First things first, it should be noted that Pump.io is software (and the corresponding free and decentralized network based on it) in alpha status. Even so, it has great technical potential, as it already has a powerful API (application interface) which, basically, is what allows third party programmers, not part of the Pump.io project itself, to create applications (web, desktop, mobile-based) which interact with the Pump system.
Since the system is not yet mature, there are some problems which early users should keep in mind. These are a few suggestions and temporary workarounds for them:
- There is life beyond the web interface. Many people see Pump.io’s web interface, and think the system is very basic and limited. Nothing further from the truth! The thing is that, as we explain in our static page about Pump, the power of this system is based on having lots of different applications built around it, interacting with the “core” of the system: Pumpa, Dianara and Choqok on the desktop, Impeller, Puma, AndStatus and SocialMonkeys in smartphones and tablets, etc.
- Public posts vs. “Cc: Followers”. Due to some current limitations on how pump.io works, comment distribution in non-public posts doesn’t work correctly, so if you publish something to Followers only, your contacts will not see all replies, causing confusion. Just like other pump.io issues, this is in the process of being fixed.
- Reply to the note, not the comment. Again, due to some stuff being still under development, it is possible, in certain circumstances, to reply to a comment, instead of replying to the original note. Since replying to a comment (instead of the original post) shouldn’t be possible, if you do it, your contact might end up not seeing your reply. It’s better to avoid doing it, you’ll save yourself and your contact some confusion.
- Decentralized network. If you used identi.ca in the past, when it was a microblogging system, you’ll probably feel confused about its new appearance and the way it works now. Identi.ca migrated from the StatusNet (now called GNU Social) platform, which was microblogging, to the Pump.io platform, more modular and dynamic. You can use your identi.ca account to communicate with people in any other public Pump.io server, like microca.st, pumpit.info, etc. Registration of new accounts on identi.ca is closed, to promote better federation on the network, that is, to avoid having everyone registering at the same server, which would damage the federated and decentralized nature of the network. If you know people who use identi.ca, simply register in any other Pump server, and you’ll be able to follow them without issues. In fact, your server will probably work better, since it will have less load.
- Careful when copy-pasting. Some people use copy-paste with stuff they posted to Twitter first. This brings several problems. One of them is the fact that the text format is copied over, including the white background. Maybe not every one of your contacts uses a white background, and by forcing the white background, it might be difficult for your contact to read your post, since it’s easy that those copy-paste end up with white background, and text also white, in the computer of a user who uses dark color schemes for their programs. The other, more serious problem is that the web addresses (URL) posted on Twitter, are replaced by fake ones there. If you post a link to http://something.com, Twitter will show that as text, but it will turn the real link into a link to their http://t.co shortener, so they can monitor who clicks each link. If Twitter users decide to use it despite that, it’s their choice, but please, don’t bring their spying over to Pump 😉
- Don’t delete the post with your new avatar. When changing the avatar in your Pump.io profile, the image is published as a post. You should not delete that post, since the post contains your avatar. If you delete that post, your avatar will be deleted too.
- Use titles. If you set a title for your post, references to that post in the Meanwhile feed will use that title, so when someone likes it, or comments on it, instead of the unhelpful “JohnDoe posted a comment in reply to a note”, everyone will see “JohnDoe posted a comment in reply to Some Nicely Titled Post”. It really helps a lot!
We hope these tips and suggestions help you get started with Pump.io on the right foot, avoiding the problems derived from the initial development of the system. If you have questions, leave a comment here, and we’ll expand this entry of the blog with new tips and workarounds.
Pump.io is a very powerful system (even if there’s still much development to be done), one we feel deserves the time investment it requires at the beginning, to get used to it and understand its features.