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    While the decision to stop expanding mastodon.social was the right one, one could argue he should not have made the second one. I can’t help but feel he’s making the situation worse.

    A decision could have been made to either make a series of instances, run by different people, and promote those. Or, even better, invest more in promoting existing instances to better distribute the influx of users.

    I think the latter decision would have fit more in the spirit of the fediverse.

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      I think we should also consider the new user experience here. If you join a small instance:

      • there is very little activity
      • searches for hashtags return almost 0 results
      • it’s difficult to find interesting people via the federated timeline (because of its low volume)

      Relays can fix this issue but they still require an instance with a high volume of traffic in order to be useful. Given this, it’s no surprise that users flock to mastodon.social, people are joining mastodon to talk to people, not necessarily to further any FLOSS ideologies.

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        Given this, it’s no surprise that users flock to mastodon.social, people are joining mastodon to talk to people, not necessarily to further any FLOSS ideologies.

        Moreover, most non-techies, would ask why one would have to choose an instance at all. While it is ideologically good to have federation to avoid centralization, and it makes it easier to find a stream of toots for like-minded people, for most folks having users across different instances will only be utterly confusing.

        (I don’t know the solution to this usability problem.)

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          Even as a techy I’ve struggled with this same problem. I’ve considered trying out Mastodon a few times and whenever I get to the choose a server they lose me. The line “One server will be hosting your account and part of your identity.” is scary. Can I migrate an identity or am I stuck? Why is an Italian server and a French server featured. Does that matter? Which server has people I’d be interested in? When you join Twitter you don’t get forced to decide your interests, you figure that out later. This is a huge barrier to entry.

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            I think you’re misunderstanding something in that it’s not meant to be just a straight up twitter replacement that happen to have servers.

            It’s like joining a forum, you’re picking a community to join. Not just a server.

            There’s more effort that goes into it, but that’s the point.

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              But what if you want to change communities? What if you have no idea what you’re interested in and just want to see what’s out there? I’ve had the same problem with these distributed networks, I never feel I have enough information to effectively choose an instance, so I just choose the instance hosted by the project itself. If there isn’t one, I usually just don’t bother.

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                Mastodon has built in tools for account migration. When you migrate, your follows and followers come with and your old account shows a link to your new one saying you migrated.

                It’s really easy. Folks do it quite often.

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                  This needs to be emphasized better I think. Being able to exit your current mastodon host if you don’t like them for whatever reason is a big advantage of the fediverse over twitter, if only this was made clear to people.

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                    That’s fine unless your reason for changing communities is that the old one got sold to someone who is trying to extract maximum profit out of it (in which case they are going to turn that feature off early).

                    I’ve raised this with the mastodon folks (supporting multiple domains pointed at the same host would entirely mitigate this problem) - they agree it’s a problem, but not a priority.

                    I’d be happy to use another host as long as I owned the domain name.

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                      That’s fine unless your reason for changing communities is that the old one got sold to someone who is trying to extract maximum profit out of it

                      There is no precedent for this ever happening. If you’re so worried about that being the case, just be sure to join a small community in the first place with admins you trust not to do something like that.

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                        no precedent

                        That’s fair. It’s previously only happened to email providers, blog hosts, wikis, forums, subreddits and newsgroups. I’m sure mastodon hosts will never be affected.

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                          You say this, but you clearly have never interacted with a large majority of the Mastodon userbase who would sooner chop off their own right leg before selling out.

                          It’s crazy what happens when folks are committed to their values, as much of the Mastodon community certainly is.

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                            It doesn’t matter what the userbase wants; what matters is what the owners of the domain names want.

                            Perhaps these ones have better principles than those who came before, perhaps not. It’s ultimately irrelevant because people and principles change given time.

                            Plenty of gmail accounts are 15 years old. “Don’t be evil” was coined at google 20 years ago. Lots of things that make sense on a month-to-month scale break down when you think about decades.

