Decentralization is the cherry on top

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue on his new podcast, Dot Social:

Decentralization isn't a feature in and of itself. And you know, I think it's tough when, if you build a product that's just a clone of a closed product and it's decentralized, so you should care about this. I think that's a really hard thing to do. Users care about great content, great communities, great experiences, right? Decentralization is an enabler for more of those kinds of communities to happen. And more ideas for more content and more ways to discover that content to happen, then we currently have in these [closed] ecosystems.

I agree with this entirely. Decentralization is great, and it is important, but the vast, vast majority of people it’s not the selling point on its own, and I think this disconnect is what has long frustrated many Mastodon diehards. I’m a huge fan of Mastodon myself, but I don’t use it primarily because it’s built on a decentralized standard. I use it because I can use Ivory and Mona, which are great apps. I use it because I can use TangerineUI to make the web interface beautiful. I use it because most of my internet friends are there. I use it because I get to have a cool domain @[email protected]!

Of course I like that decentralization means I have more flexibility and control over my experience, but the core of what keeps me using Mastodon daily are the user experiences people have built on top of the decentralized platform.