Someone should create a (dynamic) DNS provider (ideally a non-profit) whose only stated mission is to help people take ownership of their Fediverse, e-mail and XMPP identities.

If my identity were (a subdomain instead of user-@), I could move to another instance by requesting a DNS record change, and my social graph would remain intact.

A trustable social contract would be needed so I kept effective ownership of the subdomain; the non-profit would be responsible for that.

@herrabre StatusNet let you register in '09 or something.

@mmn That was forward thinking of them. Did they also provide tools to let people actually move, or was it just a vanity thing?

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@HerraBRE !OStatus (via /.well-known/host-meta and LRDD such as #WebFinger) lets you create aliases on any given domain name. Your alias in !OStatus is just like #WebID, any random string. However, implementations seem to assume it should be a full WebFinger ID such as (which is actually just the human-friendly way to address a lookup endpoint).

The main issue is that the aliases/redirects need to live for as long as people remember the old identifier. Which is likely to be indefinitely.
@mmn @HerraBRE

Side note: WebFinger as used in OStatus may or may not refer to WebFinger pre-draft-03, which removed the host-meta layer of indirection. ISTR GS looks up host-meta but Mastodon doesn't. Also I think Mastodon does JSON by default (as per the RFC) and GS does XML by default (as per the draft as of 2009). Just one of all those fun little OStatus things.

But either way, /.well-known/webfinger still allows for one layer of indirection and can point the consumer to another site for the user feeds.
@clacke doesn't nรคtter what the default for a WebFinger request is because the RFC states that the client MUST provide content type negotiation.

That's why the fallback default for !gnusocial is an XRD, because it's much more parsable.

And yes host-meta lookup was unfortunately removed but that doesn't matter since WebFinger can still reply with proper offsite URLs for the various feeds, such as updates-from etc.
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