Offers unchained: Federated Offerbots
I want to draw your attention to a discussion taking place on our Humane Tech Community now. One of our members @AndrewMackie has published a brilliant piece of work on the mechanism of Offers, and why they cause such big problems with aggregators (FAANG et al). His problem analysis is a very refreshing, clear-headed approach that avoids the use of big, alarmist and emotionally loaded language you usually hear in the field. But its the solution side where Fediverse / AP could perfectly fit ...

This idea will need a lot of brainstorming, but it was discussed earlier on SocialHub. One of our members, Andrew Mackie, has spent a long time analysing the problem with aggregators and came up with different, unique view of the problems they pose to society. He was also investigating possible solutions.

Both problem analysis (recommended read) and solution thoughts are documented at Offerbots. The solution-side however needs more work. It needs … [ 🥁 drumroll ] … Fediverse!

Excerpt from Offerbots landing page:

The Problem

Our economy, society and information are controlled, distorted and taken by aggregators (such as Google, Amazon and Facebook):

The problem with aggregators

Learn about the problem (which is deeper than you might think).

The Solution

We need offerbots – personal tools for making, receiving and processing offers (our invitations to trade, interact socially and share information with each other):

Decentralized offerbots circumvent the aggregators

Learn about the solution.

And … [ 🥁 drumroll ] … ActivityStreams defines the Offer activity type:

  "@context": "",
  "summary": "Sally offered 50% off to Lewis",
  "type": "Offer",
  "actor": {
    "type": "Person",
    "name": "Sally"
  "object": {
    "type": "http://www.types.example/ProductOffer",
    "name": "50% Off!"
  "target": {
    "type": "Person",
    "name": "Lewis"

There’s a lot to read about here. So I can’t say I understand neither the problem nor the solution yet. But I like it so far.

Social Media Reimagined

This is a companion to Fediverse Futures on SocialHub to elaborate the Fediverse from high-level, non-technical perspectives, brainstorming our visions and dreams.

We need a more holistic approach to fedi development and evolution. We need product designers, graphics artists, UX / UI / Interaction designers, futurists and visionaries to join the dev folks. Everyone is encouraged to join here and enrich our views on what Fediverse can be with diverse and different viewpoints, and to stimulate brainstorming, creativity, thinking out-of-the-box and crazy, wild ideas.

Some guidelines

  • Choose a descriptive title that speaks for itself.
  • Be substantive in your comments and stay on-topic.
  • Treat others as you want to be treated, respectful.
  • Don’t be overly critical, we are just brainstorming.

Our fedi hashtags

#FediverseFutures #SocialNetworkingReimagined #UnitedInDiversity #YearOfTheFediverse #SocialHub #ActivityPub

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