NGI FORUM 2023

The upcoming NGI Forum 2023 will bring together 300 people from EU institutions and related Next Generation Internet consortia and experts. If you are in Brussels in November, you could attend, and why not participate in a proposed workshop:

Hands-on ActivityPub software workshop for ex-Twitter users

Attendees will discover a variety of federated software for all kinds of usage, and discover specific cultural tips and differences from Twitter. Since Twitter recently became a private venue, it lost all its momentum as a public broadcast medium for individuals and organizations. As Meta launches Threads, it’s important to understand the stakes of the new wave of after-market social media commons and embrace the Fediverse with open arms and a clear mind. Brought to you by the SocialHub.
Participants should bring a computer connected to the Internet (laptop, smartphone) and means to verify email (for account confirmation notifications). People without such devices can pair with someone else.

(Note that the workshop was proposed, not accepted yet. But I would appreciate some input from the community, as we did before towards the EU.)

Agenda

  1. Introduction and audience check to determine groups to explore various software
  2. Installation, discovery by group/software, exchange among groups: each group will install and use federated software, and all groups will exchange messages among themselves across the Fediverse
  3. Discussion: during the whole workshop, attendees will be invited to share their previous experience, and expectations with the Fediverse
  4. Wrap up: we’ll wrap up with a concluding round and invite participants to follow up on the SocialHub, where a report will be posted, including resources that may have been suggested but not discussed for the lack of time.

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The workshop was accepted and so we’re scheduling it. I proposed @aschrijver and @indieterminacy to work with me on this since they are both in or near Brussels.

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A post was split to a new topic: Off-topic abusive post

Delighted to help in whatever capacity required.
I understand that this would be according to top-down requirements and will bite my lips and hold my tongue given the culture of NGI.

For accountability: I should be clear and state that I have been a recipient of NLNet philanthropy, who were working with NGI as part of their EU fund activities.
I have subsequently applied to an (unsuccessful) NGI fund; and have a (pending ) bid with an NLNet fund.

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If we can syndicate any recorded content that could be used for SocialHub’s own series of conferences that would be a win-win as far as Im concerned.

@how any chance you can investigate whether this is possible?

If NGI are willing to work with us on this, what would that look like in practice? Hosting a copy of videos from any fediverse-related sessions in a playlist on our PeerTube channel? Other possibilities?

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We have a good history of doing this https://conf.tube/ am assuming the content will be CC licence so should be possible to host the video.

Anyone knows what is the past/current history of conf.tube and who actually runs it and is responsible for it upkeep as has been a little flaky last few years, not criasising (don’t bite or block please) trying for some #openprocess, so we can be #4opens as opakness is mess making in the end.

update
Installed and maintained by Spacebear OÜ. Original idea by e8johan.

Who is now e8johan (@e8johan@social.linux.pizza) - Linux.Pizza will chase him up and find out what is happening with this instance to check It’s still active and in the “commons”.

Well, if they are just dropping them live themselves then perhaps its a mute point.

If they arent then at least I can do technical installation and push a button.

I do know professional interpreters in Brussels who may be able to lend some audio equipment.

I could badger them to volunteer but their nostrils enflare when they see the letters EU.
If I can triangulate things that would give SocialHub some input to syndicate (if not live in parallel?).

Like I messaged in the other thread, Guanxi is a strange beast sometimes:

I can repeat my offer to interview people during the conference.

That may help to do that under the SocialHub banner as a separation of concerns (in terms of what could be said).
I know some video journalists for equipment but again Guanxi is peculiar with things like that.

Of course, all groups forego the “Netflix binge” approach and drop one video at a time old timey marketing style (but maybe moral hazard is considered uncouth in this community).

For curiosity, how did you get on their agenda? Do they have some kind of call for proposals, or …? There isn’t any related info on the website that I can see.

As part of the NGI Zero consortium I was made aware of the call for proposals just in time. I had not seen any public call either. I do not have a clue how they selected participants. This is part of the Brussels’ labyrinth.

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Curious, I tried to reverse engineer a viewpoint of the activities from the previous event (its every two years):
https://2021.ngiforum.eu/

Unfortunately, the past is as encapsulated as the future.

I suppose registering in the portal is the way to trade away this ambiguity.

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I’ll be talking to the event organizer soon and report here.

Is there any Twatter user on the SocialHub who can describe their experience there vs. here (i.e., the Fediverse)? I think I did not connect to that platform for the last five years or so, so I must be biased.

I updated the original post to add the event at 2023-11-16T13:00:00Z2023-11-16T14:00:00Z as well as the description of the workshop.

Here is how I envision it:

  1. First I ask the audience about their social media usage, so as to determine what kind of software they’ll be interested in.
  2. Then I form groups from this poll, some will be using Mastodon/Pleroma (Twatter), others Pixelfed (Instagrim), yet others Peertube (Yourude), etc.
  3. Help with setup, as we discuss specifics and differences.
  4. Wrap up, taking notes of what to add to the report; post a report here.

