So, with news of Reddit making deals to sell user data for AI training, I think we should really start organizing ourselves for an effective migration campaign.

I believe one of the (many) reasons that the summer protests failed was its lack of focus. There was an overall idea of “going dark” as an attempt to get Reddit to backtrack on some of its decisions, but once they double down on their decision there was no followup and creation of a credible threat, so only the more strong-willed really stuck by their principles and left reddit, the majority just shrugged it off and went back to their niche communities.

This long tail of niche communities is Reddit’s biggest strength. There are plenty of places where people can find general news or share memes, but there is only one place that can connect people with its many different interests. This is why so many of you surely went to Reddit, despite our best efforts to bring enough people around here.

So, how about we change the strategy? If the general “spray and pray” approach only managed to bring 0.008% of Reddit’s userbase to Lemmy, how about we put our focus on bring as many people as possible from a single one?

We should look into a subreddit with the following characteristcs:

  • Not too big in size, around 100k - 300k subscribers.
  • Still fairly active.
  • Very specific in focus. Ideally, it would be a local community, but we could also think of a not-so popular subreddit dedicated to a niche hobby.
  • The moderators of the subreddit need to be willing to participate, and follow through with the migration. That means, they need to keep promoting the Lemmy alternative until our corresponding community is at least as big as the Reddit one.

I’m thinking one potential candidate would be /r/adelaide (158k subscribers, multiple posts per day) but I haven’t talked with any of the moderators so I don’t know how that would go. (Any admins from aussie.zone that could chime in?) Of course, this is just an idea and if any would you think of another sub that could also work better we can talk about it. The important thing is not to spend too much time worrying on what subreddit we are going to push, just that we need to choose one and only one.

Once we find a subreddit that fits the bill, then our efforts go to supporting the subscribers to help them find a client, setup their account, subscribe to the new community and unsubscribe from the subreddit.

We don’t even need to encourage them to leave Reddit altogether, we just need to get them to go through the motions of setting up Lemmy for one community. I think if we do that, it will be a lot easier to keep us all focused on the goal, the overall network effects won’t be such a problem and the coming users will be more likely to stick.

This is already a wall of text, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will shoot this idea down for numerous reasons, but overall I really haven’t given up hope on the Fediverse as the future of the Internet. We just need to work a bit for it.

  • ProdigalFrogA
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    2 months ago

    I’m a moderator of r/LinuxHardware on reddit. It has 76k subscribers, and receives about 150k unique pageviews per month.

    After using Lemmy for a while and loving it, I decided to officially have a presence here, and partnered with the owner of !linuxhardware@lemmy.ml (Liam from GamingOnLinux) to have it be the official lemmy community.

    I then wrote a post that I pinned in the community describing how to move to lemmy (as well as including a link to your Fediverser thing :D), and added a Fediverse section in the sidebar directing people here.

    Unfortunately, it never really seemed to get much traction in the community, which also happened to vote not to remain dark after the API change a few months ago.

    If I had to estimate how many followed through and came to lemmy, I would hazard a guess at around 30 to 50-ish people, based on the quick subscriber growth on the lemmy community, but that may have just been from already existing lemmings subbing from my announcement post at the time.

    When I have the time, I’ll try writing up a call to action referencing Reddit’s announcement that they will sell their data to AI companies.

    Also, one community that may be more receptive specifically to switching due to their data being sold is r/Privacy. I made a comment about lemmy there calling for people to leave for greener pastures, and it seemed to get a good amount of upvotes. But it is a large one, so it may not be the best ‘target’ for converting.

    • @rglullis@communick.newsOP
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      22 months ago

      What do you think about the idea of having the fediverser bots mirroring the subreddit content into the lemmy community? It would help both to bootstrap the lemmy community and also showcase the migration tool.

      • ProdigalFrogA
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        32 months ago

        Is there progress on making conversations between Reddit and Lemmy 2-way? I think for LinuxHardware specifically, that feature would be somewhat essential before implementing fediverser bots, since a lot (if not most) of the content posted there are requests for advice and questions, and I can’t help but feel it would be off-putting for the lemmy community if they were responding to OP’s that can’t respond back, especially if the comments were asking for further information before making a recommendation.

        • @rglullis@communick.newsOP
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          32 months ago

          I will be honest with you, I haven’t put much work on Fediverser since December for two reasons:

          • I haven’t come up with a design that is simple enough for the Lemmy users to indicate how they want their message replicated to Reddit (i.e, should the response be sent as a comment, as a DM, none at all?)

          • Time taken by job search and building more stuff in Communick to try to generate income. I applied to NLNet for a grant for Fediverser, and it’s being evaluated. If I get it, then I’ll be able to focus again on it, but if not I will be even more pressured to find some other way to make money.

          • ProdigalFrogA
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            22 months ago

            Hey man, no worries. I should mention that I massively appreciate the effort and time you’ve put toward it already.

            Regarding the design issue, I would put forward that it should only have the ability to respond to comments for simplicity’s sake, since the need for DM’s would be relatively niche, I suspect. And if the goal is to have a bridge between two communities, replicating all messages to reddit and vice versa by default would, IMO, be the only mode required.

            I hope you’re able to secure some solid income soon! 🤞

            • @rglullis@communick.newsOP
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              12 months ago

              since the need for DM’s would be relatively niche

              Do you think so? I’d personally would prefer to not have any comments in the public threads. So, I’d like my comments to be sent as DMs to the OP just to let them know about the conversation on Lemmy and to encourage them to signup here. Don’t forget that the main goal is to make it easy for people to migrate away from Reddit. If we just implement a two-way bridge, we’d be effectively giving no incentive for Redditors to move out.

