Still p(r)aying for your independence?

As a composer, mainly performing live visual arts, i need to keep up with social and creative networking. However, the platforms providing best multiplication have wellknown and serious drawbacks. When i had a first glance on APP.NET a few weeks ago, it didn't seem to qualify for closing the gap.

One longstanding demand is user data to be held decentral. A photo, taken somewhere in the wild, where should it be uploaded to? Of course right to the photographer's living room - and nowhere else! Sure she'll want to share it with her followers around the globe - but #iknowyouknow her router could easily do this job - and a lot more! This is exactly where all these life streams really want to be hosted and published from. Fair distribution of hardware and energy cost granted.

I scale my NAS as i need to - and so does my neighbour, my company, my university, my party. Non-nerds should seek the smallest entity around that supplies for an account, not the biggest. That's why standards are so important: switching the provider needs piping content using a universal protocol. What will you do with all those exported blobs of your life that you can never ever concatenate again? Data transport instead of data export.

And, finally: When we unplug, we unplug. That doesn't apply for the whole device only, but is to become a modular option. A big step forward in all those discussions about the right to be forgotten and depublishing.

These are the paradigms that will prevail.

And that is the software we still miss. I guess the founders of APP.NET understand well that the amount of effort adherent to registering with another social network is growing with every new competitor. Updating profiles, distributing status updates, checking timelines and getting used to the features eats up precious time.

We have really seen some approaches come and go by now, and over the time were able to make some observations:

  • Software solutions constructed around proprietary components always turned out to have a limited life cycle. The more popular a solution was, the harder was the struggle for deliberation. On the contrary, FOSS components prevailed for all basic functionality. In crucial cases like XMPP, HTML5 or CalDAV/CardDAV, many years were lost grinding down the critical mass using proprietary solutions, but in the end, even the biggest players were forced to the comply with the standards the community has negotiated.
  • Emerging needs tend to be satisfied by the coding community (sooner or, admittedly, sometimes horribly later). But again, those prefer to follow open standards.

Today, i followed the invitation of pirate Christopher Lauer to join APP.NET. Studying APP.NETs approach, i missed some statements in the FAQ that help comparing against existing services and solutions:

  • What technical design decisions is APP.NET based on? Which open standards, protocols, RFC etc. are/will be embraced, which are defied?
  • How and where is user data stored? Is sensitive data encrypted BEFORE it leaves my computer as does e.g. Mozilla's Sync component?
  • What happens if all those who want to and can afford a paid service have subscribed? Is the rest of the world meant to be kept outside? Or is there any idea for a social concept in the queue for implementation?

(I sent these to their support center just today.)

Melchior blausand Mittwoch 17 April 2013 at 01:03 am | | nicht mein code

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