Cover photo

On the Decentralized Social Networks—A Useless Box, or an Emergence?

  1. This post was originally published at my T2 World space and is taking part in the t2 x Kiwi News x Lens Protocol Writing Contest. You can UPVOTE it here in this link if you like it for upvotes will count towards the contest.

  2. Disclaimer: Neither do I have any affiliation with the any below-mentioned entity nor is there any investment advice of any sort within the entire body of the essay.

  3. What do you call an ecosystem where user narratives are indeed better than founder narratives but the former are not heard?

An unbounded jamscape of metropolitan din of a noise was consumed during the written prescription of the following essay.

Had I been but a certain John Cage observing it from the sky high windows of a condominium residence, I'd laugh at it. Instead, I chose to smile whilst writing the below text. It is raw, direct, and honest with much love whose proof I am yet to push onchain.

Some minds insist that we should be following an inverted pyramid approach to any piece of value-exchange when it comes to cryptographically secured broadcast. I rarely do it. Namely, when I am doing the inverted pyramid, it's usually towards a solution. In this essay, I do not offer direct solutions. I mainly call out to you for a brain-storm that leaves no niché whatsoever for any bullshitonomics.

Just like Miles Davis at the Isle of Wright, or Mike Patton during Fantômas at Montreux gig, I do observe.

Observe hard, observe raw, observe honest—for I do think that currently the decentralized social as a concept, if not praxis, is being blinded in an epistemological bubble of some sort all leveraged by not the usual suspects but those who create a disposable narrative of merely self-acknowledging founder-centric consumer crypto that devours itself.

Again, we will have readers who need a Schengen to the Land of the Nuance, and I think they need to be informed that I am debating, and am not necessarily negating anyone.

Ad hominem is my enemy, and I never do that. Besides, I really do not care about the latest ingroup diss festivities happening across mainly the Farcaster clusters.

Honestly, I am almost outgroup, and I do not even understand over what some of you are fighting. Hence, do not read me thinking as if I live amongst you in the land of the free and am literate in every drama there can be. I like to be amongst you, though.

I'll cue you in.

0. Warm-up

Entereth the Intern's Notes:

  • The decentralized as the term needs to persists if we need a truly decentralized social that can also guide the consumer grade crypto societies. However, we have lost the term's essence, and I am not talking about people who prefer to procure hybrid solutions. It's rather that dark patterns based marketing solutions towards a consumer crypto—as it is termed—have taken the ecosystems hostage for lazy relativists who in reality does zero work.

  • Anyone crumb bum passes as an expert in the domains of marketing and social media rails whereas people with insights and merits are forced to go and become solopreneurs which does not do good for the expanded crypto-economics ecosystems.

  • Non-human agents will help us navigate the problematic topologies of the social regardless of our approach to their basic existence amongst our digital facsimiles. But, we are focused on the human drama arising around the debates as to the so-called nature of bots rather than how to better the decentralized social for all sorts of agents in the face of intents-centric architectures which will offer new sorts of cybernetics-based mechanomies amongst the humans and the nonhumans. All we can find as a solution re: AI is to add some SEO terminology to shittokoinery.

  • After a certain period of time, hooking the "customers" in the style of web 2.0 product design dynamics will only yield even darker pattern manipulations since we really do not apply basic common sensical wisdom thereabouts. Red herrings rule the campaigns, campaigns beings memecoinery-like simple takes that usually die. Weeb3 marketing dynamics tend to manipulate the enduser rather than offering them some habits that are good. Now, opening up Substack every morning while seeing your bizness is nice, for myself, since I'd be reading personally valuable blogs. Yet at this point, opening any web3 social application is most of the time more time-wasting than even scrolling through a contextualized X list.

  • Incentives are necessary but the current web 3.0 incentives schemes are nothing more than a kindergarten break hour from the DeFi Summer 2020 related based experimentation. That is, those marketers, social media teams, product owners etc. who paid no attention during the early days of EVM-centric financial primitives experimentation since they were busy roasting people that either blockchain or finance was evil are now running the show and they try to reinvent onchain finance without catching up with the actual technical scene. Hence, entire regenerative finance or consumer crypto projects turn into spammy, well, spam factories.

  • We will have myriad social protocols that will be aggrated into a single stratum but it's not the end. What does it mean?

