Finding people, companies and references is most crucial for a professional social network.

Here is how we plan to tackle this for Flockingbird: Decentralised and Privacy-friendly:

@flockingbird Doubt this would support the way I used LinkedIn: make connections and look them up when following up. Very common.m

I often land in new groups/contexts with no connections yet and this approach would make finding the first connection very very hard.

Connecting should be super lightweight, discovery easy. A public (slow?) search spanning many many instances might help? Perhaps allow many 'local' contexts (eg: a conference, organisation or topic) rather than one?

@madnificent As for connecting, that is a good subject for another post. I'm sorry if the blogpost implies that searching is the only way to connect.

I'm not sure if I understand your comment about it "making finding thefirst connection [..] hard". Do you mean that without groups, discovery is hard?

Geographic, or local discovery is a neat idea, It's on the list now. We need to think this through very well, though, because it also is a potential privacy nightmare.

@flockingbird It's easy talking from my lazy chair, but the search problem is hard.

The first connection in a new group would be very hard to find. You most often find people by name, not because they shared their URL (especially so when the network is still smaller).

Regarding privacy: it could make sense to *choose* to make some info publicly available perhaps?

Regarding "local": I'd want to be on multiple federated instances in an integrated way. I cater to multiple groups. 🤔

@madnificent Regarding groups: there are no groups planned in Flockingbird.

Your instance is your group.

Finding on-instance people is easy: that is just an index of the instance-users.

The moment that your fellow-instance-user Bob connects to Jane on another instance, all (public) data and updates of Jane's profile are pushed onto your instance. Jane is now indexed on your instance.
If Bob is in your contacts, Jane will now pop up in your searches, without the need to look up remote data.

@flockingbird @madnificent What if an organization (e.g. #fsf) hosts an instance for all its members or employees and the a member moves to another organization?


@nurinoas AP has "moving" in it's protocol. E.g. mastodon has "moving instances" as a feature implemented (albeit still somewhat less userfriendly).

That would suffice, won't it?

@flockingbird @nurinoas Doesn't moving imply that you're still only part of one group? As in: if I'm at a conference I'm not at my company.

Not sure if this is common, but my personal and work life intermingle extensively and it'd be unpractical to have them on separate accounts. I also cater for multiple hobbies and a lot of value comes when there's accidental bridges between them. I'd consider these to be multiple networks.

This is a general #activitypub problem, I suppose?

@madnificent @nurinoas obviuosly you can connect with anyone you know the handle(URL) of. Connecting, following, leaving notes, tagging etc is all federated. You don't need to be on 'the conference instance' to connect to other conference participants.

The conference might have an instance for the volunteers, though. On which you have an account for that group. Maybe even for the duration of that conference only.

Similar to how a conf has a wiki, forum etc.

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