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                              Yes it does? If the users of a community instance (which, again, ideally won’t be too huge) all leave then what does it matter what the admin wants?

                              This sort of thing has happened quite a bit. Users of an instance get angry at the decisions of an admin so they ditch.

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                                If the users of a community instance (which, again, ideally won’t be too huge) all leave then what does it matter what the admin wants?

                                Mutually assured destruction is an option, but it’s not a desirable outcome. Much that is good gets destroyed in the process - starting with the social fabric which is the reason for the whole thing existing.

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                  It’s like joining a forum, you’re picking a community to join. Not just a server.

                  I disagree, and I think that this has been a big mistake. Most people don’t have special identities for communities, and even if they do, there’s no point for these people to all be one one instance. After all, if federated, there should be no practical difference (expect maybe for technical details such as speed) what server who is on.

                  Instances should be more transparent than they are now. The only relevant things are how well the administration team can manage the server, and how much you trust them.

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                I tried to join Mastodon.social a few weeks ago; someone linked one of their messages (or “toot”, if you will) here and I felt I had something useful to add.

                I failed. I signed up on Mastodon.social (I think? the entire sign-up process was confusing) and could kind-of-but-not-quite login, but I couldn’t really reply to the message. I tried to figure it out for 15 minutes and eventually just gave up, as I don’t really care enough to try more.

                If you really care about decentralisation, I think you need to think very long and hard not so much about the technology of it, but how to pull it off while remaining usable. I think some sense of pragmatism instead of “perfectly decentral” solution would help as well.

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                  I’ve never had nor had anyone ever express to me that they’ve had these kinds of issues, and I’ve run a couple of instances.

                  I think this rests solely as a “you problem” if I’m entirely honest.

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                    To build on mdszy’s reply, some think of “Random person can join the network just to post an off-the-cuff reply”[0] as a feature rather than a bug since it limits drive-by disruptions and eases the moderation burden.

                    Anyone who wants to build a community instead of sell growth numbers to VCs needs sign-up friction if they’re going to filter for other people invested in the community.

                    [0] I assume that arp242 had a well-reasoned and thought-out reply but that would be the exception.

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                      I guess it depends on what your goals are; if you want to create a relatively small high-quality community then having a higher barrier to signups is probably a good thing – this is what Lobsters does with the invite system.

                      But if you want to make inroads in creating a more decentralised internet, and I believe this is what many want with Mastodon, then it’s important – vital even – to make sure the experience is as frictionless as possible.

                      Perhaps the nice thing about Mastodon is that as I understand it you can do both, at least in principle.

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                        Agreed. Decentralization may depend more on social/interpersonal solutions than technical/UX ones, though.

                        Early adopters can handle a few hurdles to joining. We may need an easy invite system to reach the early majority, one where the early adopters make it super-simple to get started by pre-filling information for them. Early Gmail invites had you choose the username for the invitee, for example, and goodness knows Discord has made that easy.

                        Maybe some research into ideal userbase numbers for instances with 1-3 moderators, so that we can figure out when and where proactive new server creation would help (instead of waiting until server splits are forced by discord/burnout).

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                        some think of “Random person can join the network just to post an off-the-cuff reply”[0] as a feature rather than a bug since it limits drive-by disruptions and eases the moderation burden.

                        I most certainly agree. Thanks for this.

                        Also to add, many instances use signups by approval only, where once you sign up, a moderator has to approve your application. This is basically the best solution we have to the spam problem - since I often get applications from literal spam accounts, it’s clear that it’s working.

                        But yes, part of the benefit of the friction is kind of requiring folks to actually care a little bit rather than just see something, make an account, comment on it and never look again.

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                  I have exactly this problem. I’m considering server hopping yet again.

