Datapods — A journey into the decentralized web

Max Mayr
Max Mayr
Oct 8, 2018 · 2 min read

Other parts of this series:

As mentioned in my other article I recently stumbled upon datapods or more in detail the project Solid. Solid is an ecosystem from the company Inrupt that was started by Tim Berners-Lee — the creator or the world wide web— with the goal of giving users back the control over their content and data and the usage of said data.

The concept is easy, by storing our pictures, posts, likes and so on in a structured and well described format, on a privately or publicly hosted server we could allow interoperability between different apps on our data. So if a website would for example need our name, profile picture and email address to make a forum post we could just allow the website access to that data. That way the website could just go to our hosted datapod and grab what it needs without the need to manually input any data.

Hosting data just to make registering or something like that more easy? I can do that with Facebook, Google, GitHub and a million sites already. Well yes, but these websites use your data to show ads to you, without any control who has access to said data. But this topic isn’t just about data ownership, it’s about what could we do when we own the data. We can easily switch websites if we don’t like a user interface change or if another website offers more functionality. Just think about it most of us are on Facebook because our friends are there. If we could keep our friends and still get access to their feeds some if not most would for sure choose something different. With datapods we can just do that within a mouse click.

But there is more:

  • No more need to keep data in sync over multiple websites and profiles
  • Sharing of any information is as simple as it could be because the data is already online we just need to allow access to it for the person we want to share it to
  • Freedom of speech, because you own the data nobody can force you to delete something just because they don’t like you opinion

There are much more things that are not directly mentioned yet somewhere but that get enabled through datapods. I will take a look at what’s possible and how I think it will play out in the next article.

The thing is once we take that step there is no turning back. We will have full control and responsibility and turn the web into a flourish garden instead of a city with walled areas.

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