What are NIPs and why should you care about them?
Aside from the first NIP, NIP-01, which describes the basic protocol, all NIPs are optional.
What is a NIP?
A NIP exists to promote interoperability. It is not a good idea for each developer to come up with their own solutions to common problems and implement it in their own app only. It is better for everybody to implement solutions that are compatible with each other. NIPs exist to coordinate this process.
In the same way, a new idea might look great on some developer's app, but it will definitely look much better if a lot of other apps implement the same standard and they can interoperate nicely.
Why should I care?
Nostr is decentralized and not owned by a centralized service (like Twitter). This means that the direction of the protocol is up to all of us! We can suggest and advocate for changes and offer feedback on ideas suggested by others. Being an active part of the community gives you a say in the direction of the network. NIPs published in the main repository are already approved. Adding new ideas is done via Pull Request on that repo.
Where can I find NIPs?
You can see all current NIPs in the Nostr NIPs repository.