Interesting article on decentralised social media:
@EC_NGI@social.network.europa.eu yes, but
1 in the whiteboard I read "XMPP". Nice to use, but another social, movim, is using it to federate.
2 it mixes many many technologies.
3 ends talking about IPFS, meaning libp2p
I can't understand what is the conclusion of the writer.
Good to see recognition of the funding by @EC_NGI and of course nice to be quoted by the kind folks at Forbes. Now all we need is for them to join the Fediverse ;)
He he, yes it is true. Yet as others have remarked, they have a peculiar way of describing the #Fediverse:
> An estimated 4 million more use the largest social protcol, Mastodon, which supports 60 niche social networks, with a rapidly growing pool of blockchain competitors in the works.
Forbes hot take on the fedi :D
I hope that they will want to make up for everything when they find out that this is not how it works. I'm sure quite some people will ping them about this - on whatever social medium they can...
It's an interesting case for us to consider. We might say that an interest for decentralized (blockchain or not) solutions is on the rise in the business world.
I tend to see them as threat. Mostly because fedi is weak. Not in culture, but "technological substrate".
The "substrate" are people and processes that evolve open standards and collective efforts to encourage widespread adoption. It's community and collaboration aspects where the Achilles Heel of #Fediverse is.
But this is just 1 aspect. Sits at the very start of the technology lifecycle. At invention. We face major challenges:
What a market-driven initiative might do, whether they adopt #ActivityPub or invent some other protocol stack, is bring major disruption to the #Fediverse. Or make it less relevant, side-tracking fedi.
Say a major company invests $100 million, creates a protocol stack and 2 well-productized apps with a smart business model behind it.
Suppose in short order they attract 10 million users. Regular folks. And they make good revenue. Attract other vendors, etc..
This technology base has now proven itself to be ready for more widespread adoption. Marketing teams are relentlessly driving it. An open source dev ecosystem of projects evolves around it. Not of the deeply caring, ethical fedi devs, mind you. More the kind of devs that hardly know what a License is, and of whom Github is full of.
Suddenly #Fediverse is on the sides. We'll exist, but may decline. Instead of open standards the alternative gets industry ones.
No matter all the soothing words I hear of people saying "This can never happen", "Fediverse is too strong", "They never get the culture right", "They underestimate what's needed for success" and so forth, I can't get the nagging feeling off my chest that we aren't ready to face such competition. And that if such a scenario would come about we wouldn't end up with either a Corporate Fediverse™ or some Betamax-vs-VHS watered down alternative that wins the day.
The way the presentation of this information on the EU Mastodon projects was phrased is bizarre, vaguely slanderous.
There is an agenda behind this piece but I'm not sure what it is. I'm not convinced that Michael del Castillo of Forbes staff knows what it is either.
@keith @humanetech @NGIZero @EC_NGI the way that is written just feels rather off... the similarities between eu voice and truth social begin and end with being based off of mastodon and having ties to politics, they are otherwise entirely different with very different purposes
(truth social isn't even a part of the fediverse last i checked, it doesn't deserve any mention in an article about decentralised social media)
and yet they seem to insinuate that eu voice was created in relation to truth social?
really the whole section about mastodon in that article reeks of somebody who doesn't actually understand the fediverse, and honestly it feels like they are trying to downplay mastodon in favor of projects with more money behind them (which tbh is probably what their agenda is, they're interested in where the money is, and fedi is not where the money is)
Agree. Either intentional misdirection, or the most sloppy text-writing to just create some filler content.
As for where the money is, idk how corporate world looks upon the concepts behind fedi. Maybe they are starting to get a hunch of where the money could be, and this is part of the play to get it out.
There are the DSA/DMA regulations by EC that force consideration of interoperability. And there are 'hotshot' projects with big names behind them (Jack), etc
Looks part of ongoing lobby, to make open source look a black sheep. I was passed another paper dating back to 2020 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3717031
One of the authors works in the IP and patent law business. https://www.4ipcouncil.com/network/contributors/michele-herman
I hear these arguments all the time at ETSI (where I represent OSI & the open source community) and the speakers are very resistant to correction, to the point that it becomes clear the misinformation is intentional.
Yes, indeed. There's some harrowing twisting and warping of the role and benefits of open source in there, packaged in a nice luxury word salad to make the arguments seem palatable and have max. impact on some of the policy makers reading them.
Very happy that people like you and orgs like OSI are represented to counter the misinformation 🙏
Trying hard to wrap my head around this one:
"If an SDO’s OSS project becomes fundamental to the way standards are implemented in the marketplace, the lack of participation from these innovators may (i) deprive the community of valuable contributions, and (ii) skew the resulting SDO-approved OSS implementation in a way that is no longer vendor neutral."
I wonder what counts as participation and contribution in the mind of the writer. Only €€€ ?
Indeed. This seems just like crazy to me. Total opposite of that seems to be the positive influence of basing the SDO's effort around an OSS core. Have transparency be at the heart of the standardization effort, and level playing field for anyone to contribute to that discussing in all openness.
These papers are sort of eye-opener for me, as for the kind of "substrate formation" that is needed for a healthy Fediverse.
