Plan to win users?

Hi all!
I just listened to a talk by Ruben Verborgh and it totally blew me away, so now I’m 100% into Solid. However I’m not a developer, I work in IT but aI have a humanistic background so my thought goes to users.

Is there already a plan to win over users? General users, posters who on average have already given up ownership data and everything, users who don’t really care anymore?

My guess is that a key might be giving them control and ownership of the content they produce with so much effort for the various platforms. I’m thinking of a scraping tool to get back all of your contents and comments and translating them into solid, so that they are not lost whenever platform x closes.
Any thoughts?



This gets back to the question I posted at Big picture server question, which is, really, about ownership and control of one’s data. The appeal of Solid for most people, I think, will be that it allows them to gain control over their own data. But how is that possible if they are just taking their data off, say, Facebook, and putting it on a Solid server run by a stranger?

The answer in part, I’m guessing, is to make it easy for users to move their data from server to server. Granted, most of us won’t do that often, but knowing we can gives us that sense of control.

An analogy might be how we use cloud sync and storage services now. You can easily cancel your service with Company X, move your files to Company Y, and all is well. You cannot do that now with your personal data stored on Facebook. So even though, with Solid, most people will still be relying on, and probably eventually paying for, Solid providers (unless they want to run their own server), they will know that they do indeed control and own their data, and that’s a good thing.

Ideally, in a perfect world, IMHO, the best thing would be for us to have our personal data on our own devices and machines and choose how and when to share from them, but that will not be the case with Solid, according to my understanding. And, let’s face it, for devices to be able to share files, they have to be on all the time, so there is a place for central servers and there always will be.

But the plan to win users will include the advantage of taking back control of what is yours and what most people, naively, gave up their rights to.


Solid is different from other platforms because it supports LDP, WebId, WebACL’s, and Websockets. With LDP, you can among other things access web resources like a file system. With WebId and WebACL’s you can give access to any resources to any people or groups of people. With Websockets apps can be notified of changes in resources. The combination is like your file system on the web, your computer on the web. Its a seed that a forest of apps will be built on. It just needs a little rain in the form of app development right now.

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In my mind it takes people making apps that others want to use.

And, marketing/sharing those apps I suppose.

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Yeah, but we need to counterbalance the load of data that is already out there.
How long will it rake for a solid-based restaurant review app to get the attention and users of tripadvisor? Do we really want to build it all over again, all the data, all the info?
That’s huge work and it will never get mainstream this way.


Ya, that’s a good point.

There’s been some work on creating ways to import data into your pod, from the sites that let you export data at least.


Do you have a pointer to Ruben Verborgh’s talk?

Also, I think there’s an opportunity to migrate a bunch of Google+ users, which could act as a powerful jumpstart for Solid. Google+ closes down next August though, so it would be tough…


Try this one: - right before tbl.


He shared his slides:


I believe the plan to win users occurs one at a time. some mass migration may happen however, it is my experience that if you create meeting groups in local areas, and you sign up members of the group your hosting, and any other individuals that may be in the vicinity is a great start. I met with a group of developers in Albany, New York, we took in a concert with the intent of spreading Solid, the outcome was great. We got to sign up the developers we met with and the members of the band.



Maybe someone has already thought of using that name…?

When g+ launched I gave notice on Facepalm that I’d be deleting my account in one month, sharing the hard-to-find link for actual, total and complete deletion before I left. Yes I’ve tried other social media, but nothing else compared.

And now, the sunset begins.

And the experience has gone stale, partially because some of my contacts have already adopted other platforms. I’ve pondered…

What do I want?

Sometimes I’ve wondered what people are posting elsewhere. It will be nice to be able to follow someone’s content, see it no matter where it is shared. At the same time though it would be preferable for users to be able to post directly to a sort of “mothership” platform…

…And I think this is where Solid could “win” users, with what it seems to me was probably the main thrust of the idea the whole time. Solid needs that sort of mothership platform, be it called “Solid Plus” or whatever, that allows users to share a post on any existing platform or multiple platforms at once.

There would, I’d like to say WILL, be that moment when we begin to notice Solid links in users’ profiles across all social media. Then we will know:


It may help if users on other platforms can easily see that posts originated in Solid, which is why Solid needs, ahem, its own solid platform.

As a mere user all I can do is humbly suggest a feature showing a list of a user’s followed individuals who have, for example, posted in the past 24 hours, ranked by preference or number of posts and/or upvotes. By this I mean, instead of a feed showing the most recent first (or whatever maddening algorithm g+ uses to determine what goes on top), you’re presented with that list — at the top, or instead of, the main feed. That way you’re less likely to miss content from your favourite people.

If it sounds familiar I think I may have experienced something somewhat similar on Instagram, but it didn’t work very well and kept suggesting people I wasn’t following. And iirc (deleted the app, haven’t bothered to get rid of my account yet), it did not show the number of posts.

If and when there is a solid Solid mothership platform, the mere fact of its existence will be all that is needed to win users.

Imagine what happens when Elon Musk’s Twitter posts start originating in Solid (with a clear indication that that’s where they’re coming from).

There ya go. No worries. Just build the thing.