++ to whatever @knadh said
Here is a really nice article by Wired Magazine that expresses the purpose.
Much of our communal life now unfolds in digital spaces that feel public but are not. When technologists refer to platforms like Facebook and Twitter as “walled gardens”—environments where the corporate owner has total control—they’re literally referring to those same private pleasure gardens that Whitman was reacting to. And while Facebook and Twitter may be open to all, as in those gardens, their owners determine the rules.
Great public spaces are owned by everyone and therefore ought to be designed for everyone. Community board meetings and governance processes can be slow, annoying, and very frictional. But—when they’re working properly—they force designers to contend with and listen to the communities they ostensibly serve.
The … problem with private ownership of quasi-public space is that public spaces require constant, active care and maintenance by skillful stewards. Scholars like Sarah Roberts have pointed out that the nuanced labor of governance and maintenance—finding the balance between welcoming everyone and providing safety and comfort for everyone—is critical to the health of online communities.
(In a way the space this discussion forum provides so we can have discussions of this type - slow and with friction )
I am trying to answer a basic question: Why do we have to rely on large corps to be able to connect with like minded folk and engage in public debate?
The solution could be many. I have looked at Mastodon on and off, and while it is a great attempt, we probably need more attempts. I am always inspired by Alan Kay, in the sense that we are all bound by incrementalism and few of us attempt to solve problems with a fresh perspective.
Having said that it would be a perfectly good idea if someone wants to hackup a Mastodon instance for all of us which allows 3 things:
- Profile Page (like LinkedIn)
- Long form Posts (like Medium)
- Short updates (like Twitter)
On the side, we engaged with a few designers and here is a version of the WIP screens we have at the moment.
- Article Page
- Feed Page
These are being worked on by the folks at Timeless.co