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Hello !Friendica Support,

It seems like most messages here are about tech support, but I was wondering if it could stand for other kinds of support as well, for friendica as a community and its users.
I've been struggling to get people on board of this train and it hasn't been easy. While a lot of people react positively to the fact this network exists, even those who said they'd join and be friends with me here haven't yet.
I feel that friendica has mostly all the features it needs and it's ready to get the amount of users it deserves and, in my own political opinion, some platforms don't. So what I find myself wondering now is:
Does friendica, as a community, have any plan or documentation on how we could get everyone to join us? How can we show them they can enjoy the same degree and ease of community building here that they now feel they have on a different platform that has long had a grip on a critical mass of users?

It's a hard job, to convice non technical people to use this platform, I guess. Most will want to stuck with their known platforms like WhatsApp (or Facebook for the older ones). I'm not sure, which way would be the best. Surely we would need some help of people who are good at marketing stuff.

The short answer is: Unfortunately no. We don't have a plan to get people on board.

The long answer is: We are lacking critical features to become attractive. First of all, we don't have a resident frontend developer, which means that all user interactions have been designed either by people who have absolutely no idea what a human is, or by people who aren't available anymore/enough to stamp out all the remaining interface quirks or to improve it.

Second of all we aren't an exciting project to join. PHP isn't the most attractive technology, we only just got a mascot, the project is old and the code is full of cruft. Few people working on it means slower improvements and also less advocacy. We can't man a booth at most open-source conferences except maybe in Germany. For the same reason, we don't have any funding for a potential full-time person.

Third of all, Michael grazed on the issue, we would have to uproot people from their existing social media environment. The network effect is too strong on Facebook to hope to bring many people from there. I only joined... show more

So would it be better to promote the Fediverse rather than individual social networks with it.

From our Friendica standpoint, definitely since we're compatible with many networks in the decentralized social media space.
This entry was edited (5 months ago)


I am not very good at graphics, however I just put this together.

I recently joined the Fediverse because it was the platform that offered the most services (social network, blog, video, music, etc.) and I went for Friendica because it was the federation provider that could reach the most services outside of the Fediverse.

I didn't find any other contenters for FB style federation (except Diaspora* which is it's own thing), did I miss something or are you talking about attracting users who's originally not into FB-style interfaces?

Your replies make me sad. It paints an image of a network that's dead before it starts.

On the contrary, for the little exposure it has ever had, Friendica has maintained a steady pace, both in terms of development and adoption. So it isn't dead, it just is very low-key. Thanks to Friendica's goal to be compatible with as many protocols/networks as possible, it has never completely fell behind in terms of relevancy even as shiny new projects were launched (Diaspora, Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, PeerTube, Funkwhale...).

This means that the relatively few people on Friendica can stay on it and start interacting with remote accounts on newfangled software as this is our number 1 priority. In parallel, we are enhancing the software's reliability thanks to @Philipp Holzer and the overall security, making it constantly better for the people who choose to stick with us.

That does sound a little more hopeful. I just wish there was a way we could be slightly less low-key and have some tips on how to get loved ones in general on the open source train without being a nerd for doing so.

I hear you, and I'm afraid this specific issue isn't limited to Friendica.

I created a 'how to get started on Diaspora' YouTube video and shared it with all of my gaming friends. I think it actually is in the Diaspora wiki somewhere. I posted it on all my blogs and all that. Actually got a few people to join.

Friendica has improved a lot since I started using it about 7 years ago. I joined Diaspora at the same time , whenever it was that G+ was doing their fake name hunt. Both platforms have grown amazingly and become more stable. And both communicate with each other (But Friendica can make forum accounts I believe still, which is a bonus) --

just keep sharing posts from here, and activate any cross posting so that a 'view on Friendica' is sitting there somewhere. Give a step by step on how to use and connect, and share that also.

I think actually that the thing that will FINALLY pull more people away is when people can actually run something like this or Diaspora on their own computer without a lot of tech savviness required. Right now these platforms still require us to find another instance, join it, (if its open) , trust our dat... show more
This entry was edited (5 months ago)

Good on you for creating this video, unfortunately like I said we don't have anyone on the Friendica team that I can think of who could put together a similar comprehensive tutorial video for Friendica. And, maybe worse, nobody that we could share it with who isn't already somewhere on the Fediverse!

The self-hosting part is of course a big hurdle. We recently added a Docker image for easier installation, but it still is easy to lose your self-hosted instance and all its data. In this case, there's no easy way of recovery since we're using asymmetric cryptography to authenticate messages.

Well, mainly I just did the video because I felt like it, wanted to reach out more to my gaming community. I remember the goal of Diaspora when the kids were discussing this at uni etc was that it was being made so that anyone could just run it.... MAN that would be great. Maybe one day these things will work differently in that sort of way --- install and run. Connect. Etc. I've not given up, still meeting new, cool people every day.