    • We will have a social aggregator at the personal, or entity levels, and I am not referring to a revival of RSS. It is a technological stratum, a layer, that does not exist yet. It will exist, and people will call it recentralized at its best. After all, even offering some practical solutions for the state of Ethereum, for instance, is a recentralization for many. No, no, I am entirely talking about something else. I am not calling the chain just because it does not serve in a fashion for media as the Nordic Vault does for the seeds—remember when some cultural critiques negated the introduction of blobs, checks notes, just because they won't be able to access what they call onchain art entirely onchain and now we call everything onchain because people do not like to understand what parallel computing/ execution, coprocessors, distributed storage and the like are? This is not it. I was having a monologue a la dialogue with Dawufi on Warpcast lately and we were brain-breezing about it: All the centralized social graph of a given individual is portable across and from any centralized social media protocol or platform as long as they have some social status. Except not so frequent cases, people usually re-aggregate their social graph across all the protocols and platforms. I like my X base as much as I adore my Warpcast circles. I have re-connected with the most active graph of mine on X again on Farcaster through both Warpcast and Supercast. When I go to a Mastodon server, or Matrix space, there are again the same people from my graph this time distributed according to their values. I am in the same 200 Discord servers with all my Farcaster and X graph. We are all in the same 333 Telegram groups. I am not talking about CT or Farcaster OGs being in the same circles ripping off each other like faux-VCs openly state. I am talking about the fact that when we take the crypto as a subculture as Paul duly repeats here and there, we are able to port any graph to anywhere. The current sufficiently decentralizing process is just to make a technique thereof by also accounting for the innovation that was never for the last decade regarding the social media.

  • At present, almost no actor is honest but it's not necessarily a bad thing for honesty requires dignitas of which many are not aware. Yes, I am not promoting bad actorship: I am merely stating that the entire consumer crypto marketing is run on dark patterns. If you are handling your growth through dark patterns, you are just repeating the mistakes of monolith builders. You cannot negate people just because they use AWS while you are turning your product and the entire narrative into a clickbait casino which performs way below the existing ones.

  • Hence, the social is teleogically path to both decentralization, and to itself, that is, its ever-green culturally evolutionary betterment as long as we admit our shortcomings.

I told you that this is not an inverted pyramid essay. It is rather a Mandelbrot fractal that seems to repeat itself ad nauseam. It ain't. I know what I am doing and I am doing it purpose. I might have called it a double helix but at least I am honest.

yes, I added this caps on Adobe Photoshop. Thank you, and kudos, to the original creator of the visual meme whoever they are. Arigatou!

yes, I added this caps on Adobe Photoshop. Thank you, and kudos, to the original creator of the visual meme whoever they are. Arigatou!

0x. Mumblecore: A Collage of Other Worlds

A beginning of an essay. A speculative communiqué at best where I articulate that the future of the decentralized social will be resting at the central forum of an abstraction where the denotations such as decentralized, web3, crypto etc. will not matter ever whatsoever, which is neither to reduce the cryptographically self-securing worlds at bay nor assume a caricature of a consumer grade crypto-economics enabled product hunting games—which is unfortunately the only game that the current decentralized social actors have to offer.

We can do better but we will not matter. The order flow of the financial rails will reflect their systemic building blocks by incentives that will know what merits, cultural evolution and true work are, and we will have better socials.

However, we won't be alone, and the average enduser will be spending as much time analyzing the social as a Cambridge Analytica engineer if none of us will make it easier for the enduser to secure a peace at mind by offering real in-depth guide-tier agentic products that will help us better co-exist with the primeval bots of the lush junglistic social layers of a near future.

But you first need to read the long block quotes below to meet me at a space-time continuum café where the entrance is too complex to make sense if you are not a gigabrain protocol research if not an engineer.

Omni: Do you find it depressing that chess computers are getting so strong?
Shannon: I am not depressed by it. I am rooting for the machines! I have always been on the machines' side. Ha-ha!
Betty Shannon: Some people get livid when he says that.

Shannon: I am not depressed by machines getting better. Whether people will be replaced by machines that have gotten smarter in all things, I can't say. Within a century or so, machines will be doing almost everything better than we can. They already do factory work better than we can, but the highly intellectual stuff is going to come later. It gets harder and harder as you get higher and higher in this game.
—Omni Magazine interviews Shannon (1987)

Breathe in.

HUO: Another unrealized project is your Opéra de Robots, for which you were in contact with Olivetti in Italy. What was the starting point for that project?
IX: The desire to do something with machines. That’s all.

