When I think of a future with Open Social Media, I imagine three pillars.

1) Microblogging (ActivityPub), for sharing thoughts with strangers, ephemeral community building, and broad+global reach.

2) Forum / Stable Community (no good solution yet, AFAIK), for discussing, planning, buying/selling locally. All within a distinct group of people, membership of which can be managed.

3) Peer2Peer (Scuttlebutt?), for talking directly to friends, family, nearby people, and easily sharing files.

It has been almost four years since I posted the above toot, yet nothing have significantly changed in the social media landscape.

Only difference I'd make today would be to not include Scuttlebutt there - I don't have confidence that that will ever go anywhere that's useful outside a tiny niche.

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There's also a case to be made for where blogs and podcasts fit into this landscape. Do they even count as social media or are they closer to (inexpensive) broadcast media?

In any case, there will always be an overlap in social media and broadcast media, so it might be interesting to dive into what can be done in that overlap, and how integrated the two modes can and should be.

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Flarum is an open source forum system similar to Discourse but not tied to a Patreon account. It's still working toward a first stable release, but looks to be an interesting offer in the forum category. Will provide public/private group abilities, among other features.

@wion looks nice, thanks for the tip!
It's not exactly what I'm looking for, though. I think the real value lies in a community site, that works as a forum, more than a forum that works as a community site. And the most important part would be whether identity and access is federated/decentralized/distributed.

@strypey are either of those federated? If I have to make a new account for each community I am interested in, the barrier is too high.

@zatnosk @strypey there is some work on ssb-loomio so "maybe in the near future"?

@zatnosk I spoke to Matt Slater from #CommunityForge at Open 2018, and he is working on implementing #ActivityPub, so they can inter-operate with any mutual credit platforms that do the same. Federation is not a focus for the Loomio team. They're targeting a different use case I guess

@zatnosk Matt's ideas for using AP are more ambitious that just using them for the mutual credit communities too


Does your thought changes on the above tech now ?

@noorul not in the big picture. I still think we need those three pillars, and ActivityPub has since grown a lot in diversity, which is awesome, but still in the "ephemeral & open" category.

Scuttlebutt (SSB) is still a questionable contender in the p2p space. I haven't seen anything better yet, but SSB isn't good enough yet, and I'm not sure it will be.

In the forum and community category, I haven't seen any good projects there. Some try, but they lack the design depth needed.


I totally agree to all the points.

Except, I decide to be against SSB for using blockchain.

Since social networking with block chain tech is not sensible to me.

And block chain resource consuming tech.


I like to see more p2p development.

Peertube uses p2p which is good.

What I can see group chat like Matrix and similar platform replacing traditional Online forum...

@zatnosk for number two some kind of hybrid of forums like phpbb/vbulletin mixed with social bookmarking features like reddit would be great. Forums on the internet need to come back big.

@zatnosk Movim seems pretty close on the first two... But haven't tried it yet..

@zatnosk I guess we'll have to see if Matrix can overtake scuttlebutt on the p2p front. It's still no where near ready but they're working towards that goal.

I think #2 could be displaced by several tools, which are in development/gaining traction... But maybe people just need it to be one giant solution before they'll adopt it?

@rune In my understanding of matrix, it is still based on a network of servers? That is, Matrix can't let me send a message from my phone to my girlfriends phone without either
a) having a server in the house
b) leaving the house-LAN

A true p2p solution should make that trivial.

Re: #2 I don't think it'll need to be one giant solution, but it'll need to be a solution that actually solves the problem in a usable way. Diaspora/Friendica/etc hasn't done this; too poor UX and privacy guarantees.

@zatnosk It still uses servers, but Matrix is basically putting a server in your phone. So your your phone talks "p2p" if you both have a server on your phones.

fosdem had a demo of it even working over local wifi using apple's AWDL protocol.

Whether or not that's feasible and usable is hard to say now, but they seem to think it would work.

Personally I'd be happy enough with just a federated instant messager that requires a remote server.

@zatnosk A friend and I planned to set up a scuttlebutt 'pub' on an old laptop using its wifi card for an offline hotspot in a cafe. The idea would be people could bring their device with an SSB client and share gossip locally. We were planning on doing it in December, but that got put on hold due to lockdown.
It would have made the pub metaphor quite real.

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