As I sit here on my 30th birthday (which is what this post is really about. Me fishing for Happy Birthday to you casts), I wanted to take some time to write about what makes Farcaster so special to me.
The Magic of the Community
The first thing anyone will tell you when you ask them about what makes Farcaster special is the people. This isn't me waxing a soliloquy, the question has literally been asked several times and this common answer comes up near the top every time. The magic however isn't in the people, and that's saying something because there are so many cool people on Farcaster. The magic is what this protocol has brought out in people. A deep desire to give. To contribute. A desire to give value to the network as a first instinct, rather than to extract. Pretty consistently the question people ask is not what can this protocol do for me, but what I can do for this protocol (shoutout to JFK, rip young king 👑). The word permissionless innovation is one Dan uses (one of the founders of Farcaster.) You don't need anyone's permission to build. Just come in and get to work. Combine this with a community that very much wants to build for others and you start to see how magical this formula is in action. This deep rooted generosity and spirit of giving makes the network more valuable for everyone involved. This is especially important because Farcaster as a technology is something that we very much need in our society. Given how other social networks are evolving.
The Future of Social
With Reddit and Twitter becoming more and more closed gardens, joining the likes of Instagram and Facebook among others, we very much need an open digital space. Look no further than ChatGPT why this is the case. By having access to all the public data generated by users on the internet, people were able to create the something as close to magic as I've ever seen. Something that Reddit and Twitter want to not contribute to out of jealousy. They feel they're missing out and weren't properly compensated for the data used by their platform. Ignoring the incredible innovation and work that went to make this possible. The most infuriating part of this however is that it's their users data. The same users that love ChatGPT and I'm sure would prefer their data go towards something that can be used for everyone's benefit vs privately sold by the platform to advertisers for profit.
This is all without mentioning the addictive nature of these networks. All their revenue is generated from advertising and the more time people spend on their platforms, the more money they generate. So they are incentivized to build to keep people addicted and not with their users to build something that would benefit them. The incentive structure doesn't allow it. Users have to build apps like One sec to break the addictive loops these social networks have created. The algorithms aren't built to help users better themselves and build a community. They are built to create addictions.
But now imagine these social networks built on a protocol like Farcaster. The underlying data and messages and communication is public (with end to end encryption for private communication.) This means anyone can build an Instagram or Reddit on top. The difference is if one builds for addictive loops, another can build for community. Build things to make sure you spend less time. Or break points where you can take certain teachings and you're not allowed to come back on until you apply them. Or users themselves can pick and chose. It's open and permissionless. Users are in control and any builder is free to come in and innovate something for the users. There is no corporate overlord to start charging tens of thousands of dollars to access "public" data suddenly. Or even block access.
We Need Farcaster
Some users maybe frustrated by the fact that they aren't able to extract as much value as other networks at the moment (like twitter for example.) However this is a good thing. We're still early. The network is still small. The mechanisms to make it truly decentralized and permissionless long term are still being built. The spirit of giving vs taking will benefit everyone in the long run. A rising tide lifts all boats, and Farcaster can help lift a hell of a lot of boats.
The future is brighter with Farcaster and it's why I'm so excited to get to be a part of it and watch it grow from the beginning.
Find me on Farcaster:
Note: Warpcast is a client built by the founding Farcaster team. Think:
Email = Farcaster | Gmail = Warpcast
Ethereum = Farcaster | Metamask = Warpcast