A Personal Message to You from Panquake's Founder
"Panquake is worth dedicating my life to" Dawson states in a heartfelt video monologue
With the Panquake crowdfunding campaign now complete, what is around the corner for social media users worldwide?
The future of social media is precarious at best and users are genuinely concerned about the future of freedom of communication.
Today, a new update video was released by next generation social media technology project Panquake. It features a rare and deep monologue by Founder Suzie Dawson speaking frankly and from the heart about the genesis, journey and future of her highly anticipated product; how it is a game-changer for the industry - and more broadly, for human kind.
Unscripted and filmed in a single take, it gives rare insight into the passion and the fortitude baked into the foundations of Panquake’s technology and its team.
You can watch the video below - and underneath that, a full transcript is provided for your benefit.
Video Transcript: A Personal Message From Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
Hi everyone, my name is Suzie Dawson, Founder of Panquake.com. Every month for as long as I can remember now it seems, I’ve brought together cool friends, cool team members, public supporters of this project. Given updates on where we’re at with the development progress, and tried to give you a wide variety of voices talking about the issues at hand for internet users and social media users in particular, in the context of what we’re doing here at Panquake.
But what I’ve never actually done yet is just talk to you directly myself, and give you my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences and my insights into what it is that we have all achieved together over the last year and a half.
“I’ve talked a little bit about how a future where whistleblowers and people who take risks to share true information, not being able to get those messages heard or to find an audience for them, how much that scares me.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
I’ve talked a little bit about what made me first think of the idea of Panquake. I’ve told you that I wanted to create an application secure enough for Edward Snowden to feel comfortable using it. I’ve told you that I was inspired by Julian Assange’s call for a cryptographic alternative to Twitter. I’ve told you about the censoring of myself and the diminishing reach being dished up to me by Twitter, from a time when I had quite a large and powerful social media presence to key changes that were made at Twitter which began to erode that reach and erode my ability to circulate messages. I’ve talked a little bit about how a future where whistleblowers and people who take risks to share true information, not being able to get those messages heard or to find an audience for them, how much that scares me. And all of those things are really true.
“I see business and technology as the last space where we still have a shot at exerting some control over our collective future.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
But the real reason that I started Panquake is because I learned from my own personal experience that the political pathway is closed to people who truly want to achieve radical change for our dying societies. And I wanted a platform that could achieve change for society in a technological space. Because I don’t see any status quo systems that give room for us to achieve progress as a society, as communities, or as the human race as a whole. So I see business and technology as the last space where we still have a shot at exerting some control over our collective future. Rather than being subjected to a future that has been designed by people who do not have our best interests at hand.
“I see Panquake as one effort - not the only effort - to rebalance the power dynamic between those who control societies and those who participate in them.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
We are expendable, to the people who I am talking about. They have cruelly and maliciously stolen our future from us. I see Panquake as one effort - not the only effort - to rebalance the power dynamic between those who control societies and those who participate in them. Thousands of people answered the call that I made in January of 2021, when for the first time I brought some friends together and we talked to the world about the possibility of Panquake.
We shared our vision for a platform that could be engineered from the ground up. A custom build. Not on someone else’s blockchain, not customizing someone else’s software, but building, from scratch, a solution that would guarantee universal human rights. We all, no matter where you’re from, no matter whether you’re from Ukraine or from Russia, we all have the right to communicate. We all have the right to express ourselves. We all have the right to associate together. And nobody has the right to determine for us when, where and how we can speak to each other or to the world.
We have, sitting here a year and a half later, achieved maybe two-thirds of the pathway towards realizing that vision. We have the commercial and business structure that we need to deliver a professional web service. We have the people and the skills that we need and as of about a month ago, we have the funding that we need. That was never a given. It was never guaranteed to us. When we first discussed the very idea of Panquake, we had no idea whether it would get funded. We had no idea whether people would see how critically important it is for us to have an application like this. We didn’t know if people would place their trust in us. We didn’t know if we would be able to hire all the right people that we needed and we didn’t know if we would have the resources to be able to deliver. But we took the steps to try and make it happen. And amazingly, it has.
“No matter whether you’re from Ukraine or from Russia, we all have the right to communicate. We all have the right to express ourselves. We all have the right to associate together. And nobody has the right to determine for us when, where and how we can speak to each other or to the world.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
We now have all of the pieces we need. It is only just a matter of time until delivery. This year we completed the application build. Panquake is not just an idea in my head anymore. It’s not a sketched out hastily mocked up six-week design documentation process that I underwent in the beginning of 2021 to be able to show developers, this is what the application should look and function like. It’s not even the super slick mockups that we had a professional UI/UX designer create from my original design documentation. It’s now actual software. An actual web application that you can click on and scroll through, and perform functions in and customize your profile in.
