Mastodon CEO Eugen Rochko With Nilay Patel on Decoder

Nilay Patel, writing at The Verge:

Now, if you are like me, you hear the words “open source” and “decentralized” and then the word “CEO” and think, wait, why does the decentralized open standard have a CEO? The whole point is that no single person or company is in charge, right? Well, welcome to the wild world of open-source governance. It’s a riot, my friends. You’re going to hear me and Eugen say the phrase “benevolent dictator for life” in dead seriousness because that’s how a lot of these projects are run.

Of course, we also talk about money and structure. Mastodon doesn’t make a lot of money, and Eugen is figuring out how to build a structure that scales past just a handful of people. This tiny and mostly volunteer labor of love might very well be the future of social networking and, if you believe the hype about ActivityPub, might have some part in the future of the web. That’s pretty exciting, even if things seem a little messy in the moment.

Terrific interview. Mastodon is thriving and has a bright future, but the nature of social networks makes it so hard to predict what that future is.

Saturday, 8 April 2023