Navigating Grassroots Evolution in Tech Communities: Challenges and Paths Forward

The landscape of technological evolution often traverses a spectrum between grassroots innovation and mainstream integration. Within this spectrum lies #Socialhub, a space that was born as a grassroots alternative—a bastion of the activertypub reboot’s integrity within its original framework. This trajectory from its inception in #activertypub delineates a distinctive approach in the technological realm.

The emergence of the #openweb reboot unfolded serendipitously during the #WC3 proceedings. In an atypical scenario where mainstream stakeholders were absent, the reins of definition were firmly grasped by an alternative cohort, paving an advantageous, albeit less conventional, path for the #openweb community’s progression.

Initially, Socialhub thrived as a nurturing ground for a vibrant community, exemplified by the impactful outreach endeavors to the EU within the Fediverse. However, recent years have introduced complexities. The influx of people lacking a ‘native’ #openweb perspective has precipitated a divergence from the community’s original focus, largely due to the significant influence of Twitter immigrants and Fediverse expansion. This shift presents both challenges and opportunities, marking a departure from the initial vision towards a less intricate and diverse community.

Notably, a pronounced shift towards the technical aspects has eclipsed the attention to its social dimensions, critical for a functional alt, with a reduction in the core social-oriented crew and an influx of technically inclined new members. This transition mirrors the WC3 process reboot, necessitating a delicate respectful balance of responsibilities between the two facets.

The delineation between a community-driven space and a platform steered by a specific technical viewpoint and agenda has become increasingly visible. This deviation from the original ethos poses challenges, signalling a transition from happenstance to intentionality, necessitating a more democratic approach to reconcile these shifts.

Grassroots initiatives inherently embody a level of messiness that distinguishes their authenticity. Constructive feedback and improvement strategies are pivotal in the “native” FEP process, while the underlying ideas in this are commendable, the outcomes remain questionable, requiring refinement in the process. Volatile yet essential debates to fortify the FEP’s legitimacy, particularly in the unspoken political sphere. Proposals for procedural enhancements aimed at bolstering legitimacy within the FEP necessitate a non-technical, social explanation of proposed changes and their wider implications.

The absence of broader social context and buy-in inhibits legitimacy, necessitating a proactive approach by the community to elucidate and democratize these processes. Currently entrenched as ‘black boxes’, both the FEP and the W3C demand transparency and community involvement to garner support and avoid being ignored sidelined by #mainstreaming dev.

Without proactive measures rooted in activism and learning from historical effective activism, this cycle of ignorance towards these processes will persist. Therein lies the importance of integrating wider social buy-in, understanding the social implications of technical changes, and engaging in transparent, #4opens processes—key tenets for the evolution and legitimacy of tech communities like Socialhub in the digital age.


To note for people who are not familer with this way of looking at the world, the ansear to the question is always more alt grassroots vs less mainstreaming, of course this is always a balance so best not to get into a #ragecircle on this mess making.

#Socialhub originated as a grassroots alternative space specifically designed to maintain the integrity of the activertypub reboot within its inherent framework. Initially stemming from #activertypub itself, this forum embarked on this trajectory.

The emergence of the current #openweb reboot was more serendipitous than deliberate. Amidst the #WC3 proceedings, the absence of the typical mainstream participants allowed our alternative cohort to drive and solidify the definition through this “native” #4opens technological pathway an uncommon yet advantageous route for our community to follow.

Socialhub fostered a genuine and thriving community. The pinnacle of this community’s strength was witnessed during the outreach efforts to the EU within the Fediverse. However, recent years have brought challenges; the influx of individuals without a “native” #openweb view has led to a divergence from our initial focus, primarily due to the significant impact of Twitter immigrants and the expansion of the Fediverse. This is good and bad, we have moved a long way from where we started, and have to make the best of this more messy community.

Over the last year we have had a (strong dogmatic) shift to the tech side of activertypub working and away from the social side that is needed for making a working #openweb reboot. In the forum we have had a reduction of the core crew, and an influx of the tech focused new members, this is likely a mirror in the expansion and the rebooting of the WC3 process and the two have have a balancing act of responsibility.

“To use the forum, you must agree to these terms with Petites Singularités, the company that runs the forum.” This has become more visible and the owner has a point of view and agenda, this is actually not a space for/by “community” in the sense it was originally sold… shifting from “serendipitous to deliberate” the solution to this shift/issue is likely not easy and involves democracy in some form.

Grassroots is always messy, that’s how you can judge if its grassroots or NOT 🙂

Let’s try some constructive comments on this to improve the fep process.

What we have here is a classic activism 3 steps forward 3 steps back process, this is a recurring issue.

The ideas behind this are good, the outcome is questionable, and the process still needs work.

There is a current undeclared fight in the FEP → W3C email list, that is likely unresolvable which is a fine example of the fluffy spiky debate, the only good outcome from my prospective and likely socialhub is making the fep more Legitimacy (political) this is a post with ideas for process to help that happen.

To be a valid fep they should have a non-technical (social) explanation on why it’s needed and what are the social implications of this purely technical change.

As we are NOT only talking about technical points here, most are based on social ideas and have social outcomes for social networking. We need this wider buy in to make this process legitimate.

This process is simple and can be started by the original poster, then carried on by the wider community to build buy in and legitimacy.

Currently, both the fep and the W3C are too much black boxes to have any path to build buy in, thus are being ignored defacto.

This will likely continue without some basic activism as outlined above, the is much to learn from this long history of affective activism.

