Hacking Activity Pub… is just the clickbait title of this blog. Think hacking in the sense of Richard Stallman's chopstick hacking.

Mainstream media and social media are increasingly entering failure states, this is said much more eloquently elsewhere and is becoming an accepted observation.

Activity pub is promising with its growing userbase, its distributed nature at least protects from the inevitable non-benevolent dictator that would eventually purchase any centralized alternative.

Actually browsing the network, as it is, often feels terrible, or at best irritating and unsatisfying. I wonder if in an attempt to attract users with familiarity, it cloned too many of the toxic aspects of what it attempts to be an alternative to. I could attempt to be internet wannabe psychologist #3874389214 and rant about what inherent problems seem to be amplified in its design. In reality, i can't really think of how to solve the problem myself though.

Standalone fediverse is like a tabloid in that it lacks substance and tends to induce controversy, vanity, and misinformation. Despite this negativity, there is still a value in being connected, most of us crave it to some degree. What if a great hidden value of the fediverse is not a standalone communication platform to replace the rest of the social internet, but as a platform with a capability to be something like the comments section of blogs, combined with the comment section on aggregator websites that have become popular.

The insidious aspect of reddit, hacker news, facebook, et al is every owner or moderator is a potential dictator imposing their own biases and agendas. A lesser problem is siloing the group reacting to any given content, decreasing the overall intelligence of the group, assuming intelligence/expertise is usually proportional to group size… more cross pollination of ideas between people with varying experience and specializations. Why have many disparate conversations with one way connections to a source material, when the source material could publish a pointer to its own discussion aggregator. that sounds very vague, here's what it looks like:

  1. content maker makes content, eg writes a blog post
  2. content is published on internet
  3. announcement of publishing content is done on fediverse, linking to url of #2
  4. web content of #2 is updated to include link to #3, with instructions to reply to it for comments.
  5. (optional) periodically view replies to #3, copy specific chosen comments back to #2 if you want to endorse or amplify them.

I think all of the above could be implemented in a number of programming languages, and is also simple enough to do manually.

What do you think? Lets try it, use your activity pub account to comment on this blog post here

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