Open Source and the Federated Social Web

The Structure of Communications Revolutions

Evan Prodromou

StatusNet Inc.


  1. Federation
  2. Protocols
  3. Projects

Communications revolutions

Email: 1993

Email: 1995

Documents: 1992

Documents: 1997

Personal publishing: 2001

Personal publishing: 2005

What's my point?

Why Open Source?

What is federation?

Other federated networks

What drives federation on the Internet?

What drives federation?

Metcalfe's Law

Metcalfe's Law and federation

Social software: 2010

One vision

Another vision

Social software: 2012?


Changing the game

The monolithic model

  1. Get venture capital
  2. Make social network software
  3. Get everyone in the world to use it
  4. WIN!

The federated model

  1. Have people
  2. Make or buy or install social network software
  3. Connect to the rest of the world
  4. WIN!

New players

Why should hackers care?

Protocol suites

Protocols: OpenID

Protocols: OAuth

Protocols: PubSubHubbub

Protocols: ActivityStreams

Protocols: Salmon

Protocols: WebFinger

Protocols: Portable Contacts

Protocol Suite: OStatus

Protocol Suite: XMPP

What's missing?

The Open Source enabler

Projects: Diaspora

Projects: DiSo

Projects: Elgg

Projects: GNU Social

Projects: BuddyPress

Projects: StatusNet

Projects: OneSocialWeb

Projects: Appleseed


Federated social web summit



What next?

How to help

Thank you!