Fediverse Has A Discovery Problem And That's Not Good

Originally published at: https://www.devporto.com/fediverse-has-a-discovery-problem-and-thats-not-good/

Can the fediverse with content discovery problem be good for everyone? 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, blogging, or websites) and file hosting, but which, while independently hosted can mutually intercommunicate with each-other. On different…

To show you an example of the discovery problem with fediverse, we used tag search as a guest (not logged in) on three different sites

In photo 1, the first post is shared but does not show up in photo 2 and 3
In photo 2, the first post is shared but does not show up in photo 1 and 3

Why is this a problem? For the person sharing the building photo and thinking it has a wide reach across the fediverse, it only appears in one place which doesn’t sound like “servers can exchange information with each other” and other members on different servers won’t be able to discover this.

One of my favorite projects is Pixelfed @dansup so I have a bookmarked page of the updates.

Using a specific date for both, there are 16 posts on Misskey @syuilo and 17 posts on Mastodon @gargron

When I look at Misskey then it’s a much bigger difference: 21 posts on Misskey and only 13 posts on Mastodon so it doesn’t seem like a good way to get updates

Your content can be descovered but you first need to build up an audience. Once many instances are following yours this problem mostly goes away. -fedisupport

That’s the problem! On big social media sites, content can be discovered no matter how many followers or even NO followers. Instances using open standard and common protocols should mean that all content are distributed freely and available to all. No hoops to jump through

But if theres no hoops to jump through then the potential for spam and abuse increases 10 fold. If you ad a relay it solves almost all the problems your worried about. But then your handing off the decision making process of federating to someone else. -fedisupport

Not disagreeing. Who’s to judge what is consider spam and what is not without providing the opportunity to “voice”. Instance and the community will judge. Isn’t that what makes the fediverse great?