I imagine the name Redecentralize.org might be familiar to at least a few people here, but perhaps not to everyone.
They have an excellent series of video interviews with the founders of Internet decentralisation projects, which is worth a look if you are interested in that sort of thing, and they held a conference in 2015.
I am subscribed to their blog RSS feed, which had gone a bit quiet for a few years, and I just noticed they have announced a fundraiser to try and take their work further, with a plan for the next 12 months.
I make no claims as to the worthiness or unworthiness of Redecentralize as a recipient of crowd funding (make your own judgement), but I figure I might as well try to spread the word because I like what they have done so far.
I wish Purism would support more decentralized projects, like PeerTube. Since they anyway have to upload their videos somewhere, then why not on the PeerTube federation?
Then perhaps they could redesign this forum and use the ActivityPub federation protocol so that anyone from Mastodon, GNU Social, PeerTube and all the other projects using this protocol could communicate seamlessly.
I think one of the problems with adoption of decentralised projects in the general case is that there are so many competing platforms it’s hard to know which ones are worth making the effort to support.
Each time a new option appears, there is a burden of evaluating its merit upon anyone who is interested in using decentralised platforms. Usually the best way to find out what a particular platform is like is to actually use it, which is a time sink and can feel risky. In particular, for an outsider, it is difficult to evaluate (a) whether the software is secure and will keep their data and their hardware secure and (b) whether the software will enable the exploitation of their hardware and internet connection for immoral or illegal purposes.
PeerTube has had quite a few relatively high-profile endorsements, as indicated in your thread on the topic, which serves to encourage anyone who might be interested in hosting an instance. However, for me as an individual user, I see very little benefit in using PeerTube over YouTube if I am just going to have to use a node run by a third party. There is a trust relationship there, and frankly I trust Google more than any of the people running PeerTube instances. So, I am instantly in the boat of wanting to run my own instance, and therefore facing the barriers to entry that that creates.
Personally I think the best solutions will be those that foster a general purpose decentralised platform, analogous to The Web, upon which any number of different applications can be layered and tried out as easily as browsing to a new website.
I see your points about the end user cost to adoption, and I agree, but as a proponent of a more free digital ecosystem I wouldn’t have it any other way. Analogous to various *nix tools: I like that GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc. all exist (and the list grows!) instead of being locked into the one GUI from Microsoft or Apple.
I think you’re spot on with the general purpose platform piece. I have high hopes for IPFS + Filecoin to accomplish this in the storage and distribution space.
I too have high hopes for IPFS and layers on top of it.
I do think it’s excellent that there are so many different projects, even if it is likely to put people off; it shows that there is a will for decentralised platforms to exist and that people are experimenting with different ideas. This is an exciting, if potentially overwhelming, time period for decentralisation and I am grateful that there are trailblazers who are prepared and able to make the effort and investment to try things out. Without them, there would be no bandwagons for the more time-poor, hesitant and risk-averse among us to jump on at a later date.