The issue of branding in the #openweb and #fediverse is multifaceted and touches on both technical and social aspects. Why addressing this issue is crucial:

  1. Barrier to Community Adoption: Strong branding in #openweb codebases is a barrier for communities to adopt and customize the technology for their collective use. It limits the ability for different communities and groups to collaborate and share resources.
  2. Centralization of Power: Project branding centralizes power in the hands of developers and funders, rather than the communities that are using and running the instances. This leads to decision-making processes that do not represent the diverse needs and perspectives of users.
  3. Stifling Innovation: A focus on project branding stifles innovation and creativity within the #fediverse. Communities that can feel constrained by the predefined branding and unable to express their identities and values through their #openweb spaces.
  4. Inequality in Representation: Branding perpetuates inequalities in representation within the #openweb ecosystem. Communities that lack the resources or technical expertise to customize branding feel marginalized or excluded from #geekproblem and #mainstreaming discussions and initiatives.
  5. Resistance to Change: Strong project branding creates resistance to change within the community. People become accustomed to the existing branding and are thus reluctant to embrace new ideas or alternative approaches that challenge this often ossified status quo.

To address these challenges, it’s important to shift the focus from strong project branding to instance branding to empower communities to make their own #openweb spaces for collaboration and collective action. This involves:

  • Rethinking the traditional #NGO concept of branding and finding ways to communicate the values and mission of projects without relying on dominating #mainstreaming, project branding.
  • Creating better user experiences for community members to shape the look and feel of their spaces and actively participate in decision-making processes.
  • Encouraging open and honest dialogue about the role of branding in the #fediverse and its impact on community participation and representation.
  • Promoting a culture of responsible branding/templating that prioritizes inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment of people and projects.

By adopting these principles and practices, we can create a decentralized ecosystem within the #openweb and #fediverse, where communities have power over their tools to nurture their community, this is what matters

Please “do not be a prat” about this, thanks.