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                  Choosing an instance has kind of stymied me from getting into Mastodon. I totally get that it’s decentralized. So is email. But I choose an email provider for reasons like reliability, price and features … not because I’m a gamer or Swedish or into BSD or furry fanfic. I also have an email address whose domain name I own, so my identity isn’t handcuffed to my choice of provider.

                  So being asked by the Mastodon sign-up process to choose an identity based on a (small) choice of interests or subculture identifications is weird and difficult and off-putting.

                  I also get that Mastodon instances are kind of like small communities, and there’s value in that. But making this such a big part of onboarding acts to negate network effects, making Mastodon less attractive (to most) compared to centralized communities where you just sign up and don’t have to first figure out which 50 users you;d most like to talk with.

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                    So is email. But I choose an email provider for reasons like reliability, price and features … not because I’m a gamer or Swedish or into BSD or furry fanfic.

                    Choosing a fediverse instance is not like choosing an email provider, it’s more like choosing a neighbourhood to live in. It won’t prevent you from going other places, but the people around you will be those with who you interact the most, generally. Of course, something like mastodon.social is like any big city, a sea of pretty much anonymous users.

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                      But I choose an email provider for reasons like reliability, price and features … not because I’m a gamer or Swedish or into BSD or furry fanfic.

                      I can totally relate to this and suggest people either: host their own if they have a domain name or select a big instance so that they don’t have issues like this one: https://mastodon.social/@Gargron/100639540096793532

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                        Mastodon is an absolute pig to self-host assuming you care about backups & reliability. I’d like to pay someone to take care of that, but that’s uneconomical for a single user because it can’t share resources across domain names.

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                          Agreed. It seems we’re in the infancy of the Fediverse as all available solutions have issues here or there. I actually wrote my own ActivityPub client/server that’s minimal (almost no server code). For the record there are hosted mastodon instances: https://masto.host/

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                            masto.host starts at 7 euro a month. That is not economical. It’s what providers need to charge because the mastodon code A) doesn’t implement host-sharing, and B) is written in rails (to be clear, I love rails, but it’s not cheap to run).

                            I’m running honk, which works sort-of-alright.

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                      It’s a tough nut to crack. Network effects result in a power law distribution of community sizes, i.e. the big get bigger. It makes sense to be where the action is, just like people like to move into large cities.

                      Why would I pick a smaller instance? There are a lot of downsides: server can disappear without notice, version upgrade lag, remote follow issues, the whole instance can get blocked, and the extra hassle of picking the suitable instance in the first place. Sampling the different communities takes time and your account will carry their name, so pick carefully!

                      Of course there are advantages: it can run faster, you can own your data, community may be tighter. The whole point of the Fediverse is federation but why would I make my life slightly more difficult if I just wanted a Twitter without promoted tweets or US presidents?

                      Maybe the flagship instance should encourage people to move into a smaller community after six months of membership? Just make it as easy as clicking a single button.

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                        Agreed. One nice side-effect of mastodon’s growth is the discussion we see about trust. I trust twitter to not pack up and disappear more than I trust some random server admin, but I also trust that same admin to not build surveillance or advertising profiles on me.

                        It’s easy to label it as a twitter alternative, and if you only stay on the large instances then yeah, mastodon is basically twitter but small. But describing it like twitter to users who join small instances, without having them consider who they’re trusting and what they’re trusting them with, is dangerous.

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                        I agree, and I have pretty strong feelings about this.

                        I mostly use three instances, two out of the three Silence mastodon.social (i.e. you can’t see content from the instance unless you follow the user from there). One of those is because I admin the instance. On the instance that doesn’t Silence m.s, I silence it myself on a user-level. I also refuse to interact with or accept followers from mastodon.social users.

                        I’ve never had any problems with this setup, and I encourage everyone to do so.

                        However I fully recognize that this is easier said than done. Many folks probably have friends on mastodon.social which makes outright not interacting with them a non-starter.