FX: That had always been your dream. And then you met that young man, a cultural firebrand, the companion of the woman from French Academy in Rome. He was in contact with Olivetti, who later became interested in the project. You even went to visit a robot factory, but in the end, the subsidy wasn’t awarded.

IX: So, it almost happened.
HUO: Would the robots have interacted among themselves, or would everything have been written in a score? Would it have been monitored?

IX: It was to be monitored but the robots would interact.

FX: You wanted to stage an opera with robots along the lines of a battle of the Titans. They weren’t like men, more like gods.

HUO: Would the robots have destroyed themselves progressively as the piece went on?

IX: No, they were supposed to last.

HUO: In terms of form, what would these robots have been like? Would they have had a robotic shape or a more sculptural one?

IX: It never reached that stage.

—“Iannis Xenakis & François Xenakis,” A Brief History of New Music, Hans Ulrich Obrist, JRP, 2015.

That is, while reading into this essay, please keep in mind that the decentralized social for me is not a mere product where humans keep playing evolutionary mating games. It is beyond the current metabolisms we term as the markets. It will have markets where we will need to adapt to the new human by adopting a becoming-of-ourselves. Here we are and we are already treating one another as if this emergent ownership economies are a lemonade stand. No, it's more than that and people need to learn how to address one another first.

1. An Argument against the Current Decentralized and Accordingly Social Media

Breathe out.

Hang in there. The drummer will cue you in when we will be jamming on the afore-mentioned more-than-human notes. However, we first need to refresh our minds since neither can I just pretend that each and every crypto/ web3 idea markets participants comprehend what we mean by a certain decentralized socials; nor is it viable to call given platforms as such if they are not somehow hooked onto a interdependence heaven of ready-made infrastructural software packages that we frequently come across in crypto.

Remember, we are not roasting anyone here. I duly respect anyone who play honest even if their honesty might be bent as hell into awry dynamics by premature IQ tax tornado ridden niché markets.

No, I am not talking about finance. I am talking about your experiments on the decentralized social networks ranging from tipping mechanism to status/ credit passports to cult/ community bootstrapping, which at times gives out the impression akin to those of hysterical neo-new-age cultist simulations around god-complexical figures or ideas.


Years ago, when I was just a theoretical researcher trying to finish up writing a comparative literature master's dissertation of speculative long-time archives for the preservation of born-digital artifacts, I used to come across then-mushrooming proto-decentralized socials.

Some of them are still here.

I tried Steemit, and the artists who knew how to play the markets were there, too. I tried Peepeth, and it did not take off. I recall creating a Status app account since it looked nice but I made the mistake of not connecting my public addy to the app, and ended up having two accounts—just like today's embedded wallet inelasticity. I learned about Urbit, and as an inexperienced user with only a literary diploma, I had some hard time hosting my first Urbit planets and booting those ships. Now and then, I'd nuke a local ship because of my former broken Lenovo's shortcomings which I was able to replace with a Mac thanks to the defacto decentralized network of early cryptoart circles across the Twitterverse where people in actual supported each other without questioning others' protocol-political backgrounds—that is, today, we have such a polarized vistæ of socials regarding the cryptographically secured socials and their media and their tribes to the degree that people first do a background check to understand whether the public addy of their counterpart had had ever interacted with a frog or two, or their preferred frogs on PCDs or not. Remember, we have seen forum debates as to whether we should punish those who sold their airdropped voting power tokens early.

For a while, the given socials did not work on the decentralized consensus of efficient-markets-hypothesis-like imagined web3 communities that required other paradigms to organically thrive: Everyone hated one another whereas everyone loved each other.

We, as a multitude of crypto-ecosystems, built the intangibly prevalent social-infra of Discord and Telegram, which as workspace-like platforms and products I do still prefer to the 99% of others except when I need e2ee.

In those cases, I prefer the Signal-boosting defacto decentralizations alongside Cwtch rooms, Keet chats, and custom Matrix clients such as Element. I know that other dozen solutions exist. I know how to go fully bodies without organs level anon-decent without any incent.

I am so decentralized that I use dozen stonebooks to keep my secrets, at least 5 hardware wallets, a couple of titanium backup solutions and a NFC powered Yubikey whereas the best minds of our generation wants me to stake my socials onto the conscience of at least 2 to 3 people as a recovery.

