Diverse, distributed and interesting

A small platform—like a family restaurant, or an indie bookstore—can be run by a small group of passionate people. Possibly, it can even be run by one person. Things are too big, when they get big enough that everything needs to be normalized (specified, rules based, flow charted, committee decided and charted.)

The future of the internet that most excites me is also, in many ways, a snapshot of its past. It’s a place where the Neil Gaiman’s of the world don’t need to feed their thoughts into an engagement engine, but can instead put out a virtual shingle on their own small patch of cyberspace and attract and build a more intimate community of like-minded travelers. This doesn’t necessitate a blog — podcasts, newsletters, and video series have emerged as equally engaging mediums for independent media production. The key is a communication landscape that is much more diverse and distributed and interesting than what we see when everyone is using the same two or three social apps.

~ Cal Newport from, https://calnewport.com/neil-gaimans-radical-vision-for-the-future-of-the-internet/


It comes down to engagement versus contribution. A large platform is one where engagement is rewarded (time spent on the platform, ads viewed, affiliate links followed, likes given, etc.) and a small platform is one where contribution is rewarded. What makes small platforms and spaces potentially great is that everyone’s contribution can be seen. “I see what you did there,” is both how culture is created and how cultural norms are enforced.