cross-posted from: https://lemmy.blahaj.zone/post/2173435

Reinvestment

Regardless of where the loss in users is coming from the major takeaway here is that we are firmly in a reinvestment phase. This will likely last until Reddit does something stupid related to the IPO but in the absence of that we will probably not see a significant uptick in growth again without major improvements to the threadiverse as a whole. That means that those of us who are personally invested in the growth of the threadiverse should be taking this time to develop the tools and features necessary to weather the next wave more gracefully than the last.

Niche Community Growth

One of the biggest issue I see here is still community growth. Growing certain communities is significantly harder than others and if you don’t have a lot of crossposting potential it can be damn near impossible. As it stands, I do not see a way to fix this situation without a hot and active ranking system that takes into account the number of users active in the particular community. As part of a change like this I think we would be best served by consolidating a significant portion of the small dead communities. I think we should also strongly prefer specialized instances like lemmy.film or literature.cafe to truly take advantage of the special attention these sorts of instances are capable of providing particular topics. As it stands only a handful of them have enough broader threadiverse activity to be truly useful.

Recruiting From Mastodon

At this point it seems like we are unlikely to pull a significant amount of users from Reddit without more reddit-policy-driven migration, but there are tons of highly educated and engaged users over on Mastodon that would make serious positive contributions to the tone and quality of the discourse over here. For some reason there seems to be minimal overlap between the two communities and that blows my mind. Not only that but I actively see folks disparaging Mastodon in fediverse related communities on a regular basis (and even sometimes in the Mastodon communities themselves). As far as I can tell, these are largely lingering sentiments from a Reddit/Twitter dichotomy. Remember, as things develop the lines between threaded social media and microblogging are likely to blur. A significant number of Mastodon apps already provide a threaded view and one of kbins explicit goals is very much to bridge the gap. With this in mind, Mastodon (and federated microblogging more generally) seems like the best source for new potential users.


TLDR

TL;DR: What I’d like to particularly emphasize here is the focus on Mastodon user recruitment. They are far more likely to both improve the quality of discourse here and contribute to community building than your average reddit user. Not to mention they can already be active from their existing accounts. The barrier for entry is nil. I think a valid strat to go about this is to advertise existing specialized instances to their existing equivalent communities on the microblogging fediverse. This solves both the problems of growing the specialized instances from 0 and making their discourse substantially different enough to warrant specialized instances in the first place. Things like:

  • Nix
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    11 months ago

    It would help a ton if mastodon - lemmy federation was smoother. For example if people could follow communities on mastodon without seeing every comment as a post would help a lot.

    • EnglishMobster
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      11 months ago

      Kbin’s federation with Mastodon works as you’d expect it to work.

      I don’t know why Lemmy insists on such bad integration with Mastodon. Last I checked, the Lemmy devs were insisting on not having smooth integration with Mastodon.

      Doesnt make much sense when you can create a second account on Mastodon or one of many other platforms which already implement user following much better.

      It’s one reason why I jumped to Kbin and have been using it for the past few months. Kbin does indeed support user following much better -and it supports threads showing up in Mastodon much better too.

      • @[email protected]OP
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        811 months ago

        The Lemmy devs honestly probably need a significant change in priorities or even a fork. They also seem to be ignoring relatively simple performance fixes that would have huge effects on the cost of instance hosting. If you think about it 60k users really shouldn’t cost that much to host. See @RoundSparrow’s thread about it here: https://lemmy.ml/comment/2971578

        • EnglishMobster
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          11 months ago

          Yet another reason why I prefer Kbin.

          The developers of Lemmy have been questionable for some time. See their post announcing Lemmy: https://www.reddit.com/r/communism/comments/cqgztr/fuck_the_white_supremacist_reddit_admins_want_me/

          https://web.archive.org/web/20230626055233/https://old.reddit.com/r/communism/comments/cqgztr/fuck_the_white_supremacist_reddit_admins_want_me/

          Hey all, longtime Marxist-leninist, recorder of left audiobooks, and megathread shitposter here.