Pardon me but I am surviving the Near East, and I watched Battlestar Galatica, and nip/ tuck on a 37 inch TV during the Noughties on a channel called CNBC-e.

if you really want me to remove the memes you can contact me via XMTP rails. My wallet addy is  0x36de990133D36d7E3DF9a820aA3eDE5a2320De71

if you really want me to remove the memes you can contact me via XMTP rails. My wallet addy is 0x36de990133D36d7E3DF9a820aA3eDE5a2320De71

The social is already decentralized, and people can carry their social graphs out of the existing centralized social media platforms as long as they have a rather trust-stakable ephemeral credit auras—is this how I Humanities witchcraft a la affectivism?

Do you really think that if it weren't for the fact that you bear off an air of trust on the socials such as X or Discord or Telegram, you'd under any condition have made an organic mutual followship of verifiably trustable camaraderie on the Lens Protocol or Farcaster? I really do not think so. After all, we all look for the cue: "not followed by anyone you follow."

That is, you have a core mutual silo of follows in that you are noticeably good where evil runs rampant. No, you are not allowed to read it into the ecclesiastical good vs evil. It is just practical daily life: There is good, and there is evil.

Some people prefer to be good almost at all times, and others verify it by simple signals. Yet, the current cultural banality rails cannot even tell why we need a principle of niceness if not charity.

You had alreadby been vibing on and off across platforms till you were reminded that you could indeed capitalize on the graph of yours—this time directly and in any fantasy money you prefer thanks to the financial sandboxes across the thriving blockchain-enabled ecosystems.

Noone was renting the middleware, and the entire timeline was a vertical. No pun intended.

It is still the same, which is however not a negative view. It's still the same but we are getting better. We are getting better at churning out the artificial tribalities, soul-devouring-mind-scorching trivialities inadvertently and wrongly designated as politics—tell me: Can we have politics where there is no polis? The semi-utopian sovereign individual meme is having hardships in the fade of ZIRP.

That's why all we have right not are a) utterly puritanical true tribalisms where people with a centrist approach will never find their own voice, b) pretentiously libertarian patchworks of groups parading as tribes where every move is a pitch and where any self-acknowledging developer/ builder/ founder try to tax the breath you take in by micro-transactions that are wrapped as incentives, c) the worse than average venture capitalists who literally have no vision, d) mobs hysterically treading on one another by virtue-signals as ready to nuke anyone that comes in their way off existence under the guise of revolutionary blockchain bloaters e) giga-manipulators who just put each side against one another to better their money flow, product design, protocol fat-ness, and the like—exceptions do not make rule but they at least help us get better products on the horizon, so pardon my French—all the while honest users, critiques, smart VCs, genuinely smart money, constructive contrarians, diligent and hardworking builders and developers are roasted to Dante's Inferno if not some ridiculous low-poly resolution hellscape.

This is, for the time being, it for the utterly decentralized social media regardless of its versioning: sufficiently decentralized, progressively decentralizing, utterly decentralized, federated or not, privacy preserving or honestly doxxing a la PoH.

All carnivalesque.

Again, this is not a negative criticism agains these terms, their theorizers, practicers, builders and anyone else thereabouts. I'm neither a financial nihilist nor a negative sentimentalist.

The gist is that we almost always readily come to think that the human nature can be forced outside its current capabilities. No, cultural evolution deserves a timeline of its own at the sufficiently decentralizing horizons, and we will always encounter myriad recentralizations along the way, which are at least better than voided-out parades of insincere dark marketing that cannot even form whole sentences.

While we are witnessing these, it's always better to exchange ideas in the marketplace of ideas that are now even more open to speculative/ prediction markets of ideas.

We will witness many recentralizations and the dishonest ones will call it decentralization while teams and others who openly admit it will be accused of working against decentralization. The teams who put forth protocols for others to build on will be upset.

We will witness dishonest rent-seekers—for rent-seeking in fact can be strategized toward a betterment—who will try to slander anyone who openly and properly give feedback to others.

You know what's worse? We will see centralization under the guise of aggregation in the next decade or so. The true decentralization will never happen in the way it's portrayed in funnily useless mints. Like it or not, we are not ready yet. There, we will have the war between the aggregation of the individual I have mentioned earlier: I will aggregate myself as in a file-over-app philosophy. However, there will be moguls who will dictate that their geo-limited sandboxes are the real clients for the individually sovereign media where media are the entirety of inputs, tools, and outputs.

What is my argument against the current decentralized social then?

