Drafting a comprehensive email signature snippet that is based, including contacts for WWW, postal mail, TZ, email, phone, Matrix, etc.

How to include a account?

spoiler, don't want to bias you 

So personally I started writing "Fediverse" and then realized all of the hard work @cwebber and others spent on the W3C standards work for ActivityPub, so I started thinking maybe it would be better to refer to the actual protocol.

Of course, I'm still writing "email" and not "SMTP", so maybe it's a similar comparison?

Regardless, I appreciate the poll feedback!

The reason I wanted to be so thoughtful here is to show the legitimacy of free software and free/open standards to my extended colleagues who don't always think about such things.

In those circles, the email signatures tend to be loaded with proprietary social networks and messenger apps.

The other stuff is pretty obvious or has written standards, but with its decentralized nature, I want to get this one right. 😉

@downey In my experience, I see people here most often refer to it as "fedi(verse)". I think it would be a bit odd to refer to the technical protocol like calling your email address "SMTP". I think "Mastodon" gives the misleading impression that you have to use Mastodon to contact you at that address.

@be Yes, I tend to agree. But then again there's Matrix, which is the name of the protocol; and while (no longer) the client, there's no term for it more encompassing than that.

@downey one of the problems with specifying it as "ActivityPub" is that AFAIK ActivityPub does not specify the @user@domain.example notation. It relies on actor URLs internally. The @user@domain.example format IIRC uses WebFinger protocol, which is used on top of ActivityPub by a large part of fediverse software for convenience.

@downey It's kind of like you were saying "the IP is". It's obviously a domain name, and while you can obtain the IP address using it, and putting it in the "Address" field in a mumble client will likely work equally well as putting an IP adress would, it's technically wrong.

@downey Other:


"Social" is a familiar term to people, and a url directly to the account is the easiest way for someone to go from not knowing how they can contact you on this platform, to knowing how they can contact you.

Using unfamiliar terms requires either a discussion, or a search in order to understand what ActivityPub / Fediverse / Mastodon means. All a link requires is a click.

Social is nice! It could also extend beyond just ActivityPub and include other social spaces that the user deems essential to their online identity

People know what twitter is. They may not know that it is "microblogging" but know it is a social network.

Mastodon has been mentioned in the mainstream tech (20k foot view I call it) long enough that even somewhat techy people know what it is (a social network alternative to twitter), but may not have any idea what activitypub or fediverse means.

@downey I’d go for “Social media: https://...” if you want something readily understandable and usable by experienced and novice recipients alike. I feel like outside of the US the “fed” in “fediverse” is seen as quite distasteful as well. I certainly cringe every time I see it.

@downey It's like... IM / Jabber / xmpp... 😣

I'd personally prefer the protocol in a signature, i.e. ActivityPub. Same way as it'd be better with xmpp...
But most often that confuses more than brings clarity.

At the same time Mastodon is like to write Gajim or even Ejabberd in a jabber address. Too narrow.

So the remaining option is Fediverse, same as Jabber. It shows the general direction, possibility to connect, identify the area to look for you... at the same time human-readable enough.
The logic is that I can use any tool/way to access Fediverse (Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, whatever), and I'm not too techy to think about the protocol inside (whether it's AP, xmpp or other).

That is Fediverse then.


I think the analogy is with email, another federated system.


The equivalent for fedi would be:


I think 'socialmedia' is too broad, mastodon/activitypub too narrow or technical.

'fedi' or 'fediverse' then, followed by the @me@myinstance.xyx address, perhaps as hyperlinked text taking you to the web page, which will have instance info and a sign up button.

@downey Other: register a URI scheme. I like to write:

and all those are self explanatory and usually autolink, so why not activitypub too?

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