A few years ago (2015-ish) I started a Facebook group called “An Alternative to Facebook for the Tango Community“. It was meant to attract interested community members to explore what is out there and to contain ideas and evaluations of possible options. Facebook back then was quite good and still had graph search, and wasn’t polluted by advertisement.

It’s almost 2024, and the situation has changed a bit:

  1. Facebook is no longer as effective for organizing the global tango scene. Changes to the algorithm, increased advertisement, search not working, and many more “feature changes” have not helped.
  2. Many more people have become more aware of privacy violations by Meta and would appreciate an alternative solution, away from Facebook or Instagram.
  3. The alternative solution space is more mature, and also more accepted.

I will share some ideas and thoughts about options in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

In any case: choosing and building an alternative platform to Facebook — just for the tango network — is a huge undertaking and will require efforts that no single person can bring to the table, and success is questionable. After all: it’s not just the tango network that has been absorbed into Facebook, it is everything out there: social networks have taken over the world, but people are realizing that this cannot be what we want to have, and they are thinking about and building alternatives.

These alternatives come in different flavors:

  1. “Social-Platforms-as-a-service” These proprietary platforms are sold as a subscription model, fully managed and supported. Some are pay-for-platform business models, and others are pay-per-user. Examples are many, and often targeted at companies: just some examples: Slack, Microsoft365, Facebook at Work, Yammer, and many more.
  2. Buy-and-host-yourself” platforms are also available. Some are proprietary, and others open-source, often with premium plugins for some functionality, and free basics. Examples: Humhub, JomSocial, BuddyPress
  3. Free-and-host-yourself” platforms and tools are also available. Examples: Diaspora, Hubzilla, Mastodon, …

Here are more links:

For the tango network to find a new home many aspects can be considered, and to be successful, a good compromise between features and effort/costs must be found, if that is even possible.

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