The Reddit Emigration

The Reddit Emigration

I know of Reddit and I have an account that I use every so often. I have never felt the need for a site like Digg or Reddit, because I don’t feel the need to look at what people are sharing and reading, and promoting or demoting. For a long time it felt like a website that had users, but had not updated it’s UI for years. 

The Issue

The problem with Reddit, Digg, lemmy, kbin and other alternatives is that they’re large enough for everything to be shared within seconds, and you get trolled if you share something that someone else has already seen. That trolling discourages me from doing anything more than lurking. 

I came across Lemmy, Kbin and one or two other Fediverse alternatives over the last three or four days. It’s interesting that an alternative to reddit is ready, and seeing a growth in users, but at the same time it feels like part of the same problem, in a different networked environment. 

The decentralised centralised environment

On paper the notion that we can have niche servers, and distributed communities that can talk within their ecosystem, as well as externally is great because if one server goes down then there are 20 others to switch too. The issue is that the toxic behaviour that stems from large communities doesn’t end just because people jump from Twitter to Mastodon et al. It doesn’t end because people jump from Reddit to Kbin, Lemmy et al. 

Reddit’s Momentum

Yesterday I searched for something and I got Reddit discussion results. If everyone stopped using Reddit today, or tomorrow, then it would take weeks, or months for Lemmy, Kbin and other alternatives to rise up in the search engine results, to dethrone Reddit. This means that although users could migrate, and leave Reddit to become a ghost network, it still has plenty of content to serve, in theory for decades. 

An Amusing Phrase

On several Fediverse instances I see people say “I need to figure out how I’m going to use this.” To me the answer is simple. “You’re going to use it like you used the site you emigrated from.” For me the real question is “How long will it take for the sites to reach critical mass, for the open source versions to become self-sustaining and compelling to use. and other solutions never took off. 

And Finally

I have joined Lemmy instances out of curiousity, and so far I find them not to be about the topics that interest me. It could take a while for them to pick up on those topics. In practice it would be easy to create the topics I want to discuss. For now, like others, I am lurking. I will keep blogging, whilst people move around between the monoliths, and the Fediverse. 

The Paradox of Instagram’s Twitter

The Paradox of Instagram’s Twitter

Within the last two days I saw a headline that is either amusing or tragic. The headline is that Instagram is creating a twitter clone, or even a Twitter competitor. This is amusing, or tragic, because Twitter and Facebook have always been competitors. You had the network of strangers that became friends, with Twitter, and the network of uni friends that became estranged years after graduating with Facebook. 


Both of them had chronological timelines with people conversing with each other. One was about events, pictures and more, and the other was about chatting, between tweetups. 

Facebook and Twitter Are Now the Same

The notion that Instagram would have a twitter clone, today, is ludicrous because Facebook and Twitter are the same thing. Facebook owns Instagram, so the notion that Instagram needs a competitor to Twitter is ironic, since Twitter and Facebook are now the same thing. I could develop the idea further but won’t.

The Rush to Rescue the Shipwrecked

Twitter is having a Titanic moment and nearby ships (social networking solutions) are rushing on to recover all the people in life boats or floating in the water. That rush is paradoxical, since it has expanded social media once again, to become a network of networks, rather than a monolith. 

The Fediverse

I think that the Fediverse offers the best solution because it offers plenty of instances that can focus either on specific niches, or just host accounts, and people can look for like-minded posts across the networks.

Contributions and Instance Specific Adverts

I saw something about people wanting to advertise on the Fediverse and I don’t think they should, especially not in the main feed. To do so would be to destroy what the fediverse is. A network of networks of people conversing. We can contribute financially to the instances we’re using, to help cover costs. For instances that are more popular, and more expensive to run the solution would be to have ads that show up only within that instance. It should be for the community to decide whether they want ads, or donation covered costs. 

Twitter and Facebook Are Clones Already

Seven or eight years ago when you looked at Twitter you would see twenty to thirty tweets with shortened URLs. Over the years individual tweets were given images, and animated gifs, and eventually videos. They even began to take up an entire screen height for just one tweet. Over the last decade and a half Twitter and Facebook became the same thing. The idea that Instagram is cloning Twitter, when Twitter cloned Facebook, and Jaiku, is absurd. 

Meta Chat Options

To illustrate how absurd the “Twitter clone” idea is look at Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and even Facebook. They’re all conversation tools, some for private groups, others for public groups, and others for friends, families, professional circles, hobby circles and more. Instagram Twitter is, yet another conversation tool. 

The Consequences

Twitter stopped having a unique selling point years ago. What made Twitter was the community. By destroying that community feeling Musk encouraged people to spread to other social networks. People are trying to clone Twitter, but most social apps are the same today. A timeline with people sharing videos, photos, articles and more. 

And Finally

Instagram is now part of Meta, and Meta destroyed its reputation without ever apologising for its mistakes. I will not use Instagram’s “twitter” for the simple reason that I do not use any Meta products because I do not trust them not to play social engineering experiments, yet again. Meta takes social networks, and turns them into boring glossy magazines, rather than networks of friends of friends. Facebook was demonstrated to be untrustworthy and never worked to fix its reputation. 

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Open Social vs Portal facebook

Loudmouthman, amongst others was expressing his desire for a means by which to aggregate all our online data through one central account. I though of Freebase and Openid and how they could work. Google though had other thoughts. Whilst Facebook behaves like a portal opensocial helps agggregate content. Facebook assumes thatyou come to their website, spen an hour there and then disconnect. Opensocial assumes that you are an active participant of the new socialmedia landscape on several websites at a time.

We currently have a growing number of people that spend more and more time using new technologies to communicate with others. Most of us have flickr accounts, joost accounts youtube and more but for our friends to keep up is a challenge. Getting them to sign on to any social network is particularly hard. Myspace was the key website for a while before facebook overtook.

In the past two days I’ve joined Lijit and Open Social. Both work the same way. They take your user id. in my case warzabidul and you tell them which networks you’re part of. The content is then aggregated to a central pag. As more and more friends join open social and lijit so you should get a greater sense of what they are up to. It’s a convenient way to keep up to date with what friends around the world are doing.

Look at the sidebar to get an idea of how Plaxo Pulse is using the opensocial idea. Florian Seroussi also pointed me to this article that should help you understand what it’s about.

I’m looking forward to more people using it and I love the great flexibility that it will give it’s users. If you’re using it them write a comment and I’ll visit your site to see your social media presence.