Is Social Network, MeWe, Really Planning to Use Solid?


Thank you Gideon for sharing this thread over in the comments of your post! The community of people I’ve built up over on Google+ has been collectively figuring out where we will all move to. Many have shut down their Twitter and Facebook accounts because they didn’t like the experience those platforms provided. Google+ was and still is their home until they (including me) are pushed off the platform.

I very much enjoy the casual atmosphere social media can provide but I’m tired of being at the mercy of these tech platforms. I’m moving much of what I am doing now to my website(s). I am excited about MeWe and finally having control over my data.

It would be great to have a way to import our Google+ data over to MeWe. There are already a few people from my aviation community (including me) already signed up on MeWe. I think the ability to import our Google+ data to MeWe would all but seal the deal on which platform to move to especially for those who have used Google+ as a blog as I have.


@gideonro Great to hear that MeWe is looking to use Solid. There are a few people talking about how to build social media services on Solid, I’d be happy to make the introduction. Would you like to set up a call to discuss how I can support you in this process? Let me know when would be a convenient moment on


That’s great to hear, @MitziLaszlo. I don’t know whether the timing is such that we can take advantage of the Google+ mass migration that is already underway, but it does seem worth at least exploring. I will follow up in email with you.


Another privacy-oriented social network, Openbook, is set to launch March 2019.

The below is taken from the Openbook FAQ:

Will Openbook be decentralised?

We want to get there eventually. We’re looking into Solid MIT approach (The one from Tim Berners Lee) and we’re very pleased with it so far.

Our first versions will however be centralised.

We do this because it’s then easier to focus on innovating in the product features and overall user experience. These things will determine whether we’ll reach the user base necessary to take on existing social networks.

If we succeed at this, sky’s the limit into what we can do in regards to decentralisation!


Shameless self-promotion: We’re trying to keep an overview of all things social media that have been recognised as important to various parts of the Google+ Communities on this wiki:

The result may actually become a template that could be applied to a new platform built on Solid. If there are folks here interested in doing that, talk to me! :slight_smile:

(“We” in this context are Just your average space alien cats and other unsavory types)


Hi @MarkWeinstein and @gideonro

At Humane Tech Community we have just proclaimed both MeWe and OpenBook as ‘Exemplars of Humane Technology’ in the new forum category I created for that (respectively here and here) and it would be super cool :heart: to see both social networks tick the ‘Decentralized’ humane tech checklist item in the future, when adopting Solid!

(Note: We will be starting a number of promotional activities surrounding our Exemplars, at a later time)
(Note 2: Our moderator @patm is enthusiastically following and promoting MeWe as a user)


I’ve signed up to MeWe -

  • name is odd
  • worried by groups focused on guns and those saying that Islam is a cult
  • privacy settings for things I post aren’t clear
  • massive problem is that it isn’t Facebook. I have quit Facebook, but most haven’t and there needs to be something compelling to make people switch. Privacy is important and the site touts that, TBL input is reassuring but if this is the USP, with things as they are, I don’t think people will switch from Facebook.
    Also the site just looks boring but that isn’t necessarily a problem if the privacy sell is compelling and functionality is the same


Quick update on the Google+ data migration front. Some folks and I are organizing feedback to Google. First focus is on clarifications around the shutdown of the service. Next, we are going to focus on prioritizing requests to Google for improving the Google Takeout data extraction process and resulting Google+ data.

In related news:
On March 7, 2019, all Google+ APIs will be shut down. This will be a progressive shutdown beginning in late January, with calls to these APIs starting to intermittently fail as early as January 28, 2019.

We’re still working to get clarification on the exact date of the shutdown of the service itself, which is now slated for sometime in April 2019.


Here’s the latest update on the situation with Google+. Basically, those of us who have been hoping to work directly with Google Takeout data as an eventual data source for Solid are not feeling super hopeful. There is good JSON data, but with the shutdown date for G+ getting pulled in from August to April and the complete lack of communication from the company, we just don’t think there’s much hope of getting the fixes we’d hoped for.

