Attention Democracy


Convener: Will (@wjmaggos@liberal.city)

Participants who chose to record their names here:


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

People decide what goes viral.

Not everyone is on social media.

Worry: too concerned about other things.

What would we like the world to look like? We can build that if we don’t like the way it looks, build something we do like.

Are we envisioning something new? Or just building an open source version of the corporate tools?

People are looking for something different that solves the problems they have today.

How are we communicating with “normies” and trying to understand what their needs are? What do they want that would make them switch?

We have a civics benefit.

What does open mean? How does that benefit users?

A lot of the fediverse doesn’t want “open open”.

Public view is scary / dangerous.

People use private groups like Slack, WhatsApp, Discord.

How do you find people?

Network used to be a valuable thing; making it worse was horrifying. First spam message made people horrified. People don’t care any more. People remove themselves from the public square. What are the long-term effects of that?

The public square isn’t safe for everyone.

Private groups are missing from Mastodon / Fediverse.

People can’t leave Facebook because of groups. Their friends are there.

Sometimes moderation on the Fediverse is too tight. If you had groups, the groups could moderate themselves.

How do we implement private groups? Is that possible? Encryption is essentially the only option.

Twitter is really hard to understand if you’re not used to it.

Looks like Facebook or Instagram, but it’s not.

Not as easy to understand, especially with global feeds.

There’s a learning curve.

Mastodon clients are similar, you see a lot of content even if you’re not connected to people on the server.

Hard to understand what’s going on when you just land on the feed for the first time.

Are we interested in public conversation and others are not?

Not having 5 companies control what we see.

“I think we need both: the giant public place AND the smaller private groups” - narF “But right now the fediverse is mostly about the big public space. Creating your own small private group is too difficult for normal users.” - narF

Really object to the idea that wanting a limited audience for certain things is hiding.