My name is Danyl Strype. I'm an independent journalist, citizen scientist, free culture advocate, and permaculture designer based in Aotearoa/ NZ. I've been involved in starting up and supporting the local versions of Indymedia and CreativeCommons, and I'm currently a usability consultant for the ongoing redevelopment of permaculture.org.nz
, which I'm hoping can be a flagship project/ crash test dumy for federated social web tools. More about me here:
I've been attempting to map out the various packages and protocols in the federated social networking space for a while as part of my Disintermedia project:
Disintermedia, like CitizenWeb, is a one geek project consisting mainly of a blog and a bit of documentation. What made we decide to join this list is the fact that Autonomo.us is a group of people, some of whom are doing amazing work at the coalface. It strikes me that If I want to help progress towards federated *social* networking, being a one-man-band isn't going to cut it ;)
It's seemed to me for some time that cracking the federated social networking problem will take more than just good software. I think federated social networking will only
succeed when the underlying technology become as automatic, reliable,
and invisible to users as the machinations of the internet protocols are
to users of the web. The current giants (Twitter, Farcebook etc) have succeeded where plenty of other proprietary walled gardens have failed, or just hobbled along with a loyal base of users (eg Ning). This article in PCMag makes some interesting comments on why that might be:
Two other pop psychology insights which I think are relevant here. One is that things which explicitly invite people to participate tend to get more participants. I felt welcome to join this list because of Mike's invitation to do so in the '2013 reboot' blog post. The other is that people tend to follow 'behavioural traces', to quote environmental psychologist Nikki Harre. Harre cites research that people in a place covered in litter are much more likely to litter themselves than if you put them in a place with no litter. These two things mean that interfaces are really important to whether a free social service succeeds of fails. Interfaces which actively invite people to join, helps them connect with other users they already have some relationship with (even if they are on other services), and shows off what other people are using the service for, are much more likely to attract and retain users.
So, that's me, and some of my thoughts on the issues that Autonomo.us works on. Look forward to some insightful conversations over the coming months.
He mihi nui ki a koutou