Could new free systems, thought of as alternatives to Facebook and Twitter, and with a distributed structure, create a different logic and dynamic from these born on centralized services?
At the end of 2010, we published several posts on the nature and the consequences of the FbT-model, that is, socialization on Facebook + Twitter. The conversations that fed these posts were born of the question of whether new, free systems, thought of as alternatives to Facebook + Twitter and with a distributed structure, could create a different logic and dynamic from these born on centralized services.
We knew well the general dangers of centralized services, but beyond that, it became clear and obvious that the FbT-model had serious consequences for the culture that was born on the Internet. Little by little, it endangers the birth of conversational communities, and consequently limits the birth of new identities and social models.
Three years later
Not long ago, we installed two nodes of GNUsocial, one of these alternative systems. The two nodes are lamatriz.org and pluvio.net. In these first days of experience with GNUsocial, we learned a lot and begin discover interesting and important contributions to the above-mentioned conversation.
David: On the other quitter nodes, I think there is less sharing of links than on Twitter, and more characters and conversation.
Jacinto: How nice to have a space for calm conversation without all the noise.
First David and later Jacinto made reference to the existence of conversations in the nodes of GNUsocial. Reading their messages and rereading past posts, I believe I have found the key to understanding where this difference comes from.
It’s curious that when service is thought of for a real community and the software on which it is based is released… it loses its centralizing role (like Facebook’s), because it focuses on the building of an “island in the net,” provides tools for others, and distances itself from the totalitarian idea of making an alternative to the net.