Hospitality exchange community considers moving to the fediverse ;)

this is awesome, thanks @aschrijver!

FYI, for instant messaging (coordination) we use:

Both rooms are mirrored. You are more then welcome to join!

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Great that you come up here @mariha

From your links I realize there are indeed more platforms then what I imagined, and none have a clear identity so I can imagine the conversations between users idefinitely explaining why they prefer this or that platform.
Indeed federating would certainly help this bringing access to all information relieves the burden on any platform to fulfill all needs, I imagine it would diminish the competion between platforms.
In consequence the different platforms could develop their specific identity , they would not fear of missing out since other needs would be covered by other platforms. One could then imagine platforms in other languages than English or dedicated to certain life choices (think of ecology or veganism).

I can imagine AP could help a lot regarding safety issues as users could share their profile accross different AP platforms therefore they become more accountable as they would not want to harm their reputation on other social media if they abuse a couch surfing situation.

Same thing here, relation to humanity and to humanism as a historical universalism is very difficult, but indeed this is a side note.


Hi @natacha!

BeVolunteer, an organization behind BeWelcome gives an interesting historical context of how hospex landscape was (r)evolving. Except a few (Servas, CouchSurfing, WarmShowers, WelcomeToMyGarden?), looks like new platforms were basically built because of disagreements of how the old ones were governed (Servas ->? Hospitality Club, HC → BeWelcome, BW+CS → TrustRoots, CS → Couchers, WS → CyclePlanet), not because they had any distinctive identity aspects in mind.

I hope this is the future we are heading to :green_heart: Thanks for outlining it, very well said!


That sounds like a plan, that we need to bring to every problem :slight_smile:

Interesting to read this is a common history to alt-groups/projects in part it’s the #geekproblem in part something every left wing project has to work to overcome.

Thinking #activitypub is a good fix as it mediates the “diversity of tactics” that is core to the spiky/fluff debate that I touch on here

Worth a look at this one on the same subject

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Proposal: New top-level forum section for Domains

One topic I’m curious about is security/privacy and safety needs.

On the twitter-like part of the fediverse, the feeling seems you would only really trust it for semi-public discussion. The privacy controls are not intended to be hard safety barriers, but best-effort. At least from a user perspective it seems wise to treat it in this way, and use other platforms where secure communication is needed.

But for hospitality exchange this aspect is a bit different. A few thoughts:

  1. messages sent within a node should never have a way to leave that node
  2. the safety-team on a given node might need access to the messages (hospex safety issues can be serious, involve the law, and be physical in nature)
  3. in practise, the server admin will probably always be able to read all messages, and the users should hopefully feel comfortable to trust the node operators
  4. malicious/hostile nodes should not be able to fake anything… personally I’m into allowlist-only federation to maximise trust, even if it means slower network growth, and nodes should be authenticated somehow

(by node, I mean an instance of some hospex-like activitypub server)

I don’t really know how this stuff is handled in the fediverse, but I think the way it works out on mastodon et al. is not sufficient for hospex safety needs. In all cases, I believe the users really need to be able to give their truly informed consent regarding their own safety needs.

@nicksellen it might be interesting to look into what @darius is doing with Friend Camp and Hometown, mentioned in Standardizing on a common Community domain as AP extension? - #22 by aschrijver

One thing that Hometown provides is Local-Only Posting:

Mastodon right now is designed to get your messages out to the entire fediverse. This is great, but there is a huge need for more private communities. And in a federated network I think it makes the most sense for your home server to be that community (hence “Hometown”).

Another new federated app under development, GoToSocial (based on #software:go-fed) is having local-only posting on the wishlist. Interestingly GoToSocial is headless (no frontend, API-only) which lends itself well to tailor custom UI’s on top. The developer is in the Go-Fed Matrix Chatroom.

Local only (infrastructure-wise) posting is an interesting idea. I guess this way we could handle one-on-one message exchange within a local community as well as broader discussions in the community (afaik none of the hospex platforms has it right now, WS has external forum and TR has something similar for circles on the roadmap).

