I would love to get something like this that is about getting answers/information/media/etc without it being limited by services that only work well with specific apps. Like something that can be local hosted in home and stays home. Like controlling smart devices and all the stuff that Google/Apple/Samsung/Amazon assistants do, but with it being able to work with lesser known apps that will never be on the lists of “options” (like how I can pick YT Music/Spotify/Amazon Music/Pandora, but my much lesser known podcast app can’t be even manually added). And by “staying home” I mean that it isn’t needing to be online to work or not sending all my recordings/typed stuff to somewhere else. And couldn’t therefore be used by cops or marketers that go around your back or approval to build cases/profiles as easily as it currently is to just go secretly to some companies and force it over.
For now, it is awesome to see that there are some major projects like this getting in while the for-profit companies haven’t started making all the rules. And so far those companies have required the user to basically learn how to correctly speak with their assistants. Also doesn’t help that Google has made wording things frustrating with the names of their stuff. Calling all of their Android services “Play” often leads to it ignoring what I am trying to have it do. Context is going to be the real game changer.
I personally think that the Fediverse is kind of tricky for both Boomers and the mid-to-young-ist Zoomers. But for different reasons based on the kinds of issues/questions I get when trying to help both age ranges with their computers. The TL;DR if you don’t want to read all of my rant is: It is really down to understanding how to best approach it with them. And to just be ready to teach them while starting out. Social media these days is like the Zoomer version of how Boomers love cable/satellite TV.
Boomers have just less understanding of the internet and non-office work on computers. Like they think that the MUST have Outlook in order to get emails. Or how some of their kids and grandchildren could only get them to switch from using IE to Chrome or Firefox by labeling the icons as “Internet” or even changing the icon for the shortcuts to be IE.
They are also a big factor in how crazy ads have gotten on news sites (IMO). As they are more likely to click on them and even think the ads are news stories (or at least have some belief/trust that if the ads are on a news or other reputable site that they aren’t scams). I have personally had to deal with a couple of older folks that freaked out when they got home after their PC was fixed by me. All because “stuff is missing” on whichever start page news site they visit. I had to explain that nothing of actual importance was actually “missing” and show them how uBlock Origin is actually protecting them. Just turned it off and basically A B viewed the site with and without the ads. And that the slide-show of stories has a lot of ads that are meant to look like news. They were happy about it in the end.
Mid to young-ist Zoomers on the other hand (like another commenter said) are much more used to highly centralized services. They aren’t used to how much more detached from each other the internet was back in the 80’s/90’s/00’s. For them it is about being where everyone is at and where they could be seen by the most people. Another issue for them is how they really seem to be going backwards with regards to basic computer literacy/skills.
They are super versed in iOS and Android (and maybe Chrome OS), and it shows when I need them to tell me where they might have saved something important. Since their phones really really don’t like for users to “explore” the filesystems and hide it all behind pretty apps. They have no idea where anything is unless it is in their Downloads or Desktop folders. Even just knowing to keep track of how much space is left on their HDD/SSD is a struggle. Especially since so many of them have become interested in having “gaming PCs”. They love to watch stuff like LTT or Marques Brownlee and the various Twitch streamers. But since they really only use their phones and consoles, they don’t understand how PCs require more effort because they don’t stop you from messing things up. Or that they even need to install the OS (but TBF I also have to explain this to many people of all ages since they tend to only ever buy pre-built OEM stuff or phones that the OS is actually flashed on and hard to completely remove).
So I think that the Fediverse is currently mostly something Gen X, Millennials, and older Zoomers are able to take to the easiest. Due to either being online before what we know as “social media” and having to hunt down stuff. Or from being around while social media was just forming and while stuff like web forums were more of a thing. I think that it is more of an education thing more than any specific Fediverse program/server/instance. The “Mastodon is more like email” description is the best way to get Boomers to view it while also “feeling” like how they can see updates similar to their Facebook feed. Zoomers are tricky due to being so super connected to chat and social media. But the stuff they know is major sites/services that have so much money and resources to basically provide unlimited space for uploads and/or being able to be on everything at all times. So the need to be aware of any limits or restrictions/limitations of any service they use can be a deal breaker. But if they can focus long enough to learn, then they could reverse the trend of treating computers in the same way that Boomers treat cable/satellite services. So much expectation of little to zero effort on their part is going to be what could lead to us just having AI just tell them what they can and can’t do.
True, it does matter either who is there first, or at least who can manage to lead a sufficient number of people there at the same time. This is the thing that has made it super hard to get away from YouTube. Either there are barriers to entry like PeerTube (obviously since it is Fediverse), or it is just so saturated with right-wingers ranging from fascists to ancaps.
