Mike Linksvayer

Mike Linksvayer at

I recently got invited to some team's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slack_(software) account, some kind of team messaging proprietary and very recent thing, which nonetheless has tons of customers. Even ignoring freedom, I can't see the value (doesn't even seem to have replies, just a wall of noise), and don't want to invest time in finding value (because freedom). But it is huge. And others like Yammer are huger, $Billions huge IIRC.

Sort of related to a comment made by @cwebber https://identi.ca/cwebber/comment/gqbrBRbvTVK47cuXR6nxMw about how for a time StatusNet was able to pay some people to work full time on the software. IIUC that's because it was making a play for enterprise messaging. IMO that was a very solid bet, and kudos to Evan for making it.

I have to admit, "the federation" meme turns me off, though perhaps that's because I hate memes. Go federation, but I don't give it much chance. If Facebook or Twitter stumbles, some other silo with lots of capital will pick up the slack.

I home that someone else, or Evan again (but he seems to be doing fuzzy.io now) makes another play at creating a huge entity that happens to work on free and federated software. I wonder if enterprise, or at least team, messaging is evergreen for the right play. Could federation, with the right privacy/sharing nudges be one compelling feature for some organizations' messaging needs?

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@bkuhn I suspect you overestimate the centrality of StatusNet (which at the point you must be thinking of, was almost just identi.ca) among FLOSS developers (well, maybe the ones you talk to, but that's a subset) and generally the impact even all FLOSS developers each "standing alone" can make. AFAICT you predict a dark ages and want to hunker down, hopefully encouraging a few more developers to also hunker down, standing alone, and have a fantasy that if that happens, the proprietary world will somehow self-destruct (eg patent war). That's a recipe for permanent dark ages. I also predict some form of dark ages but am uninterested in hunkering down. I think it is at least possible to increase policy and market demand for software freedom, and that's what the main activity of software freedom advocates ought to be. Of course that isn't a developer-centric activity, and I see that is a good thing: away with fetishizing both developer choice and their enabling lawyers!

Mike Linksvayer at 2014-12-21T18:37:11Z

Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

@mtift indeed! thus the last paragraph of my note. :)

Mike Linksvayer at 2014-12-21T18:40:21Z

Team messaging solutions are exactly the kind of area where free software and federation should be able to get a foothold.

The most important network is the team and you can simply choose for the team to use the same tool. The federation part then becomes a bonus.

Back in 2008 I was perplexed that Yammer got any attention at all, when there was already StatusNet that could do the same things and more. What did they do right? Massive VC-backed marketing?

These days when everyone is becoming aware of control of data and the potential risks of cloud hosting, why aren't more corporations interested in products you can easily host yourself and even host internally? And why do so many of those that do have that interest go to SharePoint?

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2014-12-23T01:17:45Z

lnxwalt@microca.st, Mike Linksvayer likes this.

@clacke well put, exactly half of why I posted above note (other half various hand-wringing I suppose). Yammer probably had more capital and a sales team and enterprisey integrations enabled by that, as I imagine does Slack. But plausible evergreen state of enterprise market a reason this isn't just kvetching.

Mike Linksvayer at 2014-12-23T23:04:22Z