We should avoid the term 'user' for people that are on the . It is impersonal.

Using the term 'people' as in people-of-the-fediverse also doesn't cut it. It is too general.

'Resident' as in fediverse-resident is possible, but also not descriptive enough (it needs 2 words to be clear).

Do we have single-word intuitive names to indicate our federated community and movement? Are there multiple terms, are they urban popular language yet?

I'd really like to know, so I can avoid 'user'.

@humanetech we used to be called denizens. for some reason, 'netizen' feels forced or unsavory to me.

@theruran hmm, interesting..

den•i•zen dĕn′ĭ-zən

- n. An inhabitant; a resident.
- n. One that frequents a particular place.
- n. An animal or a plant naturalized in a region.

It has a good meaning. But to me as non-native English speaker I was not familiar with it really. Intuitively to me it has a bit negative connotation, maybe stemming from its likeness to the word 'to deny' at the start (but that may be appropriate too).

@theruran well, actually I really like that! I was just searching DDG if "fedalist" had a meaning in English.

@theruran if we have some good candidates we could do a poll and try to popularize the 'winning' term thereafter.

To all: See the starter of this thread... boosts welcome :)


@theruran @praxeology @Lamdarer @Anarkat @AmonesRay

Some plurals I just brainstormed:

- Fedellows (from 'fellow' in meaning "person of equal rank, position, or background; a peer")

- Peersons (from peers, and nice because this is usable in environments too - not just - so more inclusive)

@theruran I credited you for 'fedizen' in the description I wrote, but I just hear from @lightone that the term has been in use for many years already.

Sorry, have to remove the credit :(

@humanetech I don't see a big problem with 'user'. It implies that a person has made an active choice in their participation. But depending on the context, other words may be more appropriate or descriptive: reader, poster, follower, admin, member, moderator, participant, colleague, comrade, contributor, troll, booster, developer.

How about 'fedizen'?

@praxeology 'fedizen' was also independently proposed by @theruran before you, so that's gaining traction :)

Problem with "user" is that e.g. on traditional social platforms it is not really true. The users are the "product" or the "abused" (by abusers)

Many software developers have "user persona's" as abstractions, and in the process forget the real people they represent

Aral Balkan in his and principles is also advocating the avoidance of the term 'users' and I agree

@humanetech @theruran Interesting, as this trend against saying "user" actually started at Facebook and is now popular at exploitative companies like Uber. It was a kind of phony "we're down with the people" maneuver that distracted from the consequences of their design decisions.

In my experience, "personas" (when done earnestly) are very specific fictional characters that are supposed to help describe a more holistic idea of use. They will include extra details to make the person seem more believable even if the infomation doesn't relate to the use case.

Abstract personas are not really useful.

@humanetech You could use "federalist" to indicate the Federal(often called decentral) system of the #fediverse or something like "fediralist" to combinde both but on the other hand I personally don't have a problem with "user".

@Lamdarer I think "federalist" has also other connotations and uses that make that use not a best choice. And something unique to the fediverse would be a boon.

Re: user. See my other comment on the thread.

@AmonesRay could be, but none of these are descriptive. They need additional context / explanation.

@humanetech something in the direction of contributor, co-owner, or peer, maybe?

@madnificent yes, some have been suggested (this thread has a bunch of forks already). The descriptiveness is missing though in these. You need to add more text to create proper context.

@humanetech I came late to the party, did not see the messages yet 🙈

Getting to know Mastodon and Tusky in practice 😅

@humanetech Thanks. Really enjoying my stay here. 🐧

Discovered some great content so far. 🙌 Long live the 🖖

There is an advantage and a disadvantage: 'User' is a four letter word. 'User' is a four letter word.

@humanetech How about Fedizen? I haven't seen it used yet.

This got me thinking about other terms too. Maybe we should replace the terms "follow" and "follower" with "subscribe" and "subcriber".

"User" makes sense in the context of gratis third-party services. "Content" is the irrelevant stuff you put your customers' ads around. We have to find and use better terms.

@njoseph @humanetech subscribe sounds right (feeds are feeds, RSS or ActivityPub).

Similar straight-forward words for user ... Account is accurate, actually - it doesn't give the illusion of server independence, like, say, netizen does. Netizen is prime for re-appropriation, I feel - for fediverse, indieweb, etc.

@solaslux See the forks in this thread. These are not descriptive enough.

The best entry imho now proposed is Fedizen (and I just heard it has been used for years already :)

@humanetech The word "Fedizen" has been used for several years in Fedi. Search for the tag #fedizens for statistics. :) Having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with the word "user".

@lightone oh, that is cool. It is not common language though (at least I never heard it mentioned) How do you like my 'peersons' for use in a p2p context, btw?

Probably also exists for a long time, ha ha.

@humanetech Such words appear naturally, someone coins a word and it spreads. As happened with the word "Fediverse". I'm not a daily 🍐2🍐 user and have no idea how they greet each other there :) "Peer" is already an independent word, so it may be that saying "hello, fellow peers" will be easier than "hello, peersons". But who knows.

For several years we insisted on describing people in our communities and groups as "members" rather than "users", because the latter isn't only impersonal, it has long been considered derogatory and implies class distinctions (users vs developers or admins); while the former is more inclusive.

We no longer insist, but it's still a strong personal preference. We're part of social organisations which extend beyond the software and whatever technology tools we happen to "use" at the time to communicate with each other.

@mike "Members" is a good choice, I like it. And I'm glad you don't insist on this choice now, for I'd like it less if it were forced on me. Fediverse, being a community of creative people, has adopted a lot of words for their own needs and liking (hub, pod, instance, node would be one such example). That's fine - it helps spread a sense of community for each project! But old-school, simple "server" and "user" may come in handy - especially, when explaining to newcomers.


I wish I could reverse "hub" now. It was because Diaspora created an entire vocabulary around their "product" which was kind of Apple-esque and I joked that we should do the same and suggested a sample vocabulary.

I no longer build products or brands per se. That is the culture I've been working to destroy - because I believe this marketing "winner-takes-all" mindset threatens the human race. I just write software and share it. What name it uses is irrelevant, because anybody can change how it looks or works and even call it something completely different if they want.
@mike @lightone I still believe calling a single thing by a single name in a given project is important to avoid confusion. For a while in Friendica we had both "Plugin" and "Addon" to describe the same thing. Now we just use "Addon". It isn't a "Friendica Addon™", it just is the terminology we use internally.

ha, that's a good one. Dunno if it will become popular, though :D

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