Federated communities

Can communities (or subreddits) follow other communities from different instances ?

From what I understand about lemmy, there can have communities with the same name on different instances. So that you have to follow each of them individually. But one important feature of traditional sites like reddit is that you can follow one subreddit (or community) and get all the updates about that topic, interest etc. And i believe its important for link aggregators to have such a unified place for a topic.

One solution to this problem would be to put communities with the same name on a single page on your device with a lemmy client app. So that community Abc@instance1 and Abc@instance2 would show on a single page when subscribed to both. But this won’t work well if Abc@instance1 and Abc@instance2 are about different topics despite having the same name. Also, this means the user again have to find and follow each community about a topic manually to have the same experience he would otherwise get from a single community on reddit.

Applying the fediverse logic here, it would be really nice if communities could follow one another. So that the users can get a similar experience to traditional link aggregators while keeping it decentralized. this would mean that if Abc@instance1 follows Abc@instance2, all of the posts from Abc@instance2 will be available on Abc@instance1 as well.

NOTE: I don’t know if any of such features already exists, but let me know if a similar feature or a different workaround for this issue exists. I am suggesting this as an end user and don’t know much about the practicalities of it, federated communities can complicate moderation for example.

Dessalines
mod
admin
link
31Y

So that you have to follow each of them individually. But one important feature of traditional sites like reddit is that you can follow one subreddit (or community) and get all the updates about that topic, interest etc. And i believe its important for link aggregators to have such a unified place for a topic.

There can be !news@startrek.com and !news@starwars.com. You can subscribe to both, and their posts will show up on your front page feed. They’re separate communities that are not merged.

Applying the fediverse logic here, it would be really nice if communities could follow one another.

Communities don’t do anything, users do. The main federated activity of lemmy, is following federated communities.

@federateduser
creator
link
11Y

Users can follow !news@startrek.com and !news@starwars.com, assume these communities to be similar. How can a user find all these similar communities in the vast federated network ?
Just to be clear, the main concern here is that such a model of community interaction centralizes the network. If you follow or post something on a community (such as !news@startreck.com) , you are essentially trusting that instance with your data (startreck.com here).

Consider this situation, !news@startrek.com has 1.5k subscribers and !news@starwars.com has 5k subscribers.
A general user would be more likely to post something on !news@starwars.com as it has more subs and will get replied quickly, get more upvotes, etc. This would inturn get !news@starwars.com more subscribers as more people post on it (This is a lock in situation)
. This cycle will continue to grow !news@starwars.com community and starwars.com instance would get monopoly on that particular topic in communities. This would mean that instances with more successful communities receive more interaction than others. Even if these instances are trustable and privacy-friendly, how can they handle the unfair amount of load on their servers ? (this would also increase the pressure to monetize)

The fediverse is designed to be decentralized. Even if we found different workarounds for these issues, then what’s the point of lemmy if its not federated properly ? The main reason why people would switch over to something like lemmy is because its decentralized over other traditional sites like reddit.

Dessalines
mod
admin
link
21Y

assume these communities to be similar.

Why are you assuming this? One is for news about star trek, the other is for news about star wars.

The fediverse is designed to be decentralized.

Ask yourself how users could be merged in the fediverse, and you’ll get the same concept of how communities can be merged. Does the fact that users can’t be merged, mean the fediverse isn’t decentralized?

@federateduser
creator
link
31Y

I know, starwars & startrek was a bad example for comparing similar communities. I just went along with the examples you gave initially.
Lemmy has some major differences compared to other fediverse platforms because of the concept of communities and being able to follow them. I’m not an expert, but from what i understand, there are limitations on how much decentralized it can be. I made this post to address some of the concerns, and I’m ok with it as far as we all understand these limitations exist. I hope others would get an idea when they read this post.
I still think that lemmy is far better compared to traditional platforms like reddit. I’m grateful for this project to exist and i cannot ask you more. Thanks for replying, this was my first post on lemmy.

Dessalines
mod
admin
link
31Y

No probs :smiling face:

@4g4th4
link
2
edit-2
9M

deleted by creator

@federateduser
creator
link
3
edit-2
1Y

Sepia search is a unified search engine for the peertube vidiverse. Here, we are not looking for a unified search engine, but a unified page for communities about similar topics. This has to be done for each topic or interest, and is much more harder to do compared to a search engine.

That’s the reason why i recommend the idea of federated communities, so that each community can choose which other ones to follow (kinda like instances). This way, you don’t have to manually find and group together different communities, the communities would do it themselves by following other similar ones.

But, if we’re gonna take the ladder, we can actually create something like Sepia search for this thing too. Something like a community-grouper website, that finds similar communities across different instances and group them together as a bundle. These bundles can then be imported to a lemmy client app to fetch content from all the instances and view them on a single page. This is like an extension of my first idea, but with this website doing the work for us, users don’t need to find communities themselves.

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