A few more thoughts for project TangoVerse: As detailed in What makes Facebook so useful?, one key feature for an alternative to Facebook for the tango community are events, both from the organizing and marketing side, but also from the participating side, especially for events that attract traveling dancers. I think local milongas are often well served with local newsletters and event calendars like RNT – Rhein-Neckar-Tango, and social chatter around these events is often much less than between the globally dispersed friends and acquaintances who meet up in festivals, marathons and encuentros.
I have looked into a few of the building blocks that are currently available, mostly “free” and “open source” options. Here is what I found:
The “all in one” solutions that have the best event features are humhub (see https://humhub.dekay.org) and una.io (I have failed to set it up myself, so check https://una.io/discussions-home). Humhub can even subscribe to ical feeds, so it’s easy to just mirror the events from RNT, or a google calendar.
Additionally, in the “build on top of CMS“-world, social solutions built on WordPress (BuddyPress), Joomla (JomSocial) and Drupal (OpenSocial) are available, with huge potential for using the plugin ecosystems of their underlying CMSs.
In Fediverse, the picture is more complex: not all of the social platforms have events: Mastodon, for example, doesn’t have any. Friendica has a very simple calendar system, and Hubzilla has a slightly better one; (streams) supposedly has one as well, but so far I have not been on a (streams) platform yet.
But Fediverse also has event-specific platforms like Mobilizon, Gancio and Gathio are standalone federated solutions. Mobilizon has reached “maturity” as proclaimed by their developers, and Gathio is a new kid on the block. They also all handle RSVPs differently, and it even depends on if your social feed is on Mastodo on Hubzilla which kind of experience you are getting. Any of the three works, and might work for a TangoVerse, as well.
Then there are solutions from Indieweb like Meetable, and while WordPress is being opened up towards ActivityPub and thus the fediverse, even more options are popping up, like the attempt to let common WordPress events plugins speak Activitypub (by @blog and team).
Generally, each of the three approaches (“all in one” , “build on top of CMS”, or “Fediverse”) have their attractiveness. However, one key difference so far is the capability to decentralize the TangoVerse, while maintaining interop between decentralized parties. The “all in one” and “build on top of CMS” platforms are silos, and don’t even interop with other instances of their own kind, whereas Fediverse and Indieweb are built on the idea of decentralized interop.
It will depend on how we can envision the general operation model of a TangoVerse, which will determine which of the models are thinkable, and which are not.
Decentralization has the major advantage that multiple parties could build out parts of the TangoVerse (like today), while still being capable of interop. Here the combined effort could be bigger than any individual party’s efforts. How to make it work for the non-techies is a different question, which is also addressed by the Freeweb initiatives (Fediverse, Indieweb, …) at large.
Centralization means that someone, or a group of people, needs to take responsibility for it all, and needs to figure out how to operate it so that the collective tango communities can find what they need, and critical mass is achieved for it to work.
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