The tension is simple: If a platform is carefully vetted and well-curated, it meets expectations and creates trust. If it’s too locked down and calcifies, it slows progress and fades away.
Seth Godin talking about how open platforms are always in risk of becoming spammy and losing the trust of the users. I entirely agree — it’s a path that most platforms, open and closed, follow.
They enjoy the carefree attention from the excited early adopters who associate with the core values of the platform creators. But as the platform grows, it attracts users which would neither share the excitement nor the patience of the early adopters. They get noisy — they want to use the platform like their old one they are comfortable with. They need features that they are used to, not what the platform provides.
So, eventually, the tension that Seth refers to above gains prominence.