Some stuff like Lbry/Odysee have managed to get some bursts of “normies” from YouTubers/podcasters that have made an effort to tell their viewers and listeners how they can get content if YT comes down on them. I personally think that the faster that apps for Lbry/Odysee and PeerTube can be used on things like Roku/PlayStation/XBox/Google Cast. Then the easier and faster more people will be able to use the platforms.
PeerTube is the real tricky one since it requires the content makers to pay attention to stuff like file sizes and other upload limits/rules are in place for their chosen instance. Which they don’t have to even think about with YT. The viewer side is just as tricky since finding new stuff/creators beyond your current instance means being active about it. Which by itself isn’t that bad, but saving stuff to your lists if something is from another server is not always super smooth to do.
Maybe there is a way for PeerTube to put an official app together that can make it easy to add instances to it in a way that would allow seeing stuff from those instances (maybe see the “Top/Popular” uploads for the day/week/etc). Then if you choose to follow a channel or save a vid to a playlist it could just add it to your actual account without having to enter the info. Then other apps could be able to use whatever api’s are used for the official app. That way the official app can be kind of like how third party GPU companies release their own versions of the “founders” versions from AMD/Nvidia but with their own additions. Or how the Fediverse can work on so many projects as long as the standards are respected.
This is true given how FB has ignored lots of literal death squads all over the world (the others aren’t innocent of this either). But it is the one that the most people tend to use. Almost none of my friends or family use twitter sort of a link taking them there. And I believe that Instagram was pretty popular for ISIS to reach out to folks by making life with them look good.
All of the Fediverse is going to have to deal with them at some point. It isn’t like the opensource systems can just ban people from setting up servers and instances. But they can take proactive measures to block them and setup databases of known fascist instances that anti-fascist instances can import. But I am not an admin or dev, so I am not sure what currently are and aren’t options. Decentralization by its nature is meant to be hard to be stopped for good and bad.
I agree with your point about it being weird to auto-add search engines that aren’t Google/Bing/Yahoo/DDG. But I will say that (while it does randomly get frustrating) the lack of automatically adding search engines is a plus for non-tech users. I say this due to the absurd amount of client computers I work on. Obviously them somehow installing extensions that change the search and home pages will still happen (and does).
But Chrome is one of the worst (though Safari is apparently super susceptible to really nasty search hijackers/re-directors that get in deep af) about scamy/spamy search engines getting added and setup (many times even lists the name of the search in the selection list as being one of the big ones including Google). Also see massive lists of such engines ready to add as “discovered”. Where as it is super unlikely for FF to be hit by non-extension engines being set as defaults. It is of course impossible to fully protect everyone, and it is dumb to stop users that are vigilant of this stuff from being able to take off the training wheels.
I am just saying that from a dealing with this really specific situation I see everyday FF is doing well. Also being fair I find the DDG Bangs (and the same feature on Brave Search) to be better than just adding all the search engines. I just wish they (Mozilla) would make an extension that could do the same thing. No need to install really more than one default if you can just add a small variable at the beginning.
I agree that Mozilla could be of better help to other Fediverse programs. Like they should use something that would be easy for them to change over their blog posts or other long-form items (Friendica or Hubzilla). Mastodon is fine and all, but aside from the stuff already stated it would be nice to see them be a “safe” starting point for people. I could see them easily making use of Pixelfed or even PeerTube (PeerTube especially could make good use of having big names to get normies curious enough to try). Though if they want to stick with microblog stuff, I have liked the more interesting layouts that Pleroma and Misskey/Foundkey can have. I can only guess they are picking Mastodon because they think it is less confusing to people that have been hearing about it because of the Twitter stuff. Even if they don’t try the other options any time soon. They could maybe help or release extensions that help with Fediverse related stuff. If they do extensions then it doesn’t add bloat to Firefox for those that don’t use or care about it. Would like to avoid another Pocket situation. lol
Np, I was glad to see that they didn’t mess it up by only allowing their instance (which we all agree would be dumb lol). Not gonna lie, Vivaldi has come a long way and I love how they seem to be trying to bring back the old Netscape Communicator style suite of things. Firefox is still gonna be my main, but Vivaldi might be my new favorite Chromium-based browser now. Having a sidebar of active Mastodon feeds is pretty dope, and the RSS reader looks better than Thunderbird. The gestures are also better than the add-ons on Firefox and the other Chromium browsers. I wish Mozilla would at least release some official add-ons to allow adding some of this while keeping it compatible with the flow of the main browser.
