Hello everyone! Here with a platform update: A tiny pre-alpha version of BobaBoard was launched on 6/9, and the third newsletter, detailing the precious baby’s first encounter with a small test group of stranger. has been sent out! You can also read the update here: bobaboard.com/blog/development

(Someone called it “the funniest thing I’ve read all week”. Not making promises, but I believe it’s worth a click-through!)


Also, fediverse folks: I'd love to hear/read more about your experience in decentralized spaces. Now that community building is going to become more of a priority, and given that, as you can read in the update, I'd love to build this starting from smaller, separate ones (though with no federation yet), it's more important than ever for me to listen and learn! If you want to chat, please do feel free to reach out.

@bobaboard We haven't done it perfectly, that's for sure. Not sure how much we know what we're doing yet, imo. Maybe we know a little. We're sure not experts, tho.

I think a lot of it depends on the... texture? of the larger space you're trying to set up? The sense of how much there is a strongly defined LOCAL space,, versus how easy it is/many ways there are to communicate BETWEEN spaces, which develops a sense of GLOBAL/UNIVERSAL space.

@gaditb that's part of what I'm trying to understand the shape of. I don't know how that spaces looks yet, and I want to figure it out by listening to what has worked or not in other spaces.

@bobaboard Most of the fediverse is.. interesting, because they different softwares are all sorta MOSTLY taking a lot of their self-conception/feel from monolithic corporate social media platforms, which has left them all winding up in a sorta "the whole multi-server network is approximately equal to the one-owner social network we're similar too".

@bobaboard Like if the "different twitters", in the cultural group sense -- infosec twitter, leftist twitter, kpop twitter, academia twitter -- each had more control over the shape of the network as a whole (e.g. everyone just blocking the nazis, instead of, like on Twitter, them just being around 'cause lol moderation) (and also doing some of the infrastructure which explains how it holds up).

But it still feels/self-conceives-in-many-ways like a coherent, highly-connected, WHOLE.

@bobaboard That's an artefact of the design/self-conception of the software, though, not necessarily of the fediverse.

Funkwhale, the audio platform, is notable for probably being the most innovative (not just "___, but on the FEDIVERSE"), and as far as I've seen it's got much different feel between the different servers, more apart, and less of a single collapsed "space".

I think. I can't say much b/c I don't use it, but it's a thing to look at if you're looking at the Fediverse.

@gaditb thank you, I had that feeling of a lot of the fediverse being eventually very similarly to more corporate-built systems and finding the spaces that were looking at it from a different perspective is exactly the direction I'm looking to go to. As mentioned, I don't know exactly how I want my space in-between the communities to be yet, and that's a big chance to design something that isn't a copy of what's already there.

@bobaboard Yeah. I am really really excited by all the stuff in the Open Letter etc. you're saying (or at least I'm reading. I'm pretty sure you're saying it.) of ideas of, like, Small Spaces and Non-Hyperconductivity.
And I think -- with MAYBE one except -- current models on the fediverse aren't that useful for that.
It got -- and not all in a negative sense -- swallowed by its space-in-between, until that was the primary space.

@bobaboard Questions that have plagued the Fediverse, that my quickthoughts are might be relevant to Bobaboard are, well, identity questions are a big one.
On the fediverse, an account is tied to the server it's on and unlinkingly "part of that server" -- there ia no global determination of acnounts. That's (maybe) not possible in a federated setting (but maybe).

@bobaboard There is some anxiety about DMs necessarily being readable by admins of the instance of every account included. I don't totally understand the "anonymous except if you choose to be friends mutually" concept, but depending on how it's implemebted that might similarly rely on a faith in every admin of EVERY instance you have any small interaction with?.

@bobaboard (Sorry, I just... keep talking. Feel free to ignore.)

Like I don't think federation (either through ActivityPub or other protocols) NECESSARILY builds up similar-to-monolithic-corporate spaces,
just that most projects (Funkwhale as a possible exception) using it CHOSE to be built that way.

@bobaboard I think considering federation questions like:

1. What does running a space in this network mean for powers/capabilities

2. How much does what is "your space" shape your local/global view, and how much of a sense of ownership do you get from that



3. How much can we allow communities to find their own members to take the responsibilities/powers that go into running a space (hosting/logging, MODERATION, setting/having a domain boundary on norms)

4. What do the interaction-points between spaces look like (are they identical to interaction-points within communities? how much are they not?) and information/trust do we give to the other space to enable those interactions


... and definitely more.
This is an off-my-head list, certainly not exhaustive. But I hope that helped a little, or at least wasn't actively unwanted.

(... Oh yeah! Also a "later, ignore for now" question of "What should interactions from my space look like to people in a /differently constructed/ (different software, etc.) space? What should interaction from a different space look like to me?")

@bobaboard IMO, all of these questions will, one way or another, get answered while building a federated system.

But, like, you don't need to step-by-step through to first perfectly answer every single one. There probably aren't perfect answers to them all -- maybe not even good ones.
Goodness knows NOTHING answers them perfectly right now.

(... Okay I'll stop continuously dumping thoughts at you now. ... sorry...)

@gaditb Thank you for your stream of thoughts, they were definitely great ones! I believe your 4th question is the one I'm struggling with most right now. I do have time to figure it out, but I also don't want to figure it out once I coded myself into a corner.

I wonder whether you have any further thought about models of that you've seen around, or just general ones?

@gaditb Yes, that is definitely a concern. To me that's somewhat an incentive for people to choose managed instances, for example (which I believe Mastodon allows buying) over ones where the admins do have that full control. At that point access to underlying data might have better audit for abuse. Personally it's something I believe needs to be very well communicated though.

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