The right to create, disseminate and distribute information should not be in the hands of centralized governing. It is the basic right of cyber lives.
Gradually over the past two decades, contents and its distribution channels have been controlled by several data superpowers, who then eat all the profits, privacy, and freedom. This centralization also resulted in a terrible environment of user experience innovations: No matter how well your design and engineer your application, there is no way to compete with the data monopolies.
The world has been eager for a new way of constructing social and content networks. RSS used to be the pioneer of its time, now it's time for us to pick up the baton and carry on.
Derived from the best out of RSS, RSS3 is the feed of Web3.
The Ideologies We Carry
It goes without saying that the whole RSS3 project, including the standard and protocol itself and all other supporting layers like hosting and indexing, should be open source. Everyone should have the right to inspect and understand what the code is and how it works. Also, being open-source gives all developers a direct way to contribute to all parts of the project.
We will encourage all applications that utilize the protocol to be open-source as well. Otherwise, users won't be trusting them with their valuable private keys. Chances are that malicious and non-open-source applications will be eliminated by natural selections on the market while data monopoly no longer exists.
Right now, people are forced to trust centralized parties for what an internet service actually does. There are of course big brands to trust, like Facebook, Google, or Amazon. People used to have the idea that "big brands won't cheat", but recent incidents have all reminded us that giving anyone the chance to do evil is equally dangerous. We need transparency.
The original RSS was decentralized by design, however, not by execution. Very few people actually have the time, effort, and knowledge to host their own feeds, and sub-centers carried too much power similar to centralized architectures - SoundCloud and Spotify host the majority of long-tail podcasts and, though it still uses RSS for publishing, controls all the RSS feeds and the audio files.
We will need a decentralized control that is similar to what Bitcoin or Ethereum did to cryptocurrencies: nodes can join and leave the network as they wish and are incentivized for the contribution. And though nodes will have certain rights to help users update their feeds, users should have their data ownership secured with their private keys.
That being said, if we just build a blockchain for something not financially related, say content distribution, a healthy economic circulation would not even be constructed in theory, not to mention in practice. Therefore, we will have to start from scratch, and build out a decentralized system specifically for powering information-oriented architectures - it might not be as secure, but still much more secure than a centralized structure while keeping the decentralization, extensibility, and flexibility of a blockchain.
The landscape of Web3 will be significantly different from that of Web2. Take information flow as an example: the process of creating, storing, distributing, and rendering as a specific piece of information would have been done by one product, or at least a series of products from one company, which leads to a monopoly. In Web3, preferably, all these different layers of the process will be happening on different protocols that are interoperable and interchangeable. This modularity is expected to be working with not only decentralized protocols but also those centralized platforms that are open to having users take back their data.
This will eventually allow users to create a piece of information on any client they choose to, store it on any decentralized network they prefer, have it distributed with a transparent distribution protocol, and eventually, that piece of information will be rendered by any client for another user to consume.
Developers, on the other hand, will be facing a much more thriving ecosystem with various open protocols and a gigantic dataset to be working on.
The Environment We Provide
As elaborated above, we aim to build RSS3 as a protocol with a high level of modularity - that basically means all information or content should and will be supported. This includes those that are already on a public or decentralized network such as Ethereum, Solana, and Arweave; those that are structured in a federated way such as Mastodon and Misskey; and those that are centralized but still open to giving users' back their data such as Twitter. As long as the data is verifiable of ownership and that it is indexable, the RSS3 network will include it as part of the content environment. Additionally, the feed files are also open for users and developers to make some configurations upon, which provides great flexibility.
We also provide default distribution channels for developers to better build DApps, and for now, that includes social graphs and search. These have been the most successful and yet practical ways for information distribution. Currently, we design social graphs to be a result of configurable links among files, which can be used in various different ways. Search will be achieved by global indexers, which will allow developers to help users quickly find what they are looking for. Furthermore, we do work on researching transparent and decentralized algorithms that can help improve the efficiency of the network, while keeping absolute privacy and data ownership - of course, users and developers always have full control over what part of the environment they would like to utilize.
Smart Contract Environment
An Ethreum side chain, CrossBell, will be provided as a default smart contract environment for developers to build all that is ownership, governance, or finance-related. CrossBell will be free of gas fee for all RSS3 related projects - it starts with the ownership of all RSS3 feeds: every RSS3 feed has a controller which is a smart contract on CrossBell, which allows all feeds to have the option of forming on-chain decentralized ownership. Of course, all feeds are also entitled to have their own reputations and tokens, but these are just the start of the smart contract environment.
The Future We Aim
All meta-beings will truly have full control regarding the data they produce. Anyone can freely express their thoughts and ideas without being censored by any centralized agency. You can go to any application with your own content and relationships. No platform can ever force you to labor for it anymore. You, no longer the platform, will be empowered to create, own and monetize.
Medias right now are closely bonded with platforms. Each social media platform has its own distribution channel and primary form of content. The adoption of RSS3 will give media a chance to have the largest unified group of consumers, an efficient monetization channel without platform commission, and the freedom to generate content of various forms.
Innovations in user experience have slowed down so dramatically as data superpowers continue to grow. We want to rebuild the prosperous ecology of applications for different user experiences to emerge. When users control their data, they can easily choose to move to applications with better design and engineering efforts. Unlike competing for the scale and speed of data monopolizing, now applications will be actually competing for user experience.
It is never easy to build something great. Especially when you are confronting the well-established giants. However, as developers, we have a firm belief regarding what is right and what should be done. We must dedicate all that we have to overthrowing the old world in order to build a new one.
If you want to join us, know more about RSS3, or just want to have a talk, we are always happy to connect :D
All the best ❤️
— Joshua & The RSS3 Team