Was listening to the Bitcoin.review podcast and @NVK and @Odell were speculating about interaction being down on SN since Nostr came on the scene. I don't think that is the case actually. Curious if it is though @k00b?
I do think Nostr is the future of social media BUT currently Nostr is a LOT of noise. A lot of low attention span people. I include bitcoiners in this. A lot of memes. Maybe I'm just getting old but I have little interest in the type of content / medium currently dominate on Nostr. It is to much like Twitter for me. I prefer more thoughtful interaction over the kind of stuff you see on Twitter. Now, on the protocol level I think Nostr is massive so in that way I don't think it is fair to compare SN to Nostr at all.
I love SN. I think its special. It has utility as it is. This is a separate question but could you create an environment and incentives like SN has on Nostr? I'm not sure you can. Maybe I just haven't thought about enough.
There is an attitude, common among bitcoiners, that centralization is always bad, all the time. (Not saying this is your attitude, @kepford.) Centralization has some amazing benefits, and I want to live in a world that has lots of kick-ass centralized services and institutions to take advantage of. I just don't want crucial things (like money) to be centralized, and I don't want to depend on any centralized entity so totally that my life will be crippled if they turn evil or something bad happens to them.
Point is, SN can do a lot of amazing things because it's a website run by a dude. Nostr may take off, but my hypothesis is that it won't get beyond the curiosity phase until some new infra layers / services develop that centralize and make classes of functionality economically viable. The underlying protocol layer can remain how it is, more or less.
I have an identical hypothesis about bitcoin. It will either grow a varied ecosystem and be used by people with all kinds of ideologies, served by a host of groups and institutions across the 'centralization' gradient, or it will dwindle into irrelevance over time.
Nostr is distributes, but not decentralized ;)
Care to define what you mean? I think you are incorrect but it may be a definition difference.
Nostr is not decentralized. There are distinct relays that are owned by a person who can do whatever they want, and does not need to maintain consensus with anyone else. The same is true of a client, which can be closed source.
Nostr is distributed: there are many relays and clients, which are distributed, and you can choose from the ones you want.
Been thinking about this and I think we are both right here. As a user of Nostr you could use it in a centralized way but it is not not decentralized. The fact that individual relays can do what they want has nothing to do with decentralization. It is distributed and decentralized. I can't see how one could say the protocol is centralized because if one says it is NOT decentralized you are inherently saying it is centralized. Like Git you could use Nostr in a centralized way but the protocol itself is not centralized.
Decentralized and distributed are synonyms, for all practical purposes. Your take is the right take. One of my fervent btc wishes is that we stop talking about decentralization as if it's a discrete state (e.g., a system is or it isn't) but that would require people to actually understand the concept and the reason why it's [sometimes] desirable.
Yeah I agree with you. There's a lot of components to decentralization and its not really on/off. One thing I do think about this topic is that plenty of centrally controlled systems are distributed. An example would be the web sites I work on. They are hosted in a distributed way. Databases, applications, and files are all distributed across many servers in many datacenters. But they are at same time highly centralized. They are not decentralized.
Look at the web though. It is decentralized. There are points of centralization and choke points but really it is decentralized on the whole. It could be improved. DNS is the obvious one that comes to mind. We can get stuck in the weeds on this though when talking to no devs. The most important thing is not having an org/company/individual that has central control. Or even a small number that do. These are weak points that can be attacked. The fact that people can do what they want. Block some users really isn't the point. I can do that myself in many ways. The point is can someone block something for everyone. Do they really have control in a meaningful way. Bitcoiners should get this point and focus on that.
A key thing is that centralization / distributed-ness is fundamentally relative, and is defined in terms of something. Are 100 nodes, scattered in every part of the world and on every continent, decentralized? They are with respect to geography. But what if they're all owned by the same dude? Then they're not with respect to ownership. What if they're all running Bitcoin Knots? Then they're not wrt software. What if they're owned by 100 random people, but they're all Americans, or they're all employed by Square, or ...
You get the point.
Even going back to the idea that the nodes are spread evenly across the globe, in a sense, they're still not decentralized wrt geography bc they're all on the same planet. This seems a stupid distinction, and at the moment it is stupid, because we're all living on this same planet and their location on this planet makes no functional difference to any interaction someone would have with them. But it's not hard to imagine a context in which having everything collected on the same planet would no longer be decentralized from a relevant functional perspective.
This is what's so important about your last point -- whether some entity or cohort can achieve some goal (blocking something for everyone, in your example.) Decentralization (across the relevant functionality) is a state of organization that makes attacks of that kind difficult. It also makes development, deployment, testing, etc. slow and difficult. But the network lives with the latter drawbacks to realize the former benefits.