              • ProdigalFrogA
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                2 months ago

                I feel like having comments in public threads would provide the most visibility/advertising for lemmy on reddit while simultaneously providing more content to interact with on the lemmy side, which is the most critical aspect needed over here, IMHO.

                Setting up a bridge to DM the OP to inform them that a lemmy discussion on his post exists and imploring them to join doesn’t really offer a compelling reason to join, because that just shows them that even if they keep posting on reddit exclusively, they’ll get that benefit of Lemmy discussions coming in as DMs anyway, so why switch? And anyone participating in the Reddit thread normally would not even know that a lemmy discussion is happening.

                If every comment in the lemmy thread bridged to the reddit thread, along with an automated message at the bottom that said something like ‘Posted from Lemmy’ with a hyperlink to the discussion on lemmy, I think that would intrigue the lurkers and commenters as well as the OP.

                I think the goal for two-way communication is to show potential converts that they can choose to come to lemmy without having to log into reddit to keep up with their favorite communities, so the value-add is that they’re not missing out on anything, and they can join lemmy if they prefer it.

                Realistically (for the average redditor anyway), lemmy doesn’t offer any compelling reason to use it over reddit unless you find the concept ideologically appealing already, or prefer the ‘village’ aspect that these smaller, more focused communities bring (those are the reasons I joined, personally). So I think it makes more sense to just try to bridge them to maximize activity here, which would (I assume anyway), encourage growth.

                But that’s just my 2 cents. :)

                • @rglullis@communick.newsOP
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                  02 months ago

                  My thesis is that content is king. There is a good number of people who are on Reddit not because it’s their favorite platform, but because they can’t find the content elsewhere.

                  If we mirror the content on Lemmy, then Lemmy will have the same content as Reddit, then the “lack of content elsewhere” stops being a problem, and then these people will be “free agents”.

                  If we have content here, the “problems” of Lemmy are not going to be seen in such a bad light. Conversely, if Reddit does not have exclusivity of the content, people are not going to feel the need to put up with all their crap.

                  Having a “two-way” bridge is not necessarily bad, but the more we have people saying “look, someone responded <quote original comment> on <lemmy community>, to respond, signup via <link to fediverser migration tool>” it will start creating a situation where people will be realize that they can choose between:

                  • staying on reddit, to see reddit content, deal with Reddit management and being periodically pointed to more content on Lemmy.
                  • create an account on Lemmy, see all of the content from Reddit + Lemmy, free from Reddit management.

                  I am treating those in the “I will be annoyed by a bot asking me to migrate” as “people who are loyal to Reddit and not willing to move away”, so the sooner they block the bridge, the better for everyone. But again, my thesis is that these people are not so numerous as the ones that will just move to the platform that provides them the most content.

                  • ProdigalFrogA
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                    12 months ago

                    I think that depends on the type of content a Subreddit consists of. If it’s purely a link aggregator to interesting things? Then I think your proposal would be effective. But for advice or help communities? I really don’t see that method panning out for two reasons:

                    1. I anticipate the follow-through rate of OP’s creating a lemmy account just to respond to lemmings that respond to their thread will be very low, 5 to 10% at best. This will result in the lemmy folk having less incentive to engage with those threads if it’s extremely unlikely the OP will be able to effectively engage with them back. So there is content, but realistically the only conversations that will happen on lemmy will be between the already existing lemmings.
                    2. The OP on reddit will ultimately be inclined to stay on reddit, because if they post on reddit, they get the best of both worlds, and would be disinclined to respond on lemmy unless the lemmy responder has critical information that OP really, really needs. If they did eventually switch to lemmy, they would experience the downgraded experience that all of the other lemmings are having with low-response rate with reddit-crossposts, and would likely decide to just go back to reddit.

                    I very strongly feel that a true 2-way bridge is the best solution, at least for LinuxHardware-like communities, as it means switching to Lemmy has no real downside, since you retain all the benefits of being on reddit.

                    Personally, I think Lemmy has a chance of beating Reddit in the long-term as the Reddit experience continues to get worse and worse, prompting people to try lemmy. And the best way to get people to know lemmy exists and is active, is if they constantly see lemmy-posts in the comments of their communities.

      • @Bondrewd@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        Have reddit data dump sublemmys named like c/r_linuxhardware which is periodically updated, no commenting or posting ability.

        Number one issue is to be able to actually look up accumulated linuxhardware content without reddit.

        • @rglullis@communick.newsOP
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          22 months ago

          The thing is that fediverser (my project for mirroring content and to help people migrate) can work transparently with the actual Lemmy community. No need to create separate communities and then getting people to subscribe to two separate things.

          • @Bondrewd@lemmy.world
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            2 months ago

            Im not sure. Wouldn’t it annoy you to have a bunch of discussions in your c/linuxhardware feed you cant really take part in because they are imported?

            We dont want to make it feel lile a lurker botfed feed either. Separate it so people know it is there if they want to query for important info. You can crosspost if you want.

            • @rglullis@communick.newsOP
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              2 months ago

              We can turn the mirror into a bridge, and make the conversation two-way. And even if we didn’t, you can take part anyway because there will be (hopefully) an increasing number of people there who are actually native to Lemmy.