What is the Vision of the Fediverse?

Out of sheer curiosity and in hopes of some nice responses I sent a toot, asking:

"What is the Vision of the Fediverse?"

What do you mean with the vision?

For now I am just asking this question. Deliberately vague. Any genuine attempt is as valid as the other, though, so I am curious what people say.

So today I posted a follow-up that puts my toot in more context. There was a particular reason why I asked the question and asked it in that specific way. See:

Lots of responses and a fair amount of consensus but I agree that there’s not going to be one vision. That’s why free software’s so good for this, each admin can check the boxes they like and implement their own vision or even let it emerge from community concerns.

I wholly agree there will be no one vision. But what I am aiming is to have people think of an outlook, a perspective, and an insight of what they can achieve with the technology. And this is something that too few people think about.

Right now ActivityPub / ActivityStreams are perceived to be just some low-level open standards, plumbing technology, that you add to your app to add microblogging-like features and now you are part of the Fediverse. We have a mindset where this is all we’ll ever get, if we don’t manage to reposition fedi in our thinking.

The way we think about Fediverse right now is killing the imagination of what we can do with it, what we can achieve, and the great opportunity that it offers. And while the (technological) evolution of the Fediverse grinds on at an excruciating slow pace, this is not the case for many competing technologies (ones that are much less to our liking, and fitting to how we want our online world to be).

Right now we are on a firm path to squandering our unique opportunity, of that I have become convinced. @weex you counted yourself that there’s about ~125 active developers creating the software that upholds the whole fedi. That is nothing in terms of adoption after so many years. What one medium-sized IT company can bring to the table easily.

This is all fine and well, and highly encouraged. But if every implementation does it their own way and without collaborating, feeding back their insights, then fedi will be fragmenting, stalling and eventually languish. Or maybe I should say the potential of the fedi shall disappear, because the currently successful microblogging apps might well continue to be very popular. Individual app adoption lifecycles have less of a problem to bring a project to maturity.

I’m hoping we can collectively form a ‘Peopleverse’ where the re-thinking of what social truly means goes next-level…

Fediverse (technical) → Peopleverse (social)

  • Social Networking Reimagined (technical): Strategic direction. Technology vision.
  • United in Diversity (social): Desired outcome.

Update: I will copy this follow-up to Question: Does having a technology vision help adoption? - Foundations - Discuss Social Coding where I also outlined some of the questions related to technology we ought to be asking ourselves (like “where will fedi be in 5 years?”).