Webinar with the European Commission and AP Community

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square

Recently the NGI0 consortium reached out to relay a request from the European Commission to organize a Webinar with the ActivityPub community to discuss the protocols and how they could become a standard for EU institutions to use, with the idea of removing some dependency on centralized networks and the companies promoting them.

This would be a maximum of 2 hours, and we certainly could use the opportunity to use the new live feature of #software:peertube to host the webinar.

I would like to propose that we start with having a preparation conversation here to summarize the points we could use to demonstrate why the EC should consider ActivityPub, and then take a moment to eat our own dog food and test drive this Peertube Live feature (which so far did not work for me).

Update 13 April:

For newcomers to this very long thread some links:


(Besides on this thread, there’s other comments on: Meeting notes for prep call EC Webinar 19 April)

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Wow, that is an opportunity for the Policy SIG and the community at large. And it would indeed need a thorough preparation.

And might as well use @mobilizon to announce it, then :slight_smile:

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I’m on a call with @j8ter from NLnet to understand what’s the organization the EC wants for these webinars. It happens that the ActivityPub community has quite a lot of freedom to prepare this. I have opened a pad to take notes, and we can use this discussion to prepare the presentation(s) and the NGI0 topic to discuss dates and motivation for the people involved.

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Fantastic preparations, @how! I’ll add my first 2 cts…

I have added some entries to Scaling Up Cooperation - #6 by system and added the link to the pad.

Besides discussions here on the forum and elaboring on the pad, I have the Codeberg organization Fediverse and I can create teams there with organizers of the event. Then in one or more repo’s we can do the slides preparation and such, create project board / milestones, etc and everyone can PR + file issues. Let me know if you are interested in that.


This is wonderful. But it also represents an important test: How well do we understand the needs of the EC representatives?

Objective

Without going into too much detail I’d say the goal of the 3-part meetup might be phrased in the slogan:

"From Interest, to Excitement, to Action!"

With that as the strategy we can take care that each meetup builds seamlessly on the previous one. Ideating a bit:

  • Webinar 1: Brief intro (AS/AP/Fedi 101, Current landscape) → Bold vision (opportunities) → Strategy (realizing vision)
  • Webinar 2: Topic: Vision to reality / Strategy to operation, Brief tech overview + weak spots → Important research areas
  • Workshop: Prepare for action / launch activity track. Organization. Address questions & open issues → practical follow-up

Webinar 1 - Projects

Strong recommendation: Don’t have Projects be the main focus of the presentation (but introduce along the way)!

For the initial presentation, besides it being necessarily high-level given the short time available, I feel its nature should be:

  1. Visionary
  2. Strategic

If you look at DG DIGIT this is also how they are positioned. We can find handholds in their Plans and reports, their FOSS vision, etc. and build upon those, to be as relevant as possible.

Visionary

The EC representatives may have heard a bit about Fediverse already. But in this presentation we should outline a Bold Vision - our Moonshot - of what the Fediverse can be.

I’ve worked in many tech roles, among others as Product Owner, and from that perspective I’ve been passionately advocating a number of talking points. They all go beyond the overly technical focus that exist in this community. Here are the main ones:

Note: All these talking points are part of Fediverse Futures that intends to broaden the scope of this community:

  1. Towards considering and brainstorming applications that target new business domains
  2. To stimulate people with a bigger variety of skill sets and tech roles to join the community.

While not necessarily the ones above, I think that we should mention Projects gradually during the presentation, and always in relation to a particularly Visionary concept.

Strategic

I’ve been arguing in multiple topics (e.g. here) that fediverse is still weak and fragile, and that our strong points - decentralization and grassroots organization - also work to inhibit and slow down our evolution.

That we need focal points - such as SocialCG, SocialHub, and maybe a Foundation - to coordinate and collaborate together, and grow the community strength. Healthy growth is the focus, but achieving it requires people actively investing significant amounts of time and effort.

And here I see an opportunity in this EC / AP initiative, namely:

Opportunity: To turn our main weakness into one of our primary strengths.

With our different positionings, the AP / Fedi community vs. EU-affiliated tech initiatives can keep each other sharp. In no matter what ways fediverse will evolve, we will always have to comply to regulatory frameworks that exist. We must seek alignment.

We fedizens stand with our ‘boots in the mud’, in the ‘Wild West’ social media landscape as it is organically taking shape, and at SocialHub we are actively doing the shaping. In that we are field experts. The ones with invaluable practical expertise for regulators, policy makers and strategists that need to create the stable pillars of society.

And with their strategic mindset, regulatory powers, and - importantly - the willingness to bring real improvement to the tech landscape that exists in the EU, the EU have very much to offer in return.

We should highlight this point, imho. There is mutualism and synergy to be had:

Strategy: Embrace each other’s strengths, help mitigate each other’s weaknesses.

The aforementioned handholds we find on DG Digit and other EU sites can be our guide to weave in some enticing hints of how this embrace can be taken to practice, and which strategies are instrumental to follow then.

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It’s a good idea to use Codeberg. Not sure about the pertinence of using a project for the presentation (HedgeDoc is pretty good for slides) but it would be nice to use a project for the workshop. Let’s not overkill, there’s not much time to prepare.

I think we need to stick to the ground. The interest of EC is already there. What’s missing is how to make the case for a hands-on experiment, and the need for the EU to embrace the protocol as soon and as widely as possible. European values and the principles of Proportionality and Subsidiarity are our allies here. In the coming Horizon Europe funding round that follows Horizon 2020 which brought up NGI0 Discovery and NGI0 PET, there’s a good opportunity for ActivityPub research and development to thrive.

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Do you know a nice public instance in English and in the EU ?