          Posting this in light of a recent one week Reddit ban I earned for shitting on US police, as I’m sure many of us have gotten in recent weeks.

          So I’ve spent the past few months working on a self hostable, federated, Reddit alternative called Lemmy, and it’s pretty much ready to go. Unlike here we’d have ultimate control over all content, and would never have to self censor.

          Obviously as communists, we agitate where the people are, so we should never abandon Reddit entirely, but it’s been clear to all of us from day one, that communities like this stand on unsteady ground, and could be banned or quarantined at any moment by the white supremacist Reddit admins. This would be both a backup and a potentially better alternative. Moderation abilities are there, as well as a slur filter.

          Raddle isn’t an option obviously since it’s run by this arch anti tankie scum, ziq.

          I wanted to ask ppl here if they’d like me to host an instance, and mod all the current mods here.

          The instance that post mentions at the end became Lemmygrad. Lemmy.ml and Lemmygrad are the same people. This was their first post announcing Lemmy as a real thing you could go use. (It’s also why a good chunk of the Threadiverse is absolutely infested with tankies.)

          I never agitated for a fork because generally the Lemmy devs do an okay job at keeping their politics separate from their software. But the more I look at their attitudes and (frankly) the hazing they do towards contributors, the more I’m thinking that it may be better to push for an outright fork of Lemmy, give it a better name, a saner dev team, and excise the original devs entirely. Even if we ignore their politics (which is hard to do, but can be done), they’ve simply not been the best stewards of the project - it’s succeeded in spite of them, not because of them.

          That said, I think Lemmy as a piece of software is generally okay. Kbin has more long-term promise, I feel, but Kbin has its own issues and is much rougher around the edges. A lot of the issues Kbin has have already been sorted out by Lemmy, so I think it might be best to make a Lemmy fork and bring in features from Kbin into it (alongside performance fixes and whatnot that the Lemmy devs refuse to action on).

          • RoundSparrow
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            110 months ago

            The developers of Lemmy have been questionable for some time

            They also seem obsessed about deleting/purging content and keeping Lemmy postings off of Google Search… Lemmy servers have been online for over 4 years and even on their beloved topics (Rust, communism, etc) it would almost never come up. It’s as if they think they are building private e-mail or dating service instead of public forum. Which is entirely against the idea of their self-proclaimed love of communism and copyleft stuff… why not have everyone agree to a creative commons license of their content/contributions like Wikipedia when posting on a public forum…

        • kopper [they/them]
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          11 months ago

          Honestly a Lemmy soft-fork like what glitch or hometown is to Masto would be immensely beneficial. Upstream Lemmy could be for stability and performance stuff with the occasional features, and the fork can be a lot more experimental and “fast moving” in exchange for losing some reliability and stability.

          That said with the state of Lemmy’s codebase you’re gonna need some seriously motivated people collaborating together to pull that off. Masto’s glitch soc exists because one of it’s main devs is the only other dev besides Eugen that’s being paid to work full time on the project. Firefish is clearly attempting to lean in on branding for donations (drama bias: I have a single commit on Iceshrimp and the instance I’m on is looking to migrate there) and Akkoma exists because the only alternative is the freeze-peach heaven that is upstream Pleroma.

          (And if the thing gets enough development work then you can consider hard-forking away from Lemmy proper and going your own way, for those who don’t like Lemmy because of the politics of the devs)

    • @[email protected]OP
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      511 months ago

      What’s the alternative? It honestly seems like a worthwhile way to do it for me. I really think there’s only value in following niche communities from Mastodon. Discourse like that found on politics and news is pretty plentiful (and often higher quality) on Mastodon as is, but the gardening communities make up an important part of my Mastodon feed.

      • wander1236
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        411 months ago

        It’d be a lot nicer if only posts were boosted by the community “account”. Threaded replies are already supported on Mastodon, so there’s not really a good reason for the community account to boost those as well.

