Organizing parties on decentralized social media

(TL;DR: I am working on a Facebook Events type service for decentralized social media, and you can see an early version in action in the video above.)

The only reason I miss Facebook is that I don't get invited to parties, concerts, political actions, and other cool events anymore. This is because pretty much everyone uses Facebook Events for this purpose, and if you don't have Facebook, you're out of luck.

For my birthday party this year I decided to try out gath.io, a lovely, simple, open source, privacy-respecting tool for creating and organizing events. And it worked great! People just sign up with their email address, and the event and every piece of data related to it gets deleted two weeks after the event is over.

So earlier this month I decided I would integrate it with my lightweight ActivityPub server, and the results are looking pretty good! Basically, you still need an email address to create an event, but people can simply RSVP and comment on the event directly from software like Mastodon.

The creator of gath.io, Raphael Kabo, is interested in incorporating these features into gath.io once I smooth out the rough edges!

Next steps include:

  • squash edge case bugs
  • get my test server up and running with email integration so people can start organizing actual events on it
  • create an Events tab in my Hometown fork of Mastodon so users can see upcoming events
  • send out an ActivityPub "Event" activity at some point in the cycle
  • perhaps add a few more features to gath.io in general, like the ability to RSVP "maybe" or "no" (right now you RSVP "yes" or not at all)

Anyway, I'm excited to do this work and should be formally releasing something pretty soon (by end of January maybe?). If you'd like to play around on my test server, it's https://events.tinysubversions.com, but it is underdocumented, email doesn't work, and there is no guarantee I won't delete the database at any time! So please just use it to test things out. Don't try to organize a real event on there. (If you want to do that, you can use the currently-non-federated gath.io.)

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