It's not decentralized yet, which is alright. However, painting it as a mere marketing vertical will be the end of it if we will not put an end to certain circlejerks around funding, token-gating, governance, and faux-solutions to problems which had not been heard of before.

What? No, I am not against these recombinant experiments at the junction of ownership, finance, access to financial primitives, media legos, money legos, cultural legos, unheard-of products, unbeknownst primitives. I am just against the proliferation of stupidity and regressive behavior amongst our peers to the degree that the entire crypto-economics and web3 is portrayed as Charlie's Chocolate Factory where everyone is Charlie himself.

I have accounts almost on all privacy-first social media experiments. I rarely used them. Along the way, the so-called monoliths like Facebook integrated open source software, .onion, Mastodon instances. I saw Urbit-heads turning the entire bizness model into remote hosting. I tried for weeks to reset my Bluesky password. I cannot directly export my private key on certain Nostr clients. I used Lens only to shill my own NFTs. Warpcast in the context of Farcaster came to be my Apple—I know the entire world runs on Linux. I met great people on those. However, these forums or agoras [six] have been captured by a language that is so artificially sweetened that it even leaked into the marketing campaigns of rather known brands, their somewhat decentralized platforms—as in L2s—and everyone act as if there is nothing wrong with this language which also deters any sort of serious person in taking part. It is such a language that screams "come and rug me." It is what happens when you leave it to the community but it's a shark tank... &, we have not even witnessed the dolphins yet. You know dolphins play volleyball with shark pups—this is not related to sharks on the trading trackers. Your ultimate regen friend is now a shark BECAUSE DECENTRALIZED SOCIAL TIPPY TIPPY.

You keep investing time in myriad social media entry ports in the form of platforms, protocols, products, apps, dapps, whatnots; and, there always comes a time when either your extremely federated—cryptodon!—server turns into a ghost town, or devs call it quits. The last time I was invited to a group-chat platform through unironically a Warpcast direct cast was to a tool acquired by Roblox. I had to open up a Roblox account because Discord was too (!) centralized.

You see that people not only turns the decentralized social into a casino but they also judge you because you keep using rather evolved products. In the end, everyone rugs your time-invested toolkit. Yes, decentralized social for me is a workspace, a toolkit, and it's being rugged every block. I have about 100 apps on my mobile phone. All of them are decentralized socials that try to vampire attack one another having understood what a protocol is. I am happy the Warpcast team came up and said that building another billion clients would possibly be futile.

Here we are, all the beautiful dApps of the past DeFi Summer are first turning into a portfolio tracker, than a social media app, then a layer three. Everyone wants to build the SUPERAPP. Everyone is the same. Every gives out POINTS.

If you dare to point this out, you are an intruder if not a trespasser.

This is why I do think that we still do not have any decentralized social proper, and am arguing against its current settings.

Today, there is a single imaginary meta-app at my mind where the true decentralization revolves around my de facto reputation score across a combination of X, Telegram and Discord which let me to a degree back up my personal data—hence, it's semi-decentralized for a nerd such as myself; and, a combination of Farcaster-native applications onto which I put my signer such as Warpcast, Supercast, Bountycaster, and other inframe ones.

...and, I do not want it to be a fully integrated incubator of some sort. I shall be able exit from the advertorial circus sides of the weeb3.

It's in my file-over-app drawer of imaginary ends, and I do my best to secure it only to myself when it comes to portability, privacy, and sovereignty—if you are ever going to counter-argue that the others sell my data, i really do not even where to begin. Do you have any idea why I have 888—not kidding—different burner e-mails for products a majority of which are decentralized apps?!

2. Against the Infantilization of Decentralization re: Social under the Guise of Consumer Crypto

Now, leverage what I imply above with the fact that the decentralized social platforms are full of people who think they know the best what the users want.

What do you call an ecosystem where user narratives are indeed better than founder narratives but the former are not heard?

Whereas it's daylight clear that it's an opportunity to be explored by the mature minds, I'd call the current iteration is just a circus.

Neither am I revealing a disappointment here nor telling that people whose profession is to ship consumer-friendly utilities for this service-industry mockup are wrong at all times.

It is just that the current meta, a meta which has spanned at least half a decade so far, when it comes to consumer grade cryptographically secured applications, products, protocols, platforms, and marketplaces is under attack by the very people who build them.

No, I am not talking about DeFi degens.

