Centralized Vs Distributed Systems Publishing And Owning Our Own Content

Originally posted August 25, 2018

I read a good article on Centralized Wins. and Decentralized Loses. this morning and I commented on Hacker News:
I wish it weren’t true but for right now I agree with the author, including what it might take to tip the balance: “1. Complete deterioration of trust such that avoiding the centralization of power becomes a necessity. 4. The decentralization community manages to create clearly superior applications as convenient and reliable as centralized providers.“
I was eager to use GNU Social, and after some use for a year, my host shut down. I just opened another Mastadon account but haven’t started using it yet. Also, the value of centralized services like Twitter is the really interesting people I follow. Social media is best when used as an advertising and directory service for content we put on our own blogs and web sites, but even that seems to be less common.
I really enjoyed the Decentralized Web Conference June 2016, but it also made me slightly sad that fighting back against centralized web, political, corporate, etc. centralization is an uphill fight.
Sometime network power laws suck.

Fightly back against centralization: owning and publishing our own content

It is a source of some frustration for me that so many people I know don’t take the effort to own their own domain and maintain their own web site and blog. Owning your own content and “publishing” platform has many long tail advantages. What these advantages are depends a lot on what your business and personal interests are. For me, owning my own content and personal brand has made the following possible:
  • Platform to promote the books I write
  • I have found interesting work (mostly remotely living in the mountains in Sedona Arizona) when the following companies reached out to me to do work for them: Google, Capital One, CompassLabs, Disney, SAIC, Americast, PacBell, CastTV, Lutris Technology, Arctan Group, Sitescout.com, Embed.ly, and Webmind Corporation.
Ideally kids would learn in school how to have a web presense they control, in addition to tech training. I would say that maintaining a proper web presense is like knowing how to drive a car but I would guess that many kids today will never learn to drive a car. But they should learn to properly use the web for their own benefit.

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