Good question (and harder than I thought). Maybe mobilizon.be which is for 4 languages, or mobilizon.cloud-libre.eu which is French, but has an .eu address. Maybe just the largest main instance of mobilizon.fr. Seems they do not all federate together and the latter has some English events. Or events.nixnet.services in USA is also an option. Here’s the full list of instances.

Of course it’s not.

@tcit what would be your choice of a reliable, working, usable instance in the context of announcing a meeting among grown ups talking policy?

unwanted demo effect

I’m not sure this is the kind of ‘policy meeting’ we want to promote – despite personal tastes (screenshot from mobilizon.fr home page).

Note that Mobilizon might not be best to announce non-physical events as those are not geo-located. Maybe we could focus on a smaller, more focused software that only does announcements (and I see them disappear as they grow to include more and more stuff… Hmm, when do we learn…).

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We suggest a few instances on https://mobilizon.org, but there’s not many english-speaking ones at the moment indeed.

Thanks, I’ve deleted these events and their profiles locally and reported them to the original instance.

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Hi @CristinaDeLisle@rhiaro told me you may be interested to help with this, and it would be wonderful to have your experience on board, while we elaborate things :blush:

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Hello! Yes, of course, I would like to help. I’ve checked out the notes from NGI0 European Commission / ActivityPub Liaison - HedgeDoc and read this thread. Is there some other preparations made in the meantime for the webinar or this is the entire picture of what has been discussed so far? I like a lot the idea of having a strong focus on how the AP protocol is a solution for following EU various principles, with covering main topics like:

  • what is AP and how does it follow EU principles. In terms of projects, it would be great to point out some implementations as examples to prove the points of how the EU principles are considered.
  • what could be implemented in the future using AP and how would this make a better approach for following EU principles as opposed to centralized solutions.
    In any case, I am +1 to help out, as in the following weeks I have some free time available and it would be nice to use it for a good cause. Is there maybe a meeting you would like to have where we cover some points about this or we stick to written materials?
    Have a great evening ahead!
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just btw:
The Council of the European Union confirmed that none of its IT systems store content outside the EU.

And I had asked if that includes Great Britain :wink:


So: The instances would really need to be hosted within the EU.

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Super!!   :smiley:

There is a pre-meeting on Monday 10am CET between the EC and the NGI0 consortium to understand better why the EC wants to meet. I like that focus on EU principles, how we meet them now, and how we might evolve that further.

As for planning meetings and such I’ll leave @how (and @rhiaro if time permits) in the lead. I am just the enthusiastic helping hand providing my (hopefully) useful 2cts wherever I can :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Thanks @Sebastian. It makes sense, of course. I was mostly looking in the (still small) list of instances for a reasonable sounding domain name + no. of accounts for purpose of just demonstrating the fedi app. For real dogfooding purposes it might be best if SocialHub had their own instance, and use it to e.g. also announce SocialCG meetups.

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Great to have you all on this!

@CristinaDeLisle can you figure out an angle to highlight where ActivityPub helps with EU principles and values (including GDPR), and where it’s challenging or worse (e.g., right to be forgotten, etc.)?

@Sebastian they may be hosted in the EU but they remain with very complicated and binding contracts with M$ and Gaggle… Did they mention that?

@aschrijver thank you for your presence. Since you mentioned schemas, can you describe some you have in mind? Maybe using the diagram feature of HedgeDoc or images.

@cwebber I see on the pad you’re up for a presentation on the 26th? I hope we can work altogether preparing it.

There should be an easy way to use Discourse’s RSS to repost to the Fediverse. It would be better than nothing. If we can setup an instance on activitypub.rocks we could have a ‘socialhub’ account for all new things, and one per category for example, plus one for meeting announcements (or groups, etc.) – but maybe that’s for later.

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Hello! Yes, I will get back to you with a list to consider with main areas for the discussion with the EU principles. :+1:

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Thanks @how. I’ll track notes and discussion in EC Webinar Prep: ActivityPub beyond Microblogging --> Exploring Domains and move results to the Pad.

(This is a wiki post that anyone can edit, by clicking the ‘Edit’ link in bottom-right corner)

ActivityPub vs. Solid Collaboration

In Webinar 2 on Protocols it would be great if we can present how AP & Solid can be used to complement each other. There are discussions in both communities (SocialHub here and in Solid here), and we also have actual projects that discover how we fit together…

@Alice and @calummackervoy are both working on Startin’blox that implements ActivityStreams (AP too?). Maybe you’d like to get involved and see if and how things might fit into the event?

Then there’s SemApps (See Solid discussion) involved with both Solid and AP. I (@aschrijver) will post to Solid forum to see if there’s interest.

And of course we have the great OpenEngiadina by @pukkamustard

@rubenverborgh this is a good chance to explore a bit further, after earlier mutual intent for coop :blush:


Please edit this wiki post to add more ideas for presenting collaboration between Solid and AP communities

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I have created a square version of the Forum Header I made earlier, that can be used in toots to the fediverse:

Inkscape SVG:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square

PNG:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square


Update: A new version that highlights the cooperation with NGI0 …

Inkscap SVG:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square2

PNG:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square

Old header SVG:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021

New header SVG:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-2

New header PNG (white background, 5px padding):

Slide header:

ec-event-header

Slide header PNG (900 x 379):

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(This is a wiki post that anyone can edit, by clicking the ‘Edit’ link in the bottom-right corner)

Fediverse and NGI Zero Discovery

Highlighting how NGI0 has boosted great fediverse projects and how they interact now and in the future, to innovate the web and evolution of the Internet into an Internet of Humans.

Most informed on the subject are @j8ter and @how

Funded projects

The following fedi projects have already received funding:

  • [TODO]

Information collected here is added to NGI0 European Commission / ActivityPub Liaison - HedgeDoc pad as needed.