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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Wed, 29 Jan 2014

There a 'fediverse' out there waiting for you

I feel for Evan Prodromou, creator of Pump.io and Status.net before that -- both software platforms for his vitally important Identi.ca social network, which started as a free, open Twitter-like service when one was badly needed in 2008-9.

Running Identi.ca under Status.net required a whole lot of resources, and Evan was doing it for nothing (I think). Then he wanted to change everything about the software and hardware running the identi.ca service and did. So Identi.ca lives. But Identi.ca is not as feature-rich as it was when Status.net was the software behind it.

What's missing from the Pump.io version of Identi.ca for me are a search function and the tags and groups features of the original Identi.ca. I also miss being able to access Identi.ca in most mobile clients, especially Mustard. The new Pump-powered Puma -- with development led by Macno, the same developer who created Mustard -- is coming along, as is the desktop Pumpa client. Like Pump.io itself, neither client is terribly feature-rich at this point.

But what I miss most is the community of the original Identi.ca. I'm not sure how much of that community has scattered since Pump.io, but it sure looks like a lot.

Things that are great about the Pump.io-powered Identi.ca are the ability to do so much more in posts -- more than you can do with Twitter and the original Status.net-powered Identi.ca. But I've found that short Twitter-like posts work for me. It's all about the people ...

I like pump.io's Identi.ca, and I really like Evan. He's given a lot to the community in the form of the Identi.ca service itself and both of its platforms (Status.net and Pump.io).

Today I got a nudge from somebody (ironically via Google Plus) that there's a big #fediverse movement out there centered around the Status.net software.

I kind of knew that the Status.net software lived on and that GNU Social had picked it up (though the status of both projects and the relationship between them somewhat baffle me at the moment).

What I didn't know is that there is a whole #fediverse out there along with a list of 13 servers you can join to get back in the game.

I started an account at Quitter, and I'm already getting back in it just a little bit. I followed a few people. I'm looking for my old groups, which provide a great way to find people with similar interests.

One thing I didn't know (but just found out) is that the #fediverse doesn't just include Status.net servers. There are Diaspora servers in here. Even Pump.io servers.

It's one big happy federated family, from what I can tell.

(On the new Identi.ca, it's hard to find all this federation, even if it's there, due to the lack of search, tag, group and "see the entire network" functions, though for some reason there is a "firehose" feed in the mobile Puma client view of Identi.ca. I barely knew this whole federated world was out there, and I'm not sure if the new Identi.ca itself is part of this larger federation, or is only federated with other Pump.io systems.)

It's all about federation. And not letting a huge corporation, be it Twitter, Google or Facebook, sell us to advertisers in order to provide a "free" as in beer service that's woefully lacking in the free as in freedom department.

So however you get there, the #fediverse is a nice place to be. (And thanks to Evan for all he's done to make it happen.)