A single OStatus-based PHP app, marketed well, and with an easy install path, might make widespread adoption of OStatus more likely. It could even piggyback on existing WordPress installations as a plugin. Then, anyone with a self-hosted WordPress blog would be able to host their own status updates under a fixed path appended to their existing blog, such as example.com/status/. It also offers the potential for anyone with a WordPress blog to become a provider of status pages for people who didn't want to host their own (because WordPress has an inbuilt user registration system), which could create a distributed, portable network with no lock-in.
There are supposedly 60 million WordPress installations out there. These users already understand the value of owning and hosting their own content. That's an awful lot of potential to kickstart the uptake of a distributed social network, and I'm not sure that anyone's thought to exploit this yet.
Once installed, there's nothing to stop you sharing your entire posts (or snippets) as OStatus messages.
I think it could also be a branding issue. If I was building a distributed OStatus-based social network on the back of private WordPress installations, I would:
1. Market it under a different name than "OStatus". WordPress users need not know that their blog is automatically syndicated via RSS, and users of this new social service need not know that it's powered by OStatus. It is easier to market ideas than it is to market technologies and protocols.
2. Present users with an interface they're familiar with from other social networks, without stealing intellectual property.
3. Create a pretty marketing page that sold the project on its merits as a free social network that nobody owns. Give it a mascot or a bold logo.
4. Encourage the thousands of WordPress-related blogs to write about it, with a goal to drive WordPress developer adoption that might trickle down to other WordPress users too.
With the actual structure you can decide if you want to use the whole pack or only single items and the complete OStatus pack will be compatible with all single plugins/specs.
I agree that the Name "OStatus for WordPress" is not that end-user friendly... but with a better name and a better installer it should be a good start!
If someone is willing to help, please let me know... Up to now it's only me working on all the OStatus plugins (pubsubhubbub, activitystreams, webfinger, salmon, ...)
And a download option for those who have the expertise to setup their own server.
Today, I imagine the lowest barrier to entry would be to build a one-button install on one of the many PaaS's with free tiers. Heroku, DotCloud, maybe even an Amazon micro EC2 instance.
I'm proposing a button like [Create OStatus server]. It goes and provisions you a Heroku or DotCloud or Amazon account, creates an instance with everything installed, you get a link. Done.
We can make it way easier than installing Wordpress. The account provisioning part is tricky but all it takes is a good will partnership from one of the many PaaS providers, in exchange they get to upsell the owner to beefier paid servers.