There have been some discussions on what a fediverse governance body might look like structurally, but I ask a slightly different question. What would (or should) a fediverse organization do, and is a “governing body” the correct approach?
Me personally, I don’t think it should be a “governing body” at all. It should instead be a voluntary cooperative and collaborative support organization. I think that fits the spirit of the fediverse better.
Some of the things that I think such an organization could do include:
Hosting working groups on various topics, such as interoperability.
Representing the fediverse community’s interests in government settings and with other organizations.
Provide educational material and resources to the public and to developers.
Additionally, I think such an organization, to be successful, should be:
Neutral regarding specific platforms and protocols.
This is what we have here on socialhub without the formal co-op which the is no possibility of getting a consensus about. Most of the things you list people try and do here, It’s what this space is for.
Am all for this type of organizing but good to keep in mind The Tyranny of Stuctureless that empirical it often does not do the job, it’s doing a bad job here.
power is the social production of an effect that determines the capacities, actions, beliefs, or conduct of actors. Power does not exclusively refer to the threat or use of force (coercion) by one actor against another, but may also be exerted through diffuse means (such as institutions)
I think there is something lost in translation here.
When I say organization, I specifically mean a formal organization registered with the state, that has a bank account, leaders, members, a formal structure, and a constitution or articles of organization.
I am NOT talking about a forum website or internet community that has no structure.
I think we should eliminate the “power” aspect from the very start by making the organization a support organization rather than a governing organization. Membership is voluntary, and the organization can be subdivided into working groups or committees or whatever you want to call them for specific projects and initiatives. If you don’t like what one working group is doing, you and your friends can start another. If an initiative is good, then people will adopt it. If it is not, then people won’t.
Question, is this a “native” aproch to the fedivers or is this about imposing #mainstreaming “common sense” onto a space where it does not fit.
Question, do we think the current wide organisations work well for the #openweb and how meany of them are currently outside #dotcons and #NGO capture?
Question: this ends up as a top-down democratic structure, likely filled with “power politics” and pushing #NGO thinking if the threads on here are any guide. How do you see this being different, what would you put in place to mediate this outcome?
There could be a fediverse foundation which does things like:
Nominate a person to regularly keep the W3C specification up to date.
Create/enforce a trademark “fedi inside” whereby software implementing ActivityPub is easy for non-technical people to recognise.
Organise an annual conference and/or hackfest, if there is enough interest. FEDIHACK.
Raise funding for the above
As far as “power” is concerned I think we should avoid creating any presidents, “rockstars”, or things of that nature. If there is any fund raising then it should be as auditable as possible to avoid nefariousness. I also don’t consider “tyranny of structurelessness” to be a good political analysis.
Note that there isn’t really a W3C that “does” things. W3C just provides templates, processes and channels that dedicated people can use to create open standards. The Fediverse is lucky that it had many individuals such as Christine Webber and Amy Guy and many others who could somehow dedicate an enormous amount of their own time, sweat and tears to unify a bunch of separate social technologies and AP was the result.
Given the metric ton of community work, and the fact that most of it are boring chores too, this may be a key factor, especially given the amount of protocol decay (tech debt) in the ecosystem. There are many ways to deal out modest compensation to those doing the work, but the amount is certainly enough for one person and maybe even more.
@bashrc what are the bounds of this organization, how are these bounds enforced, what are the selection process, majority votes etc? Who in forces this voting.
The #openweb branding is a good idea.
The annual conference has been organised each year by socialhub crew, so this has been happening but I think the communert focus is now scattered and a lot of the core crew have fallen out, so this might not be ongoing.
Raise funding for the above, but that brings the poison of money into play, who fights over this is then the problem.
We have all those things already, so I think you mean we should get rid of presidents, rock stars etc… what social tools do we have to achive this?
is a look at the failing of horizontal structers and is a companion piece to the "“tragedy of the commons” we can lean for both while disagreeing with them.
It sounds like we might be talking about a group similar to Open Web Advocacy or Indie Web. Have we looked into those groups? It seems they have similar goals–not about Fediverse specifically-- but the goals do seem pretty similar.
The only thing on the list that we have already is the conference, but the last time I looked APconf wasn’t happening anymore. Perhaps it will return at some point.
Also it’s not that we need to get rid of rockstars. afaik there aren’t any currently. But we do need to ensure that they don’t gain any traction. If it looks like one person is becoming the go-to spokesperson for the fediverse then that’s something to be wary of.
“Tragedy of the commons” is also a notoriously shoddy piece of academic work which has been extensively debunked. It probably has done a lot of damage over the last few decades by dissuading people from adopting commoning methods a priori. We should be extremely cautious about citing academic works in a casual manner without going back to the original sources and looking at who wrote them and in what context.