I've been involved in starting a mastodon instance (actually, hometown) for my home town (city population around 100k).
many challenges, but one is that it seems people expect/want something like facebook, not twitter.
I think twitter is already something a bit weird. facebook is normal, with groups, events, etc...
as far as I can see, there is no usable open source fediverse facebook replacement option.
I don't know if this is a problem yet, as I can support people more to learn other ways.
@wolfi thanks! although I think adding crypto-stuff, adverts, and payments (from minds) would add confusion. and also seems not aimed at self-hosting? which seems a key part of a local social network to me.
soapbox seems a bit like halcyon frontend, the same idea, make it look like twitter, although I think it's the paradigm that is more confusing than the interface, I don't know how they work, but when I tried pinafore, I still needed to login with the mastodon interface, so again, confusing!
@wolfi so far it's the groups and events bit of facebook that people have mentioned. I don't know about the commerce bit.
I think I still feel more comfortable with default mastodon interface, in terms of it staying around, when compared to pleroma+soapbox, where I would worry it wouldn't stay around as long.
well, I did install hometown, but even wondering if that was a good idea, the additional non-federation posting option is confusing (in addition to privacy options).
@wolfi the tweetdeck UI is an advanced option now, the default is the simpler one column one.
I'm not sure I'll be about to justify the approach I'm taking enough to satisfy you, and it's not where I'd like to put my energy :)
it's ok if we come to different judgement on the relative merits of different approaches.
if you're interested more, https://about.bath.social is the documentation of the process so far.
@bwk thanks! I looked at friendica, and zap, and all the ones I could find... but they seemed super confusing to me, and I don't think would be usable for people here.
mastodon put a lot of effort into polish, and still it's confusing (same with twitter itself). well, also facebook is actually quite confusing for many people.
I'm thinking having more video calls, and in-person sessions might be key here. trying to create a really friendly vibe...
@bwk yeah, it's an interesting experience to see how people receive it.
I have a feeling most of the work will be in trying to explain things that are unfamiliar, and how it might address concerns/issues people actually have with corporate social media (addiction, algorithmic feeds, adverts, data selling).
@bwk yeah, I would happily remove the federated feed. it seems more a technical-level feed than a social one. right now it's pretty much the same as the local feed though.
I think even the concept of federation is confusing coming from corporate platforms.
some of the interests have been support better social media practises (less addictions) and facilitating in-person interaction.
@bwk in contrast federated feed hasn't been any part of my fedi journey 😃 ... on the social.coop one, I can't really make much sense of what I'm seeing there.
the diversity possible within fedi is one thing I like, in that it feels like it doesn't have to be one thing (and as we just found out, it isn't!).
my local instance has a totally different feel to social.coop, I think the fact that you might actually see the people in person can make a big difference to online interaction.
Fedi does replace Fbook, we were Fbook users and it great. Just doesn't have certain dark patterns, nor nasty stuff like filtered feed, private groups (proven indoctrination studios, see #FacebookGroups), share-and-write (encourages one-upmanship), events (for stalkers, though there is mobilizon), ai face-detection, confusing like and share, and other time-wasters like ads, and birthdays.
Fbook is simply bad.
@dsfgs it's groups and events that people mentioned, I think they'll just continue using facebook for those things.
I personally think private online communication groups are useful.
stalking is a terrible thing, but I think events can be useful without any stalking-enabling features.
@dsfgs addiction reduction and generally healthy social media usage has been one of the stronger interests from people so far in moving from corporate platforms.
I think there is lot to do in social/cultural space for these things, even fedi without groups or events could be used in negative and addictive ways.
Fedi doesn't do a lot of the really bad stuff that wastes pole time on Fbook. Again the lack of that talk-and-share. The lack of birthdays and a myriad of stuff. Live video is another timewaster, its also elitist and an energy and bandwidth waster to boot.
Having said that we do see a space for live, low-bandwidth audio, but not on Fedi.
@datatitian yes, I know about it :) and indeed I think it could work if the goals are reached, my assessment is that it wouldn't be ready to use today for that purpose.
it's tricky though, as it's very new area for people, and evaluating a whole bunch of alternatives would have been a bit much (again, in my judgement...).
> "fediverse" isn't a requirement from my perspective, and given most people won't have heard of it, not theirs either...
How about "customize your community's experience and federate by choice with other communities"?
What's the short overview of the advantages and software ecosystem of
> zap, etc... hubzilla, friendica..
@bhaugen my short overview was that I struggled with all of them to understand or do basic things... my sense was that this would be much harder for others.
again, a lot of personal gut judgement, I don't want to insult them... I could be wrong.
and in comparison I think mastodon got a lot more focus for usability (and still is hard, e.g. "unlisted" makes no sense in terms of why you would actually use it... and threading is confusing (same with twitter)).
@bhaugen I mean, they are fedi tools, but I'm not sure which "camp" you mean, although even if I did, I'm not sure if I could evaluate them for inclusion in said camp 😆
I just came at it from a pretty outsider way, as with this project hat on, I was just looking for something to run right now, rather than too much consideration of ecosystem topics (for better or for worse).