Against all odds - and it really is all odds - with corporations cutting off payment channels, with Twitter shutting down our social media accounts, with trolls smearing us all day everyday to anyone who would listen, we rose above it all and we kept building.
“We now have all of the pieces we need. It is only just a matter of time until delivery.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
A very smart person who I have a great deal of respect for and who I shall not name said “They can’t stop you building. Just keep building.” So every time we got knocked back, every time we got mistreated, every time we got undermined or sabotaged, we kept building. And that is what brought us to this point.
Now we have the most important part of the build ahead of us. We are building a custom network. We’re not hosting on some established service or network, which is what 99.9% of the internet does. We are building custom infrastructure for our custom application. Our network is governed by a custom network protocol. That’s a set of rules for the operating of a network and the way the computers talk to each other on that network. Like every other aspect of Panquake, we are building that from the ground up. Unsurprisingly, that takes some time. It doesn’t take very much time to take someone else’s solution and maybe tweak it a little bit. But when you do that, you compromise security, you compromise privacy, and ultimately you compromise your business model and the service that you deliver to users. So we have, like every other aspect of the Panquake build, started from scratch so that we can guarantee a completely new world for our users. Where their data isn’t captured, where they aren’t spied on, where the platform they use does not have secret or hidden motivations or agendas. Where the platform exists only to facilitate communication between users. Only showing them what they opt in and voluntarily want to see.
“A very smart person who I have a great deal of respect for and who I shall not name said “They can’t stop you building. Just keep building.” So every time we got knocked back, every time we got mistreated, every time we got undermined or sabotaged, we kept building.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
That’s why I call it a whole new world. It’s almost impossible to conceive of what social media actually can be like, when people can actually hear you when you speak. When your timeline isn’t filled with junk. When people aren’t selecting for you, what’s put in front of your eyeballs and what’s consuming your time and your attention. There is no attention economy on Panquake. There’s no competing for your attention or your eyeballs. There’s no usurping of your time.
On Panquake the application exists only to serve the user and the interests of the user as defined by that individual user and as configured by that user. That is worth dedicating my life to. And it’s worth dedicating the time and resources of our team to.
As we progress this network build, I find myself for the first time in a year and a half not having to spend time on marketing, not having to spend time on messaging, not having to fundraise. Finally we have what we need to completely dedicate ourselves to the completion of the network development.
“On Panquake the application exists only to serve the user and the interests of the user as defined by that individual user and as configured by that user. That is worth dedicating my life to.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
So you’re not going to hear very much from me for the next few months as we go through Christmas and New Year’s and into 2023. I’m going to get to do what I love to do best, which is to work with our devs, to work with our team, to knuckle down and to deliver this service. In my previous commercial work, this is what I did, I was a Software Delivery Manager. I worked with our devs, I delivered to our clients. In this case, our clients are you - all of you who have supported us and who will benefit - the ultimate beneficiaries of this application software.
So if you don’t hear from me for a bit, don’t be surprised. I am hard at work. There is not a week that goes by that I am not progressing the Panquake build in every possible, conceivable way.
“There is no attention economy on Panquake. There’s no competing for your attention or your eyeballs. There’s no usurping of your time.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
This month we’ve been able to begin hiring on our service personnel. We have full-time dedicated customer service and support, technical services and support personnel coming on board. Soon, once we’re ready, we’ll be putting together our moderation team. Then we’ll be delivering the BETA into your hands.
Just as we’ve done with the application and the network, we are building our own service support software, administrative software. Industrial grade software, we are building from the ground up. I, with others in our team, have personally designed every single screen of that application software, as well as how it functions in the back end. To guarantee that the same security and privacy enjoyed by our users will also be enjoyed by our staff and by those administering the Panquake application.
At no point in this build have I ever thought about what advertisers will want. Because we don’t want advertisers. We want human beings. And we want human beings to have the same reach and the same rights as corporations. I don’t see why Big Business should have greater speech than your average user. So on Panquake we have completely engineered a level playing field.
Unsurprisingly, that’s threatening to some people. Unsurprisingly, some people have a vested interest in maintaining an imbalance in the ability of humans to communicate. Some people have a very totalitarian and authoritarian mindset and want to go one step further and control who is able to speak and to whom they are able to speak.
"At no point in this build have I ever thought about what advertisers will want. Because we don’t want advertisers. We want human beings. And we want human beings to have the same reach and the same rights as corporations.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
Unlike politics right now, technology has the ability to enforce human rights. Panquake is the first meaningful, serious and viable attempt to enforce universal human rights architecturally, from within a public web application. I hope that in the future many other projects will spawn because of Panquake, in the same vein. Equally committed to enforcing human rights technologically and architecturally. While Big Money and Big Business controls politics, we can’t trust politicians to enforce human rights. They instead violate human rights every single day. As do corporations.
