I see people approaching decentralization from two main perspectives...

One is federation. The idea here is, "Run your own server or use your friend's so the load and individual influence is spread across lots of small entities!"

The other is a blockchain. The idea here is, "Everyone should store a redundant copy of every single piece of data, and also we have a cryptocurrency."

Anyway, I'm really glad I learned about federation.

I don't hear about the blockchain idea much. The hosting your own server bit is cool. Little lonely unless you have a community or actively seek out interesting people. There is something reassuring knowing that I'm free to argue my server down whenever I want and my data is most surely nuked as well aside from interactions I did with others.

@Clifford @vecna I really dislike blockchains reliance on consistency compared to federation's ability to deal with that. it makes forking much easier

@vecna If you're talking about SSB it doesn't use a single chain. Each person's feed is a chain, so only the people who subscribe to a feed need to replicate it.

@freakazoid SSB is a cool idea that I didn't really factor into my thoughts here.

I was thinking about Steem. (I also don't know the actual implementation details of Steem, but I think we can all agree that social media built on a cryptocurrency is a bad idea.)

@vecna I tried Steem for a while and quickly tired of all the random comments and likes (or whatever they're called) that were clearly nothing more than attempts to get traffic for people's own stuff. It also mostly consisted of "how to get more Steem" schemes last I checked. I'm pretty sure their choice to use blockchain tech was driven entirely by a desire to get rich and not at all by a genuine belief that it's the right approach to the problem.

@vecna There's also Twister, which uses a blockchain for the sole purpose of providing human-friendly usernames. It has no associated cryptocurrency. It uses a Bittorrent-like protocol (possibly Bittorrent itself or a derivative) for the actual content. It uses proof of work rather than something like Federated Byzantine Agreement, so users either need to spend energy or risk someone stealing new usernames.

@vecna they really serve different purposes though, it's just that the latter has been misappropriated by lots and lots of people that just want to make money and use it as a buzzword

@vecna the blockchain people are touching on something fundamental: its all about the data structures. blockchain is one of many distributed data types. there cannot be one data structure to rule them all. you just pick the right tool from your toolbox.
@xj9 @vecna Great post!

Two broken links:
- [practical outcomes][practical-outcomes]
- [BitTorrent|BitTorrent]
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