:blobwizard: Tsatnosk is a user on manowar.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.
:blobwizard: Tsatnosk @zatnosk

Hm. After (again) talking about the state and direction of decentralized social media, I realize I desire a page I could link to that describes where we are, what people are trying to do, and why.

And possibly in a manner that isn't infused with github links and "Read more in the unfinished spec!" - aka something aimed at "everyone", that doesn't require specialised tech knowledge.

(But it being relevant and useful to techies would be a good thing too.)

decentweb.eu is available.

@zatnosk I like the potential double meaning of "decent" here!

@fabricedesre yeah, that's a lovely pun isn't it? I'm not the first to think of it, but I can't remember where I heard it before :)

@zatnosk easy to understand and detailed information aren't mutually exclusive. :)

@eylul You're very right here. But in this project I think the easy to understand trumps the details - at least as a starting point :)

I just bought decentweb.eu

@bthall Pft! What are you hinting at? :P

@zatnosk Poking fun at the notion of the "web" being merely "decent" 😂

@bthall honestly, it's not even decent yet.

@zatnosk Am thinking this might make more sense as an anthology where the landing page is a curated table of contents with prologue.

@beadsland Can you elaborate on that?
I'm thinking of starting with a small document describing what the decentralised social web is, and what projects are doing what and talking to who.

Linking to other relevant resources is something I'm very interested in, but with a focus on people-friendly resources.

A counterexample would be activitypub.rocks/
It's a great site, but not at all aimed at people who just want to post and talk free from corporate overlords.

@zatnosk Well, consider for a moment what you're talking about: a centralized document seeking to summarize all of the decentralized social web.

My thinking is there isn't going to be one universal perspective on what the decentralized social web *is*, what projects are doing (think forks and why—at an emotional level—folk fork) or what is driving the development of specific projects (avoidance of "corporate overlords" may only be of secondary concern to some, understating the case for others).

@zatnosk Moreover, were you to write your personal summary of the state of decent, it would be out of date as soon as you finished editing.

It'd be time to write a new document, which if you're really wanting to be people-friendly, isn't going to be written the way we write project docs, where we revise existing docs and bump new version number: keeping a lot of cruft that made sense in previous revs, is still factually correct, but no longer flows the same with new information in this rev.

@zatnosk True people-friendly writing is more in the form of an essay (or, yk, a blog post), where you outline, draft, revise and finalize. As things change, that's new essays/blogs, not touching up an existing document.

So, combine that with the likelihood that there are wildly divergent perspectives out there from your own on what decent social *is* and you've got a situation where it might be better to bring together a representative collection of people-friendly writings about topic.

@zatnosk In this model, the role of your prologue would be to contextualize and situate the essays you've curated, advising readers on how rapidly evolving things are, and situating contributions to the anthology that while, out of date, are still informative for anyone who really wants to understand what is going on.

Also, the same prologue can help organize the material for those who have different interests in decent social, and to match learning styles of readers to the styles of writers.

@beadsland You bring up a bunch of very good points, but not any that radically moves my intentions of how this page / site will be built.

I accept the fact that I can't fairly represent all the differing views on why we build a decentralilsed social web, and that any document or essay I write will in some way reflect my views on the matter. This problem (if it is that) doesn't conflict with my goal: A presentation and overview of the knowledge I have gathered on these projects.


@beadsland As to is becoming out of date as soon as I publish it, I'll argue that that depends on the angle of my writing. Yes, if I try to map out the minutiae of each project and their arguments and what features they have currently, I'll be bitten by the fast movement of software.

But if I focus on describing that Mastodon (for example) is a project with these stated goals, using these protocols, then I can say something generally useful, and link to the projects site for more info.


@zatnosk Okay, so how many decent social projects do you anticipate would receive such a capsule summary?

@beadsland I imagine I'd give textual desciptions of those "big" projects, that are pushing a protocol forward or otherwise doing a big difference, and then also mention or note the smaller projects and forks that I know of.

Currently that's 4 big (GNU Social, Diaspora*, Hubzilla, Mastodon) and at least 3 forks/smaller projects (PostActiv, SocialHome, Friendica, etc.).

And yes, I realize I'm quite biased in my categorization here :)

@zatnosk Might want to make a point of elaborating on your selection biases in the body of that essay. :)

In particular, what's you're metric for "big"? Userbase? Codebase changes?

@beadsland In the examples I gave here, my metrc for big is "championing a protocol", which covers GNU Social (OStatus), Diaspora* and Hubzilla (Zot). And then I'm arrogant enough to include my favorite Mastodon, simply because I believe that project is doing more for good towards adoption and user friendliness than the rest of the projects combined.

@beadsland But yes, I really should be up front about my biases - not doing that is more or less guaranteed to make bad blood somewhere.

@zatnosk If your focus is on user friendliness, you might also want to cover community moderation and collective feed management projects vis a vis centralized social platforms (including centralized installations of F/OSS platforms).

If only to contrast how bolt-on attempts like shared block lists compare with communities that were grounded from the outset in a friendly-first ethos.

@beadsland Oh, that's a good suggestion. It's really one of the key points where decent web can do a lot better than social silos.

@zatnosk Right. There tend to be three categories on the silo front:

*) Bolt-ons to existing hegemonic services.

*) Forks or customization of F/OSS Web stacks that attempt to build moderation features into a centralized server architecture.

*) Plain vanilla F/OSS Web stacks that position themselves as being friendlier (or friendlier to certain communities or groups) than the hegemonic services.

@beadsland Finally with regards to how the information presented would be kept up to date and edited, I agree that simply pushing factual edits will over time erode the usefulness of the document.
But adding notes for tiny details that have changed, and rewriting parts of the essay when necessary, I believe it's possible to have something that is reasonably up to date, while still being readable by "the common man".

@zatnosk Well, it's certainly a place to start. Of course, can always switch it up later.

Heck, Bolles has republished WCIYP almost annually for near half a century. Keeping a decent social web overview current should be at least manageable by comparison.

@beadsland It's a place to start, and an attempt :)
Whether it will pan out or even look finished at any point is yet to be known.

@zatnosk Well, you know the oldest mantra of volunteer and foss work:

"That sounds like a good idea. Go ahead and do it!"

@beadsland @zatnosk this sounds like an interesting project

I'll probably be booked with my own writing things for the foreseeable future, but feel free to get in touch if you need a proofreader or whatever

@beadsland @zatnosk this sounds like an interesting project

I'll probably be booked with my own writing things for the foreseeable future, but feel free to get in touch if you need a proofreader or whatever

@jaipasdchaussures the decentweb.eu page will be an attempt at describing what people are doing elsewhere - not a platform in itself.

I just want an overview of how Mastodon, Diaspora*, Hubzilla, Red Matrix, GNU Social, SocialHome and others relate to each other and which of them can talk to each other.

I'm tagging this parent post with the hashtag so it's findable in the future.
See the parent post for the original idea behind the site, plus plenty of comments and discussion.