Most of the communities are on one instance i.e .ml. Should we spin up more instances and start spreading communities either by location, interests, etc? Maybe, I am wrong but do mod/s who run the communities understand the idea of “decentralized social networks” or this is just to get few brownie points to start the community and increase the traffic? Please correct me if I am wrong.

No offence, just an observation.

Dessalines
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Its very natural for fediverse projects to have a few of the starting instances dominate, at least at the beginning. Its not necessarily that hosting requirements are heavy, its just that beta software under rapid development needs frequent updates.

This is the instance run by us devs, and we can’t do more than encourage people to start their own instances, and for others to federate with them. There are no ads on lemmy, so we don’t gain anything by having more users. More traffic on this instance is actually detrimental to us, because it gives us more moderation work, whereas we’d prefer to do development.

Maybe you could recruit others to be moderators

Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find a few other instances, and promote them and/or some of their communities on your project site? It might be a good small step towards helping people discover other places to sign up or connect with.

An instance picker is good, but I was more talking about highlighting a handful of good ones with decent reputation and maybe a few unique communities that belong to each one.

poVoq
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I think as a start a nice blog-post by you would work ;)

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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After Holidays, will try to spin something :))

@zksmk@lemmy.ml
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There are benefits to each community being local and server specific (moderation, culture, community), but there are also benefits to the idea of a single community being spread over multiple instances (decentralisation, resilience, activity/reach). There are reasons why few people want to start a or post content to a community on a random server, and most people opt for the biggest one. There’s relatively few people as it is already and creating duplicates, fragmentation and inevitable manual content replication doesn’t seem like the way to go about things.

This is why I like the idea of a potential future feature where on top of /c/acommunity we would also get a /t/atopic that aggregates all the communities with the same name from all the instances into one place/feed. This would NEED to be optional and the community mods would have to have an optin/optout feature for their community being included in the /t/topic feed. I think that would make both sides happy.

As it is, I don’t see having active communities on other instances likely, unfortunately. Individual accounts can work just fine from other instances, and the content gets auto replicated, but the parent hub is still in one place.

Tmpod
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That is a really cool and interesting idea! Would love to see that tbh. @dessalines@lemmy.ml @nutomic@lemmy.ml what do you think?

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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You mean that a single community would be hosted on multiple instances? Its a nice idea, but I think its impossible to do in Activitypub. Would like to be proven wrong though.

Tmpod
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Yeah, I believe that’s what they meant. It would be neat, but don’t know AP to be able to comment on that.

@zksmk@lemmy.ml
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I might be wrong, and correct me if I am, because I don’t really know how AP works, but I feel like this functionality already exists, sort of. Mostly because the suggestion wasn’t really a cross instance community, with everything that it entails (subs, mods, bans, etc…) but more like a custom filtered feed.

If you currently go to the All page you see different posts from different communities from different instances. If this was filtered by community name (minus instance) it would effectively be the suggestion. Just have this filter functionality accessible through instance.tld/t/insertfiltertopichere

One key point though: as I understand it, for posts from any remote community to appear on the All page at least one home user needs to subbed to the community, it’s not enough for at least one user to be subbed to any other community on the remote instance? In that case, for this idea to be effective, at least one user each needs to be manually subbed to all the individual same named communities, or I feel like there could be a home bot user that subs to all the communities on the white listed instances.

I hope I’m explaining this well. Would this work? Sounds hacky, but looks to me like it would work.

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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Something like a multireddit? That should work, and it probably wouldnt require any federation changes. You can open an issue for it.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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You mean, if both a and b communities agreed ie both have these feature enabled they can share a topic/s among them?

@zksmk@lemmy.ml
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If both lemmy.ml/c/linux and lemmygrad.ml/c/linux agreed, you could go to /t/linux on either site and see all the content of both in one place.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Got it, very good idea.

Oh, this is how I assumed it worked today

@zksmk@lemmy.ml
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Yeah, you can visit lemmy.ml/c/startrek@lemmygrad.ml just fine from here on lemmy.ml, but it’s a fully separate community to lemmy.ml/c/startrek and you can’t view them at the same time on one page.

