22 Comments
Jun 25, 2023Liked by Justin Hanagan

I’m one of those Redditors who was one for more than 12 years, but two weeks ago I stopped using Reddit completely. I haven’t deleted my accounts yet but maybe I should. I used Apollo and subscribed to it, but since this whole debacle, I’ve lost interest in Reddit entirely. And I’ve literally felt more freedom and focus in my brain. I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Steve’s AMA was horrible, the way he went about blaming Christian from Apollo, among other things he said.

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Jun 24, 2023Liked by Justin Hanagan

I'm actually not convinced that "recreate social media, but decentralized and censorship resistant" solves any of the real problems I have with social media: its feed/temporal design and optimization for engagement instead of the old spatial structure of classic forums and bulletin boards or designs that promote longform writing, or the very fact that we're trying to socialize online rather than socializing and doing things in real life then sharing the fruits online. It also isn't necessary for decentralization: you can throw five bucks at a server, write a page in mostly plain text (styling and markup only have to be learned to the extent you want to make it fancier; and you could find or purchase a template for those too), and presto, you can post your own web page. The fediverse concept addresses some of the reasons the decentralized internet was replaced with a corporate, centralized one to begin with, but not all and only indirectly; I'd like to see a direct solution without the social media baggage.

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Jun 24, 2023·edited Jun 25, 2023Author

Absolutely, I'm with you on all your points. Ultimately the internet should supplement and assist with real life, not replace it. I don't see a world anytime soon where connecting with strangers online is as rewarding as meeting a friend for lunch. What makes me hopeful about the Fediverse model is that because instances won't be pressured to grow infinitely for sake of shareholders, there won't be an incentive (or demand) to make them addictive. Obviously the content one chooses to follow and engage with can have an effect on addictiveness, but there's nothing inherent about the tech that tries to distract, derail, and spur fights. The incentives will be on helping users achieve whatever reason they had for visiting and returning to real life.

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I think we may get there with the right incentives. The underlying tools and building blocks I'd agree aren't inherently bad, but, I do think the design of the end resulting sites/app, not just the content they contain, is geared towards some kinds of use (or abuse!) more than others – much like a mall, turning one back into a rec center takes renovation after the incentives are realigned.

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(I work in tech, so I think about system design a lot. I keep toying with trying to get out. But I also know I could design technology that works for us instead of the other way around. I just keep thinking, "Where will you find the time for it while still making a living? You've got kids to feed!")

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Jun 24, 2023Liked by Justin Hanagan

If you want another case study to look at that's more in the Wiki/Reddit mode, check out Stack Exchange and the conversations about the site and company happening on its "meta" section the past few years. One distinction to be made there is that Stack Exchange has three moderator-like roles:

- Community managers who are sort of like the company's liaisons to the sites.

- Moderators who deal with abuse, objectionable content and so forth.

- Ordinary users are expected to curate content for quality and gain greater privileges to do so based on how well they prove themselves, which is why (for computer programming if not for other topics sometimes too) Stack Overflow shows up near the top of google results, usually with questions that are actually relevant and answers that are actually correct.

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Great example! I didn't know it was structured that way, thank you for sharing.

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Jun 24, 2023Liked by Justin Hanagan

Thank you for this very interesting article. I believe it is even possible to push the comparison with the shopping center further and observe that the model of centralizing consumer goods is tending to disappear in favor of the return of small local shops. More specialized, less ambitious, but above all much more suited to the local population.

The fediverse indeed offers this return to highly localized communities, with their own cultural baggage and language. Perhaps finally a way to consume tailored content and expand the realm of possibilities to the communities in the neighboring village.

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I like to say we don't need a "digital town square" (even if one could be built) what we need are digital towns.

I hope you're right about consumer goods. Around me it feels like all I see popping up are new Starbucks and Banks' Chase.

