Howto facilitate the fediverse for its own development?

I agree on this topic of “dogfooding”. I think the aversion stems from people perceiving what fedi currently offers as still insufficient / too immature set of tools, or just not knowing how to best wield fedi. What tools do we need? Chat, forum, docs.

Microblogging can be a replacement for chat (if we don’t use matrix, which may be better suited). For forum with a more async, long-term discussion and archive forming Lemmy comes close. Having docs in a federated manner would be nice too. Federated wiki’s? Semmy: Social knowledge fabrics?

Having never tried them in practice the Zap family of projects may offer a lot of useful stuff natively as well.

I am open to any effort to dogfood-some-more. Think it is important that a) it will stimulate other fedizens to jump in, and lower the barrier for them to do that and b) supports the processes to evolve our landscape well enough, i.e. brings a measure of efficiency (that frankly we haven’t got anywhere atm).

Update: The accompanying Lemmy post I created also has some nice discussion.

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I’ve always been averse to the term dogfooding. First and foremost because dogfood is essentially literal waste byproduct from animal agriculture, you shouldn’t feed it to your dogs.

But then going deeper, it implies this idea that users are lesser beings, that the great developer is humbling themselves somehow. It’s really kind of gross.

I instead prefer the term peoplefooding. And when you think about it this way it makes sense that fediverse developers don’t people food. Because the products they are creating are dogfood, not good enough for actually getting stuff done. Perhaps if developers were not so content with waste byproduct garbage from capitalism, from sheeple agriculture, with “minimum viable product”, then it would be a no-brainer to use it themselves.

Make peoplefood. Make some gormet meals. You can’t build a nutritious feast from byproduct.

:sweat_smile: No worries, though a common term it is easily avoided. I will adjust the title. Though your interpretation is opposite to mine. I picture a chef, say Gordon Ramsey, in the kitchen saying: “Really? Are you serving that to our highly respected diners without tasting first? How do you know it doesn’t taste like dog food then? Only if you first dig it yourself, can it be good enough for others”.

Hah. I thought I came up with a good anology with the sheeple agriculture byproducts. After all, things like Facebook etc exist as a sort of honeypot to convince people to route all their interactions through them in order to harvest data and sell hyper targeted ads…

So if you build a platform that is a ripoff of a honeypot…

Maybe I’m not that great at explaining things after all.

@Sebastian on another topic just reminded me that I had previously posted about SIOC ontology, or Semantically Interlinked Online Communities which might provide an interesting basis for a fedi dogfooding platform, as it combines the tools that would be needed in its information model and is also Linked Data that can be mapped on top of the ActivityStreams vocabulary that fedi uses.

This is the SIOC core ontology in a diagram:

SIOC core ontology)

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When you are first developing software… you are dealing with scraps and less desirable bits. You might not be eating dog food, but it sure feels like it sometimes. If you do a good job as a developer, once you release it to the public, it should be gourmet food though. :smiley:


I think that the fediverse is missing three things:

  1. True Interoperability between Platforms
  2. Use of Identity for more than social media.
  3. Critical Mass / Tipping Point

Let’s look at the most successful decentralized federated system in the world: email. What does it have?

  1. The client you use does not matter. You still get your email. You can even use more than one client for the same account (i.e. IMAP).
  2. You can use your email address to log into a variety of websites, not just your email server.
  3. You can use your email address to validate your identity.
  4. You can even create specialized email clients, such as support ticket systems that communicate with customers by email, or Customer Relationship Management Systems that organize emails from clients for you in their profile.
  5. Email can be configured to handle a change in your email address by making use of email forwarders or sending an autoresponder.
  6. You are not locked into one email server (if you control the domain). You can move your domain and email address to another server.

So, what is missing in the fediverse?

  • Remote Authentication: Your fediverse Identity is not a universal identifier. You often have to create multiple accounts on multiple platforms since most platforms do not support remote authentication.
  • User Interface: User interfaces that let people know that their chosen platform can talk to other platforms. If you don’t make features obvious and easy to use, people won’t know that they are there.
  • Nomadic identity: Where you are not locked into a particular server or even platform. You can transfer your identity and all of your data.

The Zot/Nomad protocol is the only protocol that I am aware of that handles both remote authentication and nomadic identity, but it is not widely used in the fediverse. And it is not used outside the fediverse in most cases (although it is my personal goal to change that).

And this gets back to the tipping point that I talked about. You have to reach a certain number of active users before the “network effect” goes into effect. The more users you have, the more users you will attract. Making the projects truly interoperable would make it easier to reach that tipping point.

That is why I personally have decided to base all of my websites on a Zot/Nomad-based login system so that users can use the same Zot/Nomad enabled fediverse account on any of my websites, even the ones that are not social media websites.

The best case scenario is that people realize how useful passwordless remote authentication is, and the idea spreads. The worst-case scenario is that my users only have to have one account to log into all of my websites and they don’t need a password to do it.

I think that there are some lessons to be learned from the most popular federated system on the planet, and if we take what works there and apply it to the fediverse, we could literally change how social media and identity work on the internet.

e.g. I find it odd when participants in here don’t tell a fediverse handle.

Welcome to SocialHub @WisTex :hugs:

Though I agree on those points, I feel the absolutely most important missing aspect is the healthy community that is able to establish all that. These technical aspects can only be addressed if there are people willing to put time and effort to them, collaborate together, and stick to it with a prolonged commitment. Without that, the only other way is we muddle along and everyone is doing their own thing, copy/pasting from others, but in general progressing very slowly and haphazardly.

Yes! Zot/Nomad and related projects have many interesting capabilities and features that would be to benefit of Fediverse as a whole, and it is great if you could dedicate to spread more awareness and insights on their inner workings on this forum (and/or to a future fed-hosted community once we get there).

It is an optional field, people can choose to be pseudonymous, and also not all members have fediverse accounts.

even anonymous is legit, a fediverse account is not necessarily linked to anything regarding that person or other activities or whatever. All it takes is an address to reply to or there will be no communication on that channel.

while the topic says ’ Howto facilitate the fediverse for its own development?’ – things won’t improve without usage, will they? That’s exactly the problem, isn’t it?

I just find it odd. I do not claim nor demand anything. But it’s enlightening that this view seems debatable.

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afaik it comes from the poverty of scifi author PK Dick, being so poor that he eats dogfood because he cannot afford real peoplefood. Something like “subsisting on an inferior product until things improve”.

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Howto facilitate the fediverse for its own development?

Simple really. Stop making excuses and just do it. Nobody cares what platform or brand you use, because they all federate with each other. And isn’t that the point?


On one hand, I understand the challenge behind this. For example, I know what I want to create. I just don’t necessarily know how to do it yet. Sometimes it seems like it takes 5 hours of research and 2 hours of debugging & testing for every 1 hour of coding, since programming for the fediverse is new to me. I’m getting better and I am learning, but it isn’t like I can just whip up a solution just because I have a picture of it in my head.

But, on the other hand, in the end it comes down to what @macgirvin said. Nothing will change unless someone decides to change it. Nothing will be built unless someone decides to build it.

I think that things will work faster with collaboration, but what I have found is that collaboration often comes later… after you have built the prototype. People don’t collaborate with people who just have an idea. They collaborate with people who have already started building something.

So, the only way is to start building.

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