I feel like the best way to get this off the ground is to really put up as much new content as possible. I’ve been slacking recently by not being on in a while, but I really need to make the effort in contributing.

With more contribution comes more people.

I think this is on point. IIRC this was a major problem with reddit in the early days, admins had to post a lot of content.

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
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that’s generally how you get a community rolling. yogthos feels like he’s been almost the sole contributor for a while.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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You are correct, if we keep the bots away.

Gritty
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I often see the talk about expansion but I don’t think even this server has hit its limit of channel overcrowding. I see it more of cells dividing, one instance splitting off when enough folks decide they can make their own “colony”. Otherwise, it’ll be like a few instances I’ve seen around - 3 folks posting on every sub.

Ultimately people want to be a part of a community, but only one that’s not too small that its boring or too large that you’re lost in the mix and folks are annoying. This instance seems to have that mix right now, and as it expands I hope folks break off in large groups to expand the community.

mtumishi
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Don’t forget the whole idea of federation is that an instance with 10 members is not limited to those members only on content sources. I like it when more instances interlink and therefore reduce the centralization risks while keeping network benefits.

Gritty
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Good point

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Yes, I am aware. At end of the day reducing the centralization is our end result.

(“hope”)

CHEF-KOCH
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Decentralization will never work for the mass because there are simple reasons for that. This is what I call the Nitter effect. We have the same there, millions of people using and starving those free services to death, but no one or only 20 people self-host their own.

People do not self-host because

  • It requires more effort and time that you need to spend to initial setup everything, instead of joining existence instances.
  • Most are not experts and just updating the software is often not enough, which possible leads into more vulnerabilities and data leaks and breaches. We have that more and more.
  • People do not know how to do it because the platform that wants to expand do not provide any guides on how to really do it.
  • Maintenance is a bish, that is one of the reasons other platforms went down e.g. Ruqqus.
  • Why should people start their own no-name server when there are already bigger ones. Like trying to compete against Twitter, Google and Co. it is not possible…

If you want to expand, you need to provide the following

  • Dead simple instructions, step-by-step on how to self-host and maintain your own instance, and I really mean step-by-step. Docs are not enough, you need to provide pictures because the average user does not read anything anymore.
  • You need to make people aware that you need several people, not just one guy that maintains it. Maintenance will suck up your life, and people are not willingly to do that alone for nothing in return. You also require mods etc.
  • You need to advertise and describe why it would be interesting or important to start your own community, server etc.
Dessalines
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I will continue to try to make our install docs as simple as possible, and am open to suggestions on how to make that easier.

The ansible install right now is extremely easy to do, you can set up a server within a few minutes.

@zksmk@lemmy.ml
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I’m sure some people don’t enjoy hearing about this regarding the potential distant future of a successful mainstream fediverse, but if someone puts ads on their instance, that’s all incentive they need to maintain it. I mean, yeah, sure, it’s ads, but it’s decentralised, and therefore better in some ways. It’s that, or freemium features, pick your poison. IF the fediverse is to succeed as a non-niche platform, and not run by hobbyists. Which of course nobody said needs to be true.

And we don’t have to speculate about all this, mass federated platforms already exist, they’re called email.

I would rather see people be asked to contribute towarsa costs or the instances run by community organizations.

@yogthos@lemmy.ml
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I think having more instances would be great, especially now that it’s possible to federate across them. A big question is how to ensure that instances are spun up in a sustainable fashion. One common problem I see with Mastodon instances is that they’re often short lived. This can cause more harm than good since people create accounts and get invested in the community, and then it disappears when the person running the server no longer has the time or the will to keep doing it.

It might be good to create some sort of an organization that would allow people to pool effort needed for operating the servers. So, if somebody needs help with administration or they want to pass it on to somebody else then it’s easy for people to connect. This could even be a community on the main instance.

