Mobilizon Releases Beta, Demo Instance

Back towards the end of October, Framasoft made the announcement that their new federated event meet-up platform, Mobilizon, was ready for its initial beta release, along with a demo instance to try out the software. Interested parties are welcome to share feedback here.

Without further ado, I decided to give the platform a test run. These are still early days for the project – it’s worth noting that the developers won’t start focusing on federation until at least December 2019, so the current implementation will be fairly basic.

The Interface

The index of the demo instance, prominently showing a grid of featured events.

Even in its early stages, Mobilizon seems to draw a huge visual inspiration from print design. Much of the interface looks like something from a magazine, featuring simple vector graphics and unified color scheme between many different visual elements.

Creating a new event proved to be incredibly straightforward. If you’ve ever created an event on MeetUp, Facebook, or even Google Calendar, you’ll notice that Mobilizon works in a fairly similar way. The only real limitation I noticed was that events are strictly tied to user accounts. In the future, I’d love to see Events get associated with Groups, which would pretty much put Mobilizon on par with in terms of object-data hierarchy.

The event, once all of the details are saved.

One nice aspect of the events system here is that it’s possible to update the details of an event after it’s already been published. Hypothetically, this might mean that changes made to a published event will federate to participants, once ActivityPub gets fully implemented.

The event I just created, listed in the My Events section

Keeping track of the events you’re participating in is also really easy. In addition to providing an iCal export for individual events, there’s also a dedicated section to remind you of what events you’re currently marked as attending. If you organize an event, it automatically shows up in this list.

I felt apprehensive about this part of the page, if only because of how the links and icons get lost in the magazine-like design.

The platform also includes some link-sharing tools. At the moment, it primarily supports the big centralized social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), plus email. In the future, it would be amazing to see support for more federated networks and services, or at the very least, a way to sync events from Mobilizon to other platforms.

Search results for the keyword “karaoke”. The thumbnail features the top tags associated with an event.

Finally, Mobilizon offers an instance-wide search for event listings. Given that this was just a demo instance, it was a little difficult to get a feel for how these results might function on an instance with many listings. That said, it worked here without any issues.

It’s important to remember that these are still early days for the project, but the platform appears to offer a lot of potential. It’ll be exciting to see how Mobilizon leverages federation, and whether other platforms like GetTogether will ultimately be compatible with it.

Sean Tilley

Sean Tilley has been a part of the federated social web for over 15+ years, starting with his experiences with back in 2008. Sean was involved with the Diaspora project as a Community Manager from 2011 to 2013, and helped the project move to a self-governed model. Since then, Sean has continued to study, discuss, and document the evolution of the space and the new platforms that have risen within it.

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