Fediverse, NetCommons and the blueprint for P2P society?

I am new here, so I can only hope I put it into an adequate category. Please help me correct it, if I am wrong.

My background is more political (as in “personal is political” and vice-versa) than technical, although I keep my toes and fingers in many jars here and there.

For many years now I’ve been working to find a practical way to show people the benefits of P2P networked society, where “bubbles” are not underground bunkers, but rather “safe spaces” wherefrom people can venture outside to meet others. To cut the long story short, I believe that if we combine the social dynamics inherent to Fediverse with community-controlled infrastructure and digital memory (think NetCommons) we can create a strong impulse towards building a society of confederated heterogeneous communities. Fediverse would then become a PoC for inert medium, encouraging cohabitation, communication, and cooperation between communities of all (within reason) shapes, sizes, and colours.

I am currently involved in some projects which include self-hosting made easy (Yunohost) and federated tools of communications. We are trying to increase community-level resilience and empowerment giving them better control over their data. If we are lucky enough, we may initiate an upward spiral, making local and intentional communities stronger and more fit to take their role of a social mainstay in the face of the All-crisis.

I would be happy to learn if this thinking resonates here.



nice to have you here. Welcome!
There is a short guide and the #welcome hashtag –

Regarding P2P (literally)

Welcome to the SocialHub, Piotr. You have landed in the right category indeed.

As pointed out there are movements towards support for a P2P Fediverse. This is development on the technical level, and in that you should also be aware of DREAM, where @how, admin of this forum, and @pukkamustard, of openEngiadina take part, among others. With the addition of P2P we are moving to hybrid decentralization (mixed p2p + federated), which makes the most sense as a model, imho.

But as you are referring to, there’s very much the growing societal movement that needs this technology to take further steps towards realizing this vision. There’s many people on the Fediverse aligned with these ideas, and even more people beyond the Fediverse that we need to make aware of the tech foundations we are laying here. And then there are related trends that fit right in, such as Small Technology, by Aral Balkan / Laura Kalbag and others.

In this category we are thinking about some of these concepts, and the technology that’s needed to scale them up. I’ve written the Spiral Island analogy to describe the grassroots ways in which this occurs. We embrace people coming from more of an infrastructure background to help create solid structures that keep us afloat (I also tweeted netCommons, inviting them here).

Some interesting discussions to refer to:

With a more technical perspective:

Lotsa things to inspire. Dive right in and add your own ideas to the mix :smiley:

There are multiple channels heading towards P2P-capable ActivityPub. Spritely, while not inherently P2P, solves some of them, then other work on datashards development addresses the content-addressing issue.

The core challenge of P2P is that most ActivityPub software and standards were designed with a traditional client/server internet architecture in mind, but the standard at least was vague enough to allow a gigantic boat the size of P2P to sail through and still be mostly compliant, so that’s nice to leverage.

The biggest hurdle for AP is the coupling with HTTP. If a new version can be written such that the transport protocol was abstracted out (bonus: transport negotiation?) then a P2P implementation would be fully AP compliant.

While I’m passionate in this space and have some technical ideas I’d like to sit down and write, I work very slowly compared to others here.

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I believe I owe the community an explanation of terminology, as I used what translators call “false friends”, which are words existing in both languages, with different meanings. The reason is that my main field of activity is grassroots politics (another false friend :slight_smile: ) with its own lingo. So. there are at least two words to be clarified:

  1. Society – in my understanding it is a network of communities, not individuals. My perspective, which has its roots in the line of thought represented most prominently by Kropotkin, Bookchin and Ocalan, assumes that we, individuals, participate in (usually more than one) communities and the “society level” is largely created as an inter-community network. This is the model I am actively (within my minuscule means) promoting in my daily work.

  2. Thus, if I think about “P2P society” I do not visualize a network of alienated individuals (as in Scuttlebutt), but a network of communities/instances, where people are participants. Thus, “federated” (again, politically speaking it is “confederated”) network concerns communities, while each instance/community would have their own internal dynamics, (con)federated or not. This is pretty much similar to the beginnings of internet, with early proprietary networks interconnected through the INTERnet protocol, while internally retaining their own specifics. As much as I understand AP, ZOT and other federation protocols, I see these two layers: federated network of instances and (con) federated network of communities encouraging and perpetuating each other.

On the third layer, which is not really discussed here, but I believe it should be, we have similar topology, concerning the transmission networks. Community driven “village intranets” (NetCommons, LibreRouter initiative) plus some budding projects to take over the backbone (#TheTubes for instance) are following the same pattern.


Yes, lovely, I agree with this. Would be curious as to input on the Community thread (sorry, it is becoming long) and the third layer you mention.

I am more than happy to share my musings and stir some conversation. I also believe we can create some valuable projects starting from this perspective.

EDIT: There is also another aspect. Launching platform co-ops as a standard vehicle to promote and develop federated networks may help get small communities onboard, give them a common ground to communicate in political sense and bring/generate funding needed to expand the infrastructure.

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Yeah, projects is really the next step that is essential in many of these Fediverse Future threads to take them next-level. This holds for Community and also the Governance topics, for instance. I am working on a PoC website, that can support subprojects (plus their additional repo’s and new forum categories, based on needs).

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See my presentations on the issue, under the codename “FV21PL”. I am keen to participate in this line of work.


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From Czytanki TePeWu | Fediverse 21 PL Part 1 : “We need a network that will help you to freely form relationships with other communities, deciding with whom you want to communicate and on what terms.”

That’s Community + Governance right there. Especially the relationships between communities interest me. There are many thousands of groups doing good stuff, and they are mostly disconnected, fragmented, and doing overlapping stuff.

Besides having the social fabric that binds together, in addtion there should be means to find each other to forge that fabric.

Your second presentation contains many handholds for follow-ups. Tagging @hamishcampbell and @bengo

I am PROBABLY able to manoeuvre two serious entities here in Poland into starting a project along this line. What I lack is a funding option. Is there a chance to explore possibilities, starting from even small projects (documentation translation and localisation for example?)

Yes, exploring possibilities is imho very important starting point of these projects. At Fedi Foundation level I see it more as consensus-seeking and getting to commonly accepted technical designs. Apart from that different groups can branch in different directions depending on their own use cases. E.g. @hamishcampbell is seeking to define Governance at Fediverse scope, while I - for my own projects - am most interested in a different setting. But we should be able to use the same model in technical implementations, and keep interop requirements into account.

Among deliverables of these projects might be a Pattern Library, which are documentation on how to achieve things. They may also be FEP’s.

Its horazontalish the scope matches the community - this could be Fediverse wide or not, we do not define this.

I need a new hashtag. Ideas for shortening this: “the project is more important for what is does not do than what it does do”

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