Federated, community-focused social network and resource repository

:wave: Hey everyone, back in 2018, Outlandish ran a design sprint for MoodleNet, the world’s first federated social network for educators, a decentralised digital commons.

Having taken the project from zero to one, Friday is my last day at Moodle. A lot of the original team are also moving on, although most of them want to continue working on the project through a friendly fork called CommonsPub. It’s already starting to be used for things like the EU-funded REFLOW project to help with co-operation within cities and mutual aid networks.

The technology stack is Elixir on the backend, React on the front-end, and GraphQL as a query language between the two. It’s interoperable with Fediverse apps like Mastodon and Pleroma via the ActivityPub specification. For those interested in more technical details, I suggest checking out the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) which dives into data flows, etc.

Knowing many people within this network, the team that built MoodleNet, and what the world needs, I think there’s a real opportunity here to collaborate on something very worthwhile. I’m hoping to tempt some of the team into this forum, which will be easier if there’s existing interest!


Hello cooperators! I am very much about co-ops (and currently a member of Zo.team) so Doug tempted me easily :wink:

I was the technical architect on the project so am happy to answer any technical questions or discuss any projects where a federated platform could form part of the picture.


Thanks @Mayel! I forgot to say that a big issue with federated social networks is discovery, hence there being a ‘Discover’ page on each instance. We also designed it to use Algolia to search across federated instances that are connected to a ‘mothership’ (i.e. search index)

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Though we are now replacing Algolia (SaaS) with Meili (free software) to enable decentralised search :slight_smile:



I’m not actually in a coop, but I’m probably the biggest contributor to the backend.

We have some pretty cool plans. It’d be great if people wanted to get involved :slight_smile:


Hey, I am Ivan, member of zo.team and dyne and designer/frontend developer of MoodleNet/CommonsPub.
Super interested in exploring ways for shaping new co-op futures for CommonsPub :slight_smile:
I’m particularly interested in extending it to cover economic activities (as we’re doing for the REFLOW project)


Very exciting to have you all here :wave: and get to learn about CommonsPub!
In regards to Reflow, have you been coordinating with https://decidim.org/?


Not yet (as far as I’m aware) but that’s a great shout!

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Wowee, look at that! Congrats on getting there @dajbelshaw @mayel (also hiiiiiiii, it’s been ages!) @dysfun @ivan. We’re not cool enough to use Elixir but I know that @nicolasdimarco uses it in Fiqus.

I would love to hear more about your cool plans…?


In terms of actual applications, probably the next one that hasn’t been mentioned that we’ll release will be a personal blog/microblog/site app, something like pleroma or mastodon plus blogging and some basic cms features.

But more generally, we’re trying to build a few things at once:

  • Applications, of which we already have a few ideas
  • Great quality libraries that solve problems we’ve come across
  • Reusable federation-ready components you can assemble into your own application

So the project is exciting for the apps we’re building, but at the same time, we’re possibly even more excited by what other people will do with our stuff. We’re kinda single-handedly improving both the fedi and elixir ecosystems at once.

And don’t let not knowing elixir worry you too much, @mayel and @ivan both learned it pretty quickly from knowing other languages :slight_smile:


hey, specifically about REFLOW - we’re currently planning to use zenroom, that is a component that was developed during the decode project and integrated in decidim :slight_smile:

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Thanks @ivan, further down the line it would be great to understand how various use cases map out on Decidim and Reflow respectively, I presume they are complimentary?

What’s the best way to find out more about pilots listed on Reflow’s website? When I try to join the newsletter on pilots subpage with .coop domain it tells me Please enter valid email :cry: Twitter is a good start!

In the other thread Decidim is used for voting but it does so much more than that. Hopefully the ecosystems can converge in the long run!

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Hey folks!

This is really interesting… I ended here because in Cambá we’re increasing our work in the educational area, not only setting up a moodle instance but working also in the instructional design based in what we call here “popular education” (Freire and others). So I was very happy when I saw this initiative, we’re also testing decentralized tools with the folks of Startinblox’.

As @Kayleigh said, we were learning a lot of Elixir in FACTTIC, led by @nicolasdimarco and the folks of Fiqus.coop