Mastodon Tips: how to use Friendica groups/forums and Lemmy communities

NB: this post is the automatic translation of this post which is, in turn, the simplified version of another, much more detailed post published a few weeks ago. We recommend that anyone who has time or curiosity read it anyway, also in order to learn interesting details about the Fediverse in general.

How Friendica groups/forums and Lemmy communities work
What are these particular users
What makes a Lemmy community different from a Friendica group/forum?
How to write a message addressed to a group/forum or a community
How to find or create friendica groups/forums and lemmy communities

Content index

With the latest releases of Friendica, the so-called “Forums” have been called “Groups”. In our article we had already used the name “Groups/Forums”, because we believed that the name Forum was ambiguous. We are happy that the Friendica developers decided to use this name, much more in line with the ActivityPub terminology. The indications provided for Lemmy communities are also valid for the “magazines” of Kbin and its fork Mbin

How Friendica groups/forums and Lemmy communities work

What are these particular users

In both cases these are “users” of the fediverse and which, like every user of the fediverse (=the users who populate it), are structured in this way:

@ + username + @ + instancename

Like every fediverse user, they are characterized by a unique public link. Therefore:

- for Friendica groups/forums it is https://INSTANCENAME/profile/USERNAME
- for communities Lemmy is https://INSTANCENAME/c/USERNAME

However, these users have common properties that make them different from a normal user:

  1. if they are mentioned in a new message (a new message, not the reply to another message!) by a user who follows them, then they reshare (“retweet”, so to speak) that message
  2. if a user follows them, then (from the moment they start following them) they will read all the messages of those who have done what is described in point 1)

In summary, anyone who follows one of these users:

  1. will see all messages reshared by those users in their personal future timeline
  2. will be able to create a new message mentioning those users, so they can reshare their message
  3. will be able to make the message from point 2 visible in the personal timeline of all users who follow these users.

The objective of these users is therefore to create thematic places of aggregation and discussion, simulating tools such as forums, or more precisely Facebook groups (as the Friendica groups/forums do) and subreddits (as Lemmy does). These users are also manned by a moderator who can decide not to reshare a message or to permanently ban a user.

The Mastodon user who follows one of these users will not change their user experience and at most will be able to click on the profile bell to be notified about reshared posts; but by clicking on the user, you will be able to view all the messages reshared since you started following that user.

What makes a Lemmy community different from a Friendica group/forum?

In addition to the common characteristics, there are some differences that characterize only and exclusively the Lemmy communities.

A Lemmy community is able to graphically represent, on a specific page of its server, the entire structure of a conversation.

For example, to the following mastodon message:

corresponds to this thread visible like this on Mastodon (img on the right).

While on the Lemmy server the same thread will be visible as on a forum or on Reddit (img on the left).

IIn fact, Lemmy is a Fediverse platform that emulates the logic and graphics of Reddit, but which, unlike Reddit, allows you to publish and comment NOT ONLY to Lemmy users, but to all social users of the Fediverse!

How to write a message addressed to a group/forum or a community

Three aspects must be distinguished:

  1. how to address a message
  2. how to make it intelligible
  3. how to cross post (mention multiple users)

To address a message to a group/forum or community, simply mention the user. For example, to mention the Lemmy “Scienza” (=science) community it would be sufficient to write the text in the body of the message

@[email protected]

while to mention the Friendica “Scuola” (=scool) group/forum it is sufficient to write

For a message addressed to a Friendica group/forum, it does not matter much where to insert the mention (at the beginning, at the end or in the center of the message), but for a message to be sent to a Lemmy community it is advisable to adopt some precautions to ensure ensure that the message is delivered successfully and, above all, that it is readable and not messy and at risk of cancellation by the community moderators. In particular, it is good to remember that it is possible to mention only one Lemmy community, while it is possible to mention multiple Friendica groups/forums: the important thing is that the first mention must be for the Lemmy community, otherwise Lemmy will not publish it. Unfortunately, editing the wrong message after sending it will not help, because Lemmy will now have attributed it as a message belonging to another Friendica group (in fact Lemmy can also view Friendica groups)!

The ideal scheme for writing a post on a Lemmy community is the following:

  1. Introductory text of the message (less than 200 characters and possibly without hashtags or mentions) which will become the title of the thread as you will see it on Lemmy
  2. Community mention
  3. Additional text (with any hashtags and other mentions) that will become the text of the post as you will see it on Lemmy
  4. Any additional mentions for Friendica groups/forums
  5. Link to the article (let’s remember that Lemmy is basically an alternative to Reddit, which is practically a news aggregator
  6. Any images attached

Taking this message into consideration, we have dissected the different parts:

Here is the source text of the message (in Italian):

La matematica e' una materia profondamente democratica: mette tutti gli studenti sullo stesso piano e per questo si presta molto bene a superare le differenze di genere.

@[email protected] 

Lo affermano gli organizzatori del convegno (10 donne su 31 relatori 👿 ) tenutosi all'Accademia dei Lincei, "L’insegnamento della Matematica: criticità, nuove sfide, idee"

How to find or create friendica groups/forums and lemmy communities

There is already a list of Lemmy communities and Friendica groups/forums: in most of the major Lemmy communities and Friendica Groups, the creation of a new community is free and does not require the consent of the administrators, but anyone wishing to create a new Friendica group/forum on the instance or a new Lemmy community on the instance can follow these instructions:

  • per creare una nuova comunità Lemmy su è necessario iscriversi all’istanza (previa approvazione degli amministratori) e richiedere agli amministratori sulla comunità “Annunci e creazione comunità” di creare una nuova comunità
  • per creare un nuovo gruppo/forum su è sufficiente chiederlo agli utenti @macfranc o @informapirata oppure, iscrivendosi all’istanza poliverso (previa approvazione degli amministratori), si può provare a creare direttamente un utente forum oppure creare prima un’utenza personale e poi un utenza forum collegata (qui una videoguida per la creazione di un forum)

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2 comments on “Mastodon Tips: how to use Friendica groups/forums and Lemmy communities

  1. Informapirata

    Chiedo scusa se il post in questione è comparso sulla comunità @[email protected] ma non credevo che sarebbe bastato menzionare la comunità all’interno di un post wordpress per “attivare” Lemmy! In passato i test che avevo fatto non avevano funzionato, mentre oggi è andato tutto oltre le mie intenzioni! 😅

  2. Lvxferre

    Questa è una comunità su scienza, non su il Fediverso. È meglio condividere questo link in [email protected], [email protected] o stesso [email protected].

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