With that said, the folks at Friends+Me have developed a Google+ Exporter tool that works pretty well. Most people (like me) are using it to export their content to WordPress. It doesn’t do anything for the social graph, but then all that Google exposes from that are first name, last name, and a Google+ user ID that we have no guarantee will remain valid after April.

After trying my best to work with Google to resolve some of the lack of clarity, I’ve finally had it. Here’s what amounts to an obituary for the service (including a nice plug for Solid, of course):


Nice article. I tooted about it on Mastodon :slight_smile:

Would it be an idea to give this some more visibility? I.e. some project home, who’s working on it and a steady stream of social media updates. Might be already in place?


We’ve stopped the project at this point since I think that the Friends+Me tool does a decent enough job. It can spit out nicer formatted JSON files than Takeout – the basically do a much better job of handling Collections. Thanks for sharing that piece, btw.


I’m still fuzzy on whether there will be a Solid platform that could potentially replace g+.

I get that the idea is for us to host our own data (or store it someplace) but then it gets shared… Where?

Also scratching my head over the Holo connexxion — or the lack thereof.

Holochain architecture just seems perfect for this kind of thing, had me imagining it before Solid came along…

…Or am I just mixed up and imagining a future that’s further off than I thought?



I get that the idea is for us to host our own data (or store it someplace) but then it gets shared… Where?

I’ve read a good explanation of this somewhere but can’t currently find the link. It goes something like this:

You put a picture in your pod, to which one of your ‘friends’ adds a comment. You reply to that comment and a ‘second friend’ then also adds a different comment.

The picture, and all the comments, are linked by their url’s and appear on your screen together just as they would currently appear on Facebook. BUT your picture is always physically in your pod, your friend’s comment is always physically in their pod, and your second friend’s comment is always physically in your second friend’s pod.

This is similar to the way most websites work now. You view the site on your own phone or computer screen, but the content of the screen is not physically in your phone. The screen is comprised of different pieces of information contained in different places within a single database on a single server somewhere. In the solid scenario, the single screen display draws the same different pieces of information, but each piece of information is contained in different pods on different servers.


Um, yeah…

My question was more about the platform.

The ‘where’ presumably will not be existing platform(s), unless the idea is for an app to create posts with links to your pod on them — which I’m sure would work, but seems like a transitional solution at best.

But let’s start with that.

Because then there would be a system in place for sharing, and other users of existing platforms would get to experience pods, leading to more widespread adoption.

However if the future is meant to be decentralized, a new, sort of “floating” platform should be devised, which users would inevitably migrate toward.

Eliminate the middleman.


did you just stopped the “import G+ data to Solid” part or the whole “let’s build something social for Solid” project you had going with Luc? (Which would be a shame, you had good ideas!)


We did indeed, @JollyOrc. The Google+ team feels like it’s in some sort of downward spiral and their decision to pull in the shutdown date by 4+ months was pretty much the nail in the coffin. The good news is that Google+ Exporter does a pretty nice job of producing clean JSON extracts that will (hopefully) be pretty easy to upload into Solid.


it certainly does - I’ve also got a license for it. :slight_smile:


Tim has described Solid itself as a platform in his open letter.

“Solid is a platform, built using the existing web.”

He’s right. The Solid POD server is itself the platform. It can be installed upon Windows, Linux, or Mac, and is a stand-alone platform that is not dependent upon anything else. The Solid POD server is not, for example, dependent upon the pre-installation of a web server.


I’m researching an article about porting data from Facebook, Google+ to alternate, privacy-respecting social networks and would like to talk to you about your experience. I’m interested in how people can port their social graphs (or at least a good portion). Can it be done to MeWe or to other platforms? Is mass migration feasible? @MarkWeinstein: I would like to discuss your plans for helping folks migrate data to MeWe so they don’t need to start from scratch. fbajak(at)ap(dot)org.


MeWe has not earned trust yet - it’s easy to say you’re pro-privacy but confirmation requires endorsement either with time or critical analysis of source code