Protocols and Networks

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This page lists online messaging and social-networking / social-media / social-graph based technologies.

Of Protocols and Networks[edit]

In telecommunication, a communication protocol is a system of rules that allow two or more entities of a communications system to transmit information via any kind of variation of a physical quantity. The protocol defines the rules, syntax, semantics and synchronization of communication and possible error recovery methods. Protocols may be implemented by hardware, software, or a combination of both.


Protocols, or more properly, communications protocols, are a set of conventions by which messages are transmitted between nodes on a network. A given communications network is a set of nodes which share a given protocol.

Nodes may support multiple protocols, protocols may be nested or overlayed, and there may be network-to-network message exchange via common protocols.

In the context of online and social media, protocols define the capabilities and limitations of a particular system. These protocols may be internal and proprietary, as with Google+, Facebook, or Twitter, or open as with SMTP (email), NNTP (Usenet), HTTP (Web), or the various protocols of the Federated Networks: ostatus, activitypub, diaspora, etc. An API may expose some or all of a protocol to programmatic tools and/or third-party systems.

Effectively, protocols define networks, given a set of nodes and links between and through messages are passed according to a specific (set of) protocol(s).

Protocols, generally[edit]

Fediverse Protocols[edit]

Fediverse protocols (from
Protocol Nodes Users URL
ostatus 2,098 1,529,392
activitypub 1,964 1,520,722
diaspora 461 669,750
dfrn 108 13,269
zot 112 3,079
webmention 1 1



Diaspora (protocol)[edit]

  • "How Diaspora Connects Users", by Sarah Mei ( 17 September 2011. "[F]irst in a series of technical posts about Diaspora’s software architecture and code".

Other Federated Protocols[edit]

Networks, generally[edit]