The Internet and Social Media

FUTO is developing a vision for social media and the future of publishing online.

The web was created to allow anyone to publish ideas and art. In the 1990s everything was posted by creators on their own website. Indexers like Yahoo!, Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, and Google would help people find their work. It was a much more level playing field with fierce competition amongst the indexers to help consumers find creations and creators were the ultimate arbiters of how their work was treated.

Since then corporate greed has yielded data silos where content is crowd sourced and then indexed by the owner of the silo, with little respect for the creators from whom the content was taken. This has happened with all forms of creation: Videos, microposts (Twitter), comments, blogs, podcasts, music, games, software (App Stores and Github). Even Wikipedia edits are a special case of this. To varying degrees, a creator cedes ownership of their creation to the silo the moment they post it.

FUTO endeavors to create infrastructure for creators to have their content hosted by someone else but the creator retains full ownership. We will aggressively assault the legacy silos who abuse their creators with both PR and tools that work to break the silos. We have the opportunity to have a huge impact by having an almost pathological focus on respecting creators. We want creators to feel like they are publishing to the world, and we want multiple indexers competing with each other to do a good job connecting consumers to creators and their content.

More Details

  1. Create a publishing standard that is completely divorced from the current system of websites and their certificates which must follow a chain to an all powerful root certificate.
    • All works will be signed by the creator with a self created public/private key pair.
    • All works may contain white lists and black lists of who is allowed to index their content. We hope creators will allow everyone to index their content. Or even better black list legacy silos but allow everyone else.
    • All works can contain a payment request so that creators can form direct relationships with their audience (cutting out the silos).
    • Any actions required to deal with bad actors shall also be included in this standard.
  2. The meta data for all published works are indexed in databases in a 100% open fashion. Relays will facilitate cloning by whoever wishes to be involved. We expect popular works to be indexed tens of thousands of times. FUTO will create simple self managed tools that anyone can run to help maintain the database.
  3. Create a client application which allows users to view content from the open database and the important legacy silos.
    • Press a button to populate the open index with the content currently being viewed.
    • Comments section utilizing the same publishing standard outlined above.
    • Pull bigger content out of the silo to be hosted by BitTorrent or some other content distribution network.
    • Allow users to rate content and receive recommendations from an indexer.
  4. Use the index to create a traditional website search engine as a reference. When creators upload they can specify who is allowed to index their content. Or they can specify no restrictions. This is the whitelist of indexers. We would expect all indexers to respect the creator’s wishes regarding the egress of their data.
    We imagine an export format that looks something like this:

Progress in this area is stalling because people are stressing out about making this into a crypto money-making scheme. We’re not trying to do that.

Recommendation Engines:
We would also like to address the problem with opaque recommendation engines. We know these are quite powerful in influencing the behavior. FUTO would like for all recommendation engines to be open and transparent.

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FUTO is a new organization founded to develop technology and share knowledge that gives control of computers back to the people.