Either that or when people finally wale up and realise the big 4 are just data gathering networks and care more about profits for shareholders than they do for user privacy and safety etc.

I don't think this will happen anymore. There has been enough stories about Facebook mishandling private information making the headlines to reach anyone who cares. The rest simply doesn't care.

@Hypolite Petovan @Moonrise Azalee @Paul Sutton I actually think the snowball is rolling for people being fed up with the 'big four'. I've noticed more IRL people leaving Facebook, or talking about doing so, since 2016. We just need to make sure the conversation doesn't die out and people don't forget what's at stake.

The big problem I see is that the people who are a) on the fence, or b) have already left sites like FB is that they aren't even aware / trusting (and rightly so) of alternative platforms. People don't understand what the fediverse is, or how it eliminates most issues by cutting out the corporate / capitalistic element from the equation. In theory a rouge node operator could use your data... but a single node isn't going to have what amounts to much, so w... show more
This entry was edited (5 months ago)

Perhaps the low key aspect of this can be used to promote the fact that being here does not expose you to the vicious bullying and abuse etc you hear about on other social media networks, some of which is very very nasty. Also we are not collecting huge amounts of data and then using that to generate money.

Granted that means that it is harder to find people as it requires effort to do so, the advantage of that is you attract people with the right mindset.

In general, I don't like to rely on the concept of security through obscurity because all it takes is a spotlight to disappear. And since we're dealing with public posts and accounts, it's even harder to maintain the illusion in the first place.

Yes, there is relatively less trolls/spam on Friendica specifically, because we are too small/confusing to attract either, but due to our protocol compatibility goal, public Friendica accounts are exposed to the same nastiness that's going on other software as well.

True, but does it not make it easier to control it, if there was a specific node where one or two users are causing trouble, that node owner can be told, if they fail to deal with it, the node can get blocked. Now out of even 25 users, if 1 person causes enough problems to get the node blocked it annoys people, putting pressure on the node owners to take action in the first place. Last thing any node owner wants is a bad user and resulting bad reputation.

Yes, but small Friendica node users can be faced with trouble coming from massive Mastodon instances for example, so this isn't really an argument in favor of the small scale of Friendica.

MeWe can say the same - and is by default extremely private. Couple with that the ease of groups, albums and all that, as well as not having to figure out which instance to join, I think it is proving to be a challenge to the Fediverse.

I'm not so sure about that. I don't think any non-Fediverse social media software is competing for the same pool of users as the Fediverse given its extreme specificity. I would say the main challenge to the Fediverse is the instance because of how centralized it is.

As a result, it makes the decision to block for repeated bad behavior from its users difficult, because of the sheer amount of accounts/content it cuts your own instance from. In the Fediverse space-time continuum, is a massive object with a lot of gravitational pull that you can't ignore, for best or worse.

@Hypolite Petovan - I was referring to what Paul said
Perhaps the low key aspect of this can be used to promote the fact that being here does not expose you to the vicious bullying and abuse etc you hear about on other social media networks, some of which is very very nasty. Also we are not collecting huge amounts of data and then using that to generate money.

MeWe has been getting thousands of new users because of this, a group I run there has I think about 400 people now, most of those in just the last few months. And its very active. So basically I was meaning that the Federation and Fediverse have to be able to come at it (promotion wise) from a different angle.

But MeWe is an actual company with an actual staff, there's no comparison with any other Fediverse network. We can't replicate the same behavior because we just are volunteers over here.

sorry, you are missing my point and its probably due to my delivery. Not comparing networks, just saying that its HARD to get people to come out this way based on claims of privacy and no ads as Paul said, because that already DOES exist in the form of MeWe. So instead the focus, when trying to get people to leave FB and all that needs to be done differently... maybe focusing on those who'd rather be more roguelike and take risks.

Ha, I get it now. The strongest selling point of Diaspora, Mastodon or Friendica is that you can set up a small instance for yourself or a limited group of people to have a control over your data, and still be able to interact with anyone on the Fediverse/Federation. But of course it doesn't have a wide target because of the hurdle of hosting.

This is why a service like can exist an thrive, but it requires an existing pool of users who are ready to jump into instance hosting. For Friendica, most people who can host an instance already do, and there aren't enough remaining users to make such a venture viable.

I think the idea of ownership and control appeals to young people and others, what you said above is a great way to explain what the federation is about.

That looks really interesting, if hosting is a barrier for people this is a great solution, it at least gets you started and the people running this service can I would guess provide support and help where needed.

Exactly, but it needs a critical mass of users to be sustainable.

"we just are volunteers over here."
You are volunteers who move mountains. You do voluntarily what the silicon valley fatcats do for billions. Don't undersell yourself, you're doing great work!