On federation and fragmentation

I’ve seen a number of posts stating that they are worried that multiple instances will have overlapping magazines, like “Technology“. It’s true this will happen. But I don’t think it is a problem.

One thing I’ve learned from Mastodon, and I think it will apply to kbin as well, is that you don’t need to post for EVERYBODY on the internet. At some point, there’s a number — 1000 people, 10,000 people, or 100,000 people — where there are enough users where you can have an effective community and a nice conversation, without being so big that everything goes to sh*t.

In real life, we don’t expect to know everybody. We interact with people close to us. Maybe, this is fine in a federated community as well.

And, of course, there is still the chance that post will get really popular and percolate through the fediverse, for example, into the multiple “Technology” magazines.

In sum, I think the fediverse model will build multiple, interlinked, smaller but sustainable communities. If all you want is “reach”, it won’t be for you. But I think it will be good if you want community.

CadeJohnson avatar

The demise of reddit marks my third foray into the fediverse - first after Google+ shut down and Mastodon was a squalling infant. I made accounts in numerous fediverse instances to try them out, and most withered from disuse. Then Musk began the death of Twitter and I moved solidly into fediverse and our distant cousin, Diaspora. I did not think of reddit as social, but as a news source - my bad. But now that it is effectively gone, I am all in with the fediverse. I again have multiple accounts, and they work remarkably differently for being so connected. Like if someone comments on Lemmy in direct reply, and I commented from Mastodon, I get the notification on Lemmy AND Mastodon (because the first @ is the same on both accounts I suppose). Anyway, hard to say how the platforms will evolve, but I love having a front row seat for these things and participating.

I created magazines, not to stake out space, but to make a "bus stop" for fellow explorers. I have no long-term desire to own a piece of the fediverse. When a more robust space arises for a group's topical interests, we'll subscribe there too, and let the weeds take the old bus stop where we first gathered.


It's not just about "having nice conversations". It's about staying informed. If I want to get international news@kbin.social, news@beehaw.org, worldnews@kbin.social, worldnews@lemmy.ml, etc. The same principle goes for topical stuff, like the Ukraine war, specific video games, and so on… Of course you could subscribe to all of them, but then you'd end up with a lot of repeated / duplicate threads in your subscriber feed. It also causes activity to be spread out, which causes activity to be lower overall because people feel like their community is not active anyway, so why bother?


I still think it's needed but it doesn't need to be forced. The /m/technology can have a "local" and "federated" tag so the users can pick and choose whether to see Kbin or the rest of the lemmyverse magazines/communities.

One other problem is that people won't be bothered to know the name of the site just the community. Like on reddit, it's just /r/technology and /r/askreddit. On Lemmy, it's beehaw/c/technology and then some other one which I don't remember which is a problem.

/m/asklemmy should just go to all of them and then I can pick and choose which ones to see.

FLOSSeveryday avatar

I def see the splintering as a positive. Personally, I dont feel I motivated to engage with a community once it starts to feel "too" big. There's a certain size where I feel unmotivated to engage. I know whatever I say there will get lost in the noise and there will be less meaningful communication. If any of my interests on a single server start to get too big where I feel like I'm just adding to the noise, I can always easily hop over to another instance where I can engage in a more meaningful way. I would bet there's a lot of other folks on here who will feel the same. While I'm sure it's likely that one instance for each topic might become the biggest "main" one, I dont think the smaller ones will be any worse off for it.


I think a big and legitimate concern is that some communities which wish to grow and have room for growth will end up not growing because of unintentional (rather than intentional) splintering. Really wish there was some way around that


Some way to group instances together would be pretty nice. Is if you have two of the same community on different servers, you could group them and present them to a new user as a single community.

isiloron avatar

There is a feature request at kbin's repository regarding this feature.
I have added feedback to it personally.

There are ideas for users grouping together communities/magazines (from kbin or Lemmy or others) for themselves, and for moderators of magazines to include other communities, or even for admins of instances to group communities together at a site level.

DeGandalf avatar

The main problem is, that this needs to be implemented on the fediverse level and not only on kbin. While it would help, even if it only exists on kbin, it would still be impossible with lemmy communities.


But if it were implemented and seemed like a solid idea, perhaps other instances(?) Would follow suit.

gunnervi avatar

Putting all the various "gaming" communities on kbin and Lemmy together on one page is a nice QOL feature but I'm not sure it's a good idea to present them to users as all the same thing. Gaming@kbin and gaming@lemmy and gaming@beehaw are different groups with different rules managed by different people and if users don't know that it's going to cause confusion in the long run

Otome-chan avatar

reddit solved this problem by letting users make "multireddits" where you can subscribe to a bunch of subreddits that are all the same topic (but different subreddits). Something like that could work. like lemme see "all gaming communities across lemmy/kbin" or something.

@Hanabie@sh.itjust.works avatar

People are really impatient. The platform is still full of bugs and problems, moderation tools are lacklustre, and the list goes on. A number of users are already shooting from the hip, asking for defederations etc, instead of giving the system time to settle down right after an influx spike, with more to come (when 3rd party Reddit mobile apps stop working; when old.reddit and RES go poof, and so on). Just sit back, customize the experience to the degree you can control it yourself, and watch it grow and get into shape.


Especially since most of the platform is still fresh out of the box. It doesn't even have a mobile app yet (Lemmy does, but it is a heavy work in progress, like Lemmy itself), but that it works well enough, and didn't all implode immediately under all the Reddit traffic is a minor miracle.


I was going to say the same thing, what we are experiencing right now isn't organic growth, it is an exodus, I think it is inevitable that instances will disagree at one point or another and decide to defederate but making these decisions now feels like jumping the gun.

@Hanabie@sh.itjust.works avatar

Yeah, I can see why people would want to defederate from some places, but if the platform gives us, the users, tools to deal with it ourselves (ie. blocking complete instances, right now it's only users and communities), this problem will solve itself. The same goes for the double and triple communities, split over the instances. Some very popular topics from Beehaw disappeared overnight for my lemmy.world and sh.itjust.works accounts. If we get aggregator tools to help us group communities like the multi-sub tool in Reddit, for example, the whole social construct will gain a lot of stability. But this is taking time. The people coding all this stuff probably have day jobs.

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