Fediverse needs: Finding existing contacts

:musical_note: …back with a brand new edition… :musical_note:

One of the issues with joining any socially-aware network is not knowing anyone. Here I’d like to focus on a sub-problem which is that of locating accounts of people you already know from real life, forums or other social networks. By this I don’t mean enumerating every account all your peeps have. Simply being able to find existing friends and family so that the Fediverse becomes an immediately viable alternative to traditional platforms. A few accounts for many would make this a solved issue because with that reward, a little more investment will bring more connections over time.

So first, is this the right problem? Maybe it’s the case that being able to find interesting people is enough. Maybe it’s just not feeling lonely while staring into the abyss of a public timeline that’s a problem. Second, is this worth solving? I can’t imagine how it isn’t. If you imagine someone’s social sphere as a graph, doesn’t it provide more value if more of that graph can be accessed/enjoyed through the Fediverse?

Edit: if you want to talk solutions, I would recommend reading this ActivityPub thread

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It’s an interesting thought.

Well, the problem with such a thing is in my Opinion Privacy. We are still in a decentralized environment with different people on different servers and so on. In my opinion, it is a huge risk to quite literally shout out into the internet the contacts of your phone (or similar ways of finding them)

PS: It’s 4 am I am tired but just saw this thread. :sweat_smile:

Yeah, I don’t think anyone wants that. A good solution would maintain privacy but here I just wanted to refine and prove out the problem.

As an example of decentralized system Email is often mentioned. But there’s no real discovery services for email addresses. They are handed to you personally, or they are published explicitly (i.e. public). In the real world, in business, people exchange visitor cards in 1-to-1 interaction and you add them to your personal ‘rolodex’. Sometimes in a conference or expo event people drop their cards in a bowl to get more info about something… a bit of bulk automation of card exchange.

Privacy is not an issue if people want to be found. But I wonder what it does to the “Social” aspects. Maybe real interaction before following is best.

Note that there’s Trunk for the Fediverse that allows your account to be subscribed to as “I am interested in TopicXYZ”. This site is not integrated with fedi itself, so I had to do a search in masto UI to find the link. It could be tighter integrated… here’s the code.

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