Other interesting idea that we discussed with @nicksellen elsewhere would be local only posting in geographical sense. This would allow to make indirect hosting requests, something like:

I am arriving to the city and I broadcast a message: Who can host me?
Everyone in the area can see it and someone answers: Come over to my home, we’ll be waiting this evening for you!
without any upfront planning and commitments.

That would be great! There is a lot of uncertainty when traveling by bike, I hardly ever plan ahead of time, I think only when I have to make to the airport/train station to go back home and I consider it hard inconvenience. Out of 3 weeks trip half is pure pleasure of going anywhere I want and second half or at least 1/3 feels like rushing to get back at time.

Maybe that’s also why I hardly ever used WS as a guest. And most people who stayed with me were either starting or finishing their trips (my home was in a 1-2 hours ride from the airport in both places where I hosted)

@cjs thanks for writing this! I looked at your projects quickly and it seems very useful, and very well thought! Sorry for not answering earlier. I think I just need to understand the ActivityPub and ActivityStream themselves better before jumping into implementations, would be happy to chat with you later when I have some concrete questions, but go-fed and goToSocial are definitely worth considering, as a prototype and going forward.

Otherwise I considered either (a) ActivityPub-express, a JavaScript implementation of AP as most of the platforms are written in JS and to start by federating two instances of Trustroots with each other or (b) to just organically add feature by feature:

  1. cross-platform-authentication,
  2. import/export of data,
  3. clustered users from the other platform visible on a map

to the Trustroots - BeWelcome federation (what tech leads from both communities thought was worth doing anyways).

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Do you already have similar functionality in current platform, that are based on geographic location? In ActivityStreams you have the as:Place object that allows specifying coordinates, usable maybe for filtering, and one might have some address-related fields attached to their as:Person or as:Profile (maybe using vcard:Address which is recommended for such extension). I don’t know if / how other federated apps have support similar information.

We don’t have yet, it would be very nice though.

In FB groups for WS and some other travelers related and even the one that I moderate for Open alternative to WS people ask this questions every now and then. It’s rather annoying because it’s irrelevant to 99.9% of people (120K members for example) and the chances to find anyone, who lives in a bike-driving distance and is part of the group and is online and willing to host are pretty low I’d say.

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This is such a fascinating effort and I’m glad to be here as it’s getting started, with so much feedback coming from the SocialHub community. A lot of links have been provided which should make for some good reading.

On the technical side of AP-enablement, I see tremendous value in two approaches.

  1. Delegating everything AP-specific to an external tool. GoFed is mentioned and ontologies which is frankly awesome. Potentially another hidden gem of the fediverse.
  2. For any systems that wish to implement AP, to try to do so as a plugin. The nice thing about plugins is they let core developers stay focused while instances can diversify and test out features more easily.

As an aside: On the point of local-only posts, is it not possible to leave that to each project? Certainly a project can have some internal flags on their objects that say, “don’t send this over the AP wire,” so it’s never becomes an AP concern.



The hospitality exchange WWW projects are good examples “native” #openweb projects.

I have been using these form the early days, spending meany years Hitchicking around the world “the hospitality” of strangers is the norm for this pre web world is something we need to think about when building new tech tools to model ancient human traditions (have a MA dissertation on hitchhiking some were)

Couch-surfing has a VERY interesting social tech history that we can learn from.

The newer networks have much to say about the #geekproblem and the strong tendency to self ghetto our own projects.

I think AP is a good way out of these two issues. NOTE we are fixing a social problem, good to notice we are not fixing a technical problem with AP here :slight_smile:

If you are only thinking of fixing a tech problem with AP It’s likely not to have a good outcome.


Following on the plugin idea from above, today I learned PeerTube supports plugins. It’s written in TypeScript which is similar to Trustroots’ Javascript so may be helpful as a reference implementation.

Here’s the doc on their plugins API: PeerTube Plugins API documentation


Interesting, thanks for sharing!

WelcomeToMyGarden moves to TypeScript too.

As an aside: On the point of local-only posts, is it not possible to leave that to each project?

