OC The branding for kbin is perfect

The branding for kbin is perfect for capturing the reddit migrators. The biggest friction point for the Fediverse is choosing an instance. If I want to join Lemmy, googling Lemmy takes me to a landing page with no join button, telling me to go to these other sites. Some of these sites even actively discourage signups, creating so many places for a new user to churn.

Also, see the cases where the admins of a few Lemmy instances act badly: now the brand of every other instance is tarnished.

If I want to join kbin, I go to kbin, and I signup. How easy is that? I personally think this is why kbin has been getting a lot of traffic compared to Lemmy instances, and this benefit is lost when other kbin instances begin popping up.

In my opinion, it makes way more sense to market the instances individually rather than as a whole. Federation can be discovered at the users own pace, instead of being the main draw which will always be the content hosted. This does add a bit of a prisoner's dilemma, but I do think it would end up benefitting the ecosystem as a whole.

BlackCoffee, (edited )
BlackCoffee avatar

Someone also had a suggestion to change the name of Magazines to "Bins", I think Bins would be incredibly catchy and on point.

Edit; Found the thread where it was suggested first:


Credit to @HeartyBeast for coming up with it!


Bins is way better.


@Ernest I think this is a very valuable comment you should consider.


I honestly like /b/ better than /m/.

Reminds me of the old 4chan days.

BlackCoffee avatar

It is also easy for people to connect it with the federation.

When people talk about Subreddits they immediately know it is a community on Reddit.

You can easily see the same here. When people will talk about Bins, they can immediately identify it as an community on an Kbin instance.

Otome-chan avatar

I support this. magazines is a weird name that doesn't really clarify wtf it is. a "bin" makes perfect sense though.

Eggyhead avatar

I like the concept, but bins just sounds like garbage bins to me- not as inviting as it might seem.

tal avatar

Hmm. That's not what I thought of, but I'm American, and "bin" is more used in that context in British English, so it might be a British English/American English difference.

bleuy007 avatar

A bit of self-deprecating humor (or maybe self-awareness) never hurt anyone

Magess avatar

Indeed. One of the reason people liked Toot on Masto is because it was unserious. Like, take it down a notch. I think Bins has that same air.

CH3DD4R_G0B-L1N avatar

In science/math fields, a bin is a subset of data points that have a relation to each other in some significant way. Feels appropriate in that regard.


Magazines can be set to collect threads based on tags, so Bins sounds cooler for that scenario as well. Excellent idea @BlackCoffee!

BlackCoffee, (edited )
BlackCoffee avatar

Haha just to for the record, it was not my idea. I am just spreading the word because I found it a genius idea from the person who put it out there ;).

If i could find the thread where the person who came up with it commented in I could give credit where credit is due.

Otome-chan avatar

This. Federated services always felt daunting to get into like which instance do I pick? can I see all the content from whichever one? I heard about rogue mods/admins which one is safe? etc. but with kbin it's just: sign up for kbin. There's also fedia which is basically just alt-kbin lol. Very easy.


My only concern is how kbin will connect to the rest of the lemmy instances, some of my favorite subreddits seem to have migrated to different instances, and I think it'll benefit everyone if there was a way to conveniently combine them.

Otome-chan avatar

once federation is working again for kbin you'll be able to participate in lemmy communities just fine. take a look over at fedia.io for how this works.


Still trying to wrap my head around all of this but this is looking promising!

nixl avatar

Yep, I need a big man to explain that all to me. The interface is confusing. No app client. If anything, it all feels raw and uncoordinated

MoodyCat avatar

Kbin is still a very new project. If anything, Ernest has been doing a great job keeping up with the influx of Reddit users migrating over. Just be patient.


what exactly is the issue right now with kbin's federation? Is it still due to cloudflare?

Otome-chan avatar

Yeah. Since kbin is very popular and growing very fast, cloudflare was put in place. And due to that, federation is slow/having problems. It's a temporary issue that will eventually be resolved. Fedia.io doesn't have this issue so you can see how the experience works over there.

Treedrake avatar

The issue with fedia is that pretty much all content is on kbin.social, if you don't want to check out other Lemmy instances. Kbin.social having CloudFlare on centralizes the ecosystem to kbin.social, as it can't federate and most users and content is on here.

