Our Super-Secret Plan to Bring the Internet Back (Part 1)

Part 1 of the blog series on the Why's and How's of Mikoto

Our Super-Secret Plan to Bring the Internet Back (Part 1)

Currently, not many people know of Mikoto other than as "An open-source alternative to Discord", even though we've had many big features that differentiates us. I think much of that was my fault, because despite it being open source, I didn't talk much in public about the new features that I've released, or what I'm working towards.

This tweet inspired me to write this blog post:

What if we gave everyone their own internet?

What if we gave everyone their own internet?

We can easily tell that the internet (at least the social web) is broken. It's difficult to find any good content, 99% of the things you see are spam (to the point where people think "Dead Internet Theory" is real!), and everything is focused around quick dunks over productive discussions.

Still, I'm not a doomer. I think I have a good enough plan to fix at least some of the problems with it.

We need mixed-use skyscrapers, not public squares

Elon Musk has described that he is planning on making X (formerly known as Twitter) into a public square of the internet.

The thing is, no one wants to live in a public square: Imagine if you were living in a public square. It's way too noisy. There's some guy on the end of the street yelling about conspiracy theories. There are two drunk guys fighting it out under one of the trees. No one wants to be homeless. Maybe the public square isn't right for you. What you need isn't a public square, but a home.

No one wants an internet where they see every political discourse, nor every low-effort meme repost, or every "NUDES IN MY BIO". We think we do, but not because we want to: because that's what we're addicted to. That's what all the websites today do. This is inevitable, because they're all paid by how long they can keep the users on the app, not by how much value they're providing to the user. THEY DON'T WANT TO PROVIDE VALUE. THEY WANT TO EXTRACT YOURS. The incentives are misaligned from the start.

Some of the cracked people in a twitter DM that I'm it

In my personal experience over 10 or so years on the internet, the best experiences on any website, whether that be Skype, Reddit, Twitter, Discord, or various forums, wasn't interacting with the majority of the users. The best parts happened when some level of credibility was built, and you started getting invited into private groups, usually filled with anime pfp anons. It's arguably one of the parts with the highest alpha on the internet, yet there are almost no startups catering to this.

If other websites are all focused on the gold rush of building the "public square", Mikoto is skyscrapers full of residential and commercial units, to borrow their analogy. We want to build mostly-private part of the internet that you can call to be your home, while still maintaining the capability to cross-reference parts of the internet and only publish the parts that are actually valuable.

Our (not-so) secret plan

Step 1: Build a community app that's really fucking good

Mikoto achieves this by ruthlessly optimizing for signal-to-noise ratio. Every UI component means something; There are remappable hotkeys for every action; the layout is highly malleable. Many people have made comparisons of Mikoto with text editors/IDEs in terms of UI: This was exactly what I was going for - instead of optimizing for the lowest common denominator, we optimize for the superuser.

To do this: I've taken inspirations from text editors/IDEs like VS Code and JetBrains software, Which were always designed with superusers in mind first.

Top: VS Code, with the Mikoto codebase

Bottom: the main Mikoto space

See the similar UI idioms, but translated to a communication software from a developer software? The idioms of tabs, a tree-view of subjects, and split-screen window managements are all there. and it's immediately intuitive.

End of the blog (for now)

That was shorter than I expected, and I will have more parts to this blog coming out soon. Mikoto builds for the internet of the future; we're not here to restore it to its original form, or preserve the current flawed models of today.

Mikoto solves a very narrow section of the problem, and it's not enough to save all of the internet. We might even discover new problem as it grows. We might even be completely wrong regarding this hypothesis. I refer to building a social platform as "One of the hardest problems in the world" - because it is.

Still, I'm giving myself a pat in the back because this is a problem that even Elon Musk failed to solve, but I've managed to make some dent in the problem, and I'm proud of me and my community for getting at least that far.

Mikoto is already available as public alpha at https://alpha.mikoto.io: we will be entering public beta soon.