more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

I'm seeing some Embrace, Extend, Extinguish hand wringing circulate this morning.

I don't want to write another blog post, folks won't stop boosting the last one.

So it's post time. I'll keep it brief.

If Google, or some other big player, shows up in this space, will defederate immediately.

Before any worrying signs, before any extensions to the standard.

I'll defederate and move on with my life.

M.S is already too big. I already have them silenced instance wide. If any existing player tries to join in with bluster, they'll find themselves banned here (and, I imagine, across 90% of the small instances.)

They still can't stop me from running my own mail server, even if they mark most of my outgoing mail as spam.

So, at the least, we're not going anywhere.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

But there's more!

We can ensure that the situation does not develop in to a gmail situation through cultural pressure and education.

The power of a network is in the people who use it.

If a FAANG company (MAANG? MMAAG?) tries to step in to the fediverse, we have a duty to take the fight against them out of the fediverse and in to the larger internet.

Leverage the fact that they have brought attention to us to bring attention to the fact that they have a record of killing things that work the way our thing works.

We can, all 1,000,000+ of us, make it the worst PR move of their existence.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) - Now with politics 

And this is going to sound petty, but this is the kind of things I'd be willing to end/ruin friendships over?

That does sound petty, let me explain.

This is bigger than some technical standard.

This is cultural, political, and economic.

We represent an existential threat to the business model of some of the most wealthy corporations on the planet, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let anyone take that away from us without fighting against it with everything I have.

We are standing on the precipice of a transformative shift in the way we, as a society, relate to one another through the internet.

We are moving away from a Broadcast and Toward a conversation.

We're all a bunch of anarchists, I don't make the rules (we all do) 

The fediverse is the promise of a liberated media that the Videofreex and The Raindance Corporation foresaw in the 60s and 70s, that the Culture Jammers demanded in the 80s and 90s.

This is mutual aid, this is anticapitalism, this is collaborative ideation.

We are living revolutionary values, right here, right now, on a silly little social media network.

And I will fight to my last breathe any God Damn corporation that tries to Monetize that.

This is the future, and you're a part of it now. Be a good steward of the future.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 and both have similar covenants iirc

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 I feel like the move, whatever shape it will have will feel very out of place to people and almost by design like white cells people will squeeze the unwanted element out.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@questionable_ole Me too! But enough people seem to not see that, that I wanted to make my stance a little clearer.

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 alternatively even if they'll "win" it'll just end up to being the same as it is right now: General people silo'd in their corporate server while we sit in our little federated corner of the internet, mostly left be. :blobcatshrug:

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@Polychrome @ajroach42

Well, having quit Twitter several years ago and *never* having messed with FB, I've already got the "left be" part worked out. :D

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) - Now with politics 

@ajroach42 I'm definitely with you on that. The monolithic business model is obviously failing as a model for social media and some other things online. We need a new model, and Mastodon is that model. By breaking down the society into multiple pieces that are small enough to be managed and removing the whole profit motive, it solves the two major problems with Twitter, Facebook, etc.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 > (MAANG? MMAAG?)

MANGA, duh

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 


Yup, got to nip it in the bud if it happens. No way to trust Google etc, their track record is appalling and they will say anything to get people onside. Our protection from them has to be structural, it's all we've got.

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

I'm still not getting the hand wringing over this. The Fediverse survived the transation from one open standard to another (Ostatus to ActivityPub) and the only "threat" on the horizon is Blue Sky, which has so far released nothing of substance and made it clear that it won't play nice with ActivityPub which means it's dead in the water (and this isn't even getting into the technical challenges of what Jack wants to do, which are... significant).

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

EEE only really works if the extender is willing to foot the bill which, unless Google/Microsoft/Whoever is willing to offer a service like Mastohost for free, it will still require instance operators to **want** to switch to or set up their software and uh... that's not going to be wildly popular opinion for the people who would be doing so.

I mean, hell, right now I'm seeing people trying to figure out how to get off AWS/RDS and move to a less evil data storage option. The federated model seems like it's naturally resilient to big players because, at the end of the day, it requires someone to actually spin up and manage an instance, so their target market likely *hates* them.

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@probgoblin The current piece that's circulating takes the premise of "What if google implemented activity pub inside gmail?"

which is farcical on the face of it, I think?

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 I thought it was more like “What if Google gets into the ActivityPub game and uses their existing identity service to suddenly have a billion users?”

