What do you think? Will it be decentralized or a model more like we're pursuing at Cake?
Why do I need to choose?
My don't have conversations in just one room, in just one house, in just one city, with just one group of people. I have lots of conversations in restaurants, holes, game stores, conventions. I not only talk to people in my hometown but people outside of it. I talk to people that I like and people that I don't like, people that agree with me and people that don't.
And some of those conversations take place using one means of facilitation and some of those conversations take place using another.
I don't have to choose.
Some conversations are best had via some sort of decentralized architecture, one resistant to censorship or control, single point failures or authoritarianism. As a result, they are impossible to control, impossible to police, impossible to moderate, and generally involve immoderate people. People with freedom often tend to use it.
Some of those conversations occur via an extremely moderated platform, whether it be social media or a convention panel. They are constrained, restricted, moderated, and beyond my own control for the most part – unless I am the authoritarian in this context. They have a different tone, and those who tend to participate in them do so with a conscious awareness of the restrictions of the context.
Now, if I had to pick one system as a protocol, it would always be the decentralized model. I would rather tolerate the threat of the presence of people I don't want to hear from, about, or of, than tolerating the constant presence of an authority who controls my speech who isn't me.
But it's a false choice. No one has to make it.
Moreover, even Cake could exist outside of a centralized architecture. For the most part. It would have to give up the idea that the taxonomy is ultimately impositional and acccept that a ground-up folksonomy would be the way things would be, and perhaps promote a tag-based taxonomy derived from usage rather than imposed from above – though even that might be a reasonable thing to possess if it were a suggested authority rather than a mandated one.
In a real sense, nothing would keep Cake from being implemented on top of, say, Secure Scuttlebutt with a suggested taxonomy and gossip-passing connectivity. It would solve a lot of problems that arise in both contexts (though do nothing for several others, but that's a general feeling of social media design at the moment and nothing specific to either).
There are some problems that are just endemic to working with humans. We can work around them, but we can't solve them.