Otome-chan avatar

Yup, that's exactly the issue I see. kbin.social is great, but it's isolated. Fedia has hardly any content of it's own, but it connects to the larger fediverse. We need the best of both lol.

mcdougle avatar

If I have an account on kbin.social, can I log in to fedia.io? It doesn't work right now, but will it once federation is working again?

wjrii avatar

Not log in, but just browse and add their magazines and contribute from here by searching and appending the domain name. This is where the clunky email analogies come from. Like, here's one that was federated before we all invaded from reddit (it's probably out of date now, but the concept should hold):

You're still completely on kbin.social, but the content originates from, and your posts will be posted back to, beehaw.

halfflat, (edited )
halfflat avatar

You won’t need to login to fedia — once kbin.social starts federating again you can subscribe to all of their magazines and get the content from within kbin.social. If you visit fedia’s actual site you have no login credentials as it’s a different server with different accounts. It’s a little odd to get used to, especially because people will tag various instances in a post by directly hyperlinking to them, so if you click on the link you’ll be taken to a version of kbin (or lemmy, or mastodon, etc.) where you have no account data.

VoxAdActa avatar

So, if I went over to fedia.io and made a login there, too, how will that interact with my login to kbin.social once federation gets up and running? Will they conflict somehow? Or will clicking on a fedia link from social take me to my logged-in fedia profile? Or will it take me to fedia and make me log in again if I want to contribute?

Or am I grossly misunderstanding this whole thing? lol

Melon_Cooler avatar

You will have two different accounts: one on fedia.io, the other on kbin.social. On fedia, logged in via your fedia account, you will be able to interact with content federated from kbin.social as if it were on fedia, and you will be displayed as coming from fedia (if you hover over someone's name it shows their full tag, including the server they're on. In this case I'm @Melon_Cooler). You can switch to your account on kbin.social, but it is fundamentally a different account from the one on fedia, and will give the same functionality, however you'll be native to kbin.social, and content you see from other servers (i.e. fedia) will be federated into kbin.social.

RedditExodus avatar

I agree, there was very little friction with my sign up here. I heard about kbin an hour ago. I created an account in all of 5 minutes and this is my first comment.

MeccAnon avatar

For what I can see so far, I'm perfectly happy with kbin.social (the instance)-specific content. I agree with you that federation can wait, although it's just my personal opinion. I daresay that as kbin.social grows, there might be no need for federation at all.

Here there is a good interface, good content, my needs, honestly, are already met.


yeah! this is the exact reason why i joined kbin. when i searched lemmy i was left more confused. in the end, i'm still a bit unsure of both platforms, but kbin seemed closer to reddit and as a result felt more comfortable. if someone wants to ELI5 these, much appreciated lol.

AndreTelevise avatar

Kbin, with its current state of being completely seperate from the rest of the fediverse for the sake of stabiltiy, poses itself as the Lemmy for people who hate federated websites.

dreadgoat avatar

I could see this being a wonderful happy accident (or maybe not, perhaps @ernest is a machiavellian mastermind)

People flow into kbin.social and have a familiar localized experience. They get accustomed to the interface, they invest in the communities, they get hooked. Then BAM federation kicks in. Slowly at first, like now, where basically only microblogging is working. But eventually everything spins up and suddenly everyone is comfortably navigating the fediverse through kbin without even realizing it.


I think what would help is a sign up page that automatically assigns an instance randomly, and an "advanced" checkbox that let's you specify one instead. Each instance can host a copy of it, and then still redirect/point to another instance for new users who don't understand or care about federation.

Additionally, being able to "group" magazines would be helpful, so that you can have links to something like "gaming" which shows the lists of all posts/threads in gaming@server1, gaming@server2, etc...

trex avatar

Discoverability of magazines on other instances would have to be improved for the randomly assiging to really work. Otherwise people are just going to get confused. It's a good goal though.


yeah, I think we'd need some kind of "auto-grouping" of magazines that share a name on different instances, with both instance and user controls for which instances to exclude (e.g. You want tech@server1 and tech@server2 to combine in the ui, but want to exclude tech@troll-server to get rid of spammy posts from that instance)

wjrii avatar

Given how people actually seem to be using Lemmy/Kbin, I think this would be super helpful. Like things just sort of automagically get richer as the server stabilizes and the admins make the philosophical choice to federate.