The real DeFi degens were a party at the end of Summer 2020, many of whom have so far contributed meaningfully to the ecosystem whether you know it or not—and, many do not mean all. The current degens are usually the same people who just complain that UX is bad, UI is bad, so that they deploy another ERC20 to change the world for the better again under a rose by another name:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Whale.
What's Whale? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

— Apu & Bullion, Wrappy Stakedspeare

Wrappy Shakespeare, by an unknown furry photographer

Wrappy Shakespeare, by an unknown furry photographer

Nowadays, DEI variants think they can sell well without understanding basic behavorial economics. But there is no problem since they can blame it on anyone else at the end of the day.

Again, I am writing this piece smiling. Just making sure you get it, for ours is a trigger-friendly industry and many people think across the flatlands.

Now, we know that UX is not that smooth. We are aware that UI is not that organically intuitive. We certainly know that the giant casino ball gazes at every inch of crypto—OK, I'll make sure I'll call it web3 so that the piece is indexed. However, those UX and UI were created during the less-than-floppy disc times of crypto, and was exponentially bettered to a point where UX and UI innovation got stuck.

Consumer crypto oriented self-acknowledging and almost clueless designers, product owners and business developers are there to account for hopefully so that they can explain how they gaslighted an entire ecosystem to create plastic legos that are only useful when tread upon so that you feel alive.

Today, majority of, even enterprise grade, consumer crypto attempts either via meaningful hybrid integrations of the much hated web 2.0 and traditional finance or so-calledly innovative frameworks follow a pattern:

They literally offer bloatware as design.

Perfect tools they utilize—such as Privy—are buried under teams' visionless execution where you literally cannot use the app.

It is almost always impossible to get the info you need on an app or a web page because of the unnecessary design elements.

The motto is always that noone can do it and they do it always the better—no, they can't. Their Discord are full of open support tickets because it's also impossible to reach them on that niché app chat that is supposedly decentralized.

It's all talk and some abandonware aesthetics—those UI these people roasted, and which made use of Windows 95 aesthetics did in actual work in the cases of Core Vault or Curve Finance v1 or even Based Protocolwell, these are primordial soup, not an investment advice.

Now, they are shipping the same aesthetics but they do not work because the team is always almost lazy, there are no immediate support at the weekeneds while they are busy roasting the tradfi for closing the shop early, and you need to teach how their product works to the team most of the time.

They act like they're an investment fund and put on barriers for the new users whereas they are either a productivity hack or a simple quotidian service.

No accountability, almost no professionalism since it's decentralized.

They 99% of the time refer to dark patterns for the product marketing.

They act like toddlers.

Now, this is not the case for good builders, developers, VCs, brands, trail blazers. They offer the teams the best guidance how to build and own a product so it can be flawlessly shipped.

However, these are exceptions and cannot cross over the Atlantic. If you are lucky enough to much sought after American Dynamism and rightful exceptionalism, that's superb.

It's because you are already used to state-of-the-art technological infra-powered and professionally abstracted quotidian perks of fintech whose certain features are only behind those in the mainland China.

You'll never know how some people will not be able to use your favorite Apple Wallet compatible crypto card let alone they do not have access to Venmo, or PayPal.

You'll only think that the banking industry is as just worse in the rest of the world—no, it's not; and, you'll always discourse against what's working in your own local and promote what's not working abroad for everyone else excluding yourself.

Are you following?

I thought so.

Hence, people who have no real skin in the game will be positioned to be the owner of products, key voices marketing departments, product development etc.

But, I want that dynamism and exceptionalism, too?!

No, you can only get TikTok.

TikTok is the real wisdom of crowds. All the 20-sth prophets know better than the rest of the consumers and clients because they are in TikTok. Look, we didn't have to TikTok and had to reinvent it.

You need to speak like a child. You need to fund individuals and teams who speak like a child. You need to make it so simple that even a toddler cannot understand your message. That is the only fashion by which we'll have the next billion. But you must first speak like child.

You know what I mean. Do not make me openly roast people I like. The problem is not ape NFT holders and their constant illegibility. The problem is the people who think infantilization is a usecase.

You know what's not infantile, perfectly working consumer crypto rails? Payments, and banking.

Payments come in many forms: centralized, decentralized and hybrids.

In many geographies, they need to be hybrids. Avid marketers know that not everyone can capitalize on their services, content, and products through Stripe, or similar integrations.

It might come as a surprise but more than half of the world cannot monetize over Substack. Hence, solutions such as Paragraph and Mirror are awe-inspiring for many. Let's say, an author made a whole ether by a longread post on Paragraph on the Base network.You'll market to them that they can easily use Coinbase + Stripe integration or other on- or off-ramps, or some Gnosis Pay solution after a bridge.

