Idea: Local Open Chapters Initiative (LOCI)

Fediverse: Peopleverse !

The Fediverse is a “social fabric” where People engage and interact. With Fediverse being the technical infrastructure that supports this social fabric, what is thus created is actually really a Peopleverse

Peopleverse: The online space where people interact that is a seamless extension to social relationships as they exist in the real world.

The above, though not THE best definition of Peopleverse, nonetheless describes an important characteristic: that what we build online are abstraction of social networks that exist in the real world. The quality of these abstractions determines the extent we can seamlessly tie online space to IRL and the breadth and scope of our social interactions.

United in Diversity

In some respects the Fediverse is one the most diverse online spaces already. Being a global network there’s people from all over the world. And with its more tolerant and open culture it has attracted many people who have been driven off toxic traditional social media platforms.

But there is still lots to gain in terms of Diversity and Inclusion. Fediverse is mostly an online space with little direct ties to the real world, and local communities. The whole concept of “Community” is still very poorly abstracted. Most people haven’t ever heard of the Fediverse and when they do, they get the perception that it is some kind of microblogging medium.

This topic is about an idea to organize more local awareness, and inclusion of diverse local groups with the objective of learning about their needs and facilitating direct interaction.

Local chapters and LOCI

This idea arose as follow-up to fedi discussion with Esther Payne on the Social Coding Foundations chatroom. I’ve since temporary named the initiative as the plural of Locus:

Locus (Free Dictionary definition):

  1. A locality; a place.
  2. A center or focus of great activity or intense concentration

The Idea

Let’s set up an initiative whereby our online activity to bring Fediverse to new heights and unleash its potential is mirrored in local chapters around the world, that anyone can initiate and organize. These chapters focus on activities that are relevant to their region, help spread awareness locally, share their knowledge, and participate in all kinds of shared events, programs and activities.

The Local Open Chapters Initiative facilitates and coordinates the chapters in a variety of ways, to make it as easy as possible to set them up and keep them going.

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Collaborating with NGI?

After mentioning as an example platform for organizing local groups, now less popular than before, @onepict made the suggestion to organize as an initiative within Next Generation Internet, or NGI.

  • It would closely match ambitions that exist within the EU to have an ‘internet for humans’ and play a key role creating it.

  • It would embed LOCI within a larger organization structure that would lend it credibility and, likely, network effects.

  • It might allow easier ways to collect funding needed to keep impetus and growth to the number of chapters and organize interesting events.

NGI has a large focus on the EU and we should take care that LOCI has a broader reach. The fediverse is a global network, after all, and maximising diversity an important goal.

As said with local chapters we are able to both address needs that exist locally as well as advocate the fediverse in the most appropriate ways. In addition there’s a lot of EU initiatives where we can positively contribute to, and which might help position LOCI more firmly at the same time. As example, a brief look on EU websites turned up the Request for Feedback to this problem:

Brain drain – mitigating challenges associated with population decline (communication)

Summary: Brain drain is the emigration of qualified people whose skills are scarce in their place of origin. Its negative effects can occur at national or regional level and can exacerbate problems in regions suffering from population decline. This initiative will look into the different drivers of brain drain, its long-term consequences for the EU and potential comprehensive solutions to stop or even reverse it.

Feedback period: 29 March 2022 - 21 June 2022

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I like this idea (localism). I would like to suggest these related local groups/networks, for possible affiliation, mutual learning, joint event hosting, etc.:

  • LibrePlanet teams
  • DWeb nodes
  • W3C chapters
  • User groups (GNU/Linux/BSD)
  • Hackerspaces

and for meetup organizing platforms:

  • Mobilizon groups
  • Hubzilla channels
  • Friendica - events apparently compatible with Hubzilla, but not yet with Mobilizon
  • gancio and are also ActivityPub-federated
  • recommended by LibrePlanet (2019), but not federated

I’m new here so this post is limited to two links.