Google is shutting down Google Plus in just a couple of months from now.

In the meanwhile I know of people desperately trying to pull their G+ data out of Google Takeout and it isn't working.

I feel like the lessons of this speak for themselves?


Lots of people weren't around for when the fediverse was at its first peak at around 2010-2011. Google Plus swept in and plenty of people quit the fediverse saying "Google will do a better job keeping this running than independent sites can." For this and some other reasons, for some time the fediverse was a ghost town.

Let's not forget that next time.

I'm not saying the fediverse does a great job of keeping things going. Actually we do a pretty awful job, plenty of nodes go down, and a lot of my research right now is how content can survive servers disappearing.

But at least a good portion of that is within the control of people, rather than just one mega-entity.

@tiden The fediverse, with both Diaspora and StatusNet, was quite large back then.

@cwebber Neat. I only really hopped on board when the first big masto wave came (around November '16, I think?)

@tiden @cwebber was the flagship instance of the fediverse back then. We had our "how do I find people" moment when folks like Gina Trapani and Robert Scoble walked the earth. WE had our moment when Steve Gillmor gathered Twitter, Identica and the known microblogging universe together to talk about the firehose of data that was created.

And we blew it.

@craigmaloney @cwebber This reads like a case of "Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it."

@craigmaloney @tiden Yeah. Though...

We didn't *totally* blow it. The fediverse did survive, and even now is having a massive comeback :)

Definitely lessons from that era though, especially about putting too much reliance on one person or one company... even when such an entity means all the best, is doing great work, and trying their damndest!!

@cwebber @craigmaloney admittedly I've been wanting to attempt to build my own little server but my brain turns to mush the second I start reading over the specs for it.

That and I've been trying to do that with Racket.

@cwebber @craigmaloney @tiden I do remember when Illya died a part of Diaspora did as well.

I kept trying to come back to it but it just wasn't the same. :/

@cwebber agree generally, though in some ways maybe it depends on what you describe as "the" fediverse. Is RSS/Atom fediverse? NNTP? UUCP? Fido?

@telent @cwebber My "ha ha only serious" answer to this is to paraphrase from Virginia Shea's Netiquette, attempting to be an etiquette guide to USENET and its internet -- in 1994, just before the whole social structure began falling apart:

~"[[The fediverse]] can be thought of as a psychic superset of [[ActivityPub]] -- it's the psychic space in which people interact"~

( compare: )

@telent @cwebber That is to say -- "The fediverse" is the set of people and audiences you mentally expect to be able to listen to and talk to, using ActivityPub.

@telent @cwebber (... I do take a bit of an issue with my definition, because tying it specifically to ActivityPub understates it a bit. Possibly a better, if slightly recursive and so weaker, definition is using "fediverse applications" or something instead..?)

@cwebber I would love to pick your brain on this topic. It would be interesting to write an article on the past of the Fediverse, the growing pains and loss, to how it is now and has the chance to be.

@cwebber ha, Google and keeping something running when it's not massive profit (either in terms of money or in terms of data)... That'd be a first.

@cwebber I think the first version of G+ looked almost exactly like diaspora, or?..

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