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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Skype Replacement?

From: Ramana Kumar
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Skype Replacement?
Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 12:05:05 +0100

On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM, Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak <> wrote:
Dnia poniedziałek, 14 maja 2012 o 12:08:16 Nikos Roussos napisał(a):
> I totally disagree with the central registry approach. Federation
> is always better for preserving freedom.

Federation/decentralisation doesn't have to mean no registry. Look at
Diaspora - there are multiple pods, but I can search and connect to
users from any pod that is accessible.

That is also a sort-of, kind-of central registry. Well, maybe not
"central", but "federated" - however, from the users' point of view,
it's simple to use and integrated with whatever pod they are using.

Yes, this is an important point, and a good reply to Nikos. (I agree with both of your sentiments.)
We need something like this for Free Somftware based services, as
currently we are all taking a beating due to network effect (look at
Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Dropbox - it's all network effect at work).
And we cannot tackle network effect if we do not build a vast network
of users.

Can you describe ways in which we might do this in more detail?
Perhaps we can figure out a good solution here and then do it!
Be concrete, perhaps using my "skype replacement" problem as a motivating example.
Describe the world where I find out Skype is nonfree and then [go where] ([why there?]) and [do what] to get a free replacement, that anyone can easily do.

> One word: email.

I also love this example and I use it whenever I can.

However, thing is: when e-mail was just picking up steam, it was de
facto the only service to connect users. Hence everybody happily set-
up their accounts and actually used it.

Currently the users cannot be bothered with Yet Another Protocol or
Social Network, because they already use a multitude of those.

That is one of the reasons why Diaspora, StatusNet, XMPP, SIP hasn't
picked up users as fast as we would like them to. And they won't as
long as using them is more cumbersome than proprietary, centralised

I think we have the technology already; we need to focus on tackling
the network effect and on heavily usability.

Do we have the manpower to solve these problems?
If so, where is it?

Michał "rysiek" Woźniak

Fundacja Wolnego i Otwartego Oprogramowania

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