Golden
Fediverse

Fediverse

The Fediverse (a portmanteau of "federation" and "universe") is the ensemble of federated (i.e. interconnected) servers that are used for web publishing (i.e. social networking, microblogging, macroblogging, or websites)

There are two supernetworks in the federated social communication space, and they run on different protocols. They are known as The Fediverse, and The Federation. While both supernetworks function in similar ways and even have similar aims, they each come from a different history of development, and by extension, a different stack. The overlapping series of networks can be referred to in macro as The Free Network.



The Fediverse has historically operated as a microblogging network, and uses the OStatus protocol for servers to communicate with one another. In all, it pulls together six different platforms: GNU Social, postActiv, Pleroma, Mastodon, Friendica, and Hubzilla.



The Federation is an interop network consisting of 278 different connected servers that communicate using the Diaspora federation protocol. This is a different communication standard from OStatus, and allows four distinct platforms to all communicate with one another: Diaspora, Friendica, Hubzilla, and Socialhome.



In 2012, the Friendica project broke ground by reverse-engineering the Diaspora communication protocol and writing a PHP implementation library from scratch, allowing Friendica users and Diaspora users to talk to each other. This work was eventually ported over to Hubzilla, a Content Management System with Cloud Storage and identity provision capabilities.



Diaspora at this time has no plans for new protocols, having just significantly upgraded its own. postActiv intends to adopt support for Diaspora federation in a future release. Mastodon just released support for ActivityPub, and Pleroma , Socialhome and GNU Social are thinking of adopting it. Nextcloud is also notably getting into the federation space, and Hubzilla and Friendica will likely both support the ActivityPub protocol as extensions.



One of the first distributed social networks was GNU Social (first called Laconica and then StatusNet), created by Evan Prodromou in 2008. Prodromou explained at FOSDEM in 2010 that while social networks had proliferated over the 2000s:

Timeline

2016

In early 2016, Jason Robinson, a former volunteer contributor to the Diaspora project, released Socialhome.

2013

Evan announced that Identi.ca would be switching from StatusNet to pump.io

People

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Evan Prodromou





Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
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Disintermedia » A Brief History of the GNU Social Fediverse and 'The Federation'

Danyl Strype

Web



Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Distributed social media - Mastodon & Fediverse Explained



GNU social: What is a Federated Network (Federation | Mastodon Social | Fediverse )



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References