guess, you moved from Steem, Hive or similar platforms to publish0x, Medium or theCapital? Or maybe, the other way round.
Personally, I’ve found a certain level of balance and I am continuously working to settle down on both calibre of web platforms. Yes, I get your point and clearly understand how it feels struggling to find a balance between both platforms and what they offer.
For someone moving to decentralized web platforms like Steem and Hive, you probably had one of your contents or your blog as a whole censored in a very unbearable way and you’ve finally decided to storm out of the whole set up and move to a platform where you won’t have to worry about this anymore.
In contrast, for someone pulling out of decentralized platforms and making their way into centralized platforms; ‘centralization is still better anyways’. Well, while I don’t completely agree with that, it will be too hasty to call it wrong too.
What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 is a collaborative and participative web platform. Also known as ‘the social web,’ web 2.0 platforms allow users to perform social activities on the web such as generating their own content. Interacting with contents and the content creators forms a major part of the social web / social media concept.
Web 2.0 platforms are a relatively older concept and with the slightest thought, one could name a handful of platforms offering interactive services…Youtube, Medium, Blogspot, the list is exhaustive.
Web 2.0 platforms are hosted on a server with one web server controlling activities on the platform. This control is unlimited and spans across almost every aspect of the platform such as content generation, information distribution on the platform, personal profile creation, and personal profile details. Owners of these platforms possess total control of the platform.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is an emerging concept, a term coined to describe decentralized web platforms. Web 3.0 platforms hope to redefine the back-end of the web. Decentralized media technology is focused on distributing equal rights to users on a social platform. Its algorithm refines how the web works at the server side in an attempt to serve equal rights to users. However, the front end is preserved as the core concepts remain the same. The front-end of web 3.0 platforms shares a pronounced similarity with web 2.0 platforms. The web 3.0 revolution is led/enabled by blockchain technology.
In a decentralized web platform, each user is like a well-fenced building in an estate with another common fence protecting the whole estate. This depicts an independent platform where the users are immune to censorship from the administrators and other users (to an extent) as each profile is hosted differently on the platform. In contrast to centralized platforms, decentralized web platforms present a disseminated governance system where each member has tangible control of their activities.
Two worlds apart?
Web 2.0 platforms continue to wallow in centralization and content censorship by administrators of these platforms (via removal/ban of contents or user accounts). Complaints from content creators on these platforms continue to rise.
Emerging web 3.0 platforms on the other hand have delighted its users with immutability and decentralization. Content creators on these platforms can rest assured of the safety of the content they generate as well as the safety of their accounts which they have worked so hard to build.
However, web 3.0 platforms also come with certain turn-offs. Being an emerging concept, they are yet to gain the level of attention web 2.0 platforms enjoy. It is okay to take sides here, we are naturally expected to stick to what serves our craving.
Achieving the ‘perfect web’ via collaborative use of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 platforms.
Being a part of these two worlds that ‘appear’ different and seem to be pitting themselves against each other, it is important to note the similarities between the core concepts of these two platforms and how and why an interplay between both could be a way of realizing the perfect internet.
Centralized or decentralized, you certainly love something about both. Regardless of how ‘trivial’ this could be, your definition of the web is imperfect without it. You only decided to move on with the ‘better evil’. Here’s the good news, you can actually do it better.
Our use of the web is boundless. There are (currently) no restrictions on which web design to use. A ‘combination therapy’ approach could be the solution. Why use one when you can use both?
Well, here’s how you could do it…
Purposeful usage of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 platforms
So, you are thinking you need to move away from centralized platforms, or move away from decentralized platforms to centralized platforms. I’m thinking you need both! Yeah, you do. Centralized and decentralized, opposite terms but not completely contradicting; at least not the way we often see them. While we hope one succeeds at replacing the other, or one crushing the other and putting a halt to its progression; the internet of our dreams is actually a mixture of the two.
Contents censored on web 2.0 platforms are usually controversial. The bulk of content creators longing for decentralized platforms have been a victim of web 2.0 censorship one way or the other. While decentralized platforms such as Steem and hive have shown some level of centralization too, one thing certain is that contents posted on these platforms can not be (easily) removed.
Channeling ‘censorable’ contents to web 3.0 platforms gives it the security it lacks on web 2.0 platforms. Web 3.0 serves a very important purpose in this case and its censorship resistance comes into application. You’d think, ‘if every content creator adopts this, web 3.0 platforms could get another different image’; well, this could be the case but then this creates a unique use-case for web 3.0 platforms…a very important one at that.
Our orientation of ‘reward’ differs to a reasonable extent. For some, having fun is a rewarding tool. For very tangible others, ‘getting paid is the only reward’. Well, these two orientations are very correct in their own sense but they thrive on different environments. Many web 2.0 platforms do not offer direct incentive to their users, and users must find alternative ways to generate earnings from contents shared on the platform.
Even directly-rewarding web 2.0 platforms differ from current web 3.0 platforms regarding how users on these platforms are rewarded. Being a content creator, your choice of reward scheme should be considered before choosing or ditching any of these platforms.
How do you wish to get rewarded? Better question is, ‘what is your definition of ‘a reward?’ It’s uncertain, your answer to both questions; but certainly, one of these platforms satisfies it. Catch the fun where it lives, get the incentives where they are offered. You might want to pick a side, but, you also have the freedom to choose both.
Desired level of organization.
Different platforms for different people, and for different purposes. People also have an innate preference for centralized set-ups citing reasons that such platforms are normally more organized than decentralized platforms. Toxic contents are easily removed and unhealthy behaviours can be curbed with ease on web 2.0 platforms. This is a fact to an extent, but, the abuse of power by central authorities in centralized web taints the image of web 2.0 platforms, a major cause of the web 3.0 revolution.
Freedom offered by web 2.0 platforms, restrictions offered by web 3.0 platforms; pick and choose. For me, it’s a touch of both. Freedom could be toxic, but the same goes for the latter. Getting a feel of both is certainly the best experience.
In conclusion, centralized, decentralized or distributed, these platforms do not necessarily spell doom for each other. The difference in design presents opportunities which when harnessed effectively could usher in an era of a perfect internet. Content creators employing this solution and their audience will have to suffer less from the major issues plaguing content sharing over the internet.