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Decentralised & Free Social Networks

For those who are #newhere from other social networks, here’s a bit of handy vocabulary to #help you navigate this new social network universe:

- Protocol - An agreed format that enables software applications to communicate with (or “federate” with) each other. The two most heavily used protocols around here are Diaspora and ActivityPub. As an end user, you don’t have to care about the protocol you are using and you don’t ever see the “protocol” other than it enables or limits which users you can see.
Nevertheless, be aware that currently not all the platforms (see this word later) are fully compatible and limit you in the possibility of interactions.
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If you look at the Venn diagram I posted, from diaspora you can only communicate with the networks implementing diaspora protocol (The Federation), as SocialHome Pleroma, Friendica, hubzilla and PostActiv. Only the last 3 plateforms are able to talk to Mastodon and all the other networks of the Fediverse.

@jedisnow If you would like to have just one account to interact with Diaspora *and* Mastodon users, then get an account on Friendica or Hubzilla (or PostActiv, but I haven't tried that one). This cross-protocol capability is one of the reasons I love Friendica. When I migrated to Friendica from Diaspora, I kept all of my Diaspora friends and made some new ones on Mastodon and other platforms.

@Vladimir thank you. That makes sense now.

Thank you @alysonsee (Fca) your answer is so much clearer.

Oh, I reposted this but I removed the tag cluster at the end... was there anything important there? Best I can tell it was just another attachment of the Venn diagram that somehow got botched up.

You did correctly. No worries. Spread around and improve.

@Alyson See thank you for that information. I'll have to look into that. If only there was one out there that had the privacy and security of diaspora and mastodon, but still allowed me to keep in touch with my Facebook friends. Because of the popularity of FB, I don't see most of my friends leaving anytime soon.

No, as far as I know there are no bridges to FB or TW in #Friendica nor in d*.

Sadly, the most you can do is cross-post to FB but then you have to maintain/interact on two different threads for one post. Facebook doesn't publish its protocol, and I doubt it ever will. So, it is not possible for non-Facebook platforms to integrate with it.

@Vladimiryeah, that's what I thought. I'm really frustrated with Facebook and want to get away from there, but that has been the best way for me to keep in touch with friends and family around the world.

I have kept my Facebook account for that very reason. For a while, I checked back on Facebook every few weeks. But the more I've made friends here, the less I check in over there. I will still keep it just in case I ever want to find an old friend (e.g., if I'm traveling through their town). But I feel so icky about what Facebook does with people's data that I hate to feed the machine.

I've a FB account and like @alysonsee (Fca) I check only very precise goal, every 3-4 months. Also I've stripped my profile down to the bones.

@Alyson See that's what I've been thinking about doing too and spend less time there as I can get friends and family over here. @Vladimir that's a really good idea. I think I'll do the same thing.

On another note, do either of you know how I can use diaspora on google chrome? Every time I try to log into diaspora on google, I get the "CRSF not valid. Please sign in and try again later" message.

I don't understand the issue. I'm using ChromeOS and Chrome with no issue at all. Sorry.

Trying clearing your cookies and cache. Here are instructions:

It's possible that your podmin updated the Diaspora software and you've got a stale token lying around--in particular, the token that gets generated to prevent Cross-Site Request Forgeries, where you click on something, thinking it does one thing, and it sneakily sends your data to another site, creating a security vulnerability. Clearing the cache and cookies will force the client side software to request a fresh token from the server, and then all should be well.

@alysonsee (Fca) is obviously literate fortunately !

@Vladimir that's ok. I have a Microsoft gaming laptop that I use, but whenever I try to log into diaspora using google chrome, that was the message I was getting. I have no issues using diaspora with Microsoft edge, however I don't really like Microsoft edge

So, obviously the parameters setup of your chrome has an issue.

@Vladimir probably. The problem is that I'm not quite that literate. Do you happen to know how I can fix that?

😁 call me not literate too, lambda user actually.
I'm not using my d* account anymore but I had not a single issue with chrome and my credentials were properly recorded. Uh! that is something you should check : is chrome allowed to record cookies and if not is d* on white list ? Maybe it would be a good idea to check how you log if chrome cookies recording is fully allowed.
A part from this ...

@Alyson See nope, that didn't work. I looked at the instructions on this link, but didn't understand what they meant.

