Twitter’s project Bluesky seems stuck in the mud
Yesterday I randomly wondered what the status of Twitter’s Bluesky project was – a project that promises to create a protocol for federating the microblogging platform in the same way that SMTP/IMAP does for email.
So I poked around.
The Twitter account seems all but dormant.
So then I logged into their Discord guild (Discord being the en vogue way to do such things these days) to see what is happening in there. It didn’t take long to see that, while there was some activity, there was some vitriol being spewed as well.
That wouldn’t be interesting, in and of itself. But it just happened to be that the Gargron, the lead developer of Mastodon – what I would call the leading federated social platform – was in there spilling some tea as the kids say.
The truth is that Twitter could become decentralized almost overnight by simply adding some JSON-LD serializers, an inbox endpoint and maybe tweaking their storage schema slightly to become part of the fediverse – anyone who wouldn’t want to use twitter.com could follow twitter.com users from their own server and so on. That does not require 2 years of making people who don’t work for you talk to each other.
Ever since Jack Dorsey announced Bluesky I had the same thought “why doesn’t Twitter just piggy back off of prior art?”. And Jack Dorsey said they would if they found one that was good enough. But it seems like they didn’t.
That would be all well and good if there was any progress at all. And, of course, there has been a global pandemic ever since. But it seems, from my little bit of digging, that there hasn’t been enough wood put behind this particular arrow and it now sits stuck in the mud.
Unfortunate? Yes. But, if you are looking to be part of a more decentralized social web I urge you to start your own blog, and look at the Indie Web. And if that is a bit too technical for you – consider looking at Micro.blog (which handles a lot of this for you) or Mastodon, which plugs into many other platforms. You don’t have to wait for Bluesky.