Because we, the purveyors of Freedom have not yet
discovered how to share the costs of hosting through
shared ownership in the Physical Sources required
for any and all production.
The owners of Facebook have large datacenters and
the land and other amenities needed to host the data
When it comes to hosting,
TINFA = There is No Freedom Alternative.
The GNU Foundation could begin hosting email and
small files and simple Facebook replacements while
using ad revenue from adbard.org, for example.
But we will need a legally binding Social Contract
to really insure things do turn sour as usual.
Maybe that discussion belongs on another list...
Partially, the "billion" number comes from the ever growing number of
people that are getting online.
Facebook filled a void that was previously being developed and evolved
by Usenet, Yahoogroups, AOL, blogging platforms like radio weblogs,
typepad, blogger, etc, online community forums like the WELL, and
thousands of websites that hosted millions of niche discussions over
the years (slashdot, Kuro5hin, FuckedCompany, dailykos, etc etc)
activism platforms like moveon, and of course Friendster, myspace,
The one problem with all of those above named systems was that it was
hard to participate in so many different spaces online. Facebook as a
company and service moved very fast to make it possible for people to
do some form of all of that "stuff" on it's website. This generated a
lot of excitement among people. Plus, Facebook employed techniques
that made it addictive to invite people, and made those not "in"
Facebook feel like they were marginalized and discluded (Google uses
this tactic for it's services, too. How many people did you see
clamoring for invites to Gmail, Orkut, Google Wave, etc when they
first started? There were lots.) It seems people were willing to
sacrifice freedom for convenience, or simply blindly trusted that the
people who created and managed facebook would never infringe on their
privacy, freedom and goodwill.
And now, despite the reality that the World Web Web is still as vast
and relatively open canvas of possibilities as it ever was (and even
better now that so much is possible with each passing year),
apparently the best we can do as a species after 3 + decades of
experimentation and evolution, is to all end up using the same god
damn generic website. It was inevitable that our activity would be
monetized there. If EVERYONE shows up in the same place, that means
corruption is showing up too.
Hollymead Capital Partners, LLC
"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human
ambition." - Carl Sagan
Content addressibility is the answer.
Freenet (http://freenetproject.org/) has been sharing information this
way for a long time.
Camlistore (http://camlistore.org/) is a newer project less driven by
concerns about liberty and security, but probably more usable, but
also much less mature.
My project, Spaciousness, is along these lines, and takes content
addressiblity to data transforms as well.
Simply put, it has to not matter where the data lives. There is always
some space somewhere.