Our ability to create online has changed a lot over the last couple of decades.

Gatekeepers and algorithms spoiled the fun.

We’re getting the fun back again.

Here’s how, in a timeline:

#1 Flat The beginning.

Creating online meant publishing nice things that people can look at. A pretty picture, or a nice brochure-site.

At best, you might get a congratulatory email from someone who ‘surfed’ over to it from a directory.

#2 Centralised We went from artists to publishers.

Creating online meant publishing nice things that people can comment on and respond to directly.

Bulletin boards meant we could all talk about what was published, together.

#3 Over-centralised Then things got a bit rubbish.

Creating online meant publishing as many things as possible in hope 1-in-10 would receive favour from an algorithm. That algorithm would show it to people within a walled-garden.

If you received enough favour, you could then publish nice things…but somewhere else, so the algorithm wouldn’t take your community away.

#4 Decentralised This is what’s happening now.

Creating online means publishing nice things together, owned by a community rather than an individual or a platform.

A community who want to make those nice things even nicer, without gatekeepers getting in the way.

Business owners and creators shouldn’t fear decentralisation.

It’s not taking power away.

It’s giving power back.