Mapping the social web

Mapping the social web

Today, we’re publishing our second report – Mapping social web communities. This is part of our ongoing effort to build knowledge sharing communities across different platforms and drive conversations on key issues forward.

This report follows on from our initial investigation into how knowledge sharing networks are structured on the Fediverse, that is Mastoon the cluster of platforms surrounding it. Now, two of our team have done a deep dive on Bluesky and Threads to understand how the wider social web ties together.

This is one of the first efforts to build a picture of interconnected conversations across the social web. Our starting point is how local conversations on these different ecosystems map onto the 62 topics at the core of Newsmast.

We’ve found big differences, and a few areas of overlap. Only Politics and US Politics are strong communities on all three platforms.

As on the Fediverse, Photography is strong on Threads, due to the link to Instagram, but has a limited presence on Bluesky. Academics have transferred to Bluesky in a number of fields. By contrast, very few academics have joined Threads, with some disciplines completely absent. The Fediverse has been established for longer, and has attracted a wider spread of participants across a long-tail of smaller knowledge sharing Communities.

Connecting conversations

The big differences in strengths across the platforms makes the Fediverse uniquely situated to be a knowledge-sharing hub, bringing key voices together.

Our goal is to link up these different communities, and the people who post to them, using the Fediverse as a hub. By doing this Newsmast will create extended communities for knowledge sharing on the wider social web.

We’ve identified nearly two thousand great contributors on Bluesky & Threads and are in the process of encouraging them to link their accounts to the wider network and bringing them to our Communities. 

Next, we’re going to make Newsmast Communities available on Bluesky, connecting the conversation at both ends. 

We’re leading the way in realising an interconnected social web with insightful conversations, not platforms, at their core.