🚀 ActivityPub Rocks Portal: Content Discussion

Welcome :wave:

Here we discuss content strategy, site structure, design and layout issues to create a splash.

Take note in discussions and:

:dart: Stay on-topic and try to formulate substantive contributions.

:warning: Posts that are off-topic will be forked to their own thread.

:speaking_head: Discuss anything, but focus on actionable follow-up.

:spiral_notepad: Use markdown formatting for clarity, like topic headers.

Above all …

:point_right:   Do not forget to update the ActivityPub Rocks Portal Wiki where needed !

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I really like the idea of an " :rocket: ActivityPub Rocks Portal".

By a portal, I mean references to further content. A good starting point for content could be Guide for new ActivityPub implementers and the delightful Fediverse lists.

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Thoughts on Landing Page

( I know this goes a bit ahead of the fanfare, with no content strategy etc. yet discussed. )

Some first musings on a landing page. A fairly traditional page structure:

  • Top-level menu
  • “Getting Started” Hero
  • “Standards Movement” Section
  • “Grassroots Fedi” Highlights
  • “News & Events” Section
  • Footer

Top-level Menu

Menu’s can be CSS dropdowns or plain links. There’s many ways to slice this, but imho the distinction between Standardization Process and Grassroots Fediverse should be clear. Some possibilities for this division:

  • Standards Process | Directory
  • ActivityPub | Fediverse
  • Learn | Explore

Other candidate items: News, About, Calendar, Blog, AP feed (icon), RSS feed (icon)

“Getting Started” Hero

The hero is the invitation to delve right in. Here’s the starting point onboarding newcomers to the fedi dev community. The “Getting Started” journey MUST lead to a proper understanding of the Standards Process.

  • Hero title: ActivityPub Rocks!
  • Hero tagline: Delve into the Fediverse (TBD, something snappy and fun)
  • Hero text: TBD (with a single “Getting Started” link to it)
  • Hero iconbar: TBD (optional, some direct jumps, e.g. to SocialCG, SH forum)
  • Hero mascot: TBD (a cute and fun mascot representing the developer hub)

“Standards Movement” Section

Instant clarity on the Standards Process that drives AS/AP-based Fediverse evolution. Plus drill-down into more explanatory page(s). Some creativity needed to convey the relationship:

  • W3C → SocialHub → FEP

Layout-wise it may be a horizontal section with 3 blocks for each part of this process.

“Grassroots Fedi” Highlights

Fediverse is, and will always be, a grassroots movement. There’s a ton of activity in independent projects, communities and other initiatives. The portal should provide an entry to all that excitement. However, there are too many initiatives to list them all on the landing page. Instead the most prominent and valuable ones can be highlighted. Followed by a link to a “Discover more…” Directory page (that can have categories and filtering and such).

The Directory Highlights section may 4 blocks by 2 rows in a card layout, and where the highlighted initiatives can deliver the card image and text. Clicking a card may either directly lead to the initiative, or to a sub-page that presents the initiative with some additional useful metadata (contact persons, repo’s, etc.)

“News & Events” Section

This may be a 2-column list of News, Announcements, Blog Posts, and Calendar Events.

Footer

A 4 column list of relevant/important links as you often encounter them, e.g. see codeberg.org

Thoughts on Sub-Pages

About page

The “About Us” page should once more clearly outline the structure of the Standards Movement and reference the Standards Process, with URL’s to the appropriate locations.

Notably this page SHOULD highlight a clear Mission and Vision for the Fediverse wrt AS/AP et al. Laying out a shared (technology) vision that is indicative of the full potential of the Fediverse to be unleashed is important to foster a creative mindset that helps drive Fediverse evolution. The Mission should serve to activate people towards that vision, and encourage collaboration in the appropriate places, with emphasis on emergence of an open and inclusive ecosystem.

A “History of ActivityPub Rocks” section gives due credit to the contributors/maintainers of Haunt and @cwebber’s involvement.

Directory page

The Fediverse emerged from a grassroots movement. It was created by everyone for everyone. The openness of the ecosystem that emerged is one of the greatest qualities of the Fediverse, and MUST be fostered and protected. All the various independent initiatives that exist are collectively driving evolution.

Fediverse technology is decentralized. But also the people evolving it work in decentralized groups.

This is great and helps make the Fediverse more diverse, and resilient. But all the various initiatives are also highly fragmented, often hard to find. Wheels are reinvented because of that, and collaboration opportunities are lost. An important objective of the portal MUST be to allow initiatives in the Grassroots Fediverse to find each other.

The Directory page facilitates that. Functionality TBD.

While I don’t disagree with the ambition of the content listed, I would prefer a more evolutionary approach. The minimal set would be:

  • Keep current page
  • Add a contributing guideline.
  • Possibly add sections for easy contribution, e.g. the “Getting Started” and “News & Events” part.

Points well taken, and should be part of the approach.

This is one is easy: Current page is up :wink:

The idea is that the launch of this fresh, shiny portal involves a DNS switch. Christine still owns the domain (I will add that to the wiki). Portal draft should have @cwebber’s go-ahead, needing buy-in from @eprodrom wrt the representation and positioning of the W3C activities.

With that in mind my strong preference is that we first prove ourselves to be a collaborative group in this SocialHub do-ocracy. That means the ability to craft a draft site, have proper procedures in place for maintenance, coding and content management. Plus people that are willing to being involved with that, who volunteer to share the maintenance burden (they shouldn’t be high, but that depends on ambition-level too).

In that light I feel that “Keep current site” shouldn’t include transfer of current code to Codeberg repo and throwing it online. Btw, just mentioning this for the record, as too often those starting an initiative, hoping for collab, are the sole ones that keep holding the ball when push comes to shove.

Tracking some stuff that should be on a portal

Fediverse Processes

(please add to this list)

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A glossary

We have a task to do in clearly naming the various aspects / concepts of this Fediverse of ours. A good glossary.

I’m not sure how much this aligns with my suggestion of avoiding technical things, but it’s a good idea.

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Honestly I don’t see IFTAS-RFCs on the homepage. IFTAS is doing their own thing on their own terms without taking care of the existing community, and they’re coming from a US-corporate background. This does not seem like a good idea to give them visibility, they can do it themselves and they’re not reciprocating AFAIK.

We will have to see how we organize the portal such that it can offer this ‘drill-down’ into all that’s happening across the Grassroots Fediverse by so many independent initiatives.

So, I imagine IFTAS to be an entry in the Directory page, and the metadata that is attached to that entry might make it easy to determine that IFTAS is a decentralized devhub and that specs can be found there. In this case in the domain of Moderation. Another entry, ForgeFed, is similar but for the domain of Code Forges.

Whether or not IFTAS is also listed as an excerpt from the Directory to be highlighted on the front page depends on the inclusion criteria we have for that.


One aspect I do find important, namely that:

:point_right:  The portal provides to reasonable extent an unopinionated entry point into the Fediverse.

What “reasonable extent” means is TBD.

I guess “unopinionated” also needs to be defined. I don’t think we want to have yet another GABGate.