Decentralization is the buzz word of the day . Everything – from our currencies to our databases – is supposed to exist, immutably, in this strange new world. And Bill Ottman wants to add our social media to the mix.
Ottman, an intense young man with a passion for repairing the world, is the founder of Minds.com, a New York-based start-up that has received waves of new users as zealots and the non-zealous have left from other networks. In fact, the bad news of Zuckerberg is music to Ottman's ears.
Ottman created Minds in 2011 "with the goal of providing the world with a free, open and sustainable social network," he said. He and his chief technology officer, Mark Harding, have worked in a variety of non-profit organizations, including Code To Inspire, a group that teaches Afghan women to code. He said his vision was to get us out of the shadows of social media.
"We started Minds in my basement after being disappointed by user abuse on Facebook and other high-tech services.We saw espionage, l '# 39; data mining, algorithm manipulation and revenue sharing, "he said. "For us, it is inevitable that an open source social network becomes dominant, as was the case with Wikipedia and the proprietary encyclopedias."
His efforts paid off. The team now has more than one million registered users and more than 105,000 active users per month. They work on a number of initiatives, including an ICO, and the site makes money through "boosting" – essentially the ability to pay for having higher content in the feed.
The company raised $ 350,000 in 2013, and then just over a million dollars for a Crowdfunding Reg CF Equity Fundraiser.
Unlike Facebook, Minds is built on an almost radical transparency. The code is fully open source and includes encrypted messaging services and optional anonymity for users. The goal, in the end, is to decentralize the data and allow any user to delete their data. It's also non-partisan, a fact on which Ottman insisted.
"We do not insist on a political agenda, but we are more concerned about transparency, Internet freedom and the return of control to the user," he said. "It's a sad state of affairs when all networks that care about freedom of expression are confused with extremists."
He was disappointed, for example, when people read that Reddit's choice to close toxic sub-redoubts was a success. This was not the case, he said. Instead, these users simply flocked to other more permissive sites. However, he does not think that these sites are cloques of hatred.
"We are a community social network, dedicated to transparency, privacy and rewarding people for their contributions.We are called Minds because it is a representation of the network itself, "he said." Our mission is the freedom of the Internet with privacy, transparency, freedom of expression in law and control of the user . In addition, we want to offer our users revenue opportunities and the opportunity to really extend their reach and earn rewards for their contributions to the network. "