                        I do think though that m.s is too big and agree with the honestly kinda harsh take that a lot of folks using m.s are probably just using it as a way to say “hey see i’m on mastodon i did the minimum amount of effort to appear cool” and then they just plug a twitter crossposter into their account instantly.

                        Sorry to make this post even longer, but there’s another theme I’m noticing in this thread that is something that really irritates me about some people’s reaction to fedi.

                        You’re not joining just a server when you choose a Fediverse instance. You’re joining a community. That’s the entire point. It’s a group fo communities. Stop thinking of them just as servers that happen to host you.

                        They’re communities with their own themes, goals, policies and expectations.

                        You can’t just go into it thinking you can just jump in and get fed a bunch of people to follow or hashtags to look at like Twitter provides. You, gasp, have to put in some effort in order to get benefits back from these communities.

                        And Fedi is better for it.

                        Time to purge the brain poison that Twitter and Facebook and etc. have left which makes people think Social Interaction is now this trivial thing we don’t need to put any effort into anymore.

                        Put effort in, and you’ll get the massive benefits out.

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                          You’re not joining just a server when you choose a Fediverse instance. You’re joining a community. That’s the entire point. It’s a group fo communities. Stop thinking of them just as servers that happen to host you.

                          Have you considered that not everyone shares your opinion on the Fediverse and that it’s actually OK? Some people don’t consider themselves part of any small community and just want to interact with others on any random topics that they’re interested in.

                          Crossposters are annoying but I don’t see anything wrong with normal people setting up accounts on generic servers.

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                            This isn’t just my opinion, this is how fedi is supposed to work. One of the main reasons A LOT of people use it is because they’re sick of being siloed into one massive social network site and miss a sense of community.

                            if you don’t want that, then fedi isn’t for you. plain and simple.

                            you can’t ignore the social aspects of a social network by saying “I don’t think that’s how it should work” and then being surprised when nobody else wants things to behave that way.

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                              This isn’t just my opinion, this is how fedi is supposed to work.

                              According to who? Could you point the link to ActivityPub spec that clarifies that?

                              One of the main reasons A LOT of people use it is because they’re sick of being siloed into one massive social network site and miss a sense of community.

                              A LOT of people use Facebook should the internet be just for browsing Facebook? Nope - you can use Fedi your way but don’t reject people that don’t want to close themselves in small communities because some people think “this is how fedi is supposed to work”.

                              if you don’t want that, then fedi isn’t for you. plain and simple.

                              Why? If I don’t join furries instance or BSD network “fedi isn’t for me”? Can’t I just use it to communicate with other people regardless on which instance they’re on? For me this seems to be in spirit of the Fediverse - federation.

                              you can’t ignore the social aspects of a social network by saying “I don’t think that’s how it should work” and then being surprised when nobody else wants things to behave that way.

                              I’m not surprised, I’m actually surprised that people want to join one specific instance as if using BSD or drawing was just one characteristic that defines them. What if they migrate to Plan9? Should they move their account? It seems I’m not alone with this issue: https://lobste.rs/s/d4t4ex/centralisation_mastodon#c_wjdcsr

                              For the record I don’t have problems with communication on the Fediverse, thanks for your concerns.

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                                According to who? Could you point the link to ActivityPub spec that clarifies that?

                                Stop trying to apply purely technical solutions to social problems. It doesn’t work.

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                                  You didn’t answer my question and I didn’t apply any technical solution to social problems so I’m not sure why you bring this up. Let me repeat it: who said that “it’s not now fedi is supposed to work”?

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                            One of those is because I admin the instance. On the instance that doesn’t Silence m.s, I silence it myself on a user-level. I also refuse to interact with or accept followers from mastodon.social users.

                            You are blocking people only because they are using the largest instance?

                            It’s already annoying that you have to pick a server at all, but even worse are seemingly random (to the user) silencing policies. I am on mastodon.social (but rarely use it), because I had no idea what other server to pick. There were services which had a clear description that do not align with my interests, but then there were many more where I wouldn’t have the slightest clue why I would pick one over another. It’s a very weird thing to ask from someone who is completely new to a social network and doesn’t have a clue what the implications are of picking an instance. So I picked the largest because it probably has the smallest probability to go under.