Well, that's frustrating. Beyond troubleshooting by disabling add-ons (as suggested in the link you gave), I'm stumped. I suggest you reach out to the podmin. If you don't have access to him/her on Diaspora, the landing page of your pod says that you can contact them via email: . FWIW, it looks like they haven't update the software since August 2014. That doesn't give me a hopeful feeling that they are paying attention and responsive. 🙁

I'll keep noodling on this and see if I can think of anything else. If you decide you want to jump ship to another pod or platform, let me know and I'll try to steer you in a good direction.

@Alyson See Your last suggestion sounds like the best plan. I would love to be able to switch to either. I'm open to another platform. The confusing part is trying to find a pod that seems to fit what I'm looking for and my interests. I'm so sorry that I'm so dumb.

I join the club @jedisnow

Not dumb at all. It's a brand new world out here. There's not really a pre-existing model to explain how it works. Along those lines, what's your reasoning for thinking that your pod and your interests need to be aligned? My friends are spread across many, many pods. A little more than half are on various Diaspora pods, about 1/3 are on various Mastodon pods, and the rest are on Friendica and Hubzilla pods.

I've had accounts on Diaspora, Mastodon, Hubzilla, Osada, and Friendica. I've been on a pod that had a lot of performance issues, and it was so frustrating that it soured my experience. I was much happier when I moved. You can look over the projects (platforms) and nodes (pods) at . Pick a pod that has up-to-date software and high percentage of users that are active. Or let me know which platform/project you want to go with and I'll tell you what I know which nodes seem to have a good reputation for reliability and responsiveness. I'm, of course, partial to Friendica on , as... show more

@Alyson See I guess my thinking was with the description of the pods (i.e. Mastodon) it made it seem that the people in the pods would be the ones I interact with the most until I make some real contacts and bring friends over from FB. So my thinking was finding one that seemed to be along the same interests as myself.

I do know that I want one that works well and I'm honestly not picky. I just want one that's going to have privacy and security (exactly the opposite of FB), and that's when I'd heard about diaspora and mastodon. But to be honest, those were the only 2 I'd heard of. I'm very open to suggestions, and if you think Friendica would be good, reliable, private, and secure, then that's awesome.

One question though, do any of the others give you the option to customize your color scheme (i.e. dark, light, etc.)? I'm partial to the dark color scheme myself, but that's not a necessity, just something that would be nice to have like diaspora and mastodon.

Mastodon is the one exception where pods are organized around common interests. That's because Mastodon's UI is heavily focused on the "local timeline". I have a Mastodon account on . That pod is small is for dog lovers who post about dog things.

But Friendica or Hubzilla would let me follow all of those same people anyway plus keep my Diaspora friends.

They all have dark schemes.

Time for dinner here. I'll check back in a bit.

@Alyson See Ok, then Friendica sounds good. It's about time for dinner for me too, so say 9pm EST I'll be back on and you could help me with getting it set up and on a good pod? I appreciate all the help thus far.

I just checked and Friendica doesn't have a ready-made dark theme. 🙁 So, if that's a deal breaker, then let me check on the Friendica support forum to see what people do for that need. If not, Hubzilla definitely has one.

The admin on is excellent. So, if you want Friendica, set up an account there. And if you go with Hubzilla, set up an account on

Looks like we are going to watch "Bohemian Rhapsody" here tonight. So, if we don't get back together tonight, we'll get it worked out over the next few days!

@Alyson See I'll be up for quite a while still, so it's all good. I hope you enjoy your movie. The dark theme is not a deal breaker, but another question would be, do either of them have an iPhone app?

@jedisnow The Frio theme uses bootstrap.js and runs great on mobile. If you go to the site on iOS and then tap the send-to button (not sure if that's the proper name for it, it's between the url box and the tab + button on my iPad), there's an option in there to add to home screen, which basically makes it an app for all intents and purposes.

Aside: In ancient times, this was basically what 'apps' were on original iPhones. But this left Apple with a lack of control...

Anyways, I do get the desire to have 'an app for that', but it runs great like this using the Frio theme. Hope this helps. I too recommend Friendica, it's great and works with almost everyone else!
This entry was edited (1 month ago)

Also, it's very easy in Friendica to edit the Frio theme in your settings. There's a box for things like bg color and you enter color values. You can probably get a nice looking dark theme with just 3 or 4 color changes. It may even have a preset to make it dark, I seem to recall one.