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Jun 25, 2023·edited Jun 25, 2023

I would extend it further and say that the infinite growth i.e., economic expansion that is imperative to capitalism is directly counter to the way the real world and its organisms work and function/thrive, and the way that businesses run things and how social media is turning out, is a microcosm to the overpopulation/devaluation of humanity that is currently happening.

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Jun 23, 2023·edited Jun 23, 2023

"Seriously can somebody explain to me how a business can lose money for 18 years and still exist? is silicon valley even real?"

Not profitable does't mean they're loosing money. It means that after paid wages, hosting costs, 3rd party bills, etc. they're left with either a small profit, or no profit. Basically, it means that the business can't grow, which is what investors like to see if a company goes public. They like to see that the company has a business plan for growth. In any other case, they don't invest, thus the stock plummets. This is why Reddit is still not gonna go public. Cuz they know, if their IPO takes a dive, there is nothing bringing them back in the game, so they wanna be prepared, have a sustainable business growth plan before they go public, which is what the API pricing is all about - eliminating tools that can't serve ads, which leaves only their app as a viable alternative, which does serve ads.

Bottom line, they wanna be like FB. They don't actually care about the users, they only care about the profits... as is with any social network.

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Hey, thank you for the succinct explanation. It seems enshittification is inevitable when paired with infinite growth.

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“A heavy redditor” made me laugh out loud.

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Amazon was not profitable for so many years that it was literally a Silicon Valley charity case.

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Excellent! As someone who has dozens of posts demolished by Reddit moderators I'm not 100% sad to see them experience some pain. But I do realize how stupid Reddit's decision is in this case. You have a bunch of people volunteering to keep your website afloat, and your response is to wage war on them? Huh....

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I can't believe this. I came across your picture of the woman under #2 today by chance lol. I looked up Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber) & his wife called him a Luddite. Under Luddite there's a picture 'Leader of the Luddites'. This is the same picture. I can't believe the coincidence.

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So not to rain on your parade but that "woman" is actually Ned Ludd and I just lifted it from Wikipedia, haha

BUT to increase the coincidence, just last month I wrote a guest piece for the Soaring Twenties Social Club and talked about ol' Ted quite a bit: https://soaringtwenties.substack.com/p/one-simple-trick-for-living-with

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Well I find this amusing I have to admit Reddit has never achieved anything close to commerce, social commerce or even real revenue. E.g. Ads.

The retail apocalypse led to better e-commerce but what does the Exodus from social media lead to?

Genuine nihilism and mistrust of AI. Or more nefarious and gamified ecosystems like Roblox.

Reddit is still where you go for news when you can't actually find it on X but its audience and demographics never went mainstream. The IPO looks dead in the water.

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good analogy

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Thanks!

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deletedJun 24, 2023·edited Jun 24, 2023Liked by Justin Hanagan
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Maybe I should try my hand at my own "Fediverse for Dummies" because it's really not *that* complicated, but when I've tried to explain it to friends I see that it's just such a different way of thinking about "a platform" especially for non-techies. That said- I saw this infographic which might help: https://lemmy.world/pictrs/image/0006c2db-13c6-406e-97e7-6e274fddf355.png

As far as what should you do? That's a tough one. It really depends on the community and what percentage of them are using Reddit specifically because you are there. You could possibly stake out a new community on one of the more reliable Lemmy (or Kbin) instances, like Lemmy.world. I also know of a bot that can auto-cross post Reddit threads to Lemmy: https://github.com/rileynull/RedditLemmyImporter. Maybe also manually post the Lemmy thread URLs to Reddit to encourage people to try it out, and/or sticky a post "sick of Reddit, try out our new second home at ____!"

We're probably all entering an awkward time of split communities as users learn about the options.

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Jun 25, 2023Liked by Justin Hanagan

Try this out: https://axbom.com/fediverse/

It's been made when Twitter => Mastodon migration was in full swing, yet it also applies to Lemmy and Kbin

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