The federated web today is growing faster than at any point before in recent years. There are likely many reasons for this. Distrust in centralised commercial platforms and the data leaks they have suffered. Efforts to re-decentralise the web. Appearance of more federated platforms built around the new W3C backed ActivityPub protocol. All these together for sure.
Some of us in the community have felt during the years, that while there is a lot of effort from developers and community members to build these federated platforms, there isn't much possibility for individual users to give financial support to help this ongoing work. All except one of the largest projects (Mastodon) are run by hobbyists without any legal organisation to allow them to receive donations. While projects work together to ensure interoperability, the only promotion that happens related to the larger federated social web is word of mouth.
We feel that the federated web could do with an organisation that does not directly represent any of the projects, but aims to fight for a better future for the whole federated web. That is why we founded the "Federated Networks Association ry", a non-profit registered in Finland.
Being a legal entity, we can generate funds via donations, selling merchandise and providing services. These funds we intend to use, as indicated in the association rules, to the benefit of the federated web. This includes arranging events, providing travel grants, providing information, arranging marketing campaigns and sponsoring individuals to work directly on the projects themselves. We want to do this together with anyone who is interested in working together for a brighter future for the federated web. Additionally, to make the network grow, and to provide funding, we will be providing various reliable federated and/or decentralised services for the community. These services currently include GitLab and Matrix, with more to come as per interest from the community.
If you want to find out more, please check out the how to join page in our wiki. You can also come and say hi in our chat room on Matrix #feneas:feneas.org or IRC FreeNode #feneas. They're bridged, so you can join either one, though due to the spam recently on FreeNode we do recommend the Matrix room.
If you want to support our work financially, you can already do so using the following methods:
- IBAN payment to FI2579977994034689. Our financial services are graciously provided by Holvi.
- Purchase a one time donation package via our web shop.
We're just ramping up operations. Follow this blog for more information in the future.
Ps. Who is we?
Lukas Matt, author of GangGo and podmin on joindiaspora.com.
Jason Robinson, author of Socialhome, previously core team member of Diaspora, invited expert at the W3C SocialWG.