Other projects will find that they are able to interoperate with Panquake. We have made sure from the ground up that we will be interoperable with the entire Fediverse. That means we are not competition to other independent projects. We are not competition to Mastodon, we are not competition to any of the Hive socials, or anybody else who is using basic FOSS standards. You will be able to communicate and interoperate with the Panquake application.
“We don’t carry corporate weight, so we don’t have corporate drag on our project. We are nimble, we are fast, we adapt quickly.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
We have myriad technical innovations, some of which were beyond even my imagining at the beginning of this project, but which we have successfully implemented in the course of this project, which are game-changing solutions. Completely unique, game-changing solutions.
So, I ask that you all maintain your patience with us. Anybody you ask who has a serious software background will tell you that a custom blockchain build on a custom network with a custom network protocol, with a custom web application on top of that, and custom service panel and service delivery software packages and deployment in the background, is a massive feat. I can also tell you that we have expended a very small amount of time comparatively to get to the point that we are at.
“Panquake is not comparable to anything that exists right now. It’s not comparable to Twitter, to Facebook, to any of the Big Tech solutions.“ - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
As Sean and others on my team have talked about previously, our devs have moved at a lightning pace. And Julian Assange once talked about this, he talked about the agility of small teams and independent projects. We don’t carry corporate weight, so we don’t have corporate drag on our project. We are nimble, we are fast, we adapt quickly. We design solutions and implement them fast. And very soon we will deliver game-changing software.
We promised - what did we say? Next generation technology. From the outset that was our vision. To bring next generation technology. Panquake is not comparable to anything that exists right now. It’s not comparable to Twitter, to Facebook, to any of the Big Tech solutions. To try and compare the two is almost laughable. We are bringing next generation technology and we’re bringing it with human rights embedded.
I love my team. I couldn’t have done it without any of them. This is the second time I’ve said it but I’m going to reiterate it. I am not an island. I have great ideas and I work hard but I bring good people in and around me. And together, we do incredible things. So I want to share any credit that this project ever brings with every single person who helped to make it happen. And I am really looking forward to the future.
“We are bringing next generation technology and we’re bringing it with human rights embedded.“ - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
I don’t aspire to every person in the world using Panquake. I don’t envision a future where we put Facebook out of business, or we put Twitter out of business. I don’t want to integrate your banking app and your grocery shopping with Panquake. What I want to do is provide one piece of the internet where a group of people who have the insight to recognize what this can do for them, gets to emancipate themselves from the chains that have been binding them, through Panquake.
I’m not a monopolist, I don’t care if I’m ever a billionaire. I care that I do what I can to try to help to emancipate us from the doom that we’ve all been facing. I can’t promise success but I can tell you that it’s been pretty successful to date. We are deeply determined. We have a clear pathway forward. And we will do absolutely everything in our power to deliver this game-changing solution to the world.
This is a future for all of us. For students, for your kids, for your parents. For everybody who you really care about. This is somewhere that you can bring them, that finally, is safe. We can’t cure all of the world’s ills and we can’t cure all of the technological ills either. We can’t stop agencies spying on you through your device. But we can give you one place where you can communicate, that you don’t have to distrust or fear the provider of the platform. And where you, as a baseline, know that when you send a message, that it is received. And when there is an interaction count, you can prove, yourself, through the blockchain, that that really is the interaction count. And when you scroll down the page, you see only the content that you have elected to spend your time on consuming.
Those are our promises to you. Your support is how we’re able to deliver them. And now I’m going to get back to work.
“I’m not a monopolist, I don’t care if I’m ever a billionaire. I care that I do what I can to try to help to emancipate us from the doom that we’ve all been facing. I can’t promise success but I can tell you that it’s been pretty successful to date. We are deeply determined. We have a clear pathway forward. And we will do absolutely everything in our power to deliver this game-changing solution to the world.” - Panquake Founder Suzie Dawson
Thank you all. Over the course of the next few months we will release some video statements from endorsers giving feedback about the significance of this moment, of Panquake having received the delivery funding it needs and now being able to complete the network build and roll this out.
But for now I wanted to give you some words from the bottom of my heart: Thank you to everyone. And no matter what is said about us, know that we are here, pushing forward and making progress, developing and fighting, every single day. And we’re doing it for the right reasons.
If these messages resonated with you, if you feel heartened to know that there are people working hard to tackle some of the most difficult problems we face in this day and age… then please share this post :)
If you haven’t already, you can apply to join the Panquake BETA at this link
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