I have lot of sympathy for Matt Slater's arguments for Protocol Cooperativism. This is essentially the songbook I was singing from, since the late 90s, and throughout my time working on the Aotearoa localizations of #Indymedia and #CreativeCommons. But in hindsight, those songs were naive. As Matt points out within his own essay, capitalists have already figured out ways to dominate open networks based on open protocols (eg Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish"). Ownership matters.

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Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?


> Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?

Not yet, but what's stopping them? History makes it clear that relying on the decentralized nature of the protocol is not enough. If we don't want the #fediverse going the way of email (vast majority of users on a handful of #DataFarms), we need ways to ensure that both software development and the deployment of non-capitalist instances are economically sustainable. The point I was making was that #PlatformCoops is one way to do that.


I argued in favor of replacing the BDFL model in FOSS with cooperative ownership for years, it's good to see the idea is slowly making its way into the discourse.
We can no longer afford the "rockstar developer" complex.


@Antanicus my position on that is some from column A, some from column B. Some developers don't play well with others, and simply do better work in the BDFL model. Others do well in consensus-based teams like #Loomio. I don't see any need to impose external control on how developer-workers organize themselves. But there's a difference between core development and *deployment*, especially when deploying server-based software as online services. That's where #PlatformCooperatives shine.

@strypey @Antanicus

"deploying server-based software as online services. That's where #PlatformCooperatives shine"

It's also nice to have cooperative hosting organizations that do not impose a platform, either offering a selection of hosted apps or host-your-own, and both are even better.

@bhaugen I'm still not clear on how you're defining "platform" here, because everything you describe is a kind of platform. In my mind, platform just means anything you can build something else on top of. So almost everything except end user apps is a kind of platform.

@strypey @Antanicus

I described how I think about the difference between protocol, framework, and platform here:

In the context of discussions here, Facebook or Uber's app are examples of platforms. So a platform cooperative might create a cooperative ride-sharing app.

You may disagree, but that's what I meant.

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