This is like saying Mastodon is easy because you just sign up with mastodon.social.

That was always an option for people.

Kbin's situation isn't branding, it's that it's so young as a project that until a few days ago there wasn't even functioning instructions for setting it up.

1bluepixel avatar

This is like saying Mastodon is easy because you just sign up with mastodon.social.

You laugh, but as a sorta-but-not-super-techie guy, that initially stopped me from joining Mastodon. It prompted me for an instance to sign up on, and that felt like a serious choice for which I was missing some info.

Same deal with Lemmy, really. At first glance, the implications of choosing an instance are not clear. And then you start reading and you realize that some instances ARE problematic even if you have access to the entire federated content from it.

It's definitely a small but significant barrier to entry, and Kbin presents a front that feels easier to grasp when you're not familiar with the concept of the Fediverse.


agree. You start thinking what if the one you randomly chose is the problematic one, what if they don't follow best/good privacy/security practices, what if they are not an active collective/person and they forget updating their instance etc. Then you start thinking again: ok I'll go to the "main", default one, it must be a safe choice, you go there and you see that the main one has closed the registrations and you are still in the same position.

Otome-chan avatar

This was exactly my situation with mastodon. And guess what? I ended up joining a smaller instance that.... closed down. So all my mastodon stuff is gone now despite mastodon still being a thing. it's dumb.


i think there is a way to move your account from one instance to another, but even if there is a way, it wouldn't cover the case that an instance is already offline. Yes, generally speaking it is nice and correct approach to "choose a smaller instance", but when you don't know who runs it behind, it is actually other problems that come up, as you already know first hand.

Otome-chan avatar

To be fair they handled the closing as well as anyone could do. they left it in read only for quite a while for people to download their stuff. they gave everyone notice. etc. but the point remains.

mitexleo avatar

There is also Calckey if you haven't tried it yet. It has a lots of useful features compared to mastodon. You can migrate everything to another instance very easily.

Otome-chan avatar

This. I'm a techie person but suffer from intense analysis paralysis. Like how tf am I supposed to choose an instance? what metrics am I supposed to go by? with kbin it's easy: you sign up for kbin.


that's not really correct though. fedia is also kbin, just a different instance, just as karab.in is. It's just that kbin.social is the main instance. And Ernest would prefer that future signups are spread among different instances, not just kbin.social, so the benefit that you're seeing might not be around for long.

Otome-chan avatar

other kbin instances are not calling themselves "kbin-whatever" though. they have entirely different names. so I don't even think about it when first signing up. I want kbin.social so I go to kbin.social. Yes, those other instances exist, but it's not what comes to mind.

I agree that long term federation is needed. but the actual "which instance do I join???" is a huge problem for onboarding. you can't just expect someone to pick an instance without giving them info on which instance to join.


Personally, I "had" to choose lemmy.world since it seemed that r/Philippines has migrated there, and it has a decent enough moderation policy. Hopefully as this Fediverse thing matures it becomes easier to use and understand.

Otome-chan avatar

Yup, that's exactly what I mean. It wasn't even a thought or choice. You followed r/Philippines so you went to lemmy.world. You didn't even think about the other lemmy instances.

When you go "oh go join lemmy, btw here's 5000 different instances, pick one." you just get stuck.

molls avatar

Reading this thread is definitely helping clarify some things for me that I found confusing about kbin/lemmy/etc. When I was looking for where to move to, I avoided lemmy because I saw stuff about their mods being unsavory, but now I’m realizing that was probably just for one instance of lemmy? If that’s the case and there are plenty of well moderated lemmy instances, then I think refining the anti-lemmy discourse to be ‘just don’t join this one instance’ would help Reddit migrators find more homes and not all pile onto kbin.social (which, tbh, is what I did, because I struggled to find other suitable options easily).

Otome-chan avatar

Yeah I think it's just lemmy.ml (the main and most popular lemmy instance) that has that problem?