As FOSS developers we are at a disadvantage in such efforts, because the corporations can afford to dedicate a lot of time and effort to bringing their interests into the ongoing work.
It helps if we are organized like in OSI, FSF, sfconservancy, etc. but I feel like many of us in FOSS movement see these organizations as allies standing on the side, not in our midst, where you hand things like this over to, to represent us, and its delegated
@humanetech @keith @aral @jande @NGIZero @EC_NGI @webmink I wouldn't mind handing over driving the standardization process, but I'm not aware that's an option. We're going to put together a few more specs in internet draft format over the next couple of months; getting them into working groups is the challenge. (TL;DR, and sort of off-topic)
@humanetech @keith @aral @jande @NGIZero @EC_NGI @webmink But on that specific topic, there's a lot of work in this. I really understand if devs want to focus on code first. It comes down to the same issue of resources either way; either there's not enough time for the devs to spend on this kind of thing, or no resources to hire help.
I think it is more about how to create integrated organization structure that not only include the project itself, but its surroundings. The ecosystem and the community in which it is embedded. That looking for contributors and such goes beyond looking for coders, and should include people with the other skillsets to address different concerns in the best possible way.
These ideas are ripening in #SocialCoding Movement, where for instance we are ideating on the formation of Ecosystem Alliances and tailoring them such that they serve FOSS interests best.
An example where this is taking shape is in #ForgeFederation where we will try to organize "The Forgers Guild". Instead of a focus on Code Forge software, we'll rally around the notion of "forging software" as something that we do.
Maybe my perception is totally wrong there but I feel that on average the notion that the typical FOSS developer loves to be deeply embedded in their own project, less in all the concerns *around* their project (think "substrate" and foundations on which the project rests) is a factor here again. Where addressing the 'surroundings' of the project a bit more, would be beneficial to the project itself.
(Not expressing that well.. on morning ☕)
Thinking about these concepts and driven by things I learned from my Fediverse advocacy was part of the reason to starting the Social Coding Movement (which isn't yet formally 'launched', btw).
What I'd like this movement to address is to consider all the forces that work on FOSS in way more holistic and integrated whole.
The framing Herman is using depends on
1. treating open source purely as a business model
2. treating the embedding of patents into standards for monetisation as mandatory
3. treating requirements for reciprocal patent licensing or for waiving royalties as exclusionary to mainstream companies.
By taking these as given the writer concludes open source is an anti-competitive exclusion of market leaders by (assumed US) market manipulators.
if i were to speculate i'd think they mentioned it because it's too big to ignore but they don't actually desire for the fediverse to succeed
because fedi has kinda grown into a thorn against big money social media, having already proven itself to work just fine without the big money, and having grown to where it is out of pocket scale money for servers and domains
which isn't desirable to vulture capitalists that want the next big thing to be something they can milk money from and leave to wilt away when it stops growing
but decentralization has gained too much traction already, so if i had to guess I'd expect to see attempts to co-opt decentralisation, and snuff out what we already have in favor of similar looking platforms tweaked to be more favorable to money
(tbh i think crypto was already an attempt at this, noting crypto social media, but it turned out people don't actually want social media built entirely around money)
> but decentralization has gained too much traction already
I don't think this is what they think. I gave a bunch of arguments on another branch of this discussion on how fedi is still fragile and weak.
But they may see fediverse as an *rising* early threat that the corporations can co-opt or stamp out before it grows much further.
(i had initially written a longer version of that but i ended up trimming it down to keep under 1000 char)
i wasn't intending to insinuate that fedi was secure in its position, just that fedi is big enough to sustain itself and grow on its own with even government organizations having instances now, and due to the nature of decentralisation you can't just wish it away as people will just keep running it, thus too much traction to be ignored
but i don't disagree fedi could be at risk, as if you know it's likely to keep growing and you don't want it to be fedi but can't shut it down, you might try co-opting the decentralised point from fedi, which if you got a critical mass could allow you to overshadow fedi with a more "preferable" option and at least stop fedi from being the first option new people go to
@keith @humanetech @NGIZero @EC_NGI Maybe the Forbes people are just stupid. They can't make sense of anything outside of a limited set of business cliches. The few conversations I've had with bureaucrats or stock-brokers made me think they carefully maintain an advantageous sort of stupidity or ignorance. Before it seemed rude to point it out, but now that it seems clear that business cliches are driving us toward extinction it's starting to seem irresponsible not to.
@EC_NGI Gosh there’s so much wrong with that article. We’ve got an uphill battle with folks like Forbes attempting to frame the narrative around decentralisation.
@EC_NGI this is a generally poorly written piece on several levels (as others have pointed out or suggested).
in the context of #ssb, i suggest reading https://theconversation.com/its-hard-to-imagine-better-social-media-alternatives-but-scuttlebutt-shows-change-is-possible-190351 for a better researched explanation of its place in decentralised social media.
EU Voice is the official ActivityPub microblogging platform of the EU institutions, bodies and agencies (EUIs). Together with EU Video, it is part of an alternative social media pilot program proposed, and provided by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).