rolle, avatar

Former CEO of Twitter wanted to build a social protocol no-one can control, like SMTP or HTTP for social media. Bluesky’s ATProto was supposed to be an open source protocol that Twitter could eventually utilize, but then Musk happened and Bluesky started taking it to the wrong direction and everything fell apart in Dorsey’s mind.

A very revealing interview. I now see even more future in W3C’s ActivityPub.

#ActivityPub #JackDorsey #Bluesky #Twitter #X #SocialWeb #SocialMedia

atomicpoet, avatar

@rolle That interview was bonkers but confirmed a whole lot of of things I speculated about.

rolle, avatar

I must wonder… if Dorsey truly wants to build something open, non-commercial and decentralized, why doesn’t he even look at the ActivityPub? Why not help it thrive? What’s all that fuss about Bluesky and Nostr?

lari, avatar


Because it is someone else's project, "not invented here", and he would not have a substantial role in developing it?

rolle, avatar

@lari Perhaps indeed some egoistic nonsense like that.

nus, avatar

Bluesky: because he wants to continue providing addicts their fix... And because he doesn't control ActivityPub, and can't re-form it in his image.

Nostr: because he is a Bitcoin-obsessed crypto bro

rolle, avatar

@nus Yeah. But now he only has Nostr. He completely ditched Bluesky.

reiver, avatar


I can't speak for JD, but I have talked to others who are either more into Farcaster or more into nostr (rather than the Fediverse), and I've talked to them about the Fediverse.

I have noticed some commonalities in what they said —


They believe that a significant part of the Fediverse is anti-commece.

They feel that commerce and payments are important.


They don't trust the servers controlling their identity and presence.

They feel it should be independent from any server.

gruff, avatar

Thank-you I've just learnt of the existence of Farcaster!

rolle, avatar

@gruff @reiver Wow, this is the first time I hear about Farcaster.

So… now we have 4 protocols which all try to achieve the ”truly decentralized social web”:

  • ActivityPub
  • ATProto
  • Farcaster
  • Nostr

What a mess :blob_smile_sweat:


@rolle @gruff @reiver If we're being honest... I hardly even count Farcaster. It looks very centralized to me. It's just Twitter on a blockchain afaict

reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

I looked into how Farcaster worked a while ago.

AFAICT, it is NOT centralized. It is decentralized.

reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

AFAIK, the Farcaster network is made up of a set of servers that act as hubs.

The hubs communicate with each other via 'gossip' style protocol.

And use it to do a form of pub-sub.


reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

You can connect to, and interact with the Farcaster network by connecting to a hub.

reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

Warpcast is a popular client for the Farcaster network. (It is created by the team behind Farcaster.)

But there are other clients. And anyone can create a new client (if they have the skills and inclination).

reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

Most of Farcaster has nothing to do with any blockchain-network.

But the Farcaster protocol uses 3 smart-contracts running on the Arbitrum blockchain-network.

(Arbitrum is a layer-2 blockchain-network built on top of Ethereum.)

reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

From what I recall (and I could be misremembering) —


One smart-contract gives you an ID that identifies you.

(You can think of it like a globally unique user-ID.)


Another smart-contract lets you associate public-private key pairs with your ID. Including delegating.


And the last smart-contract lets you register (human-legible) user-names. Including ENS names.

reiver, avatar

@shreyan @rolle @gruff

The usefulness in the first smart-contract giving you a user-ID (rather than just letting your public-key or a digest of it being you ID) is —

It lets you change your public-private key pairs.

Which is important — as it is somewhat similar to changing your password.

number137, (edited ) avatar

@reiver @rolle I have got over time the impression, that the Fediverse and Bluesky/Nostr are cultural rooted in different substrates - one is somewhat European/Canadian/… and the other one is an intrinsic US-American

FeralRobots, avatar

@reiver @rolle Mike McGirven (streams) is working on addressing 2 in an AP context.


@reiver @rolle I don't trust these billionaires. Like Musk and hyperloop. Just trying to tell that you need a new kind of train that will be here in 10 years, but while you wait, you can buy our products.

thomas, avatar

@rolle probably "not invented here" syndrome 🤷‍♂️. Or he wants to keep control over the protocol specification.

noondlyt, avatar

@rolle Bluesky was always intended to be monetized. VC money isn't bequeathed for the betterment of users without some eye to profit. In order to achieve this they had to drive people to something cooler than what the other kids already had. Unique. Like the cybertruck.

Ciantic, avatar

@rolle heavy emphasis on "Dorsey's mind", everything indicates he didn't even study Bluesky's protocol. The differences to Nostr he trumpets aren't significant.

I still prefer services where I know where my browser is connected, like Mastodon.

If you've tried Nostr, many of those web clients connect to tens of servers, some really dodgy sounding. You are basically spraying your IP everywhere, and your IP might be receiving highly unwanted content...

rolle, avatar

@Ciantic Yeah, I find his affection to Nostr strange too. Why not even look the direction the ActivityPub is taking us, I wonder.

jrredho, avatar


I'm just a user and not a developer of the various protocols, but i wonder if it was more along the lines of NNTP?

rolle, avatar

@jrredho I mentioned HTTP and SMTP because they are mentioned in the article. But yes, NNTP would be more fitting by category, although not in the sense of commonness or freshness.

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