Tux the Penguin reading books

FOSS Academic

Move Slowly and Build Bridges to be published by Oxford University Press

I am very excited to announce that my next book, Move Slowly and Building Bridges: Mastodon, the Fediverse, and the Struggle for Democratic Social Media will be published by Oxford University Press.

Earlier this year, I sent a proposal (a short synopsis of the book, audience considerations, and two sample chapters) to Oxford. They moved fast. They recruited two peer reviewers who turned around reviews very quickly, and then Oxford’s editorial board reviewed the project. I just received a contract based on these reviews.

The word I got from Oxford is that they are excited about the project – and about the fediverse. That’s really good news, because the normal advice an author would get is to promote one’s work on corporate social media. But I think that any book about the fediverse has to be talked about on the fediverse. Maybe this project can help other academic authors break away from Twitter/X and Facebook/Meta.

So, fediverse, watch for posts about this book from me on Mastodon. I’m also committing to sharing details about the book here on this blog.

What I’m writing about

If you want to know more about the book, I’d first point you to this post, which is the earliest description of this project. Things have evolved somewhat since that post, but for now, that post from early 2022 gives you some insight into what I’m writing about.

I also have a series of posts I’m writing about the creation of ActivityPub – you can see part 1 here and part 2 here. Watch for more of these, since one chapter will focus on the creation of ActivityPub.

Also, watch out for “Alternative Social Media Updates” – those posts discuss news items that are relevant to the project.

And I also have some co-authored journal articles on rethinking social media and codes of conduct that also give you some insight into the project. I do have a chapter focusing on codes of conduct.

But I also plan on writing about specific chapters openly on this blog. Watch for such posts in the coming months. As an example of what that will look like, this post on the “killer hype cycle” is now part of chapter 1 of the book.

How I’m writing it

I also have written about how I’m doing the research. I’ve talked about my use of interviews here – that process is ongoing.

I also wrote about my approach to using subscriptions as a way to support artists and creative folks on the fediverse – that is still ongoing, and will be relevant to a chapter on creativity on the fediverse.

And I have my “Goal 1” series of posts about using FOSS tools to write – I will continue to write about using Zotero, Zettlr, Nextcloud and other tools to write this book.

So, the next 12 months will be hectic, but I’m very gratified to have a publisher lined up for this book. This work has been a focus of mine for many years. I’ve met some incredible, smart, insightful people on the fediverse – I hope this book, and this process, will be up to their standards.

Post Tags


For each of these posts, I will also post to Mastodon. If you have a fediverse account and reply to my Mastodon post, that shows up as a comment on this blog unless you change your privacy settings to followers-only or DM. Content warnings will work. You can delete your comment by deleting it through Mastodon.

Don't have a fediverse account and you want one? Ask me how! robertwgehl AT protonmail . com

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