        • @[email protected]OP
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          11 months ago

          I think this may not have enough total posts to impact a feed like it needs to. Would definitely be a useful feature tho

    • gabe [he/him]
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      211 months ago

      Yeah having the ability to properly interact with book/writing communities from this instance would be nice. As well as being able to interact well with mastodon.art from lemmyloves.art and vice versa.

  • deweydecibel
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    11 months ago

    Regardless of where the loss in users is coming from the major takeaway here is that we are firmly in a reinvestment phase.

    Regardless? No, I’d say figuring out the reason is pretty important before any plans are moved on.

    Luckily, there’s more than enough talk about Lemmy both here and on Reddit that you can read to give you an understanding of why exactly Lemmy isn’t growing. And I don’t believe appealing to Mastodon users is addressing the most pertinent of them: from the perspective of reddit users that aren’t already here, this place is a confusing mess filled with bickering instances, empty communities, and no content, all of which is much more complicated to access than the idea of lemmy that was initially sold to them.

    They don’t want to think about instances or federation or admin squabbles. They just want a social network like reddit. Whether or not they want centralization, they at least want the outward appearance and usability of one. If you’re telling them they have to set up more than 1 account on different instances, you’ve already lost them.

    I don’t know how, maybe a front end or an app or something, but somehow this all has to be simplified and unified dramatically to get most of their attention. There especially needs to be a way for users to see everything they want to see in one place, regardless of which instance they’re on and the mentality of its admins.

    I think we should also strongly prefer specialized instances like lemmy.film or literature.cafe to truly take advantage of the special attention these sorts of instances are capable of providing particular topics. As it stands only a handful of them have enough broader threadiverse activity to be truly useful.

    Are you going to host them? You can maybe get people to volunteer as mods but this notion of “every topic is its own instance” is entirely dependant on there being one person for each individual community being willing to host an instance and maintain it themselves, in perpetuity.

    But the vast majority of people have neither the knowledge, time, resources, or desire to do this. And even if they did, there’s no guarantee that person has the mentality to admin an instance. The last thing we need is finding the one person that’s willing to host an instance for some niche interest turning out to be a complete asshole and ruining the place.

    Think about how many reddit head mods just fucked off for months at a time. What happens when an instance admin does that?

    But more importantly, what are you going to draw them here with? Why would they bother? What’s the sales pitch? What do they gain?

    • @[email protected]OP
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      11 months ago

      They just want a social network like reddit

      Reddit users by and large are not content creators, particularly not in the way that Mastodon users are. I’m suggesting each Mastodon user recruited would be worth way more than each reddit user recruited. Reddit users are simply not worth the effort and have significantly less to add to the culture/conversation

      empty communities, and no content

      This is the most important part. But bootstrapping communities is a tough problem. I’m suggesting it’s significantly easier to advertise on Mastodon than it is on Reddit. At this point it’s hard to imagine advertising on Reddit being met with any sort of positive response at all.

      Are you going to host them?

      They’re already there. They are currently struggling with growth. This seems to primarily be an issue of getting the word out.

      But more importantly, what are you going to draw them here with? Why would they bother? What’s the sales pitch? What do they gain?

      They gain group-like functionality and deeper, more focused discussion. These are often requested features of Mastodon that Lemmy can provide without any additional features on the development side.

  • 👍Maximum Derek👍
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    911 months ago

    Passing the knowledge to Mastodon users that they can post to the threadiverse from Mas might be a good, soft, recruiting approach.

    For example if someone is posting about something local to them, they know to include the hashtag of their city to get visibility. If they also mentioned a lemmy community dedicated to the city, they’d increase their reach considerable. Then once they know their city has a lemmy community maybe they’ll come check it out… and get hooked.

    For those that don’t know, you can post a new thread from Mastodon by mentioning the community in the @ channel @ server format. The first line of your post becomes the title and the remainder becomes the body.

