After a process that started in February 2019 as a suggestion to us, we're finally launching our forum.
Why does the web need yet another forum?
The Feneas committee team has experience being involved in the federated social web since around 2011. In all that time one thing has become clear: Contributors, developers and maintainers prefer to discuss on either their own platform or a neutral platform.
The first one of these makes absolute sense, especially for platforms that have forum-like functionality, to have longer lasting discussions on important topics that don't get lost in the noise of a healthy social media platform. Unfortunately most federated social web platforms simply do not have forum-like functionality. Thus a lot of the discussion happens either on the project issue tracker or a dedicated forum set up for the project. Neither of these situations is suited for cross-platform discussion.
One of our goals as an organization is to increase collaboration between projects. While technologies like ActivityPub go a long way to bring projects together, there is still the fact that most platforms don't have and don't even want to have more structured forum type discussion features. So even if platforms technically federate with each other on some level, they still provide a poor place for people to have longer lasting structured conversation on cross-platform topics.
This is why we're launching the Feneas forum. We want to offer a neutral place for all federated projects (and their users!) to come and discuss. We believe there is a need for a place like this and have failed to see one appear during the years.
While things will inevitably be slow at first, we hope to generate a healthy discussion place for all federated folk.
Check it out and sign up at talk.feneas.org. Feneas members can use their LDAP credentials (with username) to sign-in. There is also a GitHub login available, with more options to come in the future.
We've tried to create a set of basic categories for some of the protocols and platforms currently existing and in active development or user interest.
For protocols, we have categories for ActivityPub, Diaspora and Matrix. ActivityPub has sub-categories for a few flavours, LitePub and ForgeFed. Matrix has sub-categories for bots and bridges.
For platforms, we took the most used or in active development platforms from The-Federation.info.
In addition to these there are the normal site feedback and of course Feneas categories. The latter is the place to discuss anything related to Feneas itself.
I represent a project, can I have a space on the forum?
Sure! We've already created a bunch of categories for many of the projects out there. We're more than happy to grant moderator access to project specific categories. Just drop a message to the forum admins. If no category exists, we will happily create one.
I want to help, can I be a moderator?
Sure! Leave a message to our admins and tell us a bit about yourself. We're definitely wanting to onboard as many moderators as it makes sense to do, to keep the forum not only a safe place for everyone, but also to respond to site feedback. You don't need to be a Feneas member to be a forum moderator (though being a Feneas member does make you awesome <3).