Social networks cleanup

Being sort of frustrated with parts of the status quo, I’m in the midsts of wiping some of my accounts registered with “alternative” social networks such as Diaspora, Friendica or GNU Social. Not that they generally suck, but in some ways I have altogether lost time and motivation to really deal with these.

Yes they are community-driven, and maybe I would be better off not ranting but helping making them better. But then again: Why? I’ve been convincing people to move to Diaspora for quite a while. And I can merrily report to have converted exactly 0 out of nnn contacts I tried this with. So far, nobody cared. No, the open social networks aren’t ghost towns – in fact, they are pretty much populated, way more than Google+ in its early days. But in the end, I guess, with the state they reached by now, most if not all of these approaches will remain tools for a small minority of users because they get one basic thing wrong: Sure it’s interesting to think about distributed and decentralized social networks running on top of Software Libre, ready and available for you for the taking and running on your own server. Yet: That’s not really what I want. I don’t want to be forced to go through all this again, to set up a host of my own, to maintain PHP and database software of my own, to deal with all the pains and nuissances arising from this. Given that amount of time remaining for dealing with those things, I’m more than busy keeping this WordPress instance more or less maintained. I don’t want or need new social networks just for the sake of adding more contacts to the list – I want to have an all-in solution that “simply” allows for communicating with a wide range of people all over, no matter which network they are on, without requiring me to join all the networks and have a bunch of accounts, apps, whatever running out there, each one just to stay in touch with < 5 contacts that matter. I don't want or need any more walled gardens, and I don't need to move to a new network and make new contacts just to have a reason to stay there. I'd actually even pay for a service that would allow to just do the kind of communication I want with the contacts that matter to me without having to think that there's a problem because they're on Facebook and I'm on Twitter. It just gets old and annoying and boring, and none of the open alternative social networks (well maybe except Friendica) manages to even remotely provide a solution to this problem. Knowing some of the disputes I had about that issue at least on Diaspora, I wonder whether people actually care - or whether most (if not all?) of these platforms actually are "just" too much centered around the core technology, about dealing with distribution mechanisms and decentralized communications to even remotely consider providing a migration path for end-users wanting to leave behind Facebook without having to leave behind their friends and contacts there, too. And we're, in here, not even talking about the "filter bubble" effect in some of these alternative platforms, mostly caused by the fact that people who are up and active in there seem way more "homogenous" than in a more widespread network such as Twitter or Facebook...

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