Describing Fediverse apps in ways people understand

Hello all,

I don’t know if I’m in the right place. I would like to explain to our users the Fediverse services we offer, in the hope that they feel then rather addressed.

Unfortunately I don’t really get on with Friendica for example, maybe there are some eloquent and experienced users here who can help me?

The texts on my page are in German but you are welcome to make suggestions in English.


Hey Tealk,

supercool you ask here and this is one of the right places :slight_smile:
I will tell my boardgame friends about the page, some are into Rollenspiele as well.
I am German and don’t know to much about friendica but @heluecht does (und der spricht auch deutsch …)


I am also very happy to receive feedback for the other texts, I somehow have a hard time making the whole thing palatable to the mainstream user.

Welcome to SocialHub @Tealk!

You address something that is a common issue on the Fediverse. The technologists creating and hosting the apps, and fedizens in general have trouble describing stuff in ways that the general public understands and finds appealing enough to actually use.

Part of this probably stems from an overly technical mindset and focus, and also emphasizing on a set of values (e.g. privacy, software freedoms, decentralization, open standards) that regular social media users don’t really care about.

So this is a great topic.

The SocialHub community is quite technical too, but we want it to become more diverse. Much needed are more people who help ‘productize’, do advocacy and ‘PR’ and all that important non-dev work. May I suggest we change the topic title to e.g. “Describing Fediverse apps in ways people understand”? Or “Creating appealing Fediverse app descriptions for mainstream users”.

Note that you can also post this to our Lemmy space and cross-post to ! to get input.

Right now I lack the time to delve deep into your descriptions, but it is something I may address in future on Fedi Foundation site (in draft) in future. Note also that e.g. @light of Fediverse Party has the same issue, and - given time and opportunity - might create a whole different site variant for the same audience you are trying to reach.

Quick peek at Friendica News item:

Friendica ist ein freies und quelloffenes verteiltes soziales Netzwerk. Es bildet einen Teil des Fediverse, einem zusammenhängenden und dezentralen Netzwerk von unabhängig betriebenen Servern auch Knoten genannt. […]

Here you have already lost the casual audience :wink: The bullet list afterwards is way too long, and it is a ‘business-like’ matter-of-fact summary of features. I would leave most of that out. You might describe in ‘popular’ language, without any technical term of feature-name, and then add some cool screenshots specially prepared to demonstrate some of the fun stuff you can do.

(Note: This description is okay as a status/project update on your hosting offering, but not to entice non-technical folks to join)


what exactly is that?

but i do not know this language xD

Lemmy is federated Reddit (so much better than Reddit :blush: )

Ha, I know what you mean… it is bit of a practice. The site has nice informal graphics and game-related topic. Just stick with that atmosphere and create loose, casual texts as well. Picture real-life conversation with friends and use similar style. Then hone the text a bit afterwards (remove the swear words if you use those :wink: )

“Friendica is … well, where you meet with your friends. Invite the people you’d like to have around you and chat right away. Friendica is like Facebook but friendlier and cozier. We’ll talk a lot about Rollenspiele in our community, but you can follow and connect to folks that are part of a much larger social network, called the Fediverse. Unlike Facebook there aren’t billions of users shouting and wanting to become ‘influential’, but instead you can reach out to selected people among about 5 million ‘fedizen’ and participate in many different communities. Each community has its own server, called an instance, and has its own rules and topics of interest. […]”

Well, this just written off the top of my head, and I never used Friendica, so… but you get the idea :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


one problem i see is that we have mastodon as well as friendica and both services can be described relatively the same to the user, friendica has a few more features than mastodon but the main features are rather the same.

but many thanks for the text, sounds very nice.
I will certainly use parts of it

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Maybe you can create a single page where you describe all of the services in one overview, so you can refer to something already written and then highlight some of the differences.

yes the pages are already linked among each other, e.g. the word Fediverse always refers to the subpage that explains the Fediverse

with single pages it is easier to scale and i found the headder quite nice^^

The best way to explain it that I’ve found is “like email but a social network”. Everyone understands how SMTP federation works, even though no one calls it that. Everyone understands that the part of the address after the @ is the server that hosts the mailbox (and having your own, “non-standard” domain there surprises people sometimes). And, most crucially, everyone understands that you can send mail between different email providers. So you just have to build on top of that concept and say that you can access the entire network regardless of which server hosts your account, and you can follow anyone and get their posts delivered to you automatically.

So, it’s like email, but with built-in, automatic subscription management.


That surprises me a little I know a lot of people who don’t even know what the Windows key is or the Start menu.
They are overwhelmed with everything that comes after turning on the computer.

Well these kinds of people, usually 60+ years old, won’t understand a thing about the fediverse either way. I wouldn’t even try. They usually think that computers are made out of magic (how many transistors does it take to make something minimally magical btw?) and rely on their relatives to do everything for them. Someone bought them a computer, signed them up for everything they might need, and made shortcuts like “double click here for internet”. I feel sorry for them with current auto-updating, ever-changing software that they have to constantly relearn to do their usual stuff in.

My shortest description of Mastodon is that it looks like Twitter, but is distributed like email and that this allows for better moderation and a friendlier atmosphere.

In the above German description of Mastodon, I would say there is no need to mention the old 140 character limit of Twitter in the second bullet point. The third bullet point is not relevant for deciding whether you want to join. This is information you (may) need afterwards.

I made a list of bullet points to get people on Mastodon during Cryptoparties or Barcamps. Open Social Media - CodiMD

Stuff like the 3rd bullet point is included here because the aim is to get people ready to write their first Toot, but for people who want to decide whether to join Mastodon, I think I would mention how nice people are towards each other, that the system is made for meaningful conversations, rather than to pit groups against each other. Or get some brownie points for honesty by explaining that as Mastodon is small, it is not the best place for niche topics or finding old friends.

If only it were so, the ones I mean are between 20 and 40

Uh. I guess it depends on the country then. In Russia 100% people in that age range have a basic intuitive understanding of how email works, at least. Many also know how to reinstall Windows. Maybe it’s just this mentality of “I bought this thing and I’m on my own with it now”. People in countries that didn’t have as much socialism usually use customer service much more often, yet Russians (me included lol) prefer to fix everything themselves and only seek outside help if they can’t figure it out or don’t have the tools.

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The mentality here is that if I buy it, it has to work the way I want it to.
And if it doesn’t work that way, it gets thrown out the window.

I have adapted some texts thanks for your help but there is still some work to do.