Well, here’s what happens: They now have another service to manage… for users they are already monetizing. History (Stadia, Google+ (RIP, this was the best social media setup), Waves, Glass, and a bunch of others I’m forgetting) indicates they really aren’t that good at doing so.

So, what are the actual threat vectors if the big guys hop into the Fediverse: (1/2, I picked a bad week to cut down on my message length!)

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

1. They offer something like Ad-Sense to site admins that they can plug in and run on their instance and get a cut of revenue.

2. They offer a backend that has that built in.

In either case, I have a hard time of seeing a situation in which an instance offers a compelling enough product to put up with ads, *especially since I can cherry pick who and what I follow from that instance externally*. So either they would have to inject their ads directly into the instance user's content (which uh... lol? lmao?) or only allow other instances that play by their ad rules to federate with their ad-enabled ones in a walled garden which means they are clearly just offloading server costs to individuals.

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 @probgoblin ActivityPub should be pretty easy to insert into an smtp message.

Just encapsulate it in a new MIME type: text/ActivityPub

And then just send the Json payload.

Now, an ActivityPub email listener...

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ubergeek @ajroach42 I don’t the questions is “can they do that”, but I have yet to see a compelling reason as for why they would. They already have an ear to those users’ communications and likely search history. The assumption is that we are giving more information through social media sites than we do elsewhere, which may be true, but is it information they can monetize for significantly less than the cost of deploying and maintaining a giant federated network?

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@probgoblin @ajroach42 It's going to depend heavily on the culture - a federated system alone is not enough.

What killed XMPP, for example, was not just Google adopting it for GTalk, but that being lauded by much of the community as "XMPP is mainstream now!", resulting in people using GTalk to chat on XMPP because it was the most usable/accessible client, and so once GTalk got deprecated, that pretty much instantly killed the whole network.

The two crucial errors there were a) Google was accepted as a desirable network participant, and b) non-Google clients were insufficiently accessible. As long as those mistakes are avoided, fedi does stand a good chance of surviving EEE.

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@joepie91 @ajroach42
XMPP is "dead" in the same way IRC is, in that it's used as the back end of some very large and important services that are (usually) defederated and run behind custom clients.

What killed XMPP on the consumer side wasn't Google adopting and abandoning it, it was that there was almost no effort in updating the clients to provide a modern user experience while Discord had tons of venture capital thrown at it to do just that.

Mastodon, Pleroma, PixelFed, et. al all look and function, for FOSS, pretty dang slick and mostly acceptable by 202x standards.

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@probgoblin @ajroach42 Oh, believe me, I've talked XMPP's folks ears off for years about the poor UX and how that was harming adoption.

But no, that definitely wasn't the only reason - it was already dead (for its intended purpose) before Discord and such showed up on the scene, just the 'UX delta' with proprietary platforms has been steadily increasing ever since.

The two issues feed into each other, really; bad UX was a problem from the start, and that's what allowed GTalk to become popular as an XMPP client very quickly, being actually reasonably usable.

But the other way around, Google tearing a large strip off the network has significantly cut down on the amount of people that *could* have been fixing the UX, and led to some problematic "outcast" internal community dynamics further preventing it from improving...

So by now it is all miles removed from the 'state of the art', and community inertia means that it'll probably remain that way forever, despite a handful of clients trying to be better :/

re: more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@joepie91 @ajroach42
I feel like Google proved the protocol could be used at scale for enterprise level stuff, which got Zoom, Cisco, Grindr, WhatsApp and others to make use of it and then the FOSS side of the equation looked at that adoption and decided to crank out software that looks like it would be at home on Windows 98.

XMPP is one of those interesting cases where if it held on a little longer it may have had a revival (and still may with Matrix breathing some life into the messaging space) if crowd funding was a thing and they could make a good case on why you want to use XMPP, through a modern looking/behaving app, over Discord.

We tend to forget people value usability over principles.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 I'm seeing some google bros here doing humblebrags about their workplace.

I really hated the whole devrel ratf*ckery back on the birdsite.

Even if you just wanted to interact with X community, you have these noisy FAANGpires trying to suck all the oxygen.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@jbzfn block and report (not that the m.s admins will do anything about it.)

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 Reminds me of the episode of Star Trek Enterprise where T'Pol explains why they don't have trouble with the Klingons: they learned early on they had to shoot first. Klingons never bothered them after that.

Shoot the Klingons is defederate instantly in this case.

more meta (embrace, extend, extinguish) 

@ajroach42 What sort of impact does silencing an instance actually have for users on your instance? I imagine it’s not as extreme as de-federating, but can you see this reply for instance?

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