In the digital age, the way we consume and share information has evolved rapidly. As we move into 2023, the importance of decentralized blogging platforms, which are immune to censorship and downtime, has become more evident than ever.
Substack and Medium are great but Substack is harsh against "misinformation" or self promotion and Medium is a walled garden of both writing format and access to a wider audience.
X is now a good platform for long form content, but has nowhere near a decent user experience, and can be (and often is) also turned against you with opaque shadowbans or deboosting. These platforms rely heavily on their mostly closed algorithms for spreading the word, and your reach is forever in their hands. This is fine as a backup or a layer on top of your usual reach, but in my opinion redundancy is still priceless.
1. Censorship Resistance: Centralization gives traditional publishing entities the power to censor content, either due to political pressures, corporate interests, or other external influences. A decentralized blog operates on a network where no single party has control. This ensures that your voice remains unfiltered and true to its intent, allowing for genuine freedom of expression.
2. Immunity to Downtime: Centralized platforms are vulnerable to server outages, cyberattacks, or even company shutdowns (famously through aquifires). When these platforms experience downtime, all the blogs hosted on them become inaccessible. Decentralized blogs operate on a distributed network, ensuring that even if one node (or server) goes down, the content remains accessible from other nodes. This redundancy ensures that your blog remains online, regardless of technical glitches or targeted attacks.
3. Data Ownership and Control: With centralized platforms, your data often resides on servers owned by the platform provider. This means they have the potential to access, use, or even sell your data without your explicit consent. Decentralized platforms give bloggers full control over their data. You own your content, and you decide how it's stored, shared, and with whom - in theory. In practice, of course, you can be crawled and reposted by anyone, but there are other ways to protect against that.
4. Adaptability and Innovation: The decentralized nature of these blogs means they are often built on open-source protocols. This encourages a community-driven approach to development, leading to rapid innovations and adaptability. As technology evolves, decentralized platforms can quickly integrate new features, ensuring that bloggers have access to the latest tools and functionalities.
5. Future-Proofing and Sustainability: As we've seen with the rise and fall of many online platforms, relying on a single entity for your digital presence is risky. Companies can change their terms of service, monetization strategies, or even shut down entirely. A decentralized blog is not tied to the fate of a single company. It's a more sustainable approach, ensuring that your digital footprint remains intact for years to come.
The digital landscape of 2023 demands a shift towards platforms that prioritize user autonomy, security, and resilience. Decentralized blogs offer these benefits and more, making them an essential tool for anyone looking to genuinely express themselves and safeguard their online presence.
? So how do I get started with a decentralized blog ?
The by far easiest way I have found so far is PlanetableXYZ, an incredible tool for writing and publishing on IPFS and auto-linking with ENS.
Their docs are straightforward and clear, and behind the scenes it packages up your content for IPFS hosting, gives you a content hash to add to your ENS name, and that's it.
Granted, you should pin the IPFS hash as well - if you do not, then your content is hard to find. Pinning on IPFS is like seeding a torrent. Luckily, PlanetableXYZ comes with Filebase support included, so all you gotta do is set up an account and provide credentials. For extra reach and resilience, I recommend pinning on multiple providers - Pinata Cloud, Crust Network, your own node on Digitalocean - all good options.
This post was originally written in and published via Planetable over at the decentralized version of this blog: bruno.eth.
I will make more teardown posts about Planet as I explore it and integrate more of its features, stay tuned!