📊 What does the Fediverse need?

I love the fediverse and I hope it succeeds, but what does it need to do so?

What, in your eyes, does the Fediverse need to succeed?
  • more personal users (growth)
  • more celebrities & groups (fame)
  • more active developers
  • more money for developers
  • more money for instance hosts
  • stricter moderation
  • more diversity
  • more software & forks
  • other (specify in reply)

0 voters

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I voted among others for:

  • more active developers
  • more money for developers
  • more software & forks
  • other

Some background to this, but first my take on the Other topic:

Imho the Fediverse is weaker than people realize. We feel that “we have arrived” and that fedi will just continue to exist and grow. Indeed we have come a long way, but things related to our evolution are beginning to stall, and unless we take action we cannot take fedi to the next stage.

I wrote the analogy that Fediverse is like Spiral Island, floating on a sea of bad tech, its foundation created by its inhabitants by tying discarded plastic bottles (building blocks) together. Spiral Island was destroyed by a hurricane. Fediverse should be able to withstand such storms.

Especially on the developer front things are not healthy. The developer community is tiny, and individual devs are too focused on their own projects and on ‘techie things’. The diversity of the community needs to increase, people with different skillsets and backgrounds joining, and more interactions between non-technical and technical fedizens is needed.

I call what we face now:

My concerns relate mostly to technical aspects, but ultimately they affect the entire fediverse and its Fediverse Futures.

I would love to read your thoughts and ideas posted to the Positioning and purpose of Fediverse Town community forum topic :slight_smile:

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Since I’m not a developer and don’t know what’s going on in the development of fedi I voted for everything but more active developers and more money for developers. But just because I don’t know if that’s needed.
I think all the points are important. More diversity is always good and stricter moderation is probably one of many things that is needed to get there. More users are important to make the Fedi a real alternative to other Social Media and without prominent users and groups we won’t grow much.
I don’t know if more forks are needed, I’d prefer e.g. one version of Mastodon, but with many ways to customize it as an admin and as a user.

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I think you’re right. It seems like new active people and people no longer active are about the same in a given amount of time, if you know what I mean. I have like 4-10 people I regularly interact with. These 4-10 people change over time, but the number doesn’t increase.

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We also need more media coverage for the fediverse.
Just imagine your favorite tech magazine covering a different fediverse project every other month.

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Hello @paula I found this via SocialHub and thought this is a pretty good thread to make an initial contribution to the Town. I’ve been applying a problem-focused approach to my work in the Fediverse which your poll meshes well with. I voted and for more info, I’m sharing the list of problems I’ve been collecting.

  • Groups - What I mean is instance private groups at least, federated if possible. It’s a big FB feature and one that confounds many with it being absent.
  • Finding existing friends - Just from an onboarding perspective, most people want to keep in touch with those they know, wherever it’s easiest.
  • Inviting friends - Tools in centralized world are invasive, wanting access to all contacts or full access to an account. We don’t like that so it stunts growth, but maybe that’s not a big deal.
  • Discoverability of optimal services - If you’re blazing your own trail, it takes a lot of time investment to know what you actually want to use and what’s dead or immature.
  • Few developers - When you compare the number of people working each project to the staff of their centralized counterpart, it’s abysmal. My feeling is it has a lot to do with governance whereby people are applying very top-down structures to a space that is inherently distributed and decentralized.
  • One that came up today on Mastodon specifically. Captions cannot be added by potential boosters, or the more general case of content cannot be improved downstream without breaking the chain of authorship.

And on the more technical side:

  • How to know ahead of time what kinds of activities a given (S2S) inbox is capable of processing. That is, whether the software running on a remote server has the concept of a friend request, or whether it supports walls, or groups, or photo albums, and so on. source
  • Measuring network topology and messaging reliability

Each of the above should really have its own thread and topic and I plan to describe each one in an issue tracker, but this was a good opportunity to share the list.

Wishing you the best of luck here. :sunglasses: I’ll add it to the daily visit list and help out how I can! If you have any questions, let me know.

-David

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Welcome to town @weex. Feel free to introduce yourself here if you want. → #welcome

Do you think the solution will develop from the groups in Mobilizon?

