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    No, you just need an alternative like https://gettogether.community/ with a federation mechanism e.g. something built on ActivityPub

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      So, why doesn’t it have a federation mechanisms yet?

      I’d argue that there is a crucial misunderstanding in the way in which federation mechanism and exchange protocols work and - in and off itself make so that they - are abused in competitive markets, aka anything with a network effect and thus winner-takes-all strategy. We’ve seen numerous times how federation systems and exchange protocols have been used to bootstrap a new competition, but - because it can’t be enforced among members - then been abandoned by the highest invested player. Think Google Talk on XMPP or - most recently - gmail’s “live updating emails”. The same is true here, where a network effect on discovery benefits the most popular platform until they can’t be deplattformed anymore because they control the data silo and just switch off federation, drying up and killing all other competition. With a blockchain, no single entity does control that data anymore, thus competition can compete and anyone breaking from the collaboration has a much harder time as they are surely smaller than the combined registry of all.

      So, the question is “what problem do you want to fix”. And federation surely isn’t the sustainable answer to “remove the centrally controller plattform in a network-effect run marketplace”.

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        The “new” kind of federation (Pleroma etc) is bottoms-up, not commercially driven. It remains to be seen if it has staying power, but so far the Fediverse is a lot more active than most blockchain-based solutions[1].

        [1] apart from speculation, which is a zero-sum game anyway.

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          I agree. I am always surprised at the variety of instances on the fediverse. I use a personal mastodon instance, but there are hundreds of active servers out there all running different software on different domains, yet talking to each other.

          It’s not perfect, but it works.

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      From a crypto economics and blockchain standpoint, it doesn’t provide much as of yet, but it contains all the plumbing should a future consortium decide to introduce tokens or other mechanics to incentivize certain behaviors (like using kickback-schemes to improve show-up rates or for spam management)

      barf

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        Cryptocurrency back and forth, it’s not the worst thing. Charging a small fee that is reimbursed at the meetup when showing up is a documented effective fix against no shows and the meetup.com message system is effectively only spam.

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          This is a good point. However, using a token is not a good solution.

          First off, I’ve never used Meetup.com, so I have no idea about their business model. The article says

          Recently, Meetup.com announced their new money-grabbing pricing policy, effectively charging $2 per RSVP on free events.

          I read that as if you want to RSVP to an event, it will cost you $2. Is this the case? The fee will not be reimbursed?

          The attraction of cryptocurrencies here is that you can effectively extract the same fee, but then reimburse it on the presentation of some proof of attendance. So far so good. But it falls for the general fallacy of crypto-boosters, that future consumers will have to buy a plethora of different tokens just to interact with a service - each token requires its own exchange rate, thus increasing adoption friction enormously.

          A better way would be to keep the fee for discouraging no-shows, but have a way for the fee to be reimbursed at attendance. This is effectively what Paypal does to verify your credit card. But the point is to stay in the normal currency system, not introduce a new random token/coin.

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            There is no mention of (any) cryptocurrencies in the text. I only tagged it the way because it was closest to “blockchain” of all tags.

            1. There is no token or coin in this proof of concept - which is kind of the point it tried to make: recreating a web2.0 experience on web3 architecture without introducing anything new to the regular user.
            2. In my view, as a consortium chain, the actual communities decide about any future upgrades and additional features - there is no plan to charge for either events or groups or anything in particular, I am just saying it technically could. If and how is up to them to decide - as it is with any service provider.
            3. Luckily, if they tried something the majority wouldn’t agree with, you could always hard-fork the chain because you have both the code and the data and offer your own. I In the current world of meetup.com you can’t. I think the pure existence of this possibility is threatening enough for the chain to not do something that stupid or roll it back really quickly…
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              If blockchain, you can use crypto and distributed. Blockchains are distributed, crypto systems.

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              I read that as if you want to RSVP to an event, it will cost you $2. Is this the case? The fee will not be reimbursed?

              Yes, the fee is not what is described above, meetup.com is trying to capitalise on attendees instead of the organisers. For some of my meetups, it’s a huge price hike, some of them have thousands of attendees over the year.

