Help text about pod location is confusing (and useless?)


(Rob) #1

https://wiki.diasporafoundation.org/Choosing_a_pod lists “Location of the server” as one of the reasons for pod choice, and includes this language: “you may want to choose a pod which is based near where you live, which may help improve response time”

I submit that this is an unhelpful and confusing statement, because:

  1. It is very difficult to actually figure out where a given pod is physically hosted. Domain names are often misleading (pod.diaspora.co.nz is apparently in California not New Zealand) and IP maps are unreliable (seattlediaspora.org is either in California or New Jersey depending on which service you consult… and either way it ain’t in Seattle).

  2. It implies that physical proximity to the server is more important than it likely really is. There are many other important factors (server size, load, host network capabilities, etc) that have as much – if not more – effect on response time.

  3. The whole thing is supposed to be distributed and federated, so why put any undue emphasis on localization? I just saw a post from a fellow asking why he couldn’t find any pods in Maine where he lives. He shouldn’t be worrying about that.

The part about choosing a location based on privacy laws per country is of course very pertinent, however, and should definitely be kept.


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(raven24) #2

I agree the location is neither a very relevant nor a reliably accurate factor in choosing a pod.
It’s a wiki - so you should be able to change that sentence to something that makes it sound less like that’s such a big deal.
:wink:


(Jason Robinson) #3

Would be great to get help with making that page better. It’s just too much text.


(Rob) #4

Well with that encouragement I just up and went for it :slight_smile: Check it out https://wiki.diasporafoundation.org/Choosing_a_pod
I didn’t really succeed in making it less wordy, cause I think there are several key concepts that really need explaining. But I reorganized into clearer sections which should hopefully make it more readable and help ppl get oriented…?


(Jason Robinson) #5

Thanks @rob12 ! It’s definitely cleaner and better structured IMHO - good work! But as you say, it’s still a lot to read, in small text and with no immediate indication on what to click for the impatient who just want to get set up.

Maybe it should start with a big button/image with a heading “For the impatient”, and text “Sign Up!” - and then until we have some kind of pod chooser wizard, just hope they make it through podupti.me :slight_smile:

And then after that the rest of the text for those interested.

Felt inspired from your changes and added this just now :wink: What do you think?


(Rob) #6

Well, I’ve been assuming that the primary (or only) way people are getting to this wiki page to begin with is from https://diasporafoundation.org/ where there is already a nice “Sign Up” button that goes straight to podupti.me. So that anyone who’s come to the “Choosing a pod” page probably wants the info about how to choose a pod.

But since it’s entirely possible for people to stumble on this page some other way I see your point. I tidied it up just a hair to fit the flow :slight_smile:


(goob) #7

in small text

The wiki definitely needs new CSS (including larger text) in any case…


(goob) #8

Maybe it should start with a big button/image with a heading “For the impatient”, and text “Sign Up!”

As Rob says, there’s a brief sign-up guide on the project home page, and there’s also a simple tutorial on finding a pod and signing up. Both those pages have links to the wiki page for more detailed information, but there is more simple information available on those other pages.


(Jason Robinson) #9

Actually, the flow is as follows;

  • Nice green “Join us” button on landing - easy to click (user prob expects sign up form)
  • Want to get started? Read some stuff, ok… Step 1, ‘Choose a pod’. So logically I shall click that then.
  • WTF a wiki page??

(goob) #10

It’s not ideal, I’ll grant you, but I’m not sure how it could be done better until we streamline Pod Uptime and the stats hub into one tool (with clear explanations on its page how to use it).

Definitely improving that wiki page would be a big help.