    • Die4Ever
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      11 months ago

      What if a Lemmy community could be configured to also listen for hashtags? They could also be configured to add hashtags to their posts, which could maybe also be used for grouping communities?

      edit: I made a feature request https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy/issues/3906

      • gabe [he/him]
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        311 months ago

        That and or account relays to be able to follow accounts on masto from lemmy at least would be nice

  • @[email protected]
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    811 months ago

    Sports and sports news. That’s where we need to recruit.

    /r/nba has 8 million subscribers. /r/soccer has 5 million.

    We can have sport-focused instances, and we can have one community for each team from the major leagues. We can have “legal gray area” instances focused on video and streams for games that are not on TV or online.

    Dontt get me wrong, I think the topics and instances you mentioned can be definitely interesting, but they all seem to be a bit of “preaching to the converted”. We need to go after the people who look at Lemmy and think “there is nothing there that I don’t get on Reddit, why should I bother to learn all that fediverse crap?”

        • @CombatWombatEsq
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          211 months ago

          Just doing a few soccer teams and a league – it’s a lot of time and a lot of infrastructure

          • @[email protected]
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            111 months ago

            I would expect it to be the top leagues of each region and the local “Champions League”. Maybe the 20 top clubs.

            Shouldn’t be that much

            • @CombatWombatEsq
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              111 months ago

              I was just sharing my experience with running the communities for the three clubs in my city. I look forward to hearing about your experience with running all those – I’m sure you’ll do much better than I and much more efficiently.

              • @[email protected]
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                111 months ago

                Oh, sorry, I misunderstood you.

                You can probably once post once a day per club, that way you keep them active but it doesn’t take too much time.

    • Mars2k21
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      211 months ago

      I’m for this idea. Large sports communities could bring multiple new instances and also just a flood of active users in other communities. If we were to pick a specific community to come join, these guys and people in tech communities should be the first choices.

      Communities centered around sports teams like r/chelseafc or r/lakers could warrant an entire Lemmy or Kbin instance with separate communities about that particular team (trade/signing rumors, live games, social media posts, etc). For them, federation actually has some huge benefits.

      Plus as a side note, I’d love to have the regular diehard sports bickering on the Fediverse. Seriously. They’ll be quite the counter to the current culture of the Fediverse, however. Arguing about Mbappé’s longevity or whether the current NBA champions will win again would drown out the politics anyway, which is a massive plus in my book.

  • @[email protected]OP
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    611 months ago

    As an example. This is the sort of post I’m talking about: https://tech.lgbt/@spaduf/110941439731236455

    @bookstodon Not sure if this is anybody’s cup of tea but there’s a new Lemmy instance dedicated to books and writing over at: https://literature.cafe

    The best part is you can participate from your existing fediverse account. Communities on Lemmy can be followed like users and have similar functionality to a.gup.pe groups!

    Try following @fiction as an example but remember that federation doesn’t backfill.

    More communities can be found here: https://literature.cafe/communities

    Already sitting at about 8 boosts and several favorites from some folks with a fairly large follower count. That means potentially thousands of eyes. I went ahead and put together a dedicated user as I think that may be more appropriate than spam posting Lemmy communities/instances on my personal account. Not sure when I’ll have time to flesh it out and make it active but I’ve already got a list of communities/instances and what groups I think would be interested in them. Find it here:
    https://mastodon.social/@lemmy_for_mastodon

    • gabe [he/him]
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      411 months ago

      Oh wow no wonder I’ve gotten quite a few sign ups! Thank you for the boost! It’s seriously appreciated :)

  • @[email protected]
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    11 months ago

    Makes mood plenty of sense to me! Especially all the stuff about mastodon.

    Also, if you didn’t know, a shirt sort that takes account of the relative size of communities is in the works. I’ve seen pull requests for it. So it might not be far off.

    EDIT: dumb mobile typos / bad autocorrect