The platform era is ending. Rather than build new Twitters and Facebooks, we can create a stuff-posting system that works better for everybody.

In a POSSE world, everybody owns a domain name, and everybody has a blog. (I’m defining “blog” pretty loosely here — just as a place on the internet where you post your stuff and others consume it.)

But there are some big challenges to the idea...The most immediate question...is simply how to build a POSSE system that works. POSSE’s problems start at the very beginning: it requires owning your own website, which means buying a domain and worrying about DNS records and figuring out web hosts, and by now, you’ve already lost the vast majority of people who would rather just type a username and password into some free Meta platform...Even those willing and able to do the technical work can struggle to make POSSE work.

When I ask Doctorow why he believed in POSSE, he describes the tension every poster feels on the modern internet. “I wanted to find a way to stand up a new platform in this moment,” he says, “where, with few exceptions, everyone gets their news and does their reading through the silos that then hold you to ransom. And I wanted to use those silos to bring in readers and to attract and engage with an audience, but I didn’t want to become beholden to them.” The best of both worlds is currently a lot of work. But the poster’s paradise might not be so far away.

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