Session: Reporting on Fediverse Development


Convener: Sean Tilley (@deadsuperhero@firefish.social)

Participants who chose to record their names here:

  • Ryan Barrett (@snarfed.org@snarfed.org)

  • Laurens Hof (@laurenshof@firefish.social)

  • Matthias Pfeffele (@pfefferle@mastodon.social)


Independent bloggers / publications exist that report on development of Fediverse apps and platforms! We also report on the social aspect, which is occasionally thorny and difficult.

Known publications:

We talk about some of what we’ve been doing, things we’ve tried, and some of the challenges.

We Distribute

  • Originally a Hubzilla channel designed to share news on Friendica / Diaspora / Hubzilla development

  • Pivoted to WordPress with the development of an ActivityPub plugin called Pterotype, which was later abandoned.

  • Supported by Feneas (Federated Network Association ry) for a while

  • Mostly been an independent effort where Sean writes most of the articles.

  • Revived in 2023 after a long hiatus

  • Experiments with reporting on all things Fediverse, on the Fediverse itself. The blog is ActivityPub-powered and can be followed (@news@wedistribute.org)

  • Uses a POSSE model for posting - we have accounts on Mastodon

The Fediverse Report

  • A newsletter developed by Laurens Hof

  • Largely operates as a linkblog with occasional long-form articles

  • Often an essential resource for We Distribute to find new topics to cover, great for discovery.

What do we write about?

  • News (Tech, Culture, Media)

  • Interviews

  • Reviews

  • Guides

  • The Mixtape - playlists of fediverse musicians found via RadioFreeFedi


  • Running a Volunteer Organization is Hard! You need to give writers incentive.

  • What audience are we writing for? Deciding on this defines the nature of your content.

  • The Space is expanding so rapidly, there’s so much to report on

  • Lack of a revenue model - no ads, no selling of data, primarily have to rely on donations.

  • Lots of engagement within the Fediverse, very limited engagement outside of it.

  • It’s hard to find a balance between technical developments and cultural ones.

  • It’s difficult to write controversial pieces when the authors are highly integrated into that social space.

  • For every article that we write, there’s a tremendous amount of research that has to go into it - spelunking through wiki entries, documentation, feature demos, status updates, and other sources.

  • As a community publication, the potential for burnout is incredibly high when too much is expected of one person.

Ideas - How can things be better?

  • Accepting that journalism is a difficult beast, and that a clear delineation needs to exist between opinion pieces and reporting of the facts.

  • Tighter collaboration between contributors running these kinds of publications, possibly merging together to create a greater organization.

  • Better highlighting / promotion of places to donate

  • Working to better appeal to newcomers and people from outside of the space

  • Serving as a resource to established publications to better understand the Fediverse

  • Build up research internally to save time?