Kichae, (edited )

I'm not laughing. I watched the Twitter crowd come to the Fediverse, and watched as people balked at the idea of choosing a server. I get that it was difficult.

What I'm saying is that this isn't any different, except everyone has just picked a server alrrady by virtue of not knowing that other kbin instances exist.

As I say, if everyone on Twitter had been given links to mastodon.social, it would have been the same situation as we're having here right now.

And I'm not actually convinced that would have been, or cutrently is, a good thing. If people just try shit out in earnest, and poke at it until they get an intuitive sense of how it works, rather than just throw their hands up because it's different, we could all be having a much easier time of things.


you realize that some instances ARE problematic even if you have access to the entire federated content from it.

Personally I needed reassurance that an instance at least appears to be committed into fighting hate speech, especially as a gay guy

and Kbin presents a front that feels easier to grasp when you're not familiar with the concept of the Fediverse

As a similarly sorta-but-not-super-techie guy, I agree. Kbin nailed the presentation of the Fediverse by introducing a UI and experience that is remarkably similar to Reddit. For that reason alone I hope Kbin comes out as the most successful (or at least viable) alternative.

niktemadur avatar

committed into fighting hate speech

The moment we approached the Fediverse, we heard about the creators of some of these places holding some extreme viewpoints, and we are hesitant about the type of people this may attract. Don't know firsthand how true that may be, but we sure as hell don't want to sign up to something that ends up becoming a sort of Voat.

The reassuring thing is that this exodus is completely different in nature than the one that ended up stampeding to and destroying Voat. The majority of damaged individuals who migrated back then... well... they already migrated back then, not now.

tal avatar

we sure as hell don't want to sign up to something that ends up becoming a sort of Voat

I don't care if a site has stuff that caters to a crowd with viewpoints that I don't share, as long as they aren't hassling me.

feature avatar

I agree. There is a lot to like here. The theming, intuitiveness, as well as it looks good on desktop and mobile and has a PWA. It also seems to be stabilizing. I hope this keeps up!


Indeed - the UX here is absolutely fantastic.

My only concern is so far I haven't seen quite the same level of activity that I've seen on Lemmy, but I'm optimistic this could change, especially if some existing subreddits decide to start pointing users here...

Eggyhead avatar

In my experience, underdog communities tend to be the best versions of them. Plus, thanks to the fediverse, we won't be missing out on anything. Like at all.


Right now I'm exploring this and lemmy.world, my worry is that kbin seems disconnected from the other lemmy instances, whether that's by design or not, I dunno.

I agree though, kbin has a FANTASTIC interface compared to most of the lemmy instances I've seen. If I had to pick one, I'd stick with kbin for now, but I hope this inspires good UI/UX development in lemmy where all the buzz is. The markdown implementation here is quite different from what I'm used to, but it's nice that it's there.

The only thing missing is a proper app. I haven't tried the PWA yet, but that in itself is promising.

ernest avatar

Thanks for the reassurance, but please take rests too! If there was a way to donate then please feel free to post it somewhere, I can see a lot of potential here.


Wanted to comment that the hyperlink actually takes you to this thread, I had to copy and paste the url to go to support!

niktemadur avatar

It also seems to be stabilizing.

If a day or two is all it takes for things to stabilize, then somebody somewhere deserves a standing ovation and a few free beers.

princessofcute avatar

It's generally not great for everyone to congregate on the same instance, but I agree it does seem to be a pain point as it's different than the 'norm' when it comes to social media. I think something that could help is instead of just listing all the instances and assuming the user understands how the fediverse works, maybe have like a short walkthrough that explains how it works and the pros and cons of signing up with the default server and then give other recommendations for which servers to join.

TLDR: I think funneling everyone into a default instance is a bad idea for the health of the platform but I do think a little how to guide on the sign up page could help lessen confusion

Bloonface avatar

I think the maxim of "if you're explaining, you're losing" applies here.

Having a long tutorial on what federation is and what an instance is, when the vast majority of people don't even understand what a server is, is just going to make people think "this is too complex" and put them off.

People had the instance thing explained to them in many different ways with Mastodon and it never sunk in because it was seen as needlessly complex. It's a barrier to entry.


