aw francis tseng talking about mastodon in the past tense at 😞 ("it was kind of a flash in the pan") (don't worry i spoke up and told the crowd that mastodon is alive and well and very good)

@aparrish The more I think about Mastodon, as a project, as a social network, the more I think it challenges the definition of success. Everyone, especially detractors, are quick to call it a failure or a nice try. While our daily activities here tend to show us the opposite. What is a successful social network that does not play the rules of close VC funded ones?

@xuv @aparrish I think the very idea of success as a general concept is horribly flawed.

@xuv @aparrish everytime I hear someone talking about whether something is successful without mentioning the metric they are using to gauge success I cringe a little.

@xuv @aparrish one that gets used maybe?
For some it might be "everyone I know is on there", but for me that would be a reason not to use it.
You can't really use money as a success metric when the project goal isn't to make money, but I guess the fediverse isn't in debt to anyone.

@apexys @xuv @aparrish my sense is that vc funded social media tends to see users individualistically, so success is a great wave all at once that creates minimum viable #networkeffect.

We've bypassed that barrier by federating discrete communities of interest that often require only a dozen or two active users to be vital places, so we're quietly building critical mass via a mechanism they don't grok... 😁

@mattcropp @apexys @xuv @aparrish I like your point of view on this. What is "critical mass" though? Aren't we there yet?

@xuv @apexys @xuv @aparrish The critical mass I'm talking about is the point at which the network effect of the #fediverse outweighs that of the vectoral monopolists' walled gardens, and FB, #birdsite, etc., come tumbling down.

We've already got the critical mass to have a network of vibrant communities; still some work to do before we can sow Zuckerberg's fields with salt... :P

@mattcropp @xuv @apexys @aparrish Oh, I see. Though I'm not sure this is desirable or even possible. :) On an idealistic level, I agree with you. But the money that pours into those networks is never going to be available to sustain the alternatives. There is a capitalist demand for close central aggregations. The decentralize alternatives have to find other ways to sustain themselves. That also mean, a different scale.

@xuv @xuv @apexys @aparrish Indeed it is a substantial task, but the community of folks that have gathered around and are working hard on the #platformcoop idea/alternative gives me great hope... :)

@xuv @mattcropp @apexys @aparrish
I actually suspect that the good way would be in some future to have multiple "forks"/usage of mastodon (gui and tools) and strong impulsion also on other federated tools to build a more diverse fediverse, that will gain on the system by being anywhere/everywhere in multiple forms, not as "one" federated network but as multiple networks each having their style and use, federated together.
there will be no mass, but a multitude ;)

@Olm_e @xuv @mattcropp @apexys @aparrish it's sort of zany we've come to understand "social network" platforms as monolithic, undifferentiated gathering places for everyone in the world when society doesn't organize itself that way.

@Olm_e @mattcropp @apexys @aparrish This is already the case. The Fediverse is already a collection of gui and tools, federated and diverse. So I guess what you mean is it is already a success.

@xuv @Olm_e @mattcropp @apexys @aparrish
It is already a success by several metrics, but possibly more so by quality standards that are difficult or impossible to quantify. Like the quality of mental health gained by discouraging socially destructive behaviour.

@mattcropp @aparrish @apexys @xuv IMHO, the more ideal case is that Facebook/Twitter decide joining the fediverse is key to them retaining their value, and start interoperating with everyone else.

@ocdtrekkie @xuv @apexys @aparrish well, the *ideal* case is that their shareholders get entirely wiped out and the our social media utility infrastructure transitions to #coop user ownership, but them federating with us would be an improvement, for sure... :)

@mattcropp @aparrish @xuv @apexys

This is always the way. You don't beat the incumbent by playing on their own turf - in this case building a bigger silo. You beat them by doing something else. Something they can't copy or assimilate without breaking their business model.

@apexys @xuv @aparrish Yes, that's the minimum metric of success, I guess. If a social group uses a tech tool to communicate as a group, then that tech tool can get the badge of a social network. Email, BBS, IRC, ICQ, Jabber, Slack,...

@xuv @aparrish (you might've already seen this but just in case/to have it explicitly in the replies for people who haven't, there's this relevant hashtag-Classic:

@gaditb @xuv @aparrish I did not know of this article. The ridiculous tone apart, it's a good example of using traditional marketing filters to analyze something that does not fall in that category. Of course it's going to tick everything wrong. I'm not surprised that with a mind set like this, they can't see any value in Mastodon. The weird thing is I saw a marketing opportunity for the NFL. Am I the only one?

@xuv @aparrish

I think this is a difficult question to respond to since I believe everyone is on Mastodon with different goals and expectations and some may have no particular sense of purpose.

In my own case I'm here, and on other social media, as part of an on-going effort intended to help youth in poverty have stronger, longer, support systems.

At I show four strategies that I focus on daily which need support from many others.

@xuv Absolutely love this question. Places like this challenge the fundamental reason of why people use social media and their answers show a major point of differentiation on that particular topic.

@xuv @aparrish A success is whether it will become a routine of people's life rather than a mayfly, I suppose:)

@Nightingalle @aparrish Indeed. Success of social networks are probably measured in duration and frequency of use. Thanks for this.

@Nightingalle @xuv this is why I bristled so much at the remark in the conference—because I do use mastodon every day, it's essentially completely replaced twitter for me. so it was very weird to hear someone say it was a flash in the pan

@aparrish @xuv Mastodon has been rising up rapidly, and a lot of people tasted its "deliciousness" then started flaking other Social Platforms, which was bound to backfire. Many professionals are eager to suppress Mastodon's triumph, I assume. But MSTD simply can be itself and nothing else:)

@xuv @aparrish The question is whether its vibrancy depends on its continuous growth, and if so, whether it will always grow at its current rate.

It's always fun being in a new thing, and good to be in something that is a winner, but what about something that isn't new or a winner? It will be interesting to see.

@xuv @aparrish I would say one that serves the needs of a reasonably large group of people and that has a successful strategy for economic self-preservation.

@aparrish tell francis he better get his facts straight before going and "educating" the masses FFS


@aparrish Was? Past tense? Flash in the pan? I don’t get it. I have been keeping an eye on the metrics bots’ reports. The fediverse is steadily growing, Mastodon or otherwise.

I’m about to close my moribund birdsite accounts, myself. The decibel levels are too high over there.

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