You have already lost the half of the world. Congrats. Some cannot verify via Coinbase, others cannot access Stripe, majority live in geographies where even fintech giants cannot offer debits let alone decentralized solutions.

Then, you tell them 1 eth is 1 eth, and they can always create p2p economies. You know what? That is illegal in many regions if not alegal. The guy just wants to cash out. He wants to pay for the groceries, he wants to sip an espresso doppio on that local roastery on the corner which is probably more expensive and worse than any Starbucks but he just wants to spend his own money—Starbucks in actual understand local markets very well, and they offer good services alongside pro-coffee for many local coffee shops around the world are just marketing façades, cannot make proper coffee, and helicopter upon you. What does Starbucks do? They offer the cheapest work space. Students across the Near East frequent Starbucks for neither the library nor workspace culture is enough hereabouts. Libraries? Closed most of the time. Workspaces? Expensive af. Offer good coffee, and provide workspace. At least, that way you do not need to pretend to be selling coffee and in actual sell well-brewed coffee. You find their roasts and workspace not friendly enough? You are always free to found the Blue Bottle Coffee of blockchains. Believe me people will find you friendly, and like your coffee, too. Just do not act like a local coffee shop owner who knows nothing about coffee but claims they sell the best. I want coffee. Sell me coffee. Do not tease me like i'm a 5-year old who needs a kindergarten in a coffee shop. I am here to sip a cup of espresso triplo.

You know who capitalize on these people?

The CEXes you do not like. They know how customers are dependent on certain bottlenecks across the many façades of national and regional economies, and they know that not everyone has an access to a properly working smart phone let alone a good internet connection—stop gaslighting the global South into homestaking! You are literally making it worse for the rest, too. Let home-staking be homestaking and let people afford it but on their own terms. People cannot even afford a Raspberry here and you wonder why nodes are geographically not that much distributed?

The IRL crypto exchange offices that have superapps of theirs. Anyone would remember about those from the last years' Devconnect. Fees bad but they help you be a real customer in the real world and all thanks to crypto-economics, states and banks cooperating. Even banks offer crypto wallets now.

Much criticized giants that in actual work pro such as Chainlink bridge the traditional world of finance and our beloved decentralized universe, and it works. MakerDAO, regardless of their endgame politics, is today one of the best instances where crypto eases real-world asset integration re: T-bills etc. Both of these organizations do consumer crypto marketing to the average enduser, instutitonal investor, intrigued professionals, and actual solution architects who can sniff the future.

Yet none uses the incorrigibly cringey marketing language that we today witness across the so-called decentralized social nichés. They even make the LinkedIn a better place.

Or, take for instance, the much critiqued Paradigm or a16z. They in actual work like how Meta work for the traditional social or the open source artificial intelligence rails. They market, they headhunt, they recruit, and they contract and ship end products for client diversity, for open source devtooling, for ZK, shared sequencing, shared security etc. They never use an infantile language.

Yet, majority of our friends who think that the decentralized social is a wild West which can be rented to Andromeda since, according to them, the crypto is usually the mutually milking 10K people and some clueless newbies who are ready to be exit liquidity have brought forth their understanding of principle of charity to the table again this time under the guise of consumer crypto.

They are so culturally nihilist that financial nihilists would shine around them under the brightest auras. Their infantile marketing language, tactics which show no seriousness in turn affect the community of builders who are the real quality daily active users who bring in the other daily active users to the decentralized social.

The way a community communicates define the structure and geist of that very community. You may one day find yourself as a cultural shitcoiner when you had been thinking that you were just a visionary.

So what shall we do?

a) drop the premature infantile language that's worse than a Dalek symphony of some sort

b) focus on real consumer crypto products first, then you can always produce plastic legos—so that you can solve actual problems

c) stop criticizing people just because they are coming from finance—they're here, and they want to build together with you unlike your idols who see everyone as an institutional grade exit liquidity

d) do not be parochial

e) do not tell the HR to hire people with at least 10 years of experience in weeb3.

Look for authenticity that is mature.

F) do not forget that decentralization is not unaccountability, and that there are people who have no sense of bad vs good, and who will accordingly manufucture the consent of community to hijack governance, funding and the rest. That is, set some brand tenets, and standards.

