actually, i'd love to hear about this. folks who used "web 1.0" forums, based on stuff like phpBB, extensively, and now use Mastodon, Twitter, and the like:

what does microblogging give you that forums didn't?

@tindall I was in the wilderness for a long time after I drifted away from my favourite vbulletin forums – the friction of using $some_random_website instead of a client for the "well-defined C2S 'forum protocol'" utopia that you describe became too much, and 15 years later that protocol and those apps still don't really exist 😕

i use Discourse fairly heavily now and I like it, even if it feels like a hacky stopgap a lot of the time (not being able to build their own native client app is... not a good sign to me).


the two things i think are missing from from the activitypub ecosystem to be the forum replacement i want it to be are:

#1 groups - I don't even really care if they're private (never used G+ so I never got used to "circles"), I just want to be able to join interest groups on masto like I could on Facebook

#2 email integration. there's a *huge* opportunity here to eat Facebook's lunch, they made their email notifications worse than useless because they couldn't stuff enough ads in them, this is one place discourse really shines. people don't even necessarily realise they're on a forum instead of a mailing list! For folks who are hard-wired into their email clients, or who have preferences for email over webapps for accessibility reasons, it'd be a huge and easy improvement.

@tindall @handle I'm with you on groups! Friendica, which I'm running, supports what it confusingly calls "forums", which are kind of like groups—when you tag them, they replicate the post and share it to all subscribers.

I would love it if making, joining, and sharing to interest groups were a lot smoother in the ActivityPub ecosystem.

@spencer ooh amazing, i ran Friendica for a second, maybe i should check it out again to see how these "forums" work. Thanks for the tip.


I'd be down to put some time into supporting interest groups on Mastodon (à la Farcebook).

Any prior art people can point me to? And anyone else willing to work on this together?

It looks like there might be some support in ActivityPub already:

and maybe Misskey implemented it? (if my auto-translate from Japanese is working 😅)

And there's a recent summary of some of the commentary here:

CC @spencer @tindall

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Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.