Now that I've explored Hubzilla a bit and gotten used to it, I began to think of some uses that it would be ideal for. We're all familiar with the usual social media mantra of 'bring people closer together' and ' making the world a better place'; you know, the usual Silicon Valley nonsense that has long proven both stale and wrong. FOSS tends to be different though, and one of the things that attracts me to the concept is that it exists for the sake of putting knowledge to use, and not letting the results be subject to restrictions.
Hubzilla is a social network, but like similar FOSS projects, it doesn't have a marketing team that attempts to persuade (or manipulate, depending on your point of view) new users into signing up. Which means that it can be tricky for uninitiated users to know what it is and how they can obtain its benefits without expending the energy to sign up and explore. What helps is if such new users are aware of a clearly defined use for the service that serves as a beacon to guide them to the service and their initial foray into it.
With that in mind, here's a few uses for Hubzilla that I think it's ideal for and could serve as selling points to wider engagement.1. Neighbourhood Hubs
My local neighbourhood association (not a HOA thank goodness) uses Path as a way of sharing information between members and as a way of organizing and promoting local community events. Path is proprietary and despite its marketed restricted nature, also harvests user data. Hubzilla is more than capable of fulfilling the community functions that Path does, and membership to the hub could easily be restricted to users within a geographical area, without limiting their ability to interact with users on other neighbourhood hubs. Hubzilla could easily function as the local news (and gossip) source, a bulletin board, a community calendar, and a forum for discussing neighbourhood issues.2. Organization Hubs
The premise of a social network for an organization of any kind can seem rather unappetizing. It's kind of like when a company creates a social network for employees and only the most brown-nosing in the ranks sign up. Yet some organizations could benefit from running a hub as a productivity tool instead of a social one. The file-sharing abilities of Hubzilla would be useful, and integrating other FOSS communication and productivity tools like #Matrix
would only enhance and extend those abilities.3. Club Hubs
One of the great aspects of Hubzilla is that users can reside on more than one hub, but can choose a primary hub and federate from there. For entities like clubs, Hubzilla would be a great way to provide a central point for members and non-members alike. There could be a public-facing channel, and a private one for members. Akin to the neighbourhood benefits listed above, clubs could benefit from the social, organizational, file sharing, and photo sharing abilities. Think of the benefits of Facebook's pages but with much better member cohesion.
These are just a few ideas for what Hubzilla is ideally suited for. I'm sure there are many others, but it's worth considering as the platform grows.