@bhaugen it just feels like there is scope for something *relatively* simple that has these core features, but without needing lots of complex customization, flexibility, or additional things.
... of course I know it's not actually *simple*, I realise as soon as I start to imagine creating it myself.... 🤣
... but there is a lot of complexity in fedi already that is perhaps not serving many peoples simpler needs.
Sorry to be obscure. By "camp" I meant "using the ActivityPub protocol" or not. Friendica was pre-AP, right? Don't know about Hubzilla and Zap.
Re ecosystem: I'm not sure what the best explanation of the AP software ecosystem is these days, but here are two. Both include Friendica, but only one includes Hubzilla:
@bhaugen I actually get quite confused about the zotlabs ecosystem https://codeberg.org/zot has zap, roadhouse, rematrix, and osada, and the README for each just says their name and "A fediverse server."
and https://zotlabs.com/ is a dreamhost landing page.
https://zotlabs.org/page/zotlabs/comparison+hubzilla+zap has more but says it's outdated.
There's plenty of software to do things together online, and I am not yet sure if I had understood already, Nick, what you have in mind.
Would you like to rephrase or sketch for us the initial proposition of said community story again?
@yala I'll try:
Given a small city with it's various siloed projects, individuals, and existing unhealthy corporate social media usage, and knowing that people are generally quite overwhelmed/confused with technology, how can we make use of tech to nurture a thriving ecosystem of people and projects ...
My initial presentation --> https://about.bath.social/presentation/
... this is just a first move, it's not a well defined problem, and likely many wrong assumptions ... all emergent...
@bhaugen I don't know if this counts as an "actual community", I mean it exists, as it's a place with existing communities...
... this could also be my problem, not having an existing coherent community that has decided together to use a new social media platform.
... but the premise to me of social media is allowing this more diffuse sense of community, not something with clear boundaries.
That was a very interesting "first move". Thanks a lot.
One thought that came to mind is the differences between:
1. a geographical community, eg Bath,
2. the various virtual communities that live in Bath, and
3. virtual communities that might have members in Bath and also members in many other geographical communities.
I think geographical communities are a little different from dispersed thematic ones, as they allow for meeting of the individual members, and more personal social life between them: friendships, intrigues, aversions and love.
Most of those that work organise around shared event calendars, that are rooted in the autonomous and cultural scenes.
From your presentation, I like that you start with problems, but the second one is too heavy for me to bear as a person only approaching the subject. What Bowie said resonates much more.
Also the suggested fixes are very nice, with the Fediverse being the outlier.
I think what people get's hooked on a (... insert drug ...) is not how it's made, but what it does to them. So we as technicians need other narratives.
@nicksellen interesting thread, and very interesting use case. I agree on the oddity that is twitter of mass public space, and that groups (whether as semi-private-moderated sub memberships or merely subscribed topic feeds) and a collaborative calendar of events are a lot of how I know local folks use fb. And that multi-interface multi-account technical solutions are weird.
Very curious to see where your project goes - is it explicitly non-commercial or are local biz also hoped to move from fb?
@loppear yes, I think you're seeing exactly what I'm seeing with local folk... it's only when I tried creating this thing that it really hit me so clearly!
I would be happy for local biz to be on it too, and that it's more about the platform itself being non-commercial, I'm hoping for mainstream use, not explicitly to be a small niche (which stay niche by their own definition?).
overly commercial use would be off-putting though, and people could decide together how to deal with that...
@loppear one of the main problems might be I have no idea what I'm doing (besides the tech bit).
I somehow think I should do more in-person stuff, but also that takes time/energy, ... and I don't want to feel like I'm *forcing* Yet Another Thing onto a weary population...
there is an underlying desire to mitigate the worst of social media... but it's not clear if using a local mastodon instance is the direction this energy wants to go... maybe more time dancing in the park is better use 👯
@me thanks! I did look (as you noticed), but nowhere near as in depth as you did.
whats your sense of how it might be for people that aren't particularly comfortable with tech?
@me thanks, I did try it out before somewhere and got quite confused, but I just requested access to your one, maybe I learn something different!
... although now I have a hometown instance up and running, so switching would be a bigger deal... although not so active yet...
@nicksellen A friend of mine set up something along the same lines for my local(ish) area (around Morecambe Bay). They used humhub.com.
It's not federated but it seems to work well enough for what it does.
I don't think it's necessarily what you're looking for software-wise from your description, but would be happy to put you in touch with James in case chatting through the "local social" thing might be of use. (Noting that this one is tiny currently, just a few existing friends on it so far)
@neil thanks! yes, interesting. I came across humhub some time before I think...
https://www.mightynetworks.com gets used sometimes, though it's a closed source very money orientated ("how much money can I earn from a community"), and divides the admins from the people...
I mean, https://karrot.world is somewhere in this space, but it's not a social network.
yes, could be happy to be put in touch, might be able to share motivation/thoughts/whatever. maybe DM me with contact? cheers.
A Fediverse instance for people interested in cooperative and collective projects.