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es1969@firemail.cc
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I usually find that most people advocating for a decentralized social 
media network ignore that two big ones already exist: Usenet and 
email/mailing lists.

Usenet is good for more general discussions where more people are 
involved (think Reddit like) while mailing lists are usually smaller and 
more specialized, but both are basically technologically equivalent.

To participate in these forms nothing more than a email account is 
required along with a mail/news client like Thunderbird.

  These forms of communication are not controlled by one specific 
company or organization. In fact, look at what we are doing here - the 
mailing list is a perfect example of where email shines.

Mastodon is a good platform; but "normies" will never use it and me and 
you know that. Why do you think that the goto platform for people being 
censored on Twitter is Parler, which is basically another twitter but 
with the promise that they won't be censored? And the goto platform for 
Redditors upset with the site is "ruqqus.com" and "thedonald.win"?


And Mastodon also has a problem with instances blocking others for 
political reasons. I know you don't like Google but even Gmail or Yahoo 
doesn't block other providers because the owners of those other 
providers have a different political viewpoint.

Also where is the financial incentives for someone to self host a 
server? Time is money and most people won't just host a Mastodon server 
because of "Twitter censorship". Usenet has binaries as a monetization 
model (you can get the text based discussion posts for free, but pay for 
binary content) and email providers mine your data and sell it/display 
ads. Donations are not a sustainable business model.

Let me know if i did the plain text thing correctly.

I don't know anything about the 72 column thing so let me know if I did 
that correctly.
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On Sunday, September 20, 2020 8:03:18 PM EDT es1969@firemail.cc wrote:
> I usually find that most people advocating for a decentralized social
> media network ignore that two big ones already exist: Usenet and
> email/mailing lists.
>

While they are certainly decentralized, I do not find that usenet and email 
lists are very much like the web-based social networking applications that are 
currently prevalent. I did not use Usenet or email lists very frequently prior 
to 1990 or so; perhaps they were more similar to today's social networking 
applications earlier in their existence? I've never seen any evidence that 
they were, though.
 
> Usenet is good for more general discussions where more people are
> involved (think Reddit like) while mailing lists are usually smaller and
> more specialized, but both are basically technologically equivalent.
> 

I am not sure what you mean by "technologically equivalent", but in my opinion 
there are very important differences between Usenet newsgroups and mailing 
lists. The most important, to my eye, is the role of the operator. If you 
subscribe to someone's email list, they have your contact information. If you 
subscribe to a newsgroup, only your local NNTP server gets that. This 
difference alone would make me consider the two very dissimilar.

> To participate in these forms nothing more than a email account is
> required along with a mail/news client like Thunderbird.
> 

To participate in a Usenet newsgroup, you need an account on an NNTP server 
willing to transmit your messages. While that used to be a standard function 
of an Internet Service Provider (ISP), many ISPs no longer offer that as  a 
component of their service.

>   These forms of communication are not controlled by one specific
> company or organization. In fact, look at what we are doing here - the
> mailing list is a perfect example of where email shines.
> 

This mailing list is absolutely, 100% controlled by one specific entity. If 
Drew DeVault decides to turn it off, one change to his server's configuration 
makes it go away. No one else can bring it back. Only Mr. DeVault or those 
he's granted access to can tell who's subscribed to the list. When I send a 
message, he gets to choose whether to relay it or not.

> Mastodon is a good platform; but "normies" will never use it and me and
> you know that. Why do you think that the goto platform for people being
> censored on Twitter is Parler, which is basically another twitter but
> with the promise that they won't be censored? And the goto platform for
> Redditors upset with the site is "ruqqus.com" and "thedonald.win"?
> 
Arguing that people won't use Mastodon but will use Usenet in 2020 seems 
fanciful to me for anything outside the news.admin hierarchy. And maybe for 
that too.

> 
> And Mastodon also has a problem with instances blocking others for
> political reasons. I know you don't like Google but even Gmail or Yahoo
> doesn't block other providers because the owners of those other
> providers have a different political viewpoint.
> 

If you think Usenet hosts didn't/don't do exactly this, either you haven't 
used Usenet all that much or you never looked at it very closely. Fighting 
cancelbots in the '90s was rotten before spam became a problem and was 
intractable after it did.

That's all a lot of words to say that I think your opening thought that email 
lists and usenet groups have this problem solved makes me think that you 
haven't used either in quite the same way people use Twitter, Facebook, 
Diasopora or Mastodon.

I say that as someone who very strongly prefers both email and usenet to all 
of those four things. And also as someone who misses usenet. It was great.
Daniel Long Sockwell
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es1969@firemail.cc writes:
> Why do you think that the goto platform for people being censored on
> Twitter is Parler, which is basically another twitter but with the
> promise that they won't be censored? And the goto platform for
> Redditors upset with the site is "ruqqus.com" and "thedonald.win"?