Privacy wise, being findable has to be an opt-in feature though.

Well an invite friends feature doesn’t have to be so invasive. It’s definitely a good idea.

I’m not sure what you mean here.

Do you think cash flow to the right projects could increase the number of developers?

That’s true. I actually used tumblr back in the days and there you could edit your own post at any time and later boosts would boost the edited post, while old boosts kept showing the original. That way you could add captions, hashtags, or keep a post up-to-date.

Feel free to open up as many topics as you like. :slight_smile: You might need a higher forum trust level to open many topics. If you do, let me know and I’ll bump you up.

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I think it’ll be more effective if done in a more popular project, but every implementation helps.

I’m just referring to someone coming from Twitter for example and not joining the fedi based on friend’s leading them in… This new user is faced with Mastodon, Pleroma, Friendica, Diaspora and has to join several to get a feel for which is going to be best for them. It also depends why they left Twitter in this example. The fedi’s just complicated though sites like fediverse.party certainly help and that particular one is ranked well. Personally, I needed to develop context so no single site or forum was going to be enough.

Maybe, but the money will never match the VC pipeline, so I think money can be useful in marketing/getting attention but devs on FOSS are I think more motivated by having an impact, making a mark, or building something new/challenging that no VC would throw money at.

This is great, another solution besides the one I’d have thought of. Being open to many solutions is a big reason why I’ve fallen in love with C4 and even started a Mastodon fork that follows that process. I’ll explain more in a welcome post when I get a minute.

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True. Maybe there should be a site where you can simulate using any of these without having an account.
Alternatively a video capturing the feel of different software could help.

What’s VC?

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Yes, I think this is a better way. Good storytelling about what the Fediverse is and how you can discover its value and find the stuff you like best. There will never be a single comprehensive onboarding experience. The fediverse, as its apps & services expand, is like an appstore but even more complicated, as all the apps can have all kinds of different interactions with other apps.

Just like on an appstore you will select apps based on the invidual product’s appeal, and that depends on that product’s productization (currently Mastodon is best at this), combined with the general notion what it means to be part of the Fediverse.

Where we can help make it easier for users to discover the fediverse, is to standardize as much as possible the kinds of interaction between apps.

I brought the Groups discussion to a separate topic here, and added Community as a fediverse need on top of that: Fediverse needs: Groups and Communities

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I selected:

  • more personal users
  • more diversity
  • more software

Specifically because of a particular vision I’ve been trying to hammer out/research the usefulness of.

My draw to FOSS has always been about the autonomy and resiliency of using it. I think the fediverse has the potential to serve the needs of local community organizations in radically different and radically empowering ways compared to corporate social media.

But what does that look like? What needs does my local Pride org or my local library have that they need to fill? How can we help with those things? I’m getting volunteering at my Pride org to work on this stuff. I’m working to understand their needs. What tools do we have in the fedi that can fill community org uses? How can we help more and more community orgs adopt them (working together with them, not just shouting tech stuff at them)?

If we can fill community needs with fedi tools, I think we can make the fedi more attractive to everyday users in a way that helps us build healthy local groups. I think that’s a key way to grow the fediverse, but I’m still working on how to go about it.

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This is my firm belief as well, and a direction I am advocating for. Unfortunately many people think of Microblogging++ for fedi apps, but don’t realize that that only covers a tiny sliver of the full potential of the technology. Any application type can be federated and in ways where app silo’s disappear and become task-oriented interfaces. With Linked Data numerous useful extensions can be modeled on top of the social primitives that are defined in current protocols. One such extension, which I call the “Community has no Boundary” paradigm, allows to model Community concepts to a level that is more representative to communities in the real world. It is one of many such extensions I need for the kind of apps I want to dedicate to. An example implementation that uses it, is Outreach (in planning stage).

What is needed to create those is, not surprisingly, Community as well, and Process to ease creation, standards conformity and adoption.

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A big way to help is simply to describe the problems they want to solve. Maybe the fedi can help, maybe it can’t, maybe it can if only this one change was made or these few things added to such and such project. You don’t even have to pick a project, just attempt to accurately describe the problem and attempt to measure the value of solving it.

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