Instead of uploading all our information to silos like Facebook or Twitter, we should be able to host our own basic (meta)data like avatar, status updates or social connections in a standardized format.

You would then be able to grant services like Facebook or Twitter access to that data via a token, and you could control which service gets access to what kind of data.

Yes, I'm still dreaming of a semantic web.


imagine if everyone could host their own website, about them, on their phones.

@fribbledom It took me around a decade to feel that RDF is important.

@fribbledom If everybody hosts their own personal social network, what would anybody need a Facebook or a Twitter for?


You're not going to host the entire social network yourself, you're merely hosting your profile data and social connections.

There are a lot of features that can still be built on top of that: chats, sharing of various media types, games, anything you can think of, really.

@fribbledom Most of that seems like it could be pretty thin wrappers/adapters and there are indeed some neat possibilities for hooking all sorts of stuff into that. The gaming use case is compelling, but I think the easier it is to self-host as much as possible, the more control everybody has over their own experience. I remember when networked multiplayer was modems or LANs. Those games still work in contrast to too many examples where someone else controls the servers that got shut down.

@neal @fribbledom Search. It's the only thing that one can't do well with distributed social media.

@fribbledom It's still a silo but I am so happy that gravatar exists and is still widely used. _At least_ I'm not uploading a JPEG of my face every time I want to comment on a website...

@fribbledom But why is Facebook needed in a scenario like that?

@fribbledom isnt that was Solid was suppose to do?

You habe your own pod, with your data in it, and you give sites access to it.

@Strit @fribbledom Yeah, I was going to mention Solid too. Seems like all it really needs at this point is a way to motivate people to start using it en masse, but unfortunately the big money is all against the idea of giving users control of their data right now.

@fribbledom That sounds a bit like gravatar. I could, for the life of me, never understand how that worked even though it seemed pretty simple back when it was still relevant 🤔

You add an email and an avatar, and the service asks Gravatar do you have an avatar for this email


@fribbledom You can kinda do this on your own website with OpenGraph

E.G. On my site, I have og:type = profile. It's not quite a profile upload, but if you post a link to the site, a service which supports og... content should pick it up

I use
og:url = site path
og:title = my name
og:image = my avatar

Each page could technically have its own metadata like this

@fribbledom haha, aren't you doing exactly that right now here (well, you're using someone else's instance but have the freedom to run your own)?


See the entire thread. I'm not talking about the application, I'm talking about basic profile (meta)data.

@fribbledom the problem is the people unwilling to host their own data


Probably because it's still pretty hard (and potentially expensive) to host yourself. If you're limiting it to the data only though, that becomes rather easy and feasible all of a sudden.

@fribbledom then they'll do what they're already doing with other kinds of information and provide incentives to other parties to give them that information when they don't have access to it directly

@fribbledom I think I have seen a talk about a software/Protocol trying to establish exactly this (some time last year). Apparently I can neither remember the name of the project nor the title of the talk 😐

@fribbledom @aslmx So... I found the Talk. It was from last years Froscon.

The project is and its aim is to bring you freedom to where to store your data and have separated apps access them.

Here is the talk, german only apparently, you can skip the first 12 minutes, from min. 40 it is also interesting, IMHO:

@fribbledom @aslmx haha and I just see it has been commented here in the meanwhile by s.o. else 😉

@fribbledom that's kind of the idea of like gravatar, right? But taken much further

@fribbledom why should we even want to provide data to facebook?


It's a popular example. Insert any name you like.

@fribbledom imho there should be a better support for federating software between those. If that is possible then gateways can be supported but those will probably be killed like they did with the support for the xmmp protocol gateways (gtalk, msn, ....)

But they will still ask you to sign terms that state that they can copy, use and keep the data to do whatever they please with it.


Of course, they already do that anyway. It still is an improvement, though. It would greatly advance interoperability and you wouldn't have to change your profile on a dozen pages individually, or invite/block someone on multiple platforms.

@fribbledom But that's just a bit of convenience. They'll cache the data and all the possible control you COULD gain is meaningless, as (logable/blockable) access takes place against their cache, not your server.
They only way to improve on that is break their monopoly on search/management/aggregation. Among equal peers, you could enforce your own terms that would forbid sharing/copying without consent.

@fribbledom me too! Still unclear why this did not happen 15 years ago.

Sounds suspiciously like - and I know they've been around for close to 10 years. Maybe not 15.
@fribbledom that could already be done.
just have facebook,twitter,instagram,etc... adopt the fediverse.

but i have a feeling that would not happen any time soon.
@fribbledom not only would we be able to host our own data but they would also be able to cooperate with each other more efficiently.
and for good measure they could also adopt or create a crypto currency.
they could called it socialcoin or whatever.

@fribbledom keep dreaming... 🙈

though I too wish that was real 😑

@fribbledom Reminds me of Blockstack. Basically the self-hosted metadata with tokens, but they monitize it somehow.

@fribbledom gravatar were *so close* but jumped the shark

I think Facebook and Twitter will have to use ActivityPub or go out of business.
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