“Should anyone who wishes to have a web-facing voice be forced to learn how to host and write their own server?”
“How can the web give and easily-propagated voice to the non-programmer?”
Diaspora gives a nice idea of how a system could work in a way you are familiar with. RSS along with trackers and pingbacks shows you how a blog hosted independently can contain information from other authors. Simply imagine this being extended.
Wordpress famously takes 5 minutes to install, and many web-hosts offer it pre-installed for no extra charge. Web hosting is cheap. I don't think it would take too much for any practical hurdles to be overcome. The next step would be uptake, which is always the most significant barrier any "social" initiative has to overcome.
The point is simply that content producers should own their own content. Whether it is images, video, blog posts, or simply random musing, people are giving away all of that information to "social" sites, who then sell it to advertisers. It is creepy, and an alternative that removed the need for this market would be preferable.