Dmytri Kleiner on Wed, 28 Sep 2011 06:19:02 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Fwd: Diaspora* means a brighter future for all of us.

On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 19:37:39 +0100, Rob Myers <> wrote:

> On 26/09/11 07:22, Yosem Companys wrote:
>> Moreover, Diaspora is non-commercial and community-run. 
> How will you be funding your second year?

Sorry, can't resist.



The Thimbl Manifesto

The Open Web can aspire to continue the peer-to-peer legacy of the classic
internet applications.

Decentralized platforms such as Usenet, email and IRC were not controlled
by any one organization, and do not directly capture profit. The web has
been the focus of the commercialization of the internet due to it's
client-server architecture that gives full control to the website operator.
This control is required by the logic of Capitalist finance in order to
capture value. Without such control profit-seeking investors do not provide

However, this control comes at a cost. Centralized systems are far less
efficient at managing online communications than decentralized systems. The
corporate, web-based communication-platforms that emerged under the Web 2.0
monicker are hungry for more than just Capital. The huge datacenters
required to run them also consume massive natural resources and energy, and
cause massive amounts of pollution. Yet, desipite all, these platforms
still commonly experience scaling issues and frequent outages, straining
under the profit-imposed need to centralize control. And this in a world
where the majority of the global population does in practical terms not
have access to the internet. Of course, environmental concerns are not the
only issue with overly centralized systems. Perhaps even of greater concern
are the implications for privacy and freedom of speech and association when
control of our social technology is held by only a few private

Lost in the hype of the Social Web is the fact that the Internet has
always been about sharing: Usenet, email and IRC have for a long time
enabled social connections, including citizen journalism, photo sharing,
and other features of recent web-based systems.

Thimbl demonstrates the potential for integrating classic internet
technologies into the Open Web. On the surface, Thimbl appears to be yet
another microblogging service, similar to Twitter or However,
Thimbl is a specialized web-based client for a User Information protocol
called Finger. The Finger Protocol was orginally developed in the 1970s,
and as such, is already supported by all existing server platforms.

Thimbl offers no way to sign up. It is up to your own webhost, internet
service-provider or system administrator to provide accounts. Virtually
every server on the intenret already has Finger server software available
in its software repository. All that is required for any organisation to
provide Thimbl accounts is to simply turn their Finger service on. In most
cases, this would take the server administator no more than a few minutes,
after which all of their users could log in to and participate.
So Thimbl is a call to arms for users to demand this option.

Most importantly, Thimbl has embedded within it a vision for the Open Web
that goes beyond the web. For the web to be truly open it must integrate
pervasivaly in to the internet as a whole. The internet has always has been
much more than the web.

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