Joindiaspora crisis

We are facing a lot of problems with joindiaspora and I think it’s time to change our strategy about it.

At the moment, we simply don’t deal with joindiaspora. But there are many downsides. They almost all come from one point: people don’t make any difference between “diaspora*” and “joindiaspora”. Result: when “joindiaspora” is slow / buggy / down, it’s “diaspora*” which slow / buggy / down. When “joindiaspora” doesn’t respect privacy (Amazon, Google analytics which has now be removed), it’s “diaspora*” which doesn’t respect privacy.

We have to make it damn clear that diaspora* is a project to build a free social web, diaspora is a software* when joindiaspora is an installation of this software.

You don’t have to use joindiaspora to use diaspora. You shouldn’t use it (we arrive to another bad point: joindiaspora is overloaded).

The approach to use diaspora* should be the following, I want to use diaspora*:

  1. I set up my own pod

  2. I can’t set up, no time|money|knowledge => I find a friend of mine who has a pod / is able to set up one.

  3. I know nobody who has a pod => I go to poduptime and choose a pod which respect the criteria I have (privacy, hosted country, etc).

Guys, I listen to you, what can we do to make that every diaspora user will know that?

Note: This discussion was imported from Loomio. Click here to view the original discussion.

“We have to make it damn clear than diaspora* is a project to build a free social web, diaspora* is a software when joindiaspora is an installation of this software.”

Well, let’s put this on the front page of every pod, with a list of other pods (automatically updated). Also make this appear on the wiki, FAQ, README, etc.

If I was an admin of an overloaded pod, I’d just close the registration and redirect everybody to a service like It would also be good to mark overloaded pods on public lists.

I think the solution has two names (me opinion):

  1. List of diaspora pods
  2. Define own design to segregate with design
    I explain:
  3. There are some lists of pods, but I try add mine to the list and no luck. There should be automated list and people can add the pod under category and peoply can select the pod for interest. When is there list of pods any can have idea there is many pods on software. Not there is joindiaspora only. There is not enough propagation the pods on list.
  4. I don’t want discuss at this thema there. There is separate thread. But i think this is important too.

Thank you

You can ping @davidmorley to add your pod to is an automated list, but it doesn’t give many informations.

@flaburgan I try it but no success, only some errors for me (with automation).
No category there and some chaos. But anyway good idea and uptime testing is there good too.
Diapod as you sad is with few informations and some chaos there too (categorized). I think it should be there one complex list with pods. Thank you for reply

I think I’ll reshare Steffen post with diasporaHQ account, even if the second point is annoying me :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh, it’s about the profile picture. So not, it’s not annoying me, I’m going to reshare it immediately :slight_smile:

There can be several options to remedy this.

  1. Strict one - simply close registrations with very informative message about federation and availability of other pods to register.

  2. Softer one and more entertaining-educational (requires more work to implement but can be very beneficial).

Introduce the concepts and feeling of federation into the diaspora interface. For example create a dynamic map that could be brought up on demand, that would show federated severs on that map (each pod “knows” certain other pods so this list would be available). Indicate the load of those pods (in color / numbers etc.). These statistics are gathered somehow: so it should be possible (even if just like an approximation).

Put some visible button in the UI that would bring up such map. Make it interactive / entertaining (think of Uplink game):

In addition, put such map right on the login page of the Pod.

This would unobtrusively educate users about distributed nature of Diaspora and will indicate that some pods are overloaded, while others have very few users.

What do you think?

Making some maps like this would be really cool:

Here is an interesting library:

It would be really great if registrations were at least temporarily closed at with a very informative message about federation and availability of other pods to register. It would help tremendously, at least until other more obvious educational informations are implemented.

Might be interesting to add the geolocation to poduptime and have it suggest a close to home pod?

I can’t imagine the funds will be unlimited for the heroku platform, seems like closing registration and making the network more distributed a good thing.

@maxsamael I see 4 others have added pods this week, so I know its working. Feel free to use the link on there to contact me.

I’ve started a topic about a D* login portal some time ago. I’d also like to refer to that:

In it I named pumpity as an example. You’ll see when reading the comments. I’d like a better central login portal, where people are immediately directed in the right direction.
They can get directions there, but also get directed to their own pod maybe.
I believe the simplest and most user-friendly option is not to let people entirely ‘understand’ Diaspora (and make them read much text), but give them a front-end solution where they can make their considered decision about what pod to choose or where to get directed when you’ve forgotten your pod URL :wink:

It would be really great if registrations were at least temporarily closed at with a very informative message about federation and availability of other pods to register.

The problem is, joindiaspora or elsewhere, we don’t really want people to register, we’d prefer to see them set up a pod… and are too big too. (don’t know what you think @davidmorley ?)

You know the idea day 1 was everyone would install on their home computer and it would be the p2p social network. That did not pan out and so came pods, a lot like mine were “alpha preview” pods that were a short term thing until everyone had Diaspora on their home computers. Things have changed, the dream of everyone running Diaspora is gone. The dream a ton of pods is the new one, is that realistic? I don’t know, all you get with running a pod for others is the risk of DCMA take down notices, threats from your ISP to disconnect you etc. Not sure why anyone would start a pod for others. Maybe that’s the gap, why? If the why start a pod is a good story then its compelling, right now its nerds whom want a cool toy.

I have no solutions except to suggest the idea’s we had are no longer probably valid ones and new ideas and thoughts on how to grow this thing are needed.

Main idea of the pod for others is convenience. Installing Diaspora is still way beyond capabilities of common users.

Maybe we could develop a function for podmins in Diaspora: When a pod closes registrations, users are given a message stating that the pod is closed for registrations, with a message like:

This Diaspora pod is closed for registrations, either check Pod Uptime for a place to join, or set up your own pod to be a part of the network!

@davidmorley This is something I’ve also been exploring. I think one kind of pod that can be particularly compelling are pods themed around a locality. For example, I’m thinking of starting a Diaspora pod of my own to serve the Peoria area where I live. This could be a particularly useful social utility for:

  • local businesses
  • local news
  • local artists / musicians that want to connect
  • local activist organizations or causes

Peoria is a relatively small city, and happens to be used as a test market quite often in the United States. It has a local culture that exists independently in a vacuum, and a recurring joke here is that everyone somehow indirectly knows one another through someone else.

Most of these people are on Facebook, but from a user’s standpoint, Facebook provides little sense of locality. Sure, you can like some local social media pages and make friends, but it all gets blended together among the endless pile of other pages a user follows. Local events and pages have less reach here, because it could be argued that they are drowned out by brand and meme pages that have drastically higher users following them.

@davidmorley Thank you, i will try and when error occured i will contact you.

Maybe that’s the gap, why? If the why start a pod is a good story then its compelling, right now its nerds whom want a cool toy.

So what about set up the blog on diasporafoundation and regularly put interview of podmins to explain why they set up a pod, where is it, how does it work… To share their experience!

About joindiaspora, I don’t think it’s a long term solution / a good idea to close registration. But we can probably do better on the main page, by indicating that “joindiaspora is a demonstration pod for people who wants to know how diaspora* looks like. There are hundreds of thousands of people here, so we use heroku powered by amazon to host this service. If you really care about privacy, you probably should set up your own pod or pick another one on

Because at the moment, it’s written nowhere that joindiaspora is using amazon. I’m sure a single explanation sentence like this one would greatly improve the situation. @maxwellsalzberg do you agree to put that?