So, with news of Reddit making deals to sell user data for AI training, I think we should really start organizing ourselves for an effective migration campaign.

I believe one of the (many) reasons that the summer protests failed was its lack of focus. There was an overall idea of “going dark” as an attempt to get Reddit to backtrack on some of its decisions, but once they double down on their decision there was no followup and creation of a credible threat, so only the more strong-willed really stuck by their principles and left reddit, the majority just shrugged it off and went back to their niche communities.

This long tail of niche communities is Reddit’s biggest strength. There are plenty of places where people can find general news or share memes, but there is only one place that can connect people with its many different interests. This is why so many of you surely went to Reddit, despite our best efforts to bring enough people around here.

So, how about we change the strategy? If the general “spray and pray” approach only managed to bring 0.008% of Reddit’s userbase to Lemmy, how about we put our focus on bring as many people as possible from a single one?

We should look into a subreddit with the following characteristcs:

  • Not too big in size, around 100k - 300k subscribers.
  • Still fairly active.
  • Very specific in focus. Ideally, it would be a local community, but we could also think of a not-so popular subreddit dedicated to a niche hobby.
  • The moderators of the subreddit need to be willing to participate, and follow through with the migration. That means, they need to keep promoting the Lemmy alternative until our corresponding community is at least as big as the Reddit one.

I’m thinking one potential candidate would be /r/adelaide (158k subscribers, multiple posts per day) but I haven’t talked with any of the moderators so I don’t know how that would go. (Any admins from that could chime in?) Of course, this is just an idea and if any would you think of another sub that could also work better we can talk about it. The important thing is not to spend too much time worrying on what subreddit we are going to push, just that we need to choose one and only one.

Once we find a subreddit that fits the bill, then our efforts go to supporting the subscribers to help them find a client, setup their account, subscribe to the new community and unsubscribe from the subreddit.

We don’t even need to encourage them to leave Reddit altogether, we just need to get them to go through the motions of setting up Lemmy for one community. I think if we do that, it will be a lot easier to keep us all focused on the goal, the overall network effects won’t be such a problem and the coming users will be more likely to stick.

This is already a wall of text, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will shoot this idea down for numerous reasons, but overall I really haven’t given up hope on the Fediverse as the future of the Internet. We just need to work a bit for it.

  • @gt24
    23 months ago

    Can we sidestep the usual complaints about federation or instance-specific issues?

    We could… but people have concerns about their communities being always operational and their accounts always working. They want to easily register here and have a smooth experience. They cannot easily register because they need to know a few things (like where to register) and if their experience will be significantly lousy if they make any mistakes. This is for both people providing content (users) and people managing communities (moderators) who also need to know that their jobs won’t be significantly harder when they come over here.

    Great work on the site! A simple guided pathway towards a great Lemmy instance (and perhaps a Lemmy instance which hosts many communities that they want to interact with) would be a welcome addition. Perhaps there could be a similar guided pathway for mods trying to find a great place to set up their community would be helpful as well.

    • @[email protected]OP
      33 months ago

      We could… but people have concerns about their communities being always operational and their accounts always working.

      Part of the job of any project manager is setting the right expectations. We shouldn’t be promising a flawless execution and we should be upfront to mods and the userbase that the whole idea is to do this as an exercise to find out the issues and learn the best workarounds, so that we can be ready to do it in a larger scale.