tl;dr: All that cool new stuff you want in the Fediverse already exists in the Fediverse, right outside of Mastodon
I keep seeing lots of people who are totally giddy about the #Fediverse
, who are gushing over it, who want to promote it, who want it to spread.
And who want it to advance. To learn new abilities. To grow new features.
That's all fine and dandy.
But almost all of these people are still fully convinced that the Fediverse equals #Mastodon
. And nothing else. At least not until Tumblr and P92 join the fray. Okay, maybe the #WordPress
plug-in that's the talk of the town now that it has become official. Okay, maybe a few of them have also heard of #Pixelfed
because their makers are all over the Fediverse.
When these people are talking about the Fediverse, they mean Mastodon. And when they're thinking about the Fediverse, they're only thinking about Mastodon. Because that's all they know.
So these people want new cool features or even new cool use-cases in the Fediverse, stuff that Mastodon doesn't have. They want Mastodon to have it, or they want new projects to be launched that have these features.
If only they knew.
If only they knew that everything, literally everything
they propose has already been done. Yes, in the Fediverse. In projects which are fully federated with Mastodon. Why don't they know? Because they've never heard of any of these projects, much less what they can do.
So they want "quote-tweets" in the Fediverse. Which means they want Mastodon to introduce them.
Tell you what: Mastodon is the only microblogging project in the Fediverse that doesn't have quotes. Not only will Eugen Rochko never introduce them, but all the other projects have them with Mastodon forks #GlitchSoc
such as being the exception. #Pleroma
has them. #Akkoma
has them. #MissKey
has them. #CalcKey
has them. #FoundKey
has them. #GoToSocial
has them. The old heavyweights #Friendica
have them, and so does Hubzilla's youngest decendant, the #Streams
project. Et cetera.
You want "quote-tweets"? Switch to something that isn't Mastodon, and you've got "quote-tweets".
Or text formatting in posts like bold type
etc. Would be great if Mastodon had that, in spite of other people saying they don't want it.
Again: Pleroma already has it. Akkoma already has it. MissKey already has it. CalcKey already has it. FoundKey already hasit. GoToSocial already has it. Friendica already has it. Hubzilla already has it (look at this post at its source in a Web browser and weep). (streams) already has it. And so forth. This time, even Mastodon forks have it.
It has been done. It has been done many times. It has actually been done before Mastodon.
Next, long-form blog posting. We need something like #Medium
in the Fediverse that isn't Medium itself. Mastodon's 500 characters are too few, and Twitter-like threads are inconvenient.
Except we already have that, too. #Plume
are about as close to Medium as Mastodon is to Twitter, including clean and distraction-less layouts. Oh, and Hubzilla can do that, too.
By the way: Again, Mastodon is the only Fediverse project that can do microblogging that has a 500-character limit. Pleroma, Mastodon's oldest direct competitor, raised it to a default of 6,000. MissKey and its forks have 3,000 as a default. Friendica, Hubzilla and (streams) have character limits of "go ahead, drop your short story in one post in its entirety," so virtually none at all. And yes, Hubzilla has long-form writing on top
Speaking of Hubzilla: Most recently, there has been the idea to uncouple one's online identity from a specific instance. Your online self should no longer be firmly tied to any one server exclusively. Now, this sounds so ambitious, it might just as well be science-fiction.
What if I told you that just this very thing already exists as well?
No, really. No, I'm not making this up. But you should know by now that I'm not.
Better yet: It was conceived as early as 2011. By the guy who launched Friendica in 2010. He invented a new principle named #NomadicIdentity
and a new protocol named #Zot
. In its early stages already, even with no technical implementation yet, Zot was more powerful than ActivityPub is today.
In 2012, Zot became reality as the basis of a Friendica fork which later became known as #RedMatrix
and, upon its 1.0 stable release in late 2015, which is still prior to Mastodon's initial release, Hubzilla. Hubzilla is still being developed and improved, and it has a fledgling but growing "successor of a successor" named (streams) which offers nomadic identity, too.
Now, what does this nomadic identity even look like? Well, not only does it let you move your channel(s) around from instance to instance with ease and, unlike on Mastodon, with absolutely everything on it. No, it also lets you have your channel on multiple instances at once. Identical clones, automagically kept in sync in real-time, all with the same identity, the same content, the same connections.
Your identity is no longer strapped down to one instance. Not only that, but your channel, your posts, your content is no longer hosted on only one server. This means that if one instance with one of your clones goes down, you still have spares.
Okay, so how about community groups/forums? That'd be cool.
Well, for one, there's #Guppe
. It's basically bolted on Mastodon, and in practice, it's centralised because there's only one instance. But it's impractical to use.
Besides, this is becoming a running gag here, Friendica, Hubzilla and (streams) have exactly this built-in and open for the rest of the Fediverse.
Better yet: There's also #Lemmy
which amounts to a federated #Reddit
clone. So not only does Lemmy offer this, it specialises in it.
Hubzilla alone can provide Fediverse feature suggestions with "has been done" for years to come. Not to mention what else the Fediverse has to offer
. Even if someone should want a free, non-commercial, decentralised, federated #GoodReads
clone in the Fediverse, it has been done: #BookWyrm