Is "blog-reading / RSS-feed-tracking / Fediverse-article-reading" on mobile devices a niche with a gap that's worth it to dive in to?


: An app for phones that is designed to be a reader for blogs, RSS feeds, and fediverse articles.

You could either log in with a fediverse account (that supports articles - that is, long form content) or you could just add RSS feeds to track and read.

Bonus points: A dedicated service you could opt-in to, that lets you synchronize RSS state, with a public protocol, so you're not locked in.

Mega bonus points: Micro-transaction infrastructure to pay for blog posts / short fiction.

Lots of yes, here...

ActivityPub is sufficiently expressive that you could follow feeds and mark articles read if the implementation provided handlers for those semantics. AP C2S would be useful there, but not strictly necessary

As for micro payments, the only things I've seen with sufficiently low transaction costs is FairCoin. Onboarding is difficult and a mobile wallet would be a challenge in itself, though

@yaaps @zatnosk

For micro payments, what would it take to make mutual credit work? Next-to-zero transaction cost. Can be implemented in AP pretty much as-is. But not convertible to other currencies, only usable within a mututal credit network. So other people would need to accept mutual credits for other goods and services within the network.

"Two things every community needs are a post office and a general store"

Postal contracts were often the base income for the store owner. Instance culture could be the source of value to bootstrap mutual credit

@zatnosk - I'm leaving you off subsequent replies as a courtesy, but you're still welcome in the conversation if you're interested. Banana.Dog has a generous character limit, but my mobile client doesn't :newlol:

You can look at Masto Host pricing for a baseline of the value proposition of the instance. On a multi-user instance, the admin adds value through moderation work, community building, and consistency in content creation and discovery. An active instance would have a cost basis of 25-35€ and a perceived value of 7-10€ for up to 100 people

We're not going to exchange for external currency, but let's call it a yen and conceptualize the value at about a penny...

Might also want to look at Holo Fuel which is a mutual credit currency for hosting services.

So, yeah. The person who says, "I can pay for that," and accepts yen in return, they serve the function of the reserve, albeit without requirement

So Holochain has the right characteristics for mediating this kind of system and I, again, independently recreated someone's life work in an off-the-cuff conversation on a Tuesday morning :newlol:

I think what I'm saying that's different, however, is that conversion to fiat currency doesn't need to be guaranteed to establish mutual credit in certain situations. One of those situations would be the value and goodwill of an existing community that has online infrastructure

Most mutual credit currencies are not convertible to anything else. Holo Fuel is unusual in that respect.

The main use case for mutual credit on the Fediverse would be appreciation and compensation for otherwise uncompensated labor. To the extent that some people providing this labor don't have other income sufficient for food and rent, being able to acquire these is as important a use case as providing liquidity for stores of social capital

That probably needs explaining, but I'm hopeful

Yeah, does need explaining. Getting food via mutual credit is rare. Housing via mutual credit is almost unheard of, except for transient visits (which we do in Madison WI now and then). That's one of the weaknesses: finding everything you need available in the mutual credit network.
But businesses are starting to use it, too. Might be spreading...?
@matslats is the go-to expert on mutual credit and is in the fedi. At least now and then.

@bhaugen @yaaps I'm on the advisory board for UK open credit network.
@bhaugen there's no theoretical reason you can't exchange mutual credit for other currencies, but they must return home to be redeemed.

Mutual credit came up in the context of micro transactions. If the abstraction securing the transaction was the excess value generated by Fediverse instances you'd have a vehicle for funding 3 party transactions (I'll pay you in credits for cash to this purpose) as well as funding instances directly. Even when instances close, there's residual goodwill and the main application is gifting so risk is low. I'm wondering what kind of hurdles there would be at the minting stage, that is when instances issue credits to cash donors

Socially, we create the expectation that these circulate. You give them away. People who contribute labor get a means to express appreciation to others. People who give money get something that isn't exactly money to give. People who have net positive credits can get things they wouldn't normally spend cash on even if the seller needs cash at the moment

How does that play with states?
@bhaugen @bhaugen

@yaaps @bhaugen it sounds to me like you are describing some kind of gift voucher system.

Gift voucher sounds like a possibly appropriate term. Is it searchable?

...and what's the main diff between gift voucher and mutual credit?


@bhaugen @matslats
In this case, the value of the gift voucher would represent the service already provided. So the issuer can ethically receive it and take it out of circulation with no further considerations, as opposed to credit, which represents a debt that should be repaid

@bhaugen @yaaps A gift voucher is a credit issued by a producer or seller, which they will later redeem for produce to the bearer.
Mutual credit is issued by one of a group of producers to another, typically in payment for their produce, and redeemed by any producer in the group for produce.

Do you know the US (and other jurisdiction) tax implications of gift vouchers and mutual credit?
I was reading this from Janelle Orsi who seems to have studied a lot of these things:
Which I found here
which says:
"In the US, due to IRS rulings and regulations, mutual credit splits into two unique forms rather than the general purpose LETS systems seen around the world.

"1-Barter Exchanges. These are mutual credit systems designed specifically for businesses to participate in and all sales in Trade Dollars are taxable. As part of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 declared barter exchanges function as “third-party record keepers” of financial transactions. The medium of exchange created by barter exchanges, Trade Dollars, are not technically an alternative currency but an accounting hack which creates liquidity out of maintaining community record-keeping of accounts payable and accounts receivable.

"2- Time Banks. These are a volunteer or charitable form of mutual credit. The IRS has passed rulings on the tax exempt nature of Time Banks. This means that people on fixed incomes, such as seniors, can participate without jeopardizing their benefits.

"Because of the stark tax reporting differentiation between these two types of mutual credit, they are similar in form and function but do not exist in the same transaction. There is no exchange between them."

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Going forward, instance in this conversation always means multi-user

The excess value and the relationship to the communication network means that the instance admin can distribute yen and reliably receive a surplus. So the system can be bootstrapped by admins who accept donations and circulation grows through people showing appreciation

Regardless of whether they need money, participating admins are a net sink for yen even though they're the mint in this scenario. This is the incentive for others to accept yen for services and, eventually, goods

Eventually, the circulation may get robust enough that the posts where someone needs money or is selling something for cash can be answered with, "I have X yen if someone wants to provide the cash for this"

this is an interesting idea!!
i think mastodon provides rss feeds by default? I'm not sure, will look it up, but i know write freely certainly does. having it ping-back for favs and how to deal with boosts would be cool to see

public protocols for rss sync are fairly limited from what i know. there's at least two competing standards (greader and feedburner? something like that) so that would also be a cool problem to solve!

@y0x3y @zatnosk I'd be quite into any sort of fediverse client that has read state. Having to remember where I stopped reading is one of my main annoyances here.

@bkhl @y0x3y if I were to build this, I wouldn't include support for microblogging - which is all mastodon does - so I don't think that'll help you here.

hmm so no mastodon support? why not start with an rss feed based client? are you planning to supports responses?

sorry about all the questions, im a little excited 😅

@y0x3y I think you're right that there's RSS feeds available in mastodon. But they're restricted to only public content, and since RSS is based on polling it's way worse for microblogging compared to actually having a fediverse account and participating in the federation.

RSS support is primarily interesting for following stuff outside the fediverse, such as non-federated blogs, news sites and webcomics.

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