Abstract: Centralized digital infrastructure has created a dangerous environment for both activist movements and consumers. Intermediation impacts the character of conversation and limits innovation throughout countless ecosystems. Decentralized alternatives could address many of these problems, but most have failed to gain widespread adoption.
I will survey the recent history of these technologies and reasons for their failures, discuss the possibilities in a world where decentralization was the norm, and introduce Tent, an open protocol, which makes many of these possibilities a reality today.
Daniel Siders is a software architect and one of the architects of the Tent protocol. An eighteen year veteran of the software industry, he later studied gender, social science, and emergent norms in disaster environments. Prior to his work on Tent he consulted for large brands and media agencies on the appropriate analysis and application of consumer data in targeting campaigns and storage of such data in closed corporate networks. Since creating Tent he runs the organization the maintains the protocol and co-founded the first Tent hosting company.