I’ll echo what @Adam Gaskins said about the Frio theme: It works great in a mobile browser. You just don’t get push notifications. (Also, I didn’t realize that frio had a dark option. Bonus.)

I’ve not tried them but I hear that the DiCa and Fedilab apps work pretty well.

@Adam Gaskins @Alyson See said there was no preset on Friendica, and that's ok. I don't HAVE to have dark theme, it's just a nice thing to have. It's no big deal. I'm on Friendica now trying to find a good pod to get started on. I've also thought about her suggestion of the Hubzilla link she left

@jedisnow I just double checked, and there is a Frio preset called koyu-dark that is all very dark except the box around posts are white. There is a slider that can adjust the opacity of that white box, though, basically making it darker against the bg. And like i said, you can specify your own colors for Frio by selecting the 'custom' preset. Hubzilla seems nice too though, I don't think you can make a wrong choice here! Good luck!

@Adam Gaskins Thanks. I think I found my pod, just not sure though. There's some symbols and whatnot when looking at the pods that don't make any sense to me.

Can you post a screen shot or some example here? I’m sure someone in this thread could help you decipher them!

@Adam Gaskins how do I post a screenshot? I see to share a picture link, but not how to share a picture itself.

Y'all are doing an incredible work preaching the Friendica gospel, it warms my cold developer heart. 😭

@Adam Gaskins oh well, that doesn't help me. I don't have that option for me in diaspora. 🙁

Sorry, I thought you meant you were already on a Friendica instance... I don’t know anything about diaspora. You have to a) upload the image somewhere it can viewed publicly, and then b) link it here - probably via bbcode [ i m g ] link url [ / i m g ] <<< but without the spaces (they wouldn’t show up here if I didn’t type it like that... unless there’s a trick I don’t know). Worst case just paste the link by itself and we can copy paste.

@Adam Gaskins @Alyson See I found the node on Friendrica. My account is now pending approval from the administrator.

Cool. What node did you go with? Just curious. Personally I’m not a fan of the idea of turning on manual account approval, but maybe the maintainer had a good reason... I don’t want to judge prematurely.

@Steffen K9 🐰 I have lured @jedisnow over to from Diaspora. Please approve their account request at your convenience.

I already did. Didn't I? 😀
Also, your user name has changed again. 🤔 On purpose this time?

@Steffen K9 🐰 You have added me. I thank you for that. She posted that last night before the approval went through. I am happily getting settled in here at Friendica 😀

@Adam Gaskins Thank you for your help though. I appreciate it.

@Adam Gaskins No it's ok. I understand. It threw me off guard too, but it's

It's based in Germany, so I don't know if he's trying to keep an eye on who joins and who doesn't or not. It's not a public node listing though. I found it because of @Alyson See

Oh okay, you’re in great hands then. There’s a per-day signup quota, it may have just reached the limit... I haven’t messed with that feature, so I’m just guessing here.

@Alyson See awesome. I'll have to give that a try, once I get my account approval from the administrator

@Alyson See thank you. Will I get an email upon approval?

@jedisnow don't worry, be happy and trust @Steffen K9 🐰 known as our "big brother" KNOWS HOW.

@Alyson See thank you for your help. I am now up and running on Friendica. I'm using the same username there and same profile pic.

I see you. Welcome!

@alysonsee (Fca) thank you. I love the way I can completely customize my personal homescreen. This is already easier to use than diaspora or mastodon. 😁

As a courtesy for your Free Network contacts, it is customary to have different display names and profile pictures between accounts on different platforms so that they're instantly recognizable.

@Hypolite Petovan thank you. My intention was to get this one on Friendica up and running and then close out my account on diaspora. Since I had only had the diaspora account for a couple of days, there was no contacts to worry about losing when closing out the account. I appreciate your help.

You're welcome, and I know it's a lot of information to ingest in a short amount of time. Welcome to the Free Network!

It really is. Especially with transitioning from Google + and Facebook to a social network that truly has personal privacy as an important concern.

I see you too, welcome to #Friendica and #libranet instance. Have a lot of fun !

@Vladimir thank you for answering my questions and helping me with the switch to #Friendica