Good point, thx!

I have a project (mentioned above) I’m planning that has plugins, called Service Modules, as a central concept: Groundwork. The idea is to explore some interesting features:

  • Service modules are dynamically pluggable at runtime.
  • Service modules are polyglot, can be written in many languages.
  • Service modules are ideal for providing domain-specific extensions (using Linked Data aspects of AP spec)
  • The process of developing interoperable code itself will be explored to ease app development.

When launching this project I’d like to do that with a group of people similarly interested in having solid foundations of any federated app (auth/authz, user management, core federation mechanisms, etc.) - the common denominator - unified in an active and healthy FOSS project where many contributors expand and improve its base. Service modules that anyone creates on top of Groundwork will become available as library building block to other devs.

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Nice! I used hitchhiking to get to highschool every morning 20 years ago, train schedules have never been my thing.

Same, was hosted so many times by strangers when traveling the world by bike. Central Asia/Middle East people are the most incredibly hospitable, it’s such a pity that after wars in Afghanistan and Iraq people in that whole region are seen as hostile. I haven’t thought about hospitality (or luck of it) as a pre/post web issue, for me it was more that in the countries where there is no good governance and infrastructure serving people needs, there is no other choice than to lean on other people and as a result there is much more solidarity among people and in general they support each other as much as they can. Need to think about tech role in it, very interesting thought with potentially far reaching consequences/opportunities. Probably worth it’s own conversation separate from this one.

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The nice and very precious thing in the hospitality exchange and sharing communities is how their participants have experienced human nature. And the truly good parts of it, for that matter. I often say that we are increasingly living in a “distrust-first” society, and hypercapitalism breeds ever more of that distrust. The web with traditional social media (based on wrong incentives and business models) and flood of globalized news content (where negative news sells best) serves to tremendously accelerate the erosion of Trust.

Here I think that there is a big opportunity by bringing hospitality and sharing domains to the fediverse, as it will serve to further strenghten our culture. The platforms created here can be exemplars, where good vibes and proper human values rub off on fedizens, and help the virtuous cycle that uplifts culture ever further. I just copied an article I wrote some time ago with more background on Trust vs. Distrust as I see it: The Benefits of Trusting People First - Social - Humane Tech Community (relates to how I see Humanity as the key factor to create humane technology).


Sounds really really good, @aschrijver! The whole project but in particular these points seems so relevant at the moment:

when discussion here and so often with other projects goes into choice between two or more general purpose languages where both are good to do the job and it’s really a matter of individual preferences with a consequence of excluding from participation people with other then chosen tech stack experience. Did I already mention that I hate monoliths?

I’d be in, either for hospex (depends on others) or my tools and slow-travelers gear sharing projects.


How to move away from the churn.

"A river that needs crossing political and tech – On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over complexity

All code is ideology solidified into action – most contemporary code is capitalism, this is hardly a surprise if you think about this for a moment. Yes you can try and act on any ideology on top of this code but the outcome and assumptions are preprogramed… cant find any good links on this."

The gift economy goes way back to the beginning of human history. The problem we face is that most of our #geekproblem crew code for capitalism even when they are agenst capitalism “naivety and over complexity”

This is a poverty that leads directly to the high churn in alt-tech. We have to stop adding more tech-shit to the pile, which means challenging our own assumptions aspersherly of people who come up with “new” ideas as 99% of the time these are not new and are just churning old failed models. Its beyond boring, and It’s going to lead to millions of us dying and billions of us being displaced in the next 100 years #XR

We need to stop churning and start digging, compost the tech crap, plant seeds in the rich soil of this compost and grow a natural, humane, forest to live our lives in.

We need to do this today, next week, and all next year. Yes its work.

There are 20 years of thinking on this here with some paths out of this mess.

AP is a excellent way of meadating this issue, but most of the current codebases cannot be refacted with this at its core, the resources and skills are just not there. Maybe something like forgefed, can bolted onto the existing codebase till the focus and energy can be found to do versions as a part of the fedivers.