#The Sysadmin Person
I was reading a blog post about the challenges facing new twitter clone Bluesky, and it reminded me of a idea I've had bouncing around for a while. While federated protocols like ActivityPub and Bluesky's new ATProto do help fight many of the issues found with closed source centralized social media, they do have their shortcomings. One of the biggest (in my opinion, at least) is finding a trustworthy homeserver. Most people don't want to put that much thought into their social media setup, so they flock to whichever homeserver is already most popular, and recreate the cenralization problems that the protocol was trying to fight in the first place. Even if you convince this theoretical new user to avoid the most popular homeserver, how are they to know which one to trust with their data?
##Enter the Sysadmin Person
Many real world communities, especially rural communities, have an informal system of skilled specialists that can be called upon when needed. Your house needs some electrical work? Your neighbor knows a person. You need a tree in your yard cut down? Your friend knows a person. Having people you know vouch for these tradespeople answers the eternal "Who to trust?" question. I think it's time that we who have the technical skills step up and help our families and friends as "the sysadmin person". Maybe we run a homeserver for our friends, maybe we help our neighbors with their wifi. If we are to successfully wrest control of our digital lives from Google, Meta, and Amazon, then we need to step up to help not just ourselves, but those around us as well. For most people, they want their tech to "just work" without having to make a bunch of little decisions. We need to be there to help, to provide those simple, "just works" solutions for our communities to keep them out of the hands of the data miners.Blog post by jess