                            At any rate, one day I decide to follow Drew DeVault because I like sr.ht and sort of keep an eye on Sway. Turns out I couldn’t because mastodon.social decided to block/silence/whatever him without a clear explanation. This definitely soured opinion of Mastodon. So, we have federation, but actually you cannot federate with a lot of folks because of $REASONS most people do not want to care about.

                            I fear that as Mastodon and the larger fediverse grows, these issues will only get larger, because most people do not want or cannot host their own instances and will be at the mercy of instance administrators who will block/silence any instance that they have some grudge with, are too centralized, or that they don’t politically agree with.

                            Edit: the parent post has been extended substantially, so this comment may be outdated.

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                              You are blocking people only because they are using the largest instance?

                              This kind of behavior is exactly why I’m recommending people to just use mastodon.social and be done with it (now mastodon.online). Each random instance has their own admin quirks that would put off normal people in the long run.

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                                So it sounds like you’re just looking for a Twitter clone. Sounds like fedi isn’t right for you, then, huh?

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                                  Why? I’m pretty happy using Mastodon for months with a lot of nice interactions. Should I stop because it doesn’t match your description on how it should look like?

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                                    I think you should stop prescribing how a social network should work on a technical level, or how folks should moderate their own servers, in order to fit your vision of it perfectly.

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                                      It’s very funny because I thought it is exactly you who is prescribing me how I should use it (“So it sounds like you’re just looking for a Twitter clone. Sounds like fedi isn’t right for you, then, huh?”). I never did ask for any changes, why did you bring the “how folks should moderate their own servers, in order to fit your vision of it perfectly.”? I also did not present any “vision”: on the contrary it seems that it’s you that’s presenting one.

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                                        No, I’m describing how communites on mastodon behave.

                                        You’re the one that’s so caught up with how admins making decisions is somehow the worst thing ever even though it’s something that has been a part of every single website and online community since the beginning of time.

                                        I’m done.

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                                          You’re the one that’s so caught up with how admins making decisions is somehow the worst thing ever even though it’s something that has been a part of every single website and online community since the beginning of time.

                                          It would be good if you quoted what I actually said instead of assuming I said something that I didn’t. In my experience smaller instances have much more risks than bigger ones that can actually better handle misbehavior. (I assume you’re talking about the link I pasted: https://mastodon.social/@Gargron/100639540096793532 )

                                          I’m done.

                                          Have a nice day! 👋

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                                You are blocking people only because they are using the largest instance?

                                I’m not blocking them. They can still view my instance’s content (and my instance is a small community, and it’s meant to be that way). Their content just won’t show up to my instance, it keeps things quiet and peaceful when looking at the Federated Timeline (a timeline that shows content from all the instances that your instance “knows about”)

                                I decide to follow Drew DeVault because I like sr.ht and sort of keep an eye on Sway. Turns out I couldn’t because mastodon.social decided to block/silence/whatever him without a clear explanation

                                Do you feel this way about folks who are suspended from Twitter for violating their policies? I don’t know the exact situation, but I know of Drew well enough to not be at all surprised that he violated a policy on mastodon.social and therefore was suspended from the instance entirely. That’s how it works. Violate an instance’s policies, get suspended. If you care that much, find an instance that is friendlier to the folks who you want to interact with and join it. Nobody’s stopping you, and nobody’s stopping other instances from deciding they don’t want to have anything to do with that sort of thing either.

                                This is how literally every other community for the history of the internet has worked. You cannot pretend it is something new with fedi.

                                If a community does not want you, they’ll get rid of you. That’s how things work. Forums, Twitter, reddit subreddits, etc. etc. etc. etc.