Happy to discuss details!

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I assume it involves fedi clients. You may collect some screenshots on various popular ones, as people would like to choose what appeals to them the most

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Im still happy to help however necessary.

Given point 1.:

First I ask the audience about their social media usage, so as to determine what kind of software they’ll be interested in.

I should probably install a burner operating system, as Guix has gaps in terms of federation software.
I expect Debian would be a good all rounder.

Given point 3:

Help with setup, as we discuss specifics and differences.

Is it possible or worth the time to get a bunch of USB thumbdrives with these softwares preinstalled?
It could be a nice gimmick and provide nice momentum for people post event?

Its worth aggregating such information and contexts for installation
Ideally this could be done collectively under this initiative:

If not also additionally, with the usage of the portal activitypub.rocks:

As @aschrijver states, using this repository would be useful:

Indeed, we should collect screenshots.
Perhaps we could create a PixelFed account for the event to store such screenshots (perhaps in parrallel?)?

Given point 4:

Wrap up, taking notes of what to add to the report; post a report here

Was there any interest in doing recording or interviews during the event?
Judging by your updates it sounds more like smaller huddles and pair programming - which is more than fine

Additionally:
Is is possible to adjust the timezone in your previous post to CET - with an emphasis on Brussels
(we dont want people rocking upto Paris in confusion…)

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I guess you can count on your Android phone: we’re going to focus on clients and use existing servers with open registration—a list of those could be handy. Would you like to help with the presentation?
Do you think focusing on the clients would still require USB drives? :thinking:

That’s a good idea. Maybe a hashtag? I’m not sure but I would expect PixelFed offering people to post to the same collection not necessarily the same account. I would suggest using one or more server instances with the following characteristics:

  1. hosted in Europe
  2. open registration
  3. general purpose or EU-related (e.g., https://eupolicy.social for Mastodon)
  4. latest server software installed

If I can identify a number of instances, and check with the admins if they’re interested, we can have a ‘special welcome’ for the workshop participants, that would be great.

It’s only one hour, and I expect the participants will not be too technical. It’s more about the culture and usage than about services.

It’s linked to your preference :slight_smile: Mine shows Brussels!

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Im happy to do a presentation - but Id need some guidelines in preparation
(… can you imagine that I like to rant?!?).
I always have to reduce the technical discourse with presentations, though knowing its an EU crowd makes me feel that maybe I can just try and behave like a public affairs wonk
(I did that kind of thing in a previous life, speaking in facilities like that back in the day).
I could always describe a ‘heros tale’ to them and imbibe the importance of subsidiarity; pluralism and federation to that crowd, as well as the importance of having resiliant tech and communities within Europe.

Yes, a hashtag and confluence of vanilla European instances would be a steady approach.

Regarding USB sticks, I in any case reached out to the developer of a NixOS flavour, MarigoldOS:

Perhaps they may be able to make a better case.

I reckon that ‘goodie bag’ type approaches do work
(or at the very least EU bubble crowds come to expect totems),
so its not worth abandoning as an idea.

[
edit:

somebody has correctly pointed out that USB sticks are of course an attack vector -
even if I and the aforementioned person are behaving responsibly perhaps it would not be a good demonstration of good hygiene - alternative solutions I may investigate

Somebody has in any case suggested this:

provide access through it over VNC/RDP or allow for sandboxed inspection via a web app for example

I may hammer them over that as an option
]

I do not have phone that can operate Android or any other insecure operating system like that.
When I am unencumbered by having to sift through non libre stacks that can operate with full user data protections I shall get around to it.

In any case, making or directing towards shortlist of clients that would be presentable /ahead of time/ would permit me to calibrate.
Otherwise I may relent and pickpocket/borrow somebody’s mobile device on the way to the site.

… Btw, I have always felt a little uncomfortable with the monkier ‘Twatter’, as being a Londoner ‘to twat’ means to punch somebody in the head to render them unconscious - with the ‘-er’ suffix almost sounding like it has a silent ‘h’
(I feel this is only me but it always makes me feel awkward reading it).

I wrote: help with the presentation — because I do know your love for rants :wink:

We’re gonna have stickers :slight_smile:

Sounds about right for describing the “service”, doesn’t it?

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… well at least conciseness is one less burden during November :wink:

I have in any case been building up a cache of different opinons from across the Fediverse, which I can compile in time.

I guess ill drop a compendium in a few weeks.

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Is it worth liaising with this community in advance of the presentation?:

They seem keen on the fediverse wrt European institutions.
Ive hovered in the community and alluded to this event but it may be worth being more concrete prior to their upcoming meetup (25th September 10AM (CET)).

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