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                Almost all these threads on need for decentralization complain about for-profit companies with no real responsibility to their users. Instead of addressing that, the alternatives move onto really wild ideas like cryptocurrencies.

                I’m still thinking it’s better to chang the business model with chartered and contractual promises enforcing good behavior and mitigating known risks. Lets us reuse all technology and case law supporting centralized organizations. Ghost for publishing is still one of my favorite examples that runs as a non-profit with open code. There’s also coops and public-benefit companies.

                The jump to decentralization makes little sense given most complaints can be addressed by ditching companies and incentives that push for screwing users/customers over in favor of those that don’t. It’s not the centralization that was the problem most of the time.

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                  But the text does not mention cryptocurrencies at all? It’s main point is using blockchain technologies for a new web.

                  I’m current hard hit by meetup (to be open, me and @gnunicorn are both involved in https://www.meetup.com/opentechschool-berlin/, a meetup of 12000 members and over 1000 events!), but migrating away is really hard. We can try to export all data, but we will definitely loose all connections.

                  What the post is getting at is the potential of building platforms that can, as an extreme measure, be hard forked. Including all data.

                  The jump to decentralization makes little sense given most complaints can be addressed by ditching companies and incentives that push for screwing users/customers over in favor of those that don’t. It’s not the centralization that was the problem most of the time.

                  It always was and we had this coming. It’s the same reason people use YouTube: the connecting effect can’t be replicated without the internal secret sauce. I can export my videos, but I can’t run the platform. And we’re really not in power here: no B2C company goes beyond terms of services for their customers, which can be changed one-sided at any time and your only option is to leave. Meetup wasn’t always a terrible company, but they were acquired.

                  It’s not even that this problem is something that @gnunicorn has come up with a new problem, the issue that software freedom is threatened by data becoming more important then the data is widely described already.

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                    “But the text does not mention cryptocurrencies at all?”

                    I was responding to the tangent discussion going on in the comments mentioning cryptocurrencies, including yours.

                    “but migrating away is really hard. We can try to export all data, but we will definitely loose all connections.”

                    “Meetup wasn’t always a terrible company, but they were acquired.”

                    You’ve run into the oft-repeated problem that using closed platforms can bite you if they decide to screw you over. I’ll add another that for-profit companies aiming for acquisition or going public are quadruple the risk of that.

                    Although many things were recommended, open data formats and protocols have long been suggested as ways to combat that. Formats and protocols with either open implementations or easy to build them for. Later on, we added letting users get a copy of all their stuff. A proprietary solution with these features would allow F/OSS forking with potentially-fewer problems stemming from it being proprietary.

                    “ I can export my videos, but I can’t run the platform. “

                    Same thing I said before. Youtube isn’t just a centralized company: it’s a closed platform designed for lock-in and surveillance-based revenue. Of course you’re going to have a hard time independently replicating the service or getting out.

                    If you want to dodge this, you start with an organizational style with different incentives. From there, you can make the core or an acceptable alternative to it F/OSS. There’s companies that do that. You can pay for the hosting with their advantages. Alternatively, you can use whatever the community has built on top of the core.

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                      Not sure what the disagreement even is then.

                      If you want to dodge this, you start with an organizational style with different incentives.

                      Is exactly what the text is proposing. And blockchain and a democratically governed consortium are the tools it proposes to use.

                      You have proposed alternative way to achieve the same end goal, but not layed out any arguments against the way proposed.

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                        To be clear, I was responding to tangent discussion on cryptocurrencies. I haven’t had time and sleep to read your article. I’ll respond to you when I do.

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                          Oh, sorry, I was thinking we were discussing the premise of the article the thread started with…

                          Even for a tangent discussion, I think the source article it is based ofd should be the first read…

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                      Thanks for expanding on this.

                      I believe there is a typo in your last sentence, I have a hard time parsing it:

                      the issue that software freedom is threatened by data becoming more important then the data is widely described already.

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                        I Think it should be “than the software is widely” …

                        Talking about FOSS premises mostly thinking too short if they don’t include data (ownership) questions.

