The SocialHub was created to support the people building federated apps and to evolve the standards and practices that are foundations of the Fediverse. For many different reasons the SocialHub has now come to a stage where we must decide on its future.
The Fediverse with its many fedizens and independent projects that want to interoperate relies on the ability for the people involved to find each other, discuss how to solve challenge and innovate, and to “get-things-done”.
“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.”
The open standards and the people and processes, however formal or informal, are the common substrate upon which the entire Fediverse is built. No matter how grassroots chaotic, anarchist or individualist your approach this substrate is a given. And as app developer your app stands right upon it.
An unhealthy substrate, insufficient cooperation and everyone going it alone, directly reflects the health of the Fediverse as a whole. An organism with clogged veins that cannot grow. Some time ago I took notes on the health of the Fediverse substrate and the picture is bleak: ActivityPub related substrate - HedgeDoc
I have looked at several other major challenges for the Fediverse, and can only come to the conclusion that:
Without substrate Fediverse innovation is extremely hard, and over time fedi growth will likely stall.
This applies less to the existing, popular Microblogging applications who have their own “in-project” substrate. But it does apply to all the other places where Fediverse has so much potential still. Will we be able to tap into them, and grab the opportunities that exist? Reformulating the above:
There is a win-win for any federated app developer to participate and dedicate to a healthy substrate.
Now the SocialHub is just one place where fedi’s future is discussed. We can say that:
- SocialHub in combination with SocialCG has been active and rather successful in the past.
- The forum over time has become a valuable archive of ActivityPub-related information.
- Even now as just-a-forum there is still valuable discussion that helps people on their way.
For the future of the SocialHub there are roughly 3 options:
- SocialHub stops. The forum is archived so no information is lost.
- Just-a-Forum. Continue as we are now. Needs a minimum amount of moderation.
- Active community. Re-establish a position in Fediverse substrate formation.
Having spent so much time here in advocacy and encouragement I am sad about current “just-a-forum” state, and would be sadder still if the community would be disbanded. The third option of having an active, vibrant community is what I’d love to see.
But community means active participation, collective action, willingness to spend time, and commitment to be involved with all the tasks that are required to be done, including the boring chores.
In the poll below I ask you as SocialHub member where your preference is. Should you choose option 3) and opt for Community I’d like you to also respond to the thread with thoughts and ideas for how this community organization should look like. Anything is possible (e.g. organize on fediverse tools). If we boostrap as a community again we must put in place something that works for us, and offers the incentives to remain involved.
Below is a poll with the 3 choices for SocialHub’s future. Poll is anonymous and results are visible after voting.
- It is okay if SocialHub stops and is archived. We have other means to communicate
- SocialHub has value as a discussion forum. Real community as you describe exists elsewhere
- We should revamp a vibrant SocialHub community and find an organization structure that works for us
Please don’t refrain from giving feedback and thoughts on this matter! Thank you
Note that a very low response rate to the poll in itself is an indicator for the option we choose. So, if you read this as a member: DO VOTE