users don't know that there are other pods beside #2189

ghost opened this Issue Oct 15, 2011 · 17 comments


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6 participants

ghost commented Oct 15, 2011


Many people are frustrated because they don't recieve an invitation, but they don't get that the're MANY open pods without a need for invitations. I also needed some time to understand that, and i was (am) really interested in Diaspora! Many want to try this awesome piece of software, but they wait for invitations months and months...

what about placing a really present Link to on would make the day of many future diaspora users ;)

I got frustrated by the not-yet-message, too. Only after a few days I realized, that I should look for other pods. The rest was a piece of cake. A list of current servers was one of the first google hits. So a hint straight in the reply message would have made my day.

ghost commented Oct 16, 2011

just the same for me :D

Don't like to +1, but I think this is a big part of the reason some people are describing diaspora as vaporware. If the diaspora people are keen to get people on joindiaspora they need to make it easy to join. If they're happy for people to join other pods they should promote the other pods more visibly. Or maybe talk to or someone about hosting joindiaspora, since they seem to be doing a good job.

A lot of people don't understand about diaspora's distributed nature and are just keen to try something that isn't facebook. At the moment a lot of those people go to and get put off. This is absurd self-foot-shooting.

Raven24 commented Oct 16, 2011

Have you noticed the big box that pops up when you click "Sign up" on ?

Ok, maybe it's too much text in the sense that some users are notoriously reluctant to read anything, but in my opinion that brings across that message pretty well.

To be honest and cynical about it, I think you'll get significantly better adoption by offering people as few choices as possible. Ideally that would mean removing the waiting period from, but second best would be choosing a small number (maybe as small as one) of suitable pods and telling people to click one at random, rather than making them look at, which I think will put a significant section of the target audience off.

ghost commented Oct 16, 2011

what about adding a notice to the invitation email? (the one which you get if they just saved your mail, not invited you)

@Raven24: Well, I missed thei big and friendly notice. Recalling my first steps, I did not go to in the first place. Instead, my first steps in diaspora land went to . This simply was the first google hit on the keyword "diaspora".

There is no similar note on It just suggests to register right at this pod. This makes sense from an inside view. After all, this is a specific pod and does not represent diaspora as whole. But if you just entered as a newbie like I did, you just don't have this background information.So you sign in as suggested and are in for a frustrating wait for an invitation.

May I suggest again to add a note to the email that gets sent out in response to invitation requests? Would have saved me some frustration.


Pistos commented Oct 17, 2011

I'm not against telling new users that other pods exist, but it should be emphasized that is the only one guaranteed to be running the code the core devs are comfortable with -- or, to say it another way, that it runs the "official" codebase. All other pods may or may not run the same git branch, they may or may not be using the same commit of the same git branch. They could be running a fork, with newer features -- or newer bugs -- that the core branch does not have. Users should be educated about these facts (hopefully in wording that is as non-technical as possible) so they can be aware of what they're getting into when they go to a pod besides .

This is one reason why, even though I'm dying to invite some of my friends to Diaspora, I haven't done that yet because I only want to invite them to either (1) the official pod, or (2) a pod I run myself. In the case of (1), there is a long waiting list, and in the case of (2) I haven't made time to put up a publicly accessible pod yet.

ghost commented Oct 17, 2011

what about "trusted pods", which run the official code?

Pistos commented Oct 17, 2011

That could work, but it will need proper enforcement. You'd want to prevent the possibility of someone first running the official code, getting on the "official" list, and then later secretly changing their codebase.

ghost commented Oct 17, 2011

you have to TRUST's nearly impossible to control that...

I don't think, this is an issue that can be solved by technical means. Luckily, social processes are very efficient. Good old usenet works smoothly with distributed servers since more than two decades. The network of servers is made up of equal peers. There is a set of RFCs that were agreed upon some time in the past. A server that decides not to comply is cut off the feed chain by its peers. Since the usenet is all about connecting people, this is a compelling reason to admins to play by the rules.

The diaspora pods are very much like usenet servers. They are run independently by whoever decides to set one up. Users log in to a local pod. But the service lets them interact with every user users on any other pod. So there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Just copy the essentials of the way the usenet is run. That is, set up a bunch of sensible rules all pods are expected to comply to. Rule number one is to only share data with pods that do also comply. This does not have to be enforced by any automatic means. The mere threat to be cut off the network will result in very seldom offenders if any at all.

ghost commented Oct 18, 2011

yeah, something has been done: have a look at and click "Sign Up" xDD thx for this great change, will help many potential users to find a home ;)

This does not affect users like me, who went straight to . Note, this is the very first hit in google. The first option on the start page of suggests: "You can go to (...)". In addition, this specific pod has been linked to in many, blogs and websites.

Chances are, curious users don't get on the screen but are channeled to the joindiaspora page. Then they get no exposure to the nice, message on the choice of pods.


ghost commented Oct 19, 2011

@kaimartin, i totally agree with you, the first hit for "diaspora" is, it's really important to tell the user there about etc

vyktor commented Nov 30, 2011

Firstly I think should work "migration pod" and have a nicer side about pods and trusted pods.


We've done about much of this as we can at the moment, so I'm closing this issue.

@sarahmei sarahmei closed this Jan 10, 2012
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