What is Socialhub – in the activertypub world

#Socialhub originated as a grassroots alternative space specifically designed to maintain the integrity of the activertypub reboot within its inherent framework. Initially stemming from #activertypub itself, this forum embarked on this trajectory.

The emergence of the current #openweb reboot was more serendipitous than deliberate. Amidst the #WC3 proceedings, the absence of the typical mainstream participants allowed our alternative cohort to drive and solidify the definition through this “native” technological pathway—an uncommon yet advantageous route for our community to follow.

Socialhub fostered a genuine and thriving community. The pinnacle of this community’s strength was witnessed during the outreach efforts to the EU within the Fediverse. However, recent years have brought challenges; the influx of individuals without a “native” #openweb view has led to a divergence from our initial focus, primarily due to the significant impact of Twitter immigrants and the expansion of the Fediverse. This is good and bad, we have moved a long way from where we started, and have to make the best of this more messy communerty.

Over the last year we have had a (strong dogmatic) shift to the tech side of activertypub working and away from the social side that is needed for making a working #openweb reboot. In the codebase we have had a reduction of the core crew, and an influx of the tech focused new members, this is likely a mirror of the rebooting of the WC3 process and the two have had a rocky balancing act of responsibility.

“To use the forum, you must agree to these terms with Petites Singularités, the company that runs the forum.” This has become more visible and the owner has a point of view and agenda, this is actually not a space for/by “community” in the sense it was originally sold… shifting from “serendipitous to deliberate” the solution to this shift/issue is likely not easy and involves democracy in some form.

Grassroots are always messy, that’s how you can judge if It’s grassroots or not 🙂

#ActivityPub is an accidental reboot of the #openweb

#ActivityPub is an accidental reboot of the #openweb. It came into existence because the #dotcons (#mainstreaming platforms) attended a #wc3 meeting but did not find anything useful for themselves. As a result, they left the “weirdos” to build an approach based on the #4opens principles. The “weirdos” managed to keep things together long enough to develop the #activertypub standard and release it to the world. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards the normal “libertarian cats” path,  and this #openweb reboot is being consumed. While this outcome may not be what many desired, there are efforts to build real alternatives and shift away from #mainstreaming. The focus is on composting the mainstreaming approach rather than reforming it.

This is interesting because it provides insights into the dynamics and challenges of the #openweb movement. It highlights the tension between #mainstreaming platforms and grassroots efforts, showcasing the passion and dedication of communities working towards an open and decentralized web. The accidental nature of the #ActivityPub reboot adds an element of serendipity to the story, emphasizing the power of #DIY culture and the resource constraints faced by #openweb technologies. The recent shift towards a “libertarian cats” path and the potential consumption of the #openweb reboot raise important questions about the future of alternative platforms and the need for continued resistance against #mainstreaming.

 

#SSB splintering a “commons”

Another link that is pure #geekproblem but interesting for #OMN in that #SSB is splintering https://www.manyver.se/blog/2023-04-05

@rabble is involved in another splinter #nosta

How protocols die… #SSB was a protocol that they all reallyed round, a “commons”, we now have 3 “commons” on the table. The rabble one which has hidden #VC money behind it, then this individualist one https://www.manyver.se/blog/2023-04-05 which will maybe rally the grassroots, and the original #SSB which might or might not carry on.

We don’t have a cross culture “common” any more. A clean separation of the #mainstreaming and the #grassroots. To make this relevant, the same is likely going to happen to #ActivertyPub when the #W3C “formal consensuses” is captured by the #dotcons

The enclosure of commons is always a bad path. And yes not saying #SSB was a good protocol it was not, it came from the encryptionsists, but it was a rare “commons”.

#AP is a good/bad protocol, we don’t need to do the same path. Thus, the message to #socialhub, 95% chance they will ignore it or more likely see it as weakness and attack harder, cats…

“The is currently an undeclared battle going on between the rebooted #WC3 and the grassroots (#fashernista dominated) #socialhub for power. If the libertarian cats can’t herd themselves to do something useful, like we managed with the #EU outreach – currently they cannot do this, have a feeling socialhub will lose.

Not a big problem, but a dangerous outcome for #ActivityPub as #WC3 is formal consensus which is easy to capture and control for the #dotcons – where socialhub libertarian cats have failed messy consensuses so less open to capture.

But from my view the libertarian cats are being prats as cats are… so WC3 is stepping back in to CONTROL… how to herd cats – should I try? Or keep focus on #OMN codeing is a question am asking my self?

@xxx @xxx@xxx, have tried building bridges, but no foundation stones laid on this building work. Honest question are we helping or hindering in this grassroots space?”

There is a small chance they act, we did herd cats on #socialhub for the #EU outreach. This is why I bring it up, though, think people can only see the power politics and not what am saying when doing this. Agen 5% chance of a good outcome…

Maybe this helps to make the “mess” metaphor clearer. For the #geekproblem they likely have no idea about the damage they do. Because in their terms they are mostly right. Step back to look at the wider picture, and it’s obviously adding to the mess to be composed.

The #geekproblem

Storeys of our tech http://hamishcampbell.com/2023/04/05/ssb-splintering-a-commons/ a post that give background on #SSB and its splintering as an example.

Why this matters, the #openweb is the most powerful tool for change/challenge. The mess we are in The moral depravity of virtue signalling solidarity at this time of mass murder – Roger Hallam The moral depravity of virtue signalling solidarity at this time of mass murder