My favorite people to follow are:
@Chrishallbeck@mastodon.social (webcomics artist)
@email@example.com (writes jokes)
@Gargron@mastodon.social (creator of mastodon)
@firstname.lastname@example.org (author of ActivityPub)
And a few cool engineers:
Also come follow my account , I don't post often, but I tend to share updates on my projects, cool startup/webdev related stuff, and some digital art. I should get back on mastodon and post more stuff...
One feature request: webcomics bot should provide links to the original when posting, so that people can find webcomics they want to follow regularly.
The bot should be posting links to the comic pages and let mastodon's multimedia stuff extract preview images.
Anything other than that may be "convenient", but is ultimately entirely self-serving at the detriment of the people whose work the bot is using.
How do you feel about fixing that, rayalez?
Also, for anyone wondering why this matters, further reading from an incident last year: https://twitter.com/aurahack/status/902363519672360962 - https://twitter.com/i/moments/901869159931187200
I think a lot of the authors expect their images to be shared all over the internet, so they include a url to their site in an image.
Not everyone, and I understand that's not ideal. But the alternative is curating it manually (which I don't have the time for), or shutting it down (but many people seem to find it useful, so I figured I won't do that unless one of the comics authors complains).
If you want to help curating the comics - send me a message!
https://mastodon.social/@eevee - good tech blogger
https://mastodon.art/@Curator - admin of an art-based instance who boosts lots of cool art
https://framapiaf.org/@davidrevoy - artist behind https://peppercarrot.com
https://octodon.social/@emersion - friend of mine who works on cool projects with me
How to follow -> click "remote follow" on any profile and fill in your account details.
Sometimes if the remote instance's entire feed is interesting I might set up a "read only" account on that instance to get an idea of people to remote follow from my main account. I've heard good multi-instance clients can help a lot with that, but I've not yet found a multi-instance supporting client I like.
It's not something I've considered on my instance, to keep costs down and because I like the opportunity to curate it manually a bit.
Oh, and https://smeap.com/@max if anyone was curious to follow.
Ok, that's not much of a list. I tend to have favorite threads rather than favorite people:
Organizations: https://mastodon.technology/@kde, https://mastodon.social/@Purism, https://status.fsf.org/fsf, and https://mastodon.technology/@conservancy
Those who make interesting posts: https://cybre.space/@theZacAttacks, https://mastodon.social/@natecull, and https://dev.glitch.social/@MightyPork.
I'm https://mastodon.technology/@danielhglus, by the way.
And browsing the local timeline of https://mastodon.technology with the unmung tool (direct link: http://www.unmung.com/mastoview?url=mastodon.technology&view...) might turn up some interesting people to follow as well.
- Michael W. Lucas, author: https://bsd.network/@mwlucas
- Amanda Rousseau, malware researcher: https://mastodon.social/@malwareunicorn
- John Scalzi, author: https://mastodon.social/@scalzi
- Jenn Schiffer, artist and dev at Glitch: https://toot.cafe/@jenn
I am squatting at https://mastodon.social/@brendes, lurking silently until more scientists show up.
She runs the http://aiweirdness.com blog, which is delightful
Jokes apart, I'm trying my best to make it a more technical instance, but I can't control what the users toot. I just hope that someone joins a tech instance to talk about tech...
I think the point of an instance with a topic has more to do with the fact that people on that instance tend to be people with similar interests to you, not that every single post is about that topic.
Once you join an instance are you stuck on that instance for life? What happens if you want to participate on another instance? Can I reply to comments on other instances?
Ideas are being discussed as to how your followers can follow you when you move, but that's tricky given the entire concept of federation.
This is explained on the page I wrote, but if anyone on your instance follows person X on another instance, toots from person X turn up on the federated timeline on your instance, you can have a chance to see those toots. Similarly, if someone on your instance boosts a toot, it turns up on your instance, so you can see it and decide whether or not you want to remote follow that person. This the network of connections grows, albeit slowly.
And yes, you can comment on threads on other instances.
Hope that helps. You can always join an instance with a throwaway account, try it out, and if migration does come to life, migrate. If not, start afresh on the instance of choice with a new account. Come find me here:
Firefox users can right click on the browser chrome, go to Customize, and add a subscribe button that lights up when a page has a feed. It's not as snug a fit as what used to go in the address bar, but it still works.
> Firefox users can right click on the browser chrome, ...
... but I've made a note of your comment, and when I get time I'll go hunting to find out how it works. It seems to me that RSS/Atom/Subscription is going to make a comeback. Technical people are moving off other platforms and putting their output on their own sites, so some sort of subscription management is the way to go.
We'll see. Thank for the reply.
I tend to just open up the browser interface and scroll down will I don't recognise things, then read upwards. I've wondered about writing a took to do that, the idea being that if I do so and find it useful then I can offer it to others, and then if it becomes popular then it might get integrated into the code. It is, after all, open source. My problem is that I can't see how the interface would work. "Displayed" is not the same as "have read", and if i's been a while then it might be along way back.
