This is a continuation of 📊 What does the Fediverse need? - #6 by weex on the subject of Groups.
In all likelyhood, depending on the kind of app, different variations of how Groups work make sense. But there should not be too many variations or things just become too confusing and on a technical level interoperability becomes increasingly harder.
Especially in the technical implementation there is value on settling on a common denominator of how Groups are modeled, and then add variations on top of that. Common Group models - in order to be broadly adopted - should be as simple as possible, yet allow enough flexibility to be useful in different apps.
The protocols of the Fediverse, called ActivityStreams and ActivityPub, allow extensions to be defined. And we can standardize these extensions, so they can be used as common building blocks for applications that allow interaction between different apps.
On SocialHub I started a discussion on a related concept that would be very useful for the Fediverse: Community has no Boundary. It defines Community as a common extension. Communities are just Groups with some extra sauce on top.
Right now we have some implicit forms of community, like seeing the Fediverse-as-a-Communty as well as individual instances on the fediverse. And also we have some apps that explicitly define communities, like Lemmy (implemented in a ‘lemmy-specific’ way).
Community is crucial. It is a key concept in society. A real-world concept that in translation to the Fediverse (and other social networks, for that matter) is still really immature.
On fedi we select instances because we want to belong to a group of people who share our interests and where we find friends, feel safe. But we also probably don’t want to (or should?) be just in one single community, as in an echo chamber. We participate more broadly, with other people, and are in mutliple communities at the same time. We have different relationships to each community. Also communities can be related to other communities, and they can have more complex organization structures (like sub-groups).
I personally think that defining Community well would be a huge enrichment of the Fediverse.