Twitter the Genie, Bluesky the Bottle

Decentralized Twitter? Sure.

It’s a nice idea. Perhaps even noble. Twitter is going to try to decentralize. Or to help other social networks decentralize. Or something. It’s all a bit vague. Because it all doesn’t actually exist yet in any way, shape, or form.

And it takes a special kind of cynical bastard to crap on this idea before it has even started. Because “open”. But I feel like I’ve been around long enough that cynicism about such things is ingrained in my soul at this point. Hell, I even remember OpenSocial. Which means I’m at least 12 years old. I still use RSS!

I just think it’s important to be realistic here. Both because it behooves no one to get all excited about something that is never going to happen. And especially because it’s Twitter. Quite frankly, the service — which I love dearly — lost the right to promise such things years

. Their endless APIs wrote checks that their developers could never quite cash. I mean literally.

And so yeah, I’m highly skeptical of this. These… handful of tweets about wanting to be decentralized. And open. A standard. A standard!

Count me in the camp with John Gruber on this. It all sounds a bit of a project in need of a solution. Naturally, that leads us to “blockchain”:

But why create something new? There’s a whiff of boil-the-ocean in Dorsey’s description of the plan — “blockchain” is the new second step in the South Park “(1) Steal underpants, (2) …, (3) Profit!” to my mind).

If Twitter can pull something like this off, this time, great! I mean, maybe? Again, it’s all pretty vague at the moment. Honestly, as a Twitter shareholder, I’m more than a little worried about this. Not because it seems like a destruction of value, but more so because it seems like another huge distraction. And again, one that seems very unlikely to succeed. And even if it did, to solve much of anything?

This is going to solve the toxicity of the internet? Come on.

Look, I get it. Twitter started with SMS in mind. Then on the web. The nice, big, beautiful open web. A thousand social networks bloomed. And yet the only ones that actually did were locked down. Was that a coincidence?

Anyway, cool idea. About 15 years too late. Twitter is the genie. This “Bluesky” project is the bottle. The genie is not only out of the bottle, in this case, it was never in the bottle. So good luck trying to put it in there. I mean that sincerely.


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