Building a better /r/rust together

Original post on Reddit will soon be archived:

If you haven't heard the news, Reddit is making some drastic, user-hostile changes. This is essentially the final stage of any ad-supported and VC-funded platform's inevitable march towards enshittification.

I really love the /r/rust community. As a community manager it's my main portal into the latest happenings of the Rust ecosystem from a high-level point of view primarily focused on project updates rather than technical discourse. This is the only Reddit community I engage directly with; my daily fix of the Reddit frontpage happens strictly via login-less browsing on Apollo, which will soon come to an abrupt end.

This moment in time presents a unique opportunity for this space to claim its independence as a wholly community-owned operation. If the moderators and other stakeholders of /r/rust are already discussing possible next moves somewhere, please point other willing contributors like myself in the right direction.

I'm ready to tag along with any post-Reddit initiative set forth by the community leaders of this sub-reddit. Meanwhile, I've started mobilizing willing stakeholders from the fediverse, which I believe to be the path forward for a viable Reddit alternative.

Soft-forking Lemmy

Lemmy as an organisation has issues. But the Lemmy software is a fully functional alternative to Reddit that runs on top of the open ActivityPub protocol, and it's written in Rust.

Discourse, the software which the Rust Users/Internals forum runs on also supports basic ActivityPub federation now, so the Rust Users forum could actually federate with one or more Lemmy-powered instances. As such, this wouldn’t just be a replacement to Reddit, it would be a significant improvement, bringing more cohesion to the Rust community

Given Lemmy's controversial culture, I think it's safest to approach it with a soft-fork mindset. But the degree to which any divergence will actually happen in the code comes down to how amenable the Lemmy team is to upstream changes. I'd love for this to be an exercise in building bridges rather than moats. I know the Lemmy devs occasionally peruse this space, so please feel free to reach out to me.

Here's what's happening:

  • The author of Kitsune is attempting to run Lemmy on Shuttle, which in turn have expressed interest in supporting this alt-Reddit initiative.
  • We're also looking into OIDC/OAuth for Lemmy, which would allow people to log in with their Reddit/GitHub accounts. If anyone would like to take this on, let us know!
  • Hachyderm is starting to evaluate Lemmy hosting next week. I personally think they could provide an excellent default home for a renewed /r/rust, as they are already a heavily Rust-leaning community of practitioners.

To facilitate this mobilization, I've set up a temporary Discord server combined with a Revolt bridge. + (no email verification is needed)

Come talk to us if this resonates with you!


Why not use this forum which is already ready to use?


IIRC they wanted something not controlled by the Rust foundation or team themselves in addition to the official venues. They've apparently locked down the Reddit to "approved members" now, so I somewhat ironically can't double-check or quote this.


Looks like this is the new link: Announcement: /r/rust will be joining the blackout on June 12th. Here is our statement. : rust

And for those looking for established alternatives to /r/rust, allow us to reiterate the community venues that we presently endorse:

(That said, of these platforms, two are official venues (which isn't itself a bad thing, but independent venues are important for community health), the third is just as proprietary as Reddit (you can guarantee that the enshittification of Discord is not far away), and none of these supports the style of nested, threaded comments that is the fundamental UI paradigm upon which the whole utility of Reddit is based.)


IMHO, most of these commercial platforms ultimately will inevitably enshittificate. All the incentives to "maximize shareholder value" is not just a business imperative, they can even be sued by investors for not doing so.

We should consciously try to select open systems - like Discourse, which is 100% open source and still figured out a way to have a sustainable business model.

Maybe, this can be an opportunity for this forum to reorganize and add plugins to make It work more like Reddit, and then just have a pinned post on r/rust to this forum?


Discourse tip: If you paste a link into the Title line when creating a post, it helps you create a Reddit-like view where the link is clickable from the topic list.


Reddit died when they removed their warrant canary in 2016.

I deeply feel the open-source community is capable of developing Reddit alternatives which would function far better than the other enshitified rivals.

1 Like

Because I hate the flat (non-threaded) discussion model that makes it impossible to follow who's talking to who and makes you read every reply twice.


I feel like Lobsters, while a Hacker News, not Reddit, clone, is a good alternative too. Here's the rust tag: rust - Rust programming | Lobsters




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