Mon Social: Project Ideas

Goal: To build a really simple social networking application and host it.


  1. Profile
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      • Name
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      • Message
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      • Follow
  3. Post
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  4. Organization
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Comments, suggestions welcome!


Sounds awesome idea. Happy to see a you folks are planning something like this. Good luck☺️.

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This describes the data model of the Mon Social. Can we take a step back and look at the vision of the project?

@Rushabh_Mehta and @knadh can you share thoughts on why we need this and what problem it is trying to solve? Who will use it?

@Rushabh_Mehta can answer better. From my personal point of view:

  • High quality, super simple UX
  • Curated + moderated discussions like Hacker News (HN). Public profiles. No place viral social or content networking features like FB, Twitter etc.
  • Simple “social networking” features (follow people and their content)
  • No ads, no tracking, no data mining or profiling. Operated by a non-profit.
  • FOSS platform. CC content.
  • A balance between a simple “social network” and a content/publishing platform (what Medium kind of started out to do)

And most importantly, an Indian community. Not just for devs, but for anyone who wants to engage in public Discourse.

The project is not to build a publishing/networking platform from scratch, but to use whatever is available (Mastodon?) to offer a service that ticks the above boxes.

I don’t have any social media presence (apart from a namesake profile on LinkedIn) for these reasons. I often ignore Medium links because of how bloated its UX has become, and because of its annoying UX anti-patterns. If there was a platform that ticked the boxes I mentioned above, maybe I’d try publishing and networking too. I’m guessing there is a segment of users like that.

Scope and scale
If there is a quality Indian community, several thousand active users participating and publishing quality content (not just dev/tech) for everyone to read and discuss, I’d consider the project to be successful! There’s no goal to get to X million users or any number at all.

The whole idea is very similar to us running this public forum for discussing FOSS. Just that there’s specific UX.

What is the incentive for someone to publish on this platform instead of Medium and likes? Not all end users care so much about FOSS. There has to be some strong reason for people to move from the existing platforms to this. “No ads, no tracking, no data mining or profiling” is nice, but I’m not sure if that is strong enough to attract people.

Medium is a blogging platform. The comments UX is quite poor, so it’s not exactly for public discourse. Here, we’re talking about publishing/discussing + networking.

As I mentioned earlier, even if a small community of people who care about these things thrive, it would be still be a win. The goal is not to displace Twitter, FB, Medium etc. It’s about filling a void for a segment of users who don’t want to be on these platforms for the aforementioned reasons.

++ to whatever @knadh said

Here is a really nice article by Wired Magazine that expresses the purpose.

Much of our communal life now unfolds in digital spaces that feel public but are not. When technologists refer to platforms like Facebook and Twitter as “walled gardens”—environments where the corporate owner has total control—they’re literally referring to those same private pleasure gardens that Whitman was reacting to. And while Facebook and Twitter may be open to all, as in those gardens, their owners determine the rules.

Great public spaces are owned by everyone and therefore ought to be designed for everyone. Community board meetings and governance processes can be slow, annoying, and very frictional. But—when they’re working properly—they force designers to contend with and listen to the communities they ostensibly serve.

The … problem with private ownership of quasi-public space is that public spaces require constant, active care and maintenance by skillful stewards. Scholars like Sarah Roberts have pointed out that the nuanced labor of governance and maintenance—finding the balance between welcoming everyone and providing safety and comfort for everyone—is critical to the health of online communities.

(In a way the space this discussion forum provides so we can have discussions of this type - slow and with friction :smile:)

I am trying to answer a basic question: Why do we have to rely on large corps to be able to connect with like minded folk and engage in public debate?

The solution could be many. I have looked at Mastodon on and off, and while it is a great attempt, we probably need more attempts. I am always inspired by Alan Kay, in the sense that we are all bound by incrementalism and few of us attempt to solve problems with a fresh perspective.

Having said that it would be a perfectly good idea if someone wants to hackup a Mastodon instance for all of us which allows 3 things:

  1. Profile Page (like LinkedIn)
  2. Long form Posts (like Medium)
  3. Short updates (like Twitter)

On the side, we engaged with a few designers and here is a version of the WIP screens we have at the moment.

  1. Article Page
  2. Feed Page

These are being worked on by the folks at


quite good UX. let me know if things started moving in development.

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Do you think we should adhere to this open social standard?

As we were discussing otherwise to try Matrix based communication also which @Anand is trying to setup. I came across this very simple Client for matrix called Cerulean, which I felt somehow connected to the thoughts which @rushabh and @knadh were stating. Do check

Very early stages, but interesting.

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