I just received the news that the Federated Networks Association is probably folding. More details here:
The potential demise of the Feneas.org services reminds me again that the success of federated networks depends on reliable instances, and avoiding re-centralization requires more instances, not bigger ones. This means server-side software needs to be as easy as possible to set up and maintain, and we need easy access to ways for people to learn how to host servers.
@Blort @strypey @PINE64 @yunohost there is this https://shop.nitrokey.com/shop/product/nextbox-116 but it's waaaaay too expensive for what it is:( Plus it's only nextcloud, which is a good start but a yunohost install would do so much more!
It's definitely part, and an important part, of their success. We can't ignore that they successfully communicate their unique benefits through wide communication channels, while piggybacking off other successful projects with adoption and then following up with well funded distribution channels. Much of this we can do too, but only if we're thinking about these parts as well.
For example, we can communicate the unique benefits of a box like this as well, but only if we as a community get past the ideas of marketing being some sleazy manipulation technique we want nothing of, and focus instead on clear, honest and simple communication of the benefit of what we offer in the language of the people who would benefit the most.
We can piggyback of other successful projects, especially if we collaborate with projects that have gotten larger adoption while holding values shared by the community of a project like this (eg Nextcloud, VLC, Ubuntu, Wikipedia, Firefox - still). Even if any of these projects aren't your personal favorite, they all have a voice that can reach people, and sympathy with the values of a project like this.
And as to funding, while probably the most divisive of what the centralized models do effectively, We have opportunities, too. There's selling the hardware itself, including upgrades. Donations. Opportunities for paid support a la #Nextcloud. Referral fees for things like domain purchases and maybe a VPN. Crowdfunding to add full time developers (a la #Godot / #Krita / #Blender). These are just some ideas (not all need to be used) but many others exist.
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