Category: Governance (page 1 of 1)

We need to talk about the social graph

First published to the AKASHA blog.


Who doesn’t love a good concept?! Concepts are the fundamental building blocks of thinking, of designing. While there are plenty of things in the mix when it comes to contemplating system design, if the primary concepts remain unchallenged and unchanged from what came before, then the outcome will likely look very familiar. If you want system change, start with changing the paradigm — the system of concepts and patterns that form the worldview.

By way of a quick example, if the economy of your new system picks up on the concepts collectively known as capitalism — e.g. private ownership, capital accumulation, scarcity — then perhaps it should not be a huge surprise when your new system turns out to be capitalist too. New code. Same concepts. Familiar outcome.

Technological decentralization isn’t magic dust. Merely decentralizing the technical structures or components manifesting a concept is no guarantee of different outcomes; technological decentralizing doesn’t even guarantee decentralization.

So with that said, this post is about a concept known as “the social graph”.

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AKASHA Conversations #3 — An idea called fractal localism

First published to the AKASHA blog.


Our monthly AKASHA Conversations explore critical facets of decentralized social networking, with a focus this quarter at least on all things moderating. We welcomed Murat Ayfer as our expert speaker last month.

Murat is our kind of guy. Having experienced the lows, highs, and more lows of moderating a 60k+ member community, he has been thinking of ways to make moderating more scalable, so that decentralized social networking is more scalable. But more than thinking — he has been coding too, as you can see at https://beta.spiel.com/.

Scalability refers to the ease with which a system can adjust its size, its capacity, as needed. There’s no doubting that computing resource is now fully scalable, almost trivially so, but humans don’t work the same as machines. I make this point quite often. In digital identity for example, machine identity is quite different from the digital mediation and augmentation of human identity in digitalised social networks. In our context here, centralized social networking scales people in ways that are proving, increasingly, to lead to very poor outcomes. Decentralized social networking very likely needs to learn more from the social sciences than, say, Facebook.

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AKASHA Conversations #2 — Lessons from moderating web2 social networks

yellow flowers on blue background

First published to the AKASHA blog.


Here’s how we set up the second AKASHA Conversation ...

Where does #web3 go after #DeFi? It gets social! 💫 And the difference between social and antisocial = new designs for moderating.

You can read about the first Conversation in this series on moderating here FYI, and I will just borrow the bit that describes what it’s all about ...

AKASHA Conversations is a regular webinar exploring the critical questions of decentralized social networking, with expert presentations informing and inspiring open dialogue and action.

We were delighted to be joined in Conversation #2 by Joseph Seering, a postdoctoral scholar in Computer Science at Stanford University. Joseph focuses on the social and organizational dynamics of moderation systems, and pulled out some wonderful insights from his many years of studying the art and science of moderating.

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AKASHA Conversations #1 — Designing for moderating decentralized social networks

Cat in astronaut outfit

First published to the AKASHA blog.


AKASHA Conversations is a regular webinar exploring the critical questions of decentralized social networking, with expert presentations informing and inspiring open dialogue and action. To put it another way, AKASHA Conversations is designed to foster the collective design of decentralized conversation.

Decentralized social networking is, effectively, the design for decentralized and civilized information exchange — conversation and other forms of interaction. Immediately adjacent to that of course is then the facility to code for (in the combined technological and sociological sense) whatever agreements have been reached through conversation.

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