Applying at least 2 of these simple common knowledge to your existing operations will prevent people turning your product into an adult playground on the decentralized Zoom calls of tomorrow.

No, I am not missing the state of the art, and recursively perfecting native-oriented products which also have crypto-external hooks to onboard the intrigued such as Drips Network or the overall public goods funding ecosystem(s). It's just that we are talking about the next trillion users here who are said not to be giving a frack about decentralization. Well, tell that to stablecoin users on Tron.

3. Withering Heights

Culture withers under pretentiousness. When you double down on pretentiousness with fake promises, it gets worse.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am writing this piece for mainly the Farcaster-native readers who know that I openly support the fashion in which the Merkle team ship.

I like their sufficient decentralization approach. I like how they share their small team's progressive, test-in-prod, formulation of practical solutions; and, I think they're genuinely reworking it all for the rest of the teams as a role model.

This is not a critique against the team that build the Farcaster protocol is all—nor is it against any solopreneurs, VCs, investors, team that ship superb products such as Neynar, Airstack, Buoy, Supercast, Bracket, Kiwi News, Spindl, Paragraph/ Mirror, Hypersub, Fluidkey, Interface, Frames.js, Frogfm etc; or individuals whose products are supra-protocol like Pugson's ENS data.

It is exciting to be with you all here. That's also why I perceive the current core decentralized social rails as a culturally evolutionary incubator sets and standards.

This is an honest call-out to the latest epistemological bubble that I have been observing among some of the developers, builders and excited daily active users: Your mental model of a social platform poisons it all.

We are at a certain threshold regarding crypto/ web3 in a sense that marketing, product, business, and the base are almost of the same root. Whatever you do is inevitably marketing even when you do not have a sense of personal branding, for example, if you are a solo venturer. This is not said in a vein akin to the blasphemous motto that everyhing is political. No, we do not have the necessary polis to exit from yet.

Some of you adapt a regressive behavior and call it a product, or a marketing campaign. You are wrong. You are not asking why repeatedly. Toyota ask it 5 times. Lamborghini asked maybe even more, which why they have the best tractors. Framework is racing MacBook Pro amongst the devs for they apparently asked why at least 69 times. Daylight Computer must have asked unbounded amount of whys whilst trying to read those Arxiv preprints. Do not worry that these people also know how to ask where and what. I have about 40 wallets on my mobile, and at least 15 wallet extensions of my Arc browser. I only use two on mobile and two on the desktop. These are Rabby, Frame, Phantom and Zerion. Sometimes, I use Wallet, too. It's because these people must have also asked a lot of whys. Or, let's give an example from finance rails: We all need to bridge, and swap assets in one way or another. I know that many people use CEXes as bridges but it's not practical at all times because of routing if not suspensions. I again only use two products and both of them are meta-aggregators. Why aggregate the aggregators? You tell me why. Why do you need to post on Lens yesterday, and Farcaster today and the next day you need to be able to post to both at the same time?—Keep thinking about it but it shall not necessarily mean that you need to set up your own layer 2 solution.

the best tractor ever

the best tractor ever

But, senpai?! Hai!

Some marketing campaigns need to wither, some people need to resign. It's time to take responsibility. However, it won't be easy. Ours is an industry where people just conflate orderliness with draconian regulations. They mistake sovereignty with orderless chaos and unaccountability. Believe me even Wild West had its own laws.

The decentralized social needs mature builders. Mature builders need mature marketing headliners, campaigns and communication.

4. Finality

We witness that different protocols are in race towards the best marketing methodologies. Some think that anything is viable in the name of growth. However, froth is far from growth.

Others think that we need to talk to people's conscience. I am sorry but I just wanna have fun at times. So serious.

You see. We are either so serious or too loose.

How shall we begin to cohere? Communicate? Convey? At times, we might need to reinvent the wheel.

I believe that we need to re-invent the marketing wheel when it comes to the decentralized social network narratives for the aforementioned reasons.

We need to be able to speak to the globe.

I know that a pattern language needs spaces where its echo won't fade.

Hence, we need to be able to strategize.

If you are serious about it, come and join me.


Otherwise, ours will be a futile growth where the nonhuman part will take off, and even create their own orderliness. Remember when the "collectives" on the Battlestar Galactica were waging war against Captain Adama, Cylons were busy protocolizing their own civilization in the middle of the outer space.

If you are a serious person, i'd like to meet. that we can redefine what social is.

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#decentralized social#social networks#consumer crypto#ai̇