Federated Social Networks need a good categorised central directory of forums/groups and interests - not just profile and hashtag searching
After seeing my MeWe groups growing far more strongly than my Profile followings I have been looking a bit deeper into Friendica, Hubzilla and Diaspora/Pluspora for similar functionality. The potential is there but a federation has an even bigger need for a user to be able to browse forums/groups that are ranked in popularity across all federated instances. The power of federation is that a forum could physically exist at one instance but be visible everywhere and interacted with from anywhere. It should feel more or less like one big virtual network even though instances. profiles, and forums are decentralised.
They all seem to allow you to search the global directory but return a mix of profiles and no real good results. Some are really dismal and I'm sorry but these networks need to get with it if they want people to connect effectively around common interests, hobbies, etc. Maybe are have just been spoilt with Google+ as it was very powerful in terms of discovery, categories, communities, etc.
1. Basic profile search only and results are all mixed with no distinction between possible groups/forums and personal profiles (did I miss it?).
2. Can only sort on alphabetical, newest and no ranking by most popular or frequency of posts.
3. There is a URL to access the directory but it seems to be local to each pod/instance eg. mine is at https://hub.opensocial.africa/directory.
4. It does show a hashtag cloud of popular hashtags.
1. Pictured here does at least have a trending interests which is nice but thereafter no options to sort or rank them.
2. It does distinguish between People and Forums which is really nice. But no way to sort, and also no indication of follower count of post frequency for what is listed.
3. Has a URL that will access the directory - https://dir.friendica.social/directory
1. No actual directory list option.
2. Can search on word or hashtag but only a list of matches comes back with no option to change sort order or ranking. Very basic information showed such as name and federation address but no hashtags or even bio shown.
3. Its focus is very much more on hashtag searching.