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                      I’m still thinking it’s better to chang the business model with chartered and contractual promises enforcing good behavior and mitigating known risks. … There’s also coops and public-benefit companies.

                      This is, effectively, what the post is proposing though, just not strictly bound to one jurisdiction, but as a globally acting consortium of communities. They would running the servers and decide upon updates - and if run democratically, would resemble the base structure of a cooperative. A DAO, if you will - just not for the money.

                      And, as @skade said, one that has to act transparently, down to the network of data it is run on. Effectly an open data organization. Anyone could have access to, write a cli, web UI or additional services for it. Including the ability to actually fork it and thus enforce “good citizenship “…

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                        What I previously proposed here was a multinational version of public-benefit companies and non-profits. The rich multinationals show they can mitigate many government risks by leveraging location (aka law dodging), special deals with ruling class, lobbyists, and lawyers. That’s the proven way to get results. I think we could have public-benefit versions of multinationals whose charters include things such as keeping protocols/formats open, not spying on users, etc. One could use centralized technology with decentralized checking.

                        One of my examples was here on centralized payments w/ decentralized checking instead of traditional blockchains. A hashchain (older concept) is a possibility in implementation. They could just share signed snapshots of databases or deltas of them, too. They don’t even have to do it live if roll-backs are built into the system. They can straight up mail each other HD’s or flash drives. If reducing Internet risks, they can send data slowly over expensive, private lines. That was a common strategy with traditional banks.

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                          Sure, settings up a multi-national non-profit conglomerate could be done, but it’s just hella expensive to do, and will take quite some time to pull off. I am not against this, but this requires a lot more money than it would ever be worth to run a non-profit meetup.com. Realistically, this is not gonna happen.

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                            There’s several Lobsters with a foundation or non-profit. All you need is one for each of several countries. The number determined by what voting threshold you desire. Alternatively, I previously proposed established organizations can fund it as one of their activities. Those which already do stuff like fighting for data protections, contributing to FOSS, etc.

                            Meanwhile, most of the blockchain ideas are being done by startups or ICO’s or whatever needing six digits and up. The amount of investment into some couldve built entire banks. I’m asking for much less in my model.

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                      Thanks, I found a writeup at the Verge about this. Sounds more like a desperation play (“Meetup was purchased by WeWork in 2017”) than the Uber playbook of starving the competition with VC money, then pivoting to rent-seeking.

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                  Are you barfing because it could introduce it or because it doesn’t have it yet?

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                  I clicked through to https://gather.wtf and clicked on an event, then “Attend”. I got an endless spinner and this error in the console:

                  Error: submitAndWatchExtrinsic (extrinsic: Extrinsic): ExtrinsicStatus:: 1010: Invalid Transaction: Payment

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                    Yeah, it’s a hackathon project and though the backend/blockchain is complete, the UI is far from that…

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                      Not just an UI has to be added, there also have to be policies about privacy and who gets to see what. Not everyone wants their regular visits to a fetish club recorded on a public, immutable blockchain.

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                    How did the title here change to “setup.com” instead of “meetup.com”?

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                      sigh mobile autocorrect combined with a very small text field.. Unfortunately can’t edit after replies anymore :(

                      (The title fetched was not the one from the article, so I tried to paraphrase it)

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                        I’ve suggested an update to the title (and removed event, it’s not applicable here).

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                          Thanks!

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                        Amazingly, setup.com seems to be free (well, http://setup.com does not show anything).

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                          setup.com seems to be free

                          It’s been owned since late 2000 :P

                          $ whois setup.com
                          % IANA WHOIS server
                          % for more information on IANA, visit http://www.iana.org
                          % This query returned 1 object
                          
                          Domain Name: Setup.com
                          Updated Date: 2019-08-11T00:00:00.000Z
                          Creation Date: 2000-08-10T10:33:11.000Z
                          
                          >>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2019-10-31T05:23:45.489Z <<<
                          
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                            That makes sense, I figured that any five-letter English word .com domain would have a giant page asking you to buy it if you visited it…