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                                  This definitely soured opinion of Mastodon. So, we have federation, but actually you cannot federate with a lot of folks because of $REASONS most people do not want to care about

                                  No, this is on you for having chosen an instance that’s heavily moderated. Go pick another one that’s more lenient.

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                                    No, this is on you for having chosen an instance that’s heavily moderated.

                                    How could I know?

                                    Go pick another one that’s more lenient.

                                    How do I know? The stated rules are often so general, that they could or could not apply heavy moderation. Can I already move my account without losing any followers or toots?

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                                      Can I already move my account without losing any followers or toots?

                                      Not toots, but you won’t lose followers. Migrating an account to a new instance is easy.

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                                        you will indeed lose followers unless all servers that your followers are on follow the Move protocol, which is not guaranteed.

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                                          How does it behave if someone on instance A follows you while you’re on instance B, then you move your account to instance C, and instance A blocks / doesn’t federate with instance C? I assume you’ll lose that follower?

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                                            Yes. it’s not a very good migration mechanism.

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                                  Yep, this is everything I’ve wanted to say and more. People assume Mastodon is a drop-in Twitter alternative. No! It’s more than that. It’s more personal, engagements are more real.

                                  I too block mastodon.social on my instance (I run it). I even wrote a rant about people joining it—you’re right, it’s to look cool on Twitter is all.

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                                    Not gonna lie, I read your rant before writing this and wholeheartedly agreed with it haha.

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                                      Hah! I didn’t think people read my posts without me posting them on Lobsters. ;)

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                                    What solution pleroma solves in contrast to Mastodon? Can you elaborate a bit more? Edit: because I thought Mastodon and Pleroma both use ActivityPub and can interconnect that way.

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                                      Yep both use the same protocol. I suggested pleroma because I think meta-federation is important, meaning that not all instances should run mastodon and also instances running different software should be able to talk between each other.

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                                    Trunk can help a little regarding discoverability https://communitywiki.org/trunk otherwise it’s been some time I’m on the fediverse and I encounter less and less people from mastodon.social, it’s like the instance where you begin your journey then you usually move to an instance that suits you more or create your own.

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                                      I’ve worked a bit with ActivityPub, and what concerns me more than centralization around a few Mastodon servers is centralization around Mastodon’s specific ActivityPub implementation. AP is a loose and flexible spec and most ActivityPub implementations basically just implement Mastodon’s API, which leaves me wondering what the value of the protocol is?

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                                        I would love to see a version of mastodon ( or diaspora! ) that implements a shared user database using a blockchain for storing user authentication info and profile data.

                                        Does anyone know if Secure scuttlebutt has a function like this? I’ll have to read up on that project if it does.

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                                          Does anyone know if Secure scuttlebutt has a function like this?

                                          Well, not really. There is no central authority on Secure Scuttlebutt. And yet: Each user has access to to their own data plus the data belonging to all users within their “hops circle”. The number of hops is configurable: hops=1: my friends, hops=2: my friends and their friends, and so on.

                                          I have config.friends.hops=4 and the API call friends.createFriendStream() reports that I can see a total of 19674 feeds. For these almost 20k feeds I have theoretical access to their public key, profile data and all their posts and likes — even when I’m offline. But each of these ~20k users most probably have a different set of feeds within each their “hops circle” and so the total amount of data they have access to is also different.

                                          Secure Scuttlebutt is more like relations in real life: The total population may be quite big, and theoretically you have access to all the data about the entire population. In reality, though, you only have access to a limited amount of data based on how many friends and acquaintances your have and how outgoing you are.


                                          Convenience link for those who do not know Secure Scuttlebutt (“SSB”): https://scuttlebutt.nz/

                                          For those who want to try out what SSB has to offer, please remember: Because there are no central servers, you will only see your own posts on the public timeline until you connect with somebody else. You can connect with someone just by being on the same LAN, or your can join a pub or a room.