Sorry for the rant, I am just really impressed and needed to get it out. lol
Nice to see! I have added the crawler extension and the search to my Firefox. Also I use the DDG extension because of the “Bangs” feature that allows quickly using other search engines. Which I love and keeps it as my default. So I just submitted !MWMBL on the DDG Bang! page so that it might be added on there. No idea if it will be approved of course, but would maybe be helpful if it is.
I have only used it on Windows personally, but the GitHub does have info for Mac OS and Linux. It uses I2P but can run its own I2P connection without needing to also install the main I2P router. For the moment it seems to be not super populated due to lack of more people not knowing about it (IMO at least). The UI is fairly simple and “feels” like old-school P2P from the early 00’s. Setting up the folders you want to share might be a little less straightforward up front (at least to me). But it is pretty easy compared to stuff like DC++ while also having some chat options built-in. It also allows you to set the program for speed (no hops and not as anonymous) or for safety (more hops before arriving to or from).
But again, I have only used it on Windows at the moment.
THIS! The thing that is the most immediate and frustrating thing about getting into Fedi. I started out making whole new accounts (with the same user name) every time I clicked a link to a Mastodon instance. Both because I wanted to make sure I had the name I wanted, and because I didn’t understand that I needed to more manually add users to my follow lists (and in some cases it seems some instances need you to be part of their instance). I also had made accounts for some of the other Fedi social media sites here and there at some point. Just to go back and see that the site/instance isn’t there anymore. So at the very least it would be nice to see both easier ways (at least more obvious ones) to transfer accounts with all the stuff posted/favorited/etc to new instances. And maybe a way to kind of do cold storage backups of accounts that can be saved by the user. Kind of similar (but not the same) to how you can make a local wallet of crypto that all you need to do to use it is to load the recovery words into a warm wallet. That way I can basically see that a site went down, and not have lost as much.
That and figuring out some kind of search standards that can be enabled for finding other Fedi things and just seeing stuff. Something that makes it easier to at least search for media content like getting results for all PeerTube instances in one place. But can be left off or set levels by the instances that don’t want to participate. With so many people getting frustrated at YouTube and the ever increasing ad counts. Making at least the finding of stuff easier for normies (and getting apps on devices like Roku) would help get more creators to at least duplicate their channels this way. The time for getting serious alts out there is now IMO. People put up with YouTube due to ease of use and because they don’t see real options that aren’t outright grifts or otherwise feels super sus.
Aside from seeing some possible options on https://alternativeto.net/software/frost-for-facebook/?p=1 (most seem to be free but proprietary or freemium). But if you only need it to basically just interact with some friends/family. Why not just use the website for the times you need it? Are there some specific set of features in Frost that are must haves? As I imagine that FB will keep tweeking things in order to make thrid-party apps/sites harder to function. I will say that the official Lite version of the chat app is much better than the full version (I like the idea of the chat heads, but got tired of them getting in my way). It seems to use less of my battery when I do end up using it.
And they will keep yelling about how leftists are all actually Nazis while literally burning books. The worst kind of fascists are all fascists, but the next in line are the ones that don’t seem to realize that they are. The combination of massive corp greed across all media has done the real work for indoctrinating so many. Doublespeak and gaslighting all the culture war stuff. The right is doing a terrifyingly good job at making people actually proud to be ignorant. It is “American” to be consumed with placing individualism above community. So convinced that any and all assistance programs are “evil” or that we can’t “encourage laziness”. Which is ironic given how folks that claim this shit are among the worst offenders for grifting or otherwise scamming people that do work hard. The “pro-law and order” folks are among the worst offenders of literally breaking laws and threatening people and property (which they won’t STFU about how "Antifa is being trucked into places in order to break shit). I wouldn’t lose sleep if I ever had to put down any of them, as they are only tripling down on their stances and open threats. Not willing to just take the L on shit they have been, or currently are, wrong about (which is admittedly a big step ego-wise). Which is why I do try to do what I can if I manage to get a good-faith conversation going, and I see them actually having their mind blown. But that requires a lot of factors lining up and time isn’t on our side atm.
I agree with the guy about how Wayland might be able to catch up if X was already being sunset. Especially now that even Nvidia is being more supportive of their Linux drivers. While not a great example, Microsoft being super aggressive about making it clear about all versions of Windows lower than 10 being dead. And while I only deal with consumer level computer repairs. I have seen how much those alerts cause lots of people to come in with their Windows 7 and 8 PCs to have 10 installed. Same goes for Adobe finally releasing the final “update” for Flash (which was just an uninstaller) after so many years of pushing back the end of life due to companies not being ready. It took them finally doing it to really move people over to HTML5. Though X is worth keeping patched for both current systems and for being able to run reverse compatible programs on new hardware.