It's a mistake – though a tempting one – to analyze federated social
media platforms based on how good a job they do in attracting people
banned by Twitter/other centralized platforms.  It's tempting to think
in these terms because people who have been banned from other platforms
are a natural audience – they obviously like the general form and are
looking for a new home.  Nevertheless, it's a mistake for two reasons:

1. The overwhelming majority of people are not banned from centralized
platforms, nor will they ever be – if anything, centralized platforms
have an economic incentive to be *too* tolerant of poor conduct, since
they depend on user numbers for revenue.  Thus, for federated platforms
to thrive, we'll necessarily need to appeal to a much broader audience.

2. Appealing to people who've been banned isn't a good first step to
appealing to a wider audience.  If anything, it might make doing so
harder or even impossible.  For example, if Mastodon were popular with
people who were banned from Twitter, it would then become a social
network full of... the sorts of people who get banned from Twitter.
Given Twitter's poor moderation policies, I'm sure that group includes
*some* decent folks but I don't think I'm saying anything controversial
when I say that "a community full of people banned from other platforms"
would not be a selling point for attracting new users.  Indeed, it would
likely drive many away, perhaps including me
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On Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 08:03:18PM -0400, es1969@firemail.cc wrote:
> I usually find that most people advocating for a decentralized social media
> network ignore that two big ones already exist: Usenet and email/mailing
> lists.

They have completely different purposes.

>  These forms of communication are not controlled by one specific company or
> organization. In fact, look at what we are doing here - the mailing list is
> a perfect example of where email shines.

They are. If Drew decided to shut down this list, it's gone.

> Mastodon is a good platform; but "normies" will never use it and me and you
> know that. Why do you think that the goto platform for people being censored
> on Twitter is Parler, which is basically another twitter but with the
> promise that they won't be censored? And the goto platform for Redditors
> upset with the site is "ruqqus.com" and "thedonald.win"?

There's also lemmy (Reddit Alternative on Fedi).

> And Mastodon also has a problem with instances blocking others for political
> reasons. I know you don't like Google but even Gmail or Yahoo doesn't block
> other providers because the owners of those other providers have a different
> political viewpoint.

Then just hop unto another instance which align better with your
political viewpoint. For instance, I know that fosstodon.org blocks a
bunch of radical and political engaged instances. I can just hop unto
those instances, or even host myself one which I don't have a problem
with. Would that be an issue if Mastodon as a whole or even the protocol
would block those instances, but you're free to allow whoever you want
to use/federate with.

> Also where is the financial incentives for someone to self host a server?
> Time is money and most people won't just host a Mastodon server because of
> "Twitter censorship". Usenet has binaries as a monetization model (you can
> get the text based discussion posts for free, but pay for binary content)
> and email providers mine your data and sell it/display ads. Donations are
> not a sustainable business model.

They aren't if you thinking about having thousands of users. You host a
instance with a domain name and a Raspiberry Pi or even a $5 dollar
linode. Again, take a look at bunch of instances which exists for years,
like fosstodon, stux, etc.

Thanks,
Pedro Lucas
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On Sun, 2020-09-20 at 20:44 -0400, Geoff Beier wrote:
> On Sunday, September 20, 2020 8:03:18 PM EDT es1969@firemail.cc
> wrote:
> > I usually find that most people advocating for a decentralized
> > social
> > media network ignore that two big ones already exist: Usenet and
> > email/mailing lists.
> > 
> 
> While they are certainly decentralized, I do not find that usenet and
> email 
> lists are very much like the web-based social networking applications
> that are 
> currently prevalent. I did not use Usenet or email lists very
> frequently prior 
> to 1990 or so; perhaps they were more similar to today's social
> networking 
> applications earlier in their existence? I've never seen any evidence
> that 
> they were, though.

What do people think about email-based chat applications such as 
https://delta.chat/ ?

DC is properly decentralized (no entity that controls mailing lists),
and provide the interface of an instant messaging app but still
interoperates with traditional email clients (minus E2EE unless the
email clients use Autocrypt).

It's not as private as Signal or Matrix - metadata is visible to any
mail server involved in the delivery - but it's better than, say,
Facebook Messenger or SMS (or even Telegram, which is not E2EE by
default and the backend is proprietary).

On monetization - donation is only one possible funding source for
running decentralized instances. Subscription (like some Mastodon
instances are doing) or optional subscription (Element.io if you want
to have a custom domain for Matrix) are probably more viable for
instances that will be run as a commercial venture.

Best regards,

-- 
Michel Alexandre Salim
profile: https://keyoxide.org/michel@michel-slm.name
chat via email: https://delta.chat/
GPG key: 5DCE 2E7E 9C3B 1CFF D335 C1D7 8B22 9D2F 7CCC 04F2
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