We need to figure out (or someone needs to introduce me to..) a good alternative to Facebook Events ASAP.

I briefly reactivated my FB account (because reasons) and stumbled across a public lecture about Thomas Sankara, and an event put on by the Chilean embassy about Project Cybersyn. And it's an absolute crime that Facebook is the only way to discover these.

It not only let's you share/invite for events but also share calenders via calDav.
It also federates with ActivityPub/Ostatus/diaspora...

@paulfree14 Cool, thanks - I will check that out. Do you have a link to an example event I could look at? I guess it also needs a sizeable network of users publishing events - and that's where we come in, right :)

@neil if there's a new event I see it right away in my notifications:

@paulfree14 OK, now I have the idea of something like the Twitter mirror bots on, but for mirroring events from Facebook. To kind of seed the network. Although I don't know how you would filter out only the interesting ones, though (like with Twitter you can just mirror a particular account.) Perhaps we should just manually make an effort to share to the fediverse interesting events that we discover elsewhere.

Sharing to fediverse sounds good. Also feeds! Protocols and pipelines not just more new overwhelming platforms.

Here in NYC we're trying to figure out how to build a calendar of different radical events. We are using caldav feeds but it'd be cool to turn all the feeds we ingest into another feed. I'm sure that's a solved problem... alas, information overload is not!


@paulfree14 @neil Hubzilla is good, and solves some of the most common problems, but like you say there aren't many users on there.

@paulfree14 Indieweb also have decentralised events - . But again without the network it is only of niche use at present. Mobilising the network is so important. (Like your great efforts on ).

oh didn't know they had events.
If they are not already compatible with each other now, I asume they will be in future.

@paulfree14 I hope so, yes. The indieweb ones just use the webmention protocol for sending and receiving RSVPs, and there's been some work done of bridging webmentions between indieweb and fediverse with, so I'm sure it must be doable for events too.

@neil @ghost @a_breakin_glass
there might come a new theme during this year.
Being happy to hear suggestions what should be improofed and what sucks/ is meh.

@paulfree14 @neil @ghost @a_breakin_glass Ok, 1) I go to the hubzilla web page and there's no way to get an account and log in. No indication (to a non-dev user) of how this thing is supposed to work or what it does. So.. yeah, not having enough users is what I would expect.


There is - where it says Hubzilla >> Start. It gets kind of overshadowed by the other two CTAs though.

But then the text on the next page is very dev focused.

@paulfree14 @ghost @a_breakin_glass


Interesting to think whether early-stage projects should be public-focused or not. e.g. indieweb has this idea of generations, basically realising that until a lot of underlying tech and user journeys are figured out, perhaps there is not that much point pushing for wider adoption. (

On the other hand, I'd guess a lot of Mastodon's success has come from having a good UI from the get go.

@paulfree14 @ghost @a_breakin_glass

@neil @paulfree14 @ghost @a_breakin_glass Yeah, I understand wanting to hide your project until you feel that it is ready. But if you cut off user input and user-focused design from the get-go you end up with something technically awesome that no one but your close tech friends uses. Your early spec should include how the tool will be easy for non-technical people to discover, adopt, and use, and your team should include designers, otherwise what you're building is an internal tool.

@neil @paulfree14 @ghost @a_breakin_glass But yeah, I can show people mastodon and they "get" it, and want to join. Although for some figuring out how to do that becomes a challenge. (I keep meaning to look into invitations and see if that makes things easier.)

For hubzilla, what the public needs to see is:

- you can do events
- we won't sell your data
- no ads
- we won't muck with your feed
- nothing about "common webserver technology"

Integration-related stuff goes on a dev page, imho.

@paulfree14 Do you know how the federation works - e.g. if there's a way I can follow a Hubzilla user from Mastodon? So that events would appear in my timeline?

@neil @paulfree14 Just follow them like a normal user.  Media attachments won't work though because Mastodon does it in a broken way.

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events, hubzilla/mastodon Show more

events, hubzilla/mastodon Show more

events, hubzilla/mastodon Show more

events, hubzilla/mastodon Show more

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@neil Unfortunately, everyone else would also need to start using whatever alternative you find, and they won't. I've taken to maintaining a "deep cover" fake name failbook account and being very strict about which friends I actually follow and what types of posts I engage with.

@deutrino @neil They will.. if you design something that they enjoy using. Something that's intuitive and easy, fun, and beautiful, with built in easy to use theme selection, confetti, cuteness, and sparkles. They'll be inviting all their friends so they can share the sparkles.

@intherain @neil having recently re-read the issue asking for sticker packs on Signal, I think you may be onto something there πŸ˜…

@deutrino @neil YESSSS! What really got me started on this was being in China using WeChat with all the fun features like animations triggered by certain messages (like happy birthday, etc.), and thinking, πŸ˜€ why wouldn't everyone want to use this.. platform where all the servers are in China 😐 Why don't we have these silly features (that engage users) in more open source projects?

@intherain Signal actually puts a fair amount of work into being full featured like that, much to the consternation of ascetic crypto nerds. Their staff is rly small though so they still lag behind the big players. I would love to see really good sticker support in Signal even if I would almost never use it.

