(2022-03-15) Bluesky How It Started

How it Started. TLDR: Bluesky was announced in 2019 but the legal entity itself was only recently set up. In the meantime, the bluesky community took shape and has taken on a life of its own. There now exists two separate organizations, the bluesky community and Bluesky PBLLC.

Below, Jay Graber wrote a post called “Three Phases” on the origins of bluesky, and Golda wrote “Bluesky-community” to describe what’s been going on in the community.

Three phases by Jay Graber

Phase 1: The idea

Twitter brought about a dozen of us together in a Matrix chatroom, and that was the beginning of the initial discussions of what bluesky should be.

In an initial Q&A in that room, Jack Dorsey wrote “The biggest and long term goal is to build a durable and open protocol for public conversation. That it not be owned by any one organization but contributed by as many as possible.

Twitter’s creation of that Matrix room was partly an experiment in self-organization, to see if the direction and leadership of bluesky would emerge from that community. Many people were generous with their time in contributing insight to the discussions, including Jeremie Miller (inventor of XMPP who is now on the Bluesky board), Matthew Hodgson (technical co-founder of Matrix), Ian Preston (co-founder of Peergos), and rabble (early Twitter engineer and co-founder of Planetary).

We created a bigger version of the bluesky chatroom that grew to around 60 people, and I started writing an overview of all the projects in the space

Phase 2: The community

Sometime in 2020, Twitter put out a request for proposals to the community group.

In 2021, Twitter interviewed people for the role of bluesky lead, and ended up nominating me. I say nominating rather than hiring, because rather than starting to work for Twitter, I started spinning up an independent organization that would receive funding to make bluesky a reality.

We discussed how to best channel the enthusiasm of newcomers in a productive direction, and decided to direct energy into core topics and existing projects. This ended up creating a lively forum for debate and discussion, becoming a unifier for once disparate conversations.

Phase 3: The company

In the last few weeks of 2021, we got the Bluesky PB-LLC established and funded. We decided to keep the community as a separate organization, funded through grants from the Bluesky company, so it can function as an inclusive forum while the company pursues more focused research and development

Bluesky-community by Golda Velez

I had a related effort I was working on, WhatsCookin, which relates to building communities and also decentralizing control

The goal of the bluesky community, as distinct from the Bluesky organization, is to foster collaboration in the decentralized web ecosystem

The community space, which is this bridged discord/matrix forum, has groups from the fediverse, matrix, ssb, gun, ceramic, solid, peergos, holochain, metamask and more.

We recommend newcomers start by reading the Ecosystem Review Jay wrote as a guide to the space, then actually meet the people working on them and dive in.

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