Tmpod
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That last ideal is actually quite nice! Lemmy could use that for sure :)

I run lemmy.pt and atm I have no intention of ever stopping, but you never know what the future brings and sometimes passing the management to someone else might be hard. A respectable org that help that transition could be really neat.

seb
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I second that! I run two mid-sized mastodon instances and definitely see the appeal of a fedi guild.

Tmpod
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More instances for sure. I think country/language specific instances are an easy and nice way to bring more decentralization and content to the network. Then, domain specific instances like for music, cinema/TV, sports, games, etc would be really nice to have.

I already run lemmy.pt, but it is pretty small still (and I’m not expecting it to grow a whole lot soon) and so I’d be down to hosting another instance. However, I suppose one person hosting multiple instances kinda goes against the point of decentralization. :/

@const_void@lemmy.ml
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Keeping trolls and bad behavior in check. Other platforms have failed in this area.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Quality over quantity.

@Akimoto@lemmy.ml
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Maybe we would need marketing campaign and make it appeal to the general audience to have fast expansion. But I am not sure we are ready at the moment.

It’s really hard to get people actually sign up and stay on it because it’s always a bit of a vicious cycle. People are hesitant to switch because there isn’t much content, then they keep using old platform. Take example with Signal. Feature wise, it is on par with WhatsApp. But when I try to convince people to use it, they always go back to WhatsApp because they already have all their contacts and conversation.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Was on the same boat, took a year to convince wife start using signal. She still uses WhatsApp, saying she has a good content there.

Tmpod
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Yup, it’s the first-movers advantage, which sadly is very much real in this domain…

I think the best approach is to start small and build stuff little by little, instead of trying to reach a very wide audience right away. Good publicity is also key, of course.

I’m new, just got tired of the ever increasing homogeneity on Reddit. Feels so artificial now. This communities small which is a good thing for maintaining that human feeling maybe? lol. Maybe that sense of community divorced from mass adoption and corporate interest is a good value to uphold. Idk that’s just how I feel rn as I take my morning shit. Glad to be here guys!

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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I am newb as well. I heard about it before " decentrilized concept", but was to busy in my own world, like most of us. Got tired of mainstream along with pandemic drove me to other side.

This is awesome concept, need to do some homework.

Tmpod
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Glad to have to have you onboard too :D

Ravn
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I think it would be good to decentralise communities so that the same community can be hosted on several servers. It sort of sucks to have a community die because a server goes away.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Do you know, if it is possible to have same community on multiple instances? and not just a same name. Or, we end up having two communities with same name and different content eventually?

Tmpod
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Replicating communities is not possible at the moment. The best you can do is have communities with the same name and staff in different servers. It wouldn’t be ideal for the decentralization of small communities (which can’t be easily subdivided), however, for language specific branches it could be pretty nice.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Thanks, sort of make sense. Have to do a bit more reading. Should staff/mods of these communities on different servers have same usernames and/or passwords? Or different for the sake of security, ie if one user gets compromised, all instances will be at risk?

Tmpod
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A user from an instance can be staff on other instances, they don’t have to create different accounts. Ideally you’d have a different rooster of mods on each subcommunity and only keep the same admins.

@marmulak@lemmy.ml
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Well I joined Lemmy a couple years ago, so that kind of just explains why I am on lemmy.ml

Imo, lemmy the software has a few glitches that make federation work less well than it should. Getting those fixed will help.

@dogmuffins@lemmy.ml
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Sounds like a single issue which will soon be fixed, if it hasn’t been fixed already.

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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I am sure it will happen, maybe devs need a bit more time and support. We always see few glitches in the beginning

@starfish@lemmy.ml
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Good discussion and valid points everyone. I am actually very surprised, people here are actually for a reason :)))

Colorish
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Imho we should make something original. I’m not talking about functions or things like that, but more about quality content and stuff. I created this account from like 10 mins cuz i really liked the fediverse concept already and when I discovered that there was a whole site like that I immediately subscribed, but rn it’s just a cool and depopulated copy of reddit.

Also we should get rid of incremental counters (like lemmy.ml/post/120548).

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