“Any decentralized [ecosystem] requires a centralized substrate, and the more decentralized the approach is the more important it is that you can count on the underlying system.”
Fediverse has gained critical mass. The ecosystem is going mainstream, appealing to a broader audience. There’s corporate interest, and even Big Tech is pondering an entry.
→ This means Opportunity and Threats… now is the time to address them.
Threats consist of various levels of Corporate Capture of the technology landscape, and that goes up all the way up to EEE. I won’t go into this much, as these dynamics are well-known. There’s one positive side to the corporate interest: On the short term dedicated company resources can signficantly boost evolution and technology uptake. Longer term corporations will take the drivers seat and FOSS movement is driven to their usual position in the fringes.
“It’s the Culture, stupid!”
In the FOSS movement we are so deeply focused on technical aspects of technology, that we often lose sight of the bigger picture of what we manage to establish with our collective efforts. Consider this:
Q: What’s the key quality, or ‘unique selling point’ if you will, that led to the success of the Fediverse?
A: It’s the vibrant Culture that has been fostered over a period of years in a grassroots environment.
I feel this is such an important insight. There’s people bashing AS/AP et al for their technical shortcomings. People saying that e.g. Nostr is so much better and will win with their “censorship resistance”. There’s a gazilion startups that tried to launch the killer Social Media platform… and failed.
Those long years with the Fediverse slowly, organically carving out its well-deserved space on the web, driven by Free Culture and the Commons, i.e. having the interests of real People at heart… these have created the conditions for the Fediverse to flourish! A fedi that’s human-scale and humane. That was the key success factor!
→ The Fediverse knows what “Social” is!
On the contrary corporate Social Media were never about social at all. They were about money at all cost.
“Defend What 's Dear to Us”
With the Fediverse the Free Culture and FOSS movement managed a rare feat: To erect a complete open-standards-based ecosystem from the ground up and steer it towards success. Now our challenge is to see if we can remain in the drivers seat and keep the Fediverse delightful and for everyone, making it more diverse and inclusive than ever before.
Now it is time, as @darius so clearly expressed before to “Play and Win Our Own Game”:
Moving ahead: The Grassroots Fediverse
As many people stated before, grassroots cultural dynamics means resistance to overly formalized processes and centralization of activities. The fragmentation and resulting chaos of our dispersed activities all across the web lends a certain measure of resilience. This is a Good Thing™ and it is needed… to an extent.
At the same time too much fragmentation makes The Grassroots Fediverse weak and vulnerable to concerted efforts to bring order to chaos. Efforts that corporations will soon be deeply involved with.
→ There’s a sweet spot to be found between order and chaos.
Ideating our grassroots organization
In the Wiki post below you can all edit your ideas for a ‘minimum viable organization structure’ that’s needed for Fediverse evolution that retains our grassroots culture and dynamics which made us successful.
→ Discussion goes here: Continuing the DoOcracy
(Note: This topic is locked, so that wiki edits will bump the topic to the top of the forum)