                                          I’m unsure how up-to-date the scuttlebutt.nz site is, but it should be able to get most people started.

                                          If you have trouble onboarding, which can be the biggest hurdle for many, feel free to contact me.

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                                          I tried to use the fediverse as a Twitter replacement and failed, multiple times.

                                          Worst of all is the fact that it works different than email. I want to use my own domain and not keep switching handles. When I first tried this, no software had migration. Anyway. Then I went to create an account on mastodon.social because I didn’t have the random small instance shutting down (like my own).

                                          The main problem for me is though that the people I interact with are still on Twitter. There have been 2-3 waves every 1-2 years but interest dies down again quickly. I don’t want to follow tags, I don’t want to join a new community, I just like the format (I see it as between email and chat, like Twitter basically) - but I don’t like Twitter. I’m just using because my friends, buddies and people I kinda know are.

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                                            I just started using Mastodon via an instance a friend runs. As a total newbie I don’t quite know how to find more people, but it’s nice so far. I like that I can follow people in other instances, and it’s not Twitter. I’m shapr@recurse.social let’s toot!

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                                              I somewhat disagree with this article.

                                              Mastodon instances are pretty much meaningless unless you use specific subject instances (shoutout to the best photographer community http://photog.social) but general instances are completely replacable.

                                              Mastodon.social is the worst place you can go to experience mastodon. Instead as article pointed out stick to smaller niche instances, for example my favorite instance is photog.social which is a small, friendly and tech savy photographer community. There’s probably an instance for whatever passion you have too!

                                              Maybe there should be an artificial limit for registrations on every instance.

                                              Migrations are also have been quite easy with latest mastodon version: you get your follows, followers, old user page redirects to a new one and the only thing you don’t get is your post history.

                                              Alternatively since it’s all federated you can use other clients. My favorite being socialhome that allows you to subscribe to tags (similar to how diaspora works). But there’s also photo sharing platform pixelfed, reddit like alternative lemmy and of course Pleroma that has been discussed in this thread already. Just take a look at https://fediverse.party/en/fediverse/ !

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                                                I’ve been pretty happy with Mastodon and many of the instances out there. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I’m happy to suggest an instance that is pretty active that lines up well with your interests. I do recommend finding one that aligns with your interests. If you are on this site, you’ll probably like the one kev is on. One nice thing about joining an instance with some theme is that the local timeline of all people on the instance will give you an idea of the first few people to follow.

                                                If you are obsessed with owning your data, you really should operate your own instance. In that case, follow a bunch of people and your federated timeline will be all the people they interact with.

                                                A big reason lots of people don’t use Mastodon / Pleroma / Diaspora / etc is they come from a place with lots of connections expect to find the equivalent voices there and when they don’t magically do they get frustrated and leave. You have to put in the work, but I think in return you get something pretty interesting.

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                                                  doing the numbers, I’m following 120 people on mastodon, about half of them active (since I never clean up, the other half is mostly dead instances and “duplicates” from people who migrated instances). Of the active users, there’s about 8 on mastodon.social (and about the same number of m.s accounts on there that redirect to some other instance now). So, at least in my experience, m.s has a high rate of churn and most m.s users either quit mastodon or migrate after a while. Of course the people I follow aren’t a representative demographic. Nonetheless I’d say m.s’ existence as a monolith hasn’t really harmed the communities I’m part, of at the least. Although there’s a big argument to be made about that m.s is a bit of a cesspool because it’s effectively to big to moderate, which is why, as I understand it, a lot of smaller instances block or mute m.s to keep their own moderation more tractable

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                                                    If the goal is to entice people to switch from twitter to mastodon, making the transition as easy as possible should be the main focus, and so large instances like these are fine. Let people just log in and toot. Let them try it out before getting on my instance and cluttering it up with dead accounts. If they like it and they want to learn more, they will make another account somewhere else. Does anyone have just one mastodon account? I don’t think so.