This. Convenience will always drive faster adoption. I understood instances relatively quickly with an analogy to email, but even that can turn off most users. Other concerns need to be addressed quickly like duplicated communities across instances, migration between instances, and especially the UI/UX, which is very important.

I'm not sure how similar kbin is to lemmy in terms of fragmentation, but I like how manageable it seems compared to lemmy.

Bloonface avatar

In theory, Kbin (the network) has the potential to be as fragmented as Lemmy. It's just obscured by the fact that we're all on the biggest instance, and that that instance presently doesn't federate with anyone.

How that will change if/when federation becomes a thing, I don't know. But I'm probably going to die inside the first time I see people saying to complete newbies "don't join Kbin.social! Join some random other server that sees nothing so you'll get bored and leave", which is what happened with Mastodon.

Otome-chan avatar

I already saw someone saying "don't join kbin.social" lol. I posted about my great experience with kbin over on reddit, and told people to go join kbin.social. someone started commenting how people shouldn't because too many people are joining and to join some other instance instead lol.

Bloonface avatar

It's so silly. It's one of those things that works great from the perspective of a) an instance owner or b) someone who really strongly believes in decentralisation as a universal good. It does not work from the perspective for someone whose use of social media is to talk to people and read shit.

Otome-chan avatar

Yup. I'll be the first to say decentralization is good. but federation is just a nightmare for someone who wants to use social media.


Simpler language and consistent cross-federation vocabulary helps I think. "This is our community! Here we have different spaces for discussing certain topics. We are set up in a way that it's easy to interact with other communities, each with their own style of management. It doesn't matter too much what community you pick, just find one you like and dive in!". Don't bore the user with backend details, the difference between kbin and lemmy doesn't matter.

The rest is just good UX design.


But why is congregating on a default server unhealthy? Scaling software is hard, but essentially a solved problem up to a point.

We're also talking about an activitypub platform. Kbin can be the default instance for kbin, but never for mastodon or Lemmy, so I don't think there would be issues about centralized power.

Think of email, you don't sign up for email, you sign up for Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. They each have their own brand and compete with each other.

Personally, I don't think there will ever be a guide good enough to navigate federation. People will dropoff and move on to the next thing that's easier. Social media is very much about building the critical mass, so it's possible federation misses it's opportunity.


The critical mass isn't actually that big, though. Forums used to be sustainable and healthy with a few hundred people.

Having several thousand daily active users across all instances is all that's required to keep things rolling, and then organic growth follows.

princessofcute, (edited )
princessofcute avatar

Consolidation is bad because these servers are generally run by regular people not a million dollar company being bankrolled by investors. Think about centralized platforms and how much they struggle when there's an influx of new users, they still struggle even with tech support teams and wads of money. A single person with a home server setup or a basic cloud server is going to have infinitely more troubles and add on the fact that it's likely also a hobby for them so they won't be able to troubleshoot and fix things at the drop of a hat. So what happens when a major bug happens and they can't fix it for a few days? People leave and don't come back because it's broken. Also bigger instances have a higher likelihood of problem users congregating which means smaller instances defederate with them which means that all those users are now cut off from certain spaces (look at lemmygrad) and while some of them might not be bad or agree with the problem users the whole instance gets banned. Another issue with large instances is that if their instance owner decides they're done suddenly you have a lot of people that need to find a new home (this is a big issue with centralized platforms) But if say those thousand users were split between 100 different instances if one instance goes down that's a lot less displaced users that need new homes. I'm sure there are other reasons but those are all I could think of off the top of my head.

Also sorry for the novel I sometimes get a little verbose in my replies haha

auhu avatar

funneling everyone into a default instance is a bad idea for the health of the platform

not to mention the health of the server

I could barely log in yesterday

Too bad there don't seem to be many other active kbin instances

If I wasn't in so much debt I would have hosted one and given it a silly name like fuckb.in or somethin

princessofcute avatar

I signed up for the default one since at the time it was the only English server available. I have a second account on fedia and it seems pretty good, but I think that's mainly because it's federating so you can see all the Lemmy magazines. Most of the Kbin magazines are still here on .social

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