I see nostr and SN not as competitors. Are two different things and should not be put in the same bag. Who put them in the same bag, still do not understand what is nostr and what is SN. I do not expect more from @NVK he usually do not do his own DYOR for his podcast episodes and talk shit. I was expecting a more professional podcast from a "bitcoin review" but is not at all a bitcoin review...
nostr is far beyond a "new twatter" (that is now). People still don't get it and use it mostly for fucking zapathlons.
I agree. NOSTR right now is too boring for me to bother remaining active on any of the platforms built atop it. I do think that there are absolutely potential use cases which will potentially have a lot of adoption and actually see widespread use for something worth my time -- particularly when you can more easily onboard newbies and nocoiners into using something that's technically built using NOSTR but which they'd have no knowledge of it because it's flawlessly operating in the background and doesn't make them have to understand anything technical, doesn't make them set up an NIP-05 identity, doesn't make them set up a lightning wallet, etc.
All they should have to do is sign up using a username and password, tie it to their e-mail address (optional) and let them download a recovery file they can save locally or e-mail to themselves, etc. Then they should be able to load up their "account balance" with sats that could be purchased using a credit/debit card, apple pay, android pay, with a gift card, etc. As close to the experience of using a traditional web2 product as possible...make people comfortable with using something new and then once they are using it because they like the content that they are able to access on the platform, because there are cool people using it and the stuff that's being posted isn't just some dumb derivative bullshit of the things you can see elsewhere on social media (with less hassle, natch) then, that's when you should start to drip feed them information on what is actually happening behind the scenes and why it's important we have a decentralized alternative to the existing walled gardens of social media platforms operating at the behest of major multinational corporations.
I don't have much faith in the abilities or intelligence of the average person, sadly. If the average person I encounter here in the United States is supposedly someone with an IQ of roughly 95-98 (which, while not a perfect 1:1 comparison, is generally equivalent with being around 1 standard deviation below the level of intellect of most of my friends), that's already starting at quite a disadvantage. Then you have to factor in that is the average, with there being a sizable plurality of people who exist BELOW that level of intelligence.
So, that's just kind of an overly complicated way of saying that trying to bang on about the merits of decentralization or the brilliance of certain technologies we're using, is essentially an exercise in futility that will never really go anywhere. These people simply have no idea what the hell we're talking about, even if they wanted to care, which they don't. In fact, I'm oftentimes left wondering if in fact the kind of future that many of us pine for and hoped would come, is nothing but a pipe dream, and that the people who are already able to "get it" (i.e. those who actively engage in self-custodying their assets, using all of the stuff we use, etc.) are more or less doing so by now.
It's not like any of this is "new" anymore...if we want to push forward from here I think we are going to genuinely need some kind of groundbreaking platform that doesn't/can't exist in the form of the current corporate internet. I don't know what it is, but there's a reason why most of these "decentralized" alternatives to existing social media platforms fail, and never become anything more than a novelty. Because they suck, their UI tends to be fugly as hell, the user experience leaves much to be desired, and the only adoption they actually see is driven by people farming speculative shitcoin airdrops (in "web3") or are people who are already within our bubble similar to those of us here at SN.
Anyway, sorry for ranting, I'm just putting some thoughts out there, forgive me for this being a bit scatterbrained...long day.
Scattered brained stuff is what SN is for. We descatter together
SN has a certain "gemütlichkeit" that's very unique to it. Don't get me wrong, Nostr, as of now, has a nice feel too but it is a bit too obsessed with itself. So I think there is a place for SN in the foreseeable future.
Maybe a TLDR for my question is: Can you see a way you could create an experience that matches SN using the Nostr protocol? Experience being the entire experience. Not just the UI and tech. The community.
There have been attempts at a reddit-style frontend for nostr and it really sucks. It's the same, low energy, low signal content shown in a different format. Would be really interesting to see a bifurcation where reddit-style usage of nostr is entirely different content, if that makes sense.
Can you see a way you could create an experience that matches SN using the Nostr protocol?
The protocol as-is and decentralized in a meaningful way (not in a theatrical way)? I can't easily see it. I suspect nostr could be adapted or another protocol developed to do it.
Thanks. I can't see it either. Maybe that's OK. If SN went away I would miss it but I don't think anyone would die over it. Everything doesn't have to be decentralized completely. And there is no way Nostr can be expected to replace everything. LOL. I feel like some folks need to acknowledge that because sometimes I think people think it can. There are tradeoffs.
