new blog post: My proposal to do a book about FOSS/ethical alternative social media:

NOTE! Replies to this post will appear as comments on my blog post (unless you switch to DM).

This text is true. And in addition, it is beautiful. Thanks a lot!


Tha sounds like a very interesting project!

I like the idea to describe the "ecosystem" of who are the people carrying the network and how are they doing it. In the end, FOSS social media depends on trust of ordinary users (like me) that maintainers do something different and better than commercial networks. Thus a book on the the idea and people behind sounds already now intriguing

@christian_zerfass @robertwgehl And, in the case of Small Web, we do away with maintainers altogether so instead of many little fiefdoms, we have a network of people who own the means of communication and can autonomously and spontaneously create communities of equals…

#SmallWeb #web0

@aral @robertwgehl

Which is great, while it still requires some trusted knowledgeable people to provide the code for many to run ☺

@robertwgehl Just a nomadic identity available at several clones simultaniously in the Fediverse wishing you the best of luck with the writing process - looking forward to seeing your book about social decentralized publishing solutions with privacy built in! :-) This is written from the Hubzilla platform, part of the Zot protocol family of solutions (Stream, Roadhouse, Zap, Osada, Hubzilla, Redmatrix) that is also multi-protocol and able to talk to other family members of the Fediverse, e.g those that speak the ActivityPub protocol, like PixelFed, Mastodon, PeerTube, Pleroma, and the DFRN protocol, like Friendica, and Ostatus protocol, like GNU Status, and so on.

@robertwgehl May I suggest that instead of "alternative social media" you could just call it social networks?

@robertwgehl I haven't seen anyone speaking of Mastodon as a "medium" yet, it is literally a network in the network of what is referred to as the fediverse.

@gert That makes sense!

At this early stage I'm still working on terms, for certain. I know some scholars us "social networks," others "social media."

I will wrestle with these terms, for sure (I did not do that as much in my first book, and I regret being too loose with terms).

@TheFerridge I would like it to be as general as I can, considering the topic. I think that will be tough, but I have in mind Dreaming in Code as a model.

@robertwgehl Great idea! Would be happy to help during the process. Also for people already in the fediverse bubble, having a shared vocabulary and being able to distinguish different aspects of how 'it' works and how it's different from traditional 'social media' / 'antisocial media' / platforms would be very helpful. From your elements, for now I only miss a people element. Who is / could / should be interested in it, who is already using it, why, how, etc :-)

Good luck Robert!

@Erik thanks!

I'm planning on using interviews as a key research tool. I hope that brings in the people element.

@robertwgehl this would be amazing. I'm currently writing a white paper on the benefits of FOSS to Wales, and to the Welsh education sector. I'm happy to share if that's helpful though it's still very early days

@robertwgehl Hi Robert, I have a very short, draft white paper that I'm happy to share with you. What's the best email?

@robertwgehl @anne check out this external blog using masstodon to enable commenting! it's not a writefreely blog either

@robertwgehl I would love to read that book. When I started dreaming of this decentralized post-publication peer review system, I also envisioned a social media system to go with it (and many more open science tools).

When I discovered Mastodon it got pretty close to what I had been dreaming about. Which was a reason to start FediScience, although the peer review system is not ready yet.

What I am missing is a way to split up a server when it gets too big. 1/2.

@robertwgehl I feel every community should do its own moderation. In the final stage each such community would be run by a coop or association, which includes in its charter that it breaks up when it gets too big. And requires its child organizations to have the same clause.

For me Mastodon is by far the best Fediverse app as it allows people to move their account. This makes power abuse by the moderators harder (less lock-in) and thus facilitates stronger/better moderation. 2/2

@GrassrootsReview Thanks!

I'm excited about this project. I've never written a book 'publicly' like this, so it's a bit scary, but the response seems good so far!

@robertwgehl After publication science cannot be open enough to me.

Many extend #OpenScience to the phase before publication, where I feel that privacy can be important to do more daring new things without the fear of publicly failing.

But sometimes it makes sense, this book seems like a good book to write in the open, where a broad input and feedback can make the book better.

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