I’m @jaranta and I run mastodontti.fi and pixelfed.fi. I have been around the matrix channel a few times discussing possible collaborations. Originally, I thought that it would make sense to have a different association running those services, and that association could collaborate with Feneas. Some people argued that a separate association was not needed and I think talking with @jaywink finally convinced me.
The option we discussed would be to have working groups for different languages within Feneas. That would probably require some technical support (discussed below), but I think it’s mostly a management issue. I believe there has been some interest in language-specific activity before, with at least @valvin wanting to write a blog in French.
English is the de facto working language of Feneas because it’s the most common shared language. However, there are strong language-specific subcultures within the Fediverse and I believe that supporting those is important. Without open alternatives in their own languages, most people will simply keep using the popular closed ones.
I think, ideally, the working groups would consist of at least two speakers of a language, but to begin with, having one active person is probably enough. I think having at least two people is beneficial mostly so that there is a chance to discuss whatever initiatives the working group suggests with someone having at least some cultural literacy in the language in question.
Since the Feneas board is probably not able to speak all the languages within Feneas, it might be hard for them to keep track what the different working groups are up to. It would help if the working groups would be somehow active in the Feneas board, but that is probably not necessary if the groups keep the board otherwise informed about what is going on.
Since I’m suggesting this, we can consider the Finnish working group a test case and see how things could work.
To get some of the language-specific things to work, we need a technical solution for separating things according to language. For example, the current blog doesn’t support multiple languages, so informing different language communities using it is not ideal.
One possible solution would be to assign different languages different subdomains on feneas.org. That way different languages could even have different things under those subdomains. It’s entirely possible that people working in different languages have different assumptions on what the best way to work or communicate is and having different subdomains would allow that, letting people to use whatever tools they find most comfortable.
I think the minimum support needed for different languages would be a blog that allows separating posts according to language – something that the current Ghost-based blog apparently can’t do. We also discussed with @jaywink that if the current blog is replaced with something else, perhaps it’s time to adopt one that supports federation – this is Feneas, after all. As far as I can tell, Write Freely is the most mature native application, but Wordpress also has plugins that support federation – and it has good support for internationalization, unlike Write Freely. I don’t have strong opinions on this, but I do think that support for language-specific blogs would be a necessary step for supporting different language groups within Feneas.
Finally, I started my post mentioning the two services I run. I mentioned these services because one way Feneas could support different languages on the fediverse would be to run services for those specific languages. That takes money and effort, so figuring out a sustainable way to do so would be a part of the challenge. As a first step, I suggest that I hand over the two services to Feneas, but continue supporting them. What Feneas could provide is additional admins – this would solve what is currently my main problem with those services, which is that I’m the sole admin. If I would suddenly get hit by a bus, those services would most likely be gone with me.
I’d be happy to hear what you think about this initiative. For example, would my suggestion fit with what @valvin had in mind?