Hello, this is a post about a new project called C4Social.
Mission: We are creating magic through evolution of the Fediverse
Most everyone here wants to see decentralized social media flourish but for that to happen, we need more people to get involved in improving what we’re already using and to start new projects as well. C4Social is applying a novel development model to two existing codebases so that everyone can contribute their strengths to grow the software along with the community.
Here’s how you can get involved…
|Try our live versions of 🦣 Mastodon and
|Install your own from GitHub: C4Social Mastodon
|Introduce yourself in Matrix chat or Discussions or check out our Issues|
More about the project
Currently there are about a half-dozen people interested in this project. We have three maintainers for four repos. There’s a website, two major codebases, and one for tooling. We forked the major codebases of Mastodon and diaspora to try and solve two problems.
Not enough developers in the fedi. I counted less than 100 contributors across the social media fediverse projects in the last three months and that’s for all the projects you know and use. By accepting contributions more freely, the hope is many who have come and gone will return and new folks will find satisfaction in helping build together.
Being too conservative about development. Big tech has billions of dollars and tens of thousands of devs, and all we have is freedom. Experimentation and competition through forking are our strengths and I think we should use them to create more vibrant communities.
What is C4?
C4 is community-centric software development. It focuses discussion almost entirely on problems. Solutions are by and large accepted freely with sanity checking provided by automation. We use free collaborative platforms like GitHub so it easy for anyone to help but ultimately it’s about setting some rules and letting everyone do what they do best, alone or in groups toward a common purpose.
If you’re reading, you’ve probably contributed to or even created a software project. Maybe it worked and solved your problem, but nobody else seemed interested. You advertised and shared but the response remained underwhelming… and again you solved your problem or learned what you wanted to learn, so that was that. But for some projects, something else happens. People arrive to find a common purpose, or have fun goofing off with crazy ideas and it grows from there. C4 was developed to help make those latter kinds of projects which grow and become people’s passions, maybe enabling their livelihoods.
When I was little I was obsessed with tools. They could do so much and I enjoyed watching them work but when I started my first business I learned customers really don’t care about the tools. It was about solving problems. Break-fix some people call it. People would call, “Dave, I think I have a virus!” or “The printer doesn’t work” or the worst… “The internet’s down!” I really think this is my purpose in life. To solve problems that people care about. That’s what all of this is btw. Turtles all the way down as they say.
C4 focuses on problems; collecting them, defining them, valuing them, narrowing them down. Talk up or down the value so it gets worked on or can be forgotten. Each contributor comes with a lifetime of experience and we want to invite all of that. So if your patch is aimed at an important problem, we merge it.
It’s about that simple and we think it can work, but we’re going to learn a lot along the way and hopefully make a dent in those two problems I mentioned before.
Edit: This post has been heavily rewritten but you can find the old version in the history.