Public goods are non-rivalrous resources that no-one can be excluded from using. They are also known as social goods and collective goods. Oft-cited examples include street lighting, broadcast TV, knowledge, and the World Wide Web.
Non-proprietary social networking that is open to anyone is a public good. The resources needed to establish decentralized social (dsocial) networking may be a public good when the corresponding resources have open source / open design licenses.
Hart et al (2021) are optimistic for Web3 public goods:
Greater scale should mean greater good as valued by an increasingly wider set of people: the creation of positive externalities.
- Buterin, V. et al. (2020). A Flexible Design for Funding Public Goods.
- Vitalik Buterin on effective altruism, better ways to fund public goods, the blockchain’s problems so far, and how it could yet change the world. (2019). 80,000 Hours podcast.
- Retroactive Public Goods Funding. Optimism PBC. – Hart, S., Shorin, T., Lotti, L. (2021). Positive Sum Worlds: Remaking Public Goods.