Right now most writers, people who create the kind of stuff that Twitter and Facebook readers want to read, at most feel uneasy about the companies who own the networks they are writing on. Very few people so far feel compelled to find another way to reach people who care about what they think, learn, invent, create or discover.
But if it should happen that your freedom is abridged by these corporations, and they aren't the government so they don't have to respect your rights (you are free to speak elsewhere), you will be very glad I and the people I am working with are doing what we're doing.
That's the guiding principle. Using standards we already have, like HTTP, HTML, RSS, DNS, OPML, JSON -- you can make a news net that is as open and distributed as the Internet itself. There's no company in the middle, anymore than there's a company in the middle of the Internet. And if it goes down, it's a lot bigger problem for the world than one service going down. In a sense it means that civilization crashed. Can't do anything to work around that, I'm afraid. But short of cataclysm, the Internet makes for a very robust way to communicate, by design.
If you're a techie and want to know more, here's a list of stories I wrote last fall that spell out how all the pieces work.