It's things like this that let to the "Things you might have missed" feature in Twitter. Does Mastodon need something similar? Personally, I prefer it as it is, but I can see how others might want something different.
The interface works well with the Twitter clients I've used, usually involving showing a count of unread messages which decreases as one scrolls up. All can be marked as read by scrolling to the top (e.g. by tapping on the count). I suspect it might be harder to manage given the federated nature, though.
And if you want to migrate you should be able to download am your stuff and migrate follower lists etc
People are actively working on it to ensure that people can move across instances smoothly, but it's not yet there.
Y@J can announce they're moving and say where they're going, but there's no automated process. Several have been proposed, all (so far) can be horrendously abused. So far, X@I has to see the notification and follow Y@K manually.
As far as I know, a lot of people have different accounts for their different centers of interest.
Everyone you see on the public timeline is on a server that contains at least one person someone om your server follows. Thats how servers get to know each other. If you go seek out and follow someone on madeupname.social and youre the first to do so them you have caused new federation!
Its a good thing. Interract with as many people as you care to and your instance will benefit. This isnt like Reddit where subs will ban you for contributing in any way to subs they dont like. Its just not like that
I've clicked on your link, but from the page I get I can find no way to follow you.
What should I be doing? Do I click the "Subscribe" link at the top left? Given that your page doesn't look at all like the Mastodon I'm used to, it's not at all clear.
Part of the fun of Mastodon is opening up the Local feed and seeing what everyone on the instance is talking about even if you don't follow them.
Pick one to be your "primary" where you do your following but don't forget to check up on the exciting things going on with the other instances too.
But really, you can join anywhere, don't think about it too hard. You can always follow anyone from anywhere. I have a very diverse follower/follow list, instance-wise.
If looking for techies, they're scattered across several instances. The i.write.codethat.sucks instance I am on I think is on the smaller side.
Come say hi! :-)
In case anyone's vaguely interested I can be reached at email@example.com. I mostly post about hardware hacking and conferences.
As for interesting people to follow (biased in favor of people who post interesting technical content) I recommend https://mastodon.social/@natecull, https://cybre.space/@a_breakin_glass, https://mastodon.social/@hisham_hm, https://mastodon.social/@tomharris, and https://hackers.town/@thegibson
I'm at https://a.weirder.earth/@enkiv2 at the moment.
For cool retro computing stuff, and general archival-of-tech stuff
Pretty much every other account on https://bsd.network/
https://mastodon.social/@qrs for retrocomputing and CG pictures
In short, it's a sort of Twitter like thing, but no ads, chronological timeline, not controlled by a single organisation, and federated across multiple instances.
Its a federated social network. It is like a cross between Twitter and email. Anyone can start a server and set their own community rules and guide lines. If you or someone on your server remotely follows someone they like on another server then your servers will federate and posts from both will be in the public timeline. Eventually you will have a full timeline of many servers. Though your admin can silence or outright block other instances. Most GS veteran admins prefer their users just block people, as full instance banning is an extreme measure and against the spirit of federation. This is also a future-proof approach to social networking because if your server and its admin are malicious you can either start your own or just move and you still can contribute to the same network of people as before.
Recently a guy named Eugen who goes by @firstname.lastname@example.org made Mastodon and a patreon account to support its development.
It has a troubled history, as the early adopters of Mastodon were Twitter and Tumblr users from the far-left pro-censorship crowd. They didnt understand how federation worked but they were paying Eugen's bills so he focused on redundant administration tools instead of more critical fixes (its ok now tho). Many popular Mastodon servers for example cybre.space, witches.town(now dead), and others they maintained big instance block lists and they live mostly in a bubble as they did not agree with the hands off, self moderation (blocking individuals) approach of older GNU Social sites. This bubble is really small though and is not sustainable.
Now, even though Eugen and his audience might prefer Mastodon servers not federate with GNU social servers not every masto server uses a huge instance block list. Anyone can host a masto server same as GS.
Stop there; this is where your comment goes off the rails. I'm an admin (disclosure - my blocklist: https://github.com/kstrauser/freeradical/blob/master/content...) and see almost none of the far-left censorship you describe, particularly on content. You want to be pro-Trump? Go for it, as long as you're polite and respectful. Sure, people will argue with you, but that's their right to be expressive, too.
GNU Social is an interesting experiment and was quickly adopted by a lot of people who wanted to have literally zero limits on free speech. I initially switched from running a GS node to running a Mastodon instance because the software was orders of magnitude better, but quickly decided that adding a couple of rules (be polite. Don't harass. Respect others.) made for a much better user experience than the wild west "say anything you want" environment of GS. I guess you could argue that those rules are imposing censorship, but much in the same way that outlawing physical assault is a restriction of our freedom to beat people up.
As an admin, here's my take on the matter: https://blog.freeradical.zone/welcome-to-my-living-room/ . You don't have to agree with everything I say, but you don't get to punch my other guests and then whine when I throw you out. In practice, this is hypothetical because I've never had to ban anyone. Turns out adults are perfectly capable of treating each other decently when they know that's expected of them.