Indeed, the idea that everything MUST be (or should be) decentralized is dumb as hell. The only people who push this kind of crap are people who usually have never actually built anything for the modern web, and have no clue how difficult setting up a lot of this stuff can be, especially at scale. There's zero real rationale for there to be things which say, are posting crappy low effort "content" to some decentralized/distributed network, paired with data permanence, etc. Plenty of existing platforms out there which despite their flaws, people use them because they work. The network effect is very strong and dictates who wins and who loses with social media. This is why there have been no real social media platforms to have debuted in the last few years which have managed to attain an actual audience of unique, active users that not only were retained on their site, but actually grew in size...too many people trying to reinvent the wheel and thinking that their weird spin on an existing site is going to be the one that finally manages to 'make it', they are delusional.
True. As long as we have one decentralized, censorship-resistant protocol, I think that's fine. I don't mind a forum with some moderation to keep things focused. Both can def exist for different purposes.
718 sats \ 1 reply \ @guts 13 Sep
I believe @k00b is working outer.space which is what you are asking.
My current nostr focus is on building as much of SN as I can into nostr.
OS is going to be developed more slowly than I intended. I need to update the homepage and offer everyone who bought NIP-05s a refund if they only bought them in anticipation of the full client.
687 sats \ 2 replies \ @k00b 13 Sep
Was listening to the Bitcoin.review podcast and NVK and Odell were speculating about interaction being down on SN since Nostr came on the scene.
It's nice to be thought of. They must really care. We've been growing though. The analytics are in the footer.
This is a separate question but could you create an environment and incentives like SN has on Nostr?
Thanks for asking. It depends on what you mean by "on," "nostr," and "SN."
Love it.
On: Hosted using relays using the Nostr protocol. Distributed hosting
Nostr: The protocol
  • The community. One that values thoughtful content over hot takes
  • The incentives. Adding a cost to posts, comments, and other actions. Organic rewards based ranking content.
Hope that helps. That's what I'm wondering. The community vibe to me is WAY more important than the tech when it comes to SN. Obviously the tech and incentives lead to or encourage behaviors that influence the community.
SN has more structure than Nostr.
On: Hosted using relays using the Nostr protocol. Distributed hosting
Translation: no more centralized than relays currently are on nostr.
Nostr: The protocol.
Translation: built into the protocol itself and not relying on anything "extra" or product-like.
The community. One that values thoughtful content over hot takes.
Translation: our vibe.
The incentives. Adding a cost to posts, comments, and other actions. Organic rewards based ranking content.
Translation: our very experimental raison d'être.
At the very least not trivially. I'm hopeful that will change.
I do think Nostr is the future of social media BUT currently Nostr is a LOT of noise.
Agree. Nostr is full of meaningless content atm, and it is so hard to search for good info; many people post things just for the sake of posting them, and many engagement farming and attention-seeking.
I am not sure if it is due to the nature of social media or if people are so used to scrolling, but I don't want to waste my time on endless scrolling without seeing anything interesting or meaningful.
I think SN, in a sense, is already acting as a filter:
  1. people actually need to write and read here; writing requires mental work
  2. full of toxic maxi here, which creates a safer place with less spam:)
  3. one beautiful thing about Bitcoin is uniting people
You can see different tags or separations throughout different social media, " divide-and-conquer" , yet here is full of different people, different walks of life, different ages, and cultural backgrounds, yet we are all Bitcoiners - helping each other than yelling or hating. ( I generally try to avoid using "we", but hey, this is a site built on Bitcoin! )
I am really curious to see how SN would involve overtime.
I currently get very little value from nostr and primarily use it with the express aim of making it slightly more rewarding for those making good content. I want it to succeed and undermine the Big Tech platforms, so I try to add some engagement for people who make thoughtful posts, but those are fairly rare.
I've talked to a few people about the idea of making comments costly on nostr, as a way to cut down on spam and other low value content. I really think that's one of the keys to why SN works so well. I'd love to see one of the nostr clients try a model where each user can set a price to comment on their posts. However, that only cleans up replies, which would still leave a lot of feeds full of low value content.
You don't need everything to be decentralized, just the money, and for that you have Bitcoin.
SN will be even better, alongside nostr.
Maybe it has dipped, I don't know but you're fragmenting peoples time between nostr and stacker news and people can only dedicate so much to a platform, and its a small group of people willing to explore these sites right now, bull market comes you have a bunch of people flooding it looking to bag sats or find solid info on bitcoin and shitcoins
I don't think everything needs to run on nostr, I think its still pretty slow and clunky and theres a bunch of people who will come in and lose their keys like they did with bitcoin and then blame nostr and be off it, and look for apps that cater to them instead
Also, I don't see clients really going after the same niche/user experience as SN