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Re: [Social-discuss] @versionvega

From: Rob Myers
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] @versionvega
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2010 10:21:31 +0100
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On 06/30/2010 11:51 PM, Markus Sabadello wrote:

I'm having doubts that something like GNU social or Diaspora will
achieve a lot, because normal people don't know how to set up a server,

GNU Social exists to be free software for its users, so it will achieve that. :-)

I gave a talk in France last year at an art & technology event and although I only mentioned Social briefly it was the thing everyone wanted to hear about afterwards. People *know* that there are problems with social networking software. There is a demand for alternatives that solve those problems, and Social is an answer to that demand.

Many otherwise capable people can't install an operating system or a web browser without assistance. We can bundle Social in any number of ways to empower the greatest number of people to run it: desktop versions and one-click installs from web hosting providers are easy to imagine. And as a community we can help people install and run Social however they want. People don't have to remain isolated.

and if we build something that only we geeks can use, then yes we're
going to have a lot of fun discussing whether to name it "tiramisu" or
"strudel", but ultimately we're just as selfish as the big, evil

We are trying to produce software that takes a minimum of technical knowledge and that has minimal requirements to install, relatively speaking. Free Software exists for the freedom of all its users, not just its developers.

It's fun to discuss names for things. Anyone can get involved in it, and finding more ways of getting people involved is good. We're running a logo competition at the moment as well.

companies. I know, I know, the "normal" people can still "choose" some
host to provide the service for them, but I believe such an approach
will automatically create competition and turn evil. Just look at what

I'd compare it more to the competition between web host providers that has driven down costs and driven up quality of service without compromising the freedom of users of Apache, Wordpress, etc.

happened to OpenID. Originally it promised that "everyone can set up or
choose" their identity provider, but by now that system has been
completely swallowed by the big companies, and today it mostly serves to
give Google and Yahoo even more control over what we do.

I have an OpenID script on my webserver. Occasionally I even remember how to use it. ;-)

Yes, it would be a problem if a single large player emerged who found a way of economically exploiting the removal of users freedom. Coming up with names for lots of different instances helps to encourage a plurality that should guard against that.

So, the conclusion is to get rid of servers at all.

Yes, servers are inherently problematic -

But Social can go on one of Eben's "wall wart" servers, and we got a lot of experience of how to run a server that doesn't keep logs or other unintentionally treacherous data with GNU FM.

I do not know too much about GNU social, but I have found your wiki a
great source of inspiration and would like to ask if it was be OK to add
@versionvega to the "On your computer" section of this list:

If @versionvega is/contains a social network system then sure. The more relevant comparisons, the better.

Any feedback (or pointers to related resources) would be sweet, feel
free to e-mail or call me. I've been working on this on my own for quite
a while and would like to become involved with a wider community.

On the related resources front, GNU is working on a P2P platform, GNUNet -

- Rob.

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