Matthew Palmer

Maybe Centralised is Better

Maybe the reason decentralised networks, like Tent, haven’t taken off is because they just aren’t as good. Since centralised networks have risen, decentralised ones have not. All of the major decentralised networks we have today are from before the modern era of the social internet.

Who’s the person waking up in the middle of the night to look after the decentralised network?

Maybe the point of a decentralised network is that there doesn’t need to be one. But who’s the person working late to make it better? Who really, truly has a vested interested, but is also non-partisan?

An interesting parallel is Tweetbot 3’s iOS 8 update. They swapped the ‘Send to Instapaper’ button for a default iOS Share Sheet. This is great, and the right thing to do by all accounts, except for one thing: sending an article to Instapaper now blocks the UI with a transparent overlay. It’s no one’s fault—Instapaper has to do it and Tweetbot can’t stop them. But because no one was in charge it sort of just happened. And the user has a worse experience as a result.

(Blame Apple if you want, but I feel like Apple plays the neutral network in this scenario.)

This concerns me. I love the idea of decentralised networks, and there are so many advantages, but the fact that there aren’t any new, interesting ones is worrying. What else is the cause?

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