@deutrino Yeah, Signal has been fighting the good fight doing a great job. I've helped at cryptoparties for journalists and activitists and it's the first thing we teach people because of its high privacy gains for low effort. And then we get them on a password manager, and then 2FA, and then later, maybe, Tor, Tails, and pgp. And the Signal devs have actually put in UI improvements, it gets better all the time. Now if only I could buy a theme, stickers, animations, to support further dev.

@intherain Gotta tell ya, if i won the lottery, I'd sink money into improving the UX on a lot of these types of apps by paying existing developers, funding bounties, etc. Signal is a great app but damn do they have their hands full.

We talk about/work on this a lot at CoLET ( Usability is such a problem!

Cool project! I would love to see more money getting distributed for open source UX improvement. @intherain

@deutrino @intherain @neil this is why all the furries are using telegram even though it's a trash fire and they know it is

@neil Yep, the Women's March was organized through FB, and that's what I tell people who insist there's no reason to be on FB. 😞 We need a good replacement, but I see to many in the community denigrating UI designers.. the very people who need to be on projects from the start to get something the public will use.

@intherain Yep, completely agree, good UI and UX is a vital and sorely missing part of a lot of free software. I haven't seen those skills being denigrated though; that sucks. They need to be promoted.

@neil In the hackerspace community (not my own hackerspace, but in others, especially those in Europe) I've seen the same people who don't understand why everyone won't use the open source tools they use and build, saying they aren't interested in bringing artists into their spaces, and trying to intimidate each other with their tech cred, while being dismissive of front end design peeps. πŸ˜•

@intherain Oof, that's really shitty, very toxic. I come from a dev background but I find it really fascinating when a designer explains how a UI or UX can be improved, and why it works. It's this whole other world of skills in itself.

@intherain @neil in my UK town the nearest we have to a "hackerspace" where near exclusively middle aged and older men make some robots, to be fair they do also teach kids about programming but I the kids are the wider friends of their own biological families. This (and even the tech/artist collectives) are all very middle class and centred around folk from one quarter of town who work or used to work at British Telecom research (many from 1980s got good early retirement pensions). >>

@intherain @neil I have never tbf seen any direct hostility against artists or frontend designers; but this might be because of the older demographics and the two scenes being divided anyway. Also (maybe wider fault of capitalism) I increasingly feel a lot of #FOSS projects are done directly to hustle for paying work of some kind rather than as side gigs of someone with already secure work, in such environment there is always going to be an atmosphere of competition rather than co-operation..

@vfrmedia @intherain

There's an interesting chapter related to this by Juliet B Schor in Ours To Hack and Own called "Old Exclusion in Emergent Spaces".

They look at time-banks, food swaps, and makerspaces:

"While there are many successes among our three sites, our research also led to a troubling finding: all three cases are plagued with status-seeking, subtle forms of social exclusion, and non-egalitarian behavior that threatened the core goals of founders and members".

@vfrmedia @neil The two scenes have a lot in common (curiosity, drive to create, enthusiasm for new ideas) but I know the spaces you're describing -- all middle aged men, or all male 1337 hackers. I'd have to write an essay to cover all the reasons why women, crafters, and artists don't feel comfortable in those spaces.

It doesn't have to be like that. My hackerspace integrates the two groups and the result is inspiration and collaboration:

@intherain @neil in contrast, the food swap/food bank in the same town and a cyclists cafΓ© linked to it is run by younger women, with most males who help out being unemployed or formerly homeless.

The cyclists themselves who visit the cafΓ© are a more diverse bunch, but out of the young/early middle age lads who cycle and work in tech (like myself) although they do cool stuff for #openstreetmap etc they do not always have time for hackspaces etc due to day job requirements..

@intherain @neil I have a friend who tells me that he only saw womens march stuff *after* it was over, as if FB had to manually approve it internally somehow

@neil yes we do, especially because not everyone seems to be allowed to have a facebook account. Facebook requitng them to show a copy of my idcard, while this is not always legal or possible.

@webmind @neil it's a long ways from general adoption, but i'll note that the scuttlebutt folks are doing some pretty neat work on events.

+1: "it's an absolute crime that Facebook is the only way to discover these [events]". But the blame goes to the event organizers for choosing the Facebook ghetto

@neil #ActivityPub includes a specification for federated events, and #Aardwolf is going to implement a friendly interface to it. We would be extremely grateful to any UI/UX designers who would like to participate.

@neil @gcupc

oooh. :) that is great to hear.
Do you know what they use for it?

@paulfree14 @neil We are using ActivityPub for both the client-to-server and federation protocols. But we will also offer iCal/webcal export, I think.

publishing events. Show more

@neil the most important thing is that service has a user base, which facebook does. That's why it's successful.

@neil I have concluded that the only way to solve that is to write a FB client (web and mobile) that is easier to use than the native ones. And then once that's achieved wide acceptance, to add functionality that will let you also publish those events to your own site, WP blog, Google calendar, etc,

@neil we had alternatives, but FB is eating the web.

I know of several restaurants who only publish their menus and other details on FB. And it works for them because they value FB engagement, since that gets them more play... on FB.

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