I think most of us agree that the main problem which Lemmy has today is its lack of users. This is not for technical reasons, as we know it is quite stable and usable. The main cause is that the project is not widely known yet. In this post I will propose what we can do to change that.

First, lets clarify why we should promote Lemmy. Clearly there are many different reasons, and every person prioritizes them differently. So I will just give some common examples:

  • Promote open source (and all the benefits that entails)
  • No advertising or tracking
  • Allow communities to manage themselves, instead of being controlled by corporations
  • Making Lemmy more active, particularly if you would like to see more discussions on certain topics

So how can we promote Lemmy?

I think one of the most effective thing we can do at this point is to post about Lemmy in other communities where we are active. This has the benefit that other people already trust us to some degree. Open source projects looking to setup a forum might also be a good target. When doing this, we should consider which aspects of the project would be most important to the target audience, and emphasize those.

Another option is to contact bloggers, video creators, podcasters or others, and suggest that they report about Lemmy. As above, it is important to adjust the message to the target audience. Because Lemmy is quite small, it is unlikely that major tech magazines or professional content creators would care about it. Instead we should focus on smaller creators. This will also lead to more sustainable growth, and give us some legitimacy in the eyes of bigger creators.

In both cases, we should avoid doing anything that might be perceived as spam. It is better to create one or two high-quality messages, which will give a good impression of the project, rather than a dozen generic ones that tarnish the reputation.

It is worth noting that some important features are still missing in Lemmy, particularly mod tools (we are going to implement them in the next ~12 months). There also aren’t many different instances yet.

When promoting Lemmy like this, please avoid linking to lemmy.ml directly. This instance is already too big relative to other instances, and it is not meant to be a “flagship instance” (What is lemmy.ml?). Instead you should try to find an appropriate instance on join-lemmy.org and link to it, or link to the joinlemmy site directly. You can also explicitly encourage the creation of new instances.

On a side note, it might be worth mentioning the many ways that people can contribute to Lemmy (again depending on the audience). There are the obvious ones, like writing code for lemmy and lemmy-ui, writing documentation or translating. There are also multiple interesting options to create new projects, such as:

  • Create an alternative frontend: nojs frontend like lemmy-lite, a traditional forum frontend or something like stackoverflow
  • Create a new client, be it for mobile, desktop or terminal.
  • Gather instance statistics using lemmy-stats-crawler, and build some nice graphs.

By the way, Lemmy is not just a Reddit alternative, so there is no reason to limit the promotion to Reddit.

To help with these promotion efforts, @dessalines and I would be happy to give interviews via email (in English, German or Spanish). For that, they can get in touch by mailing contact@lemmy.ml.

  • @fiber_death@lemmygrad.ml
    33 years ago

    That would definitely be great, but I think something that may be problematic is the fact that one needs JS to use Lemmy, since many who use Tor are not really fond of JS. (at least I think it needs JS, since I tried deactivating JS on an instance and it told me it needs JS for actions)

    • @yiojaa@lemmy.ml
      03 years ago

      DON’T CALL “Tor” AS Tor Browser! Tor, a standalone software to provide onion services, is independent of JavaScript or something web technology!!! …I was excited too much, so sorry. ;D
      It’s worth for me to enable Javascript on lemmy in order to enjoy its UI though I want to disable Javascript on all sites. Lemmy’s UI – chat sort, compact reply look, preview toggle, and auto adding new comments by different color – is good for me.
      Btw I use uMatrix to turn ON/OFF JavaScript with Tor Browser.

      • @fiber_death@lemmygrad.ml
        33 years ago

        Pardon me. I obviously meant Tor browser and I am aware that «Tor» and «Tor browser» are two different things. I devoured the word «Browser» for the same reason some people say «Photo» rather than «Photograph», but in this case, it had the disadvantage of adding ambiguity, context needing to be taken into account to discern the real meaning.

      • @remram@lemmy.ml
        3 years ago

        Running JavaScript when using Tor is a big risk, independently of the software client you use to browse websites you access through Tor.

        The problem is not merely that Tor Browser disables it by default, there are reasons inherent to Tor and JavaScript that it is that way.