- @email@example.com (https://freeradical.zone/@tek)
There is a market for closed instances, as some people don't want their opinions challenged or to see things they don't like and it's awesome that there's a way to get that. It just shouldn't be the norm because it discourages federation.
Edit: FWIW judging by your blog post and block list you arent an example of what I was talking about so don't take it that way. There are plenty of reasonable Mastodon servers now that repect dialogue it just had a rough start.
If I'm wrong about any of this tell me. There's nothing inherently wrong with a blocklist, I just don't like them and I'm just pointing out that it's a thing. I'm just posting my personal observations.
Within the currently popular Mastodon servers however, it definitely does feel like a bit of a self-imposed bubble, whereby the about pages espouse civil discussion, but in reality statements or opinions closer to centre on the political spectrum are usually met with hostility and treated as egregiously offensive. I'm hopeful it'll mature over time, settle into a less ambiguous moderation policy that allows for wider coverage of the political spectrum so long as it's civil and ultimately attract a broader range of users.
Frankly, social media is a place where I want a bit of a "bubble", and by "bubble" I mean "blocking people and communities that annoy me".
Social media is what is replacing our town square, and the potential for someone to walk by and say "Nah, mate, that's fuckin stupid, and here's why" will be sorely missed in the environment that bubble-ists desire.
Othetwise our shared social network will not grow
As with email, there's also always the option to use a custom domain you control for your instance. There are a couple of SaaS providers for Mastodon instances like https://masto.host, and cookbooks for several DIY options on major hosting providers. A benefit to custom domain is that you have some power to migrate your CNAME records if you had to switch hosts, and keep your existing followers even.
As others have said you can backup your data, which is a good rule of thumb everywhere.
There's also a migration feature that lets you say "I'm at this new handle now" on an old profile. But I don't think it automatically brings your old followers with you.
Note that these are only viable if you know ahead of time that the instance is going away (this is happening right now with witches.town which is closing at the end of April).
Migrating posts is complicated -- it's straightforward to export all your posts with third party tools, but you shouldn't expect to be able to move them to a new instance unless you're running it yourself, in order to avoid the possibility of faked histories. (I personally keep a backup of all my posts, and it's fairly straightforward to re-format them as a static html document if you feel like you need to re-host them for archival purposes.)
Personally, I recommend keeping accounts on several instances, and posting to different accounts corresponding to your various interests. This makes it less irritating for members of your social group that don't want to hear about particular topics, makes migration in case of instance apocalypse easier, and encourages you to stretch out your identity a bit (rather than feeling like you need to stay 'on-brand' like people do on twitter).
[...] Suricrasia Online is a Toronto-based ISP staffed entirely by anthropomorphic sharks in maid outfits. [...]
I'm here: @firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, now the responsibility of securing the platform is in the hands of the instance owner, whom you have no idea how they have their platform setup.
FYI, an open source project called Drupal, was recently affected with a a bug where millions of sites could be hacked.
Now I'd like to know how Mastadon will combat these issues.
The value add of something like mastodon is you get to choose your instance owner (and it could be yourself) which means choosing your moderation scheme. As well as offering a more transparent social experience (ie no algorithmically generated timelines to push adds or "engagement").
Comparing Mastodon to a php CMS seems like an apples to oranges comparison in every sense.
But all that aside, at the end of the day, if you "are" a user in one of the instances, you are still at the mercy of the owner's technical skills to make sure your data is safe.
If the owner one day decides he can't afford to pay his bills, or gets hacked and wipes out data, what would happen to all your posts? I believe it'd just disappear, but please do correct me if I'm wrong.
Mastodon today provides a tool to get data backups of your account's own data, at least, so in the case of a lost instance there may be some options.
Plus, as with blogs there is the option to be your own instance owner on a custom domain you control. So the assumed risk level can vary to what you are comfortable with.
There are no ads in my feed, and no opaque algorithm determining what I see.
Data security is a concern of mine, but I don't think Mastodon is any more or less vulnerable to attacks than any other software.
> FYI, an open source project called Drupal, was recently affected with a a bug where millions of sites could be hacked.
Goiven that Drupal is a CMS, something completely different from a social network, this is like asking that you have seen an airship burn, so how are fish avoiding being eaten.
For example, can I ask you how you secure your server? Would your server be able to pass an Openvas/Nessus penetration test, have you even performed one? What are your server update policies like? Do you have any external logging server? If not, how do you know someone malicious didn't login to your server and stole your data and erased his tracks?
There are a lot more variables when it comes to security and data.
Your instance may vary, but that works on mine, and is effective.
Either that or follow a few people and then see who they boost. Follow those boostees if they look interesting. Growth is slower and more organic, but it's a good way to keep growth under control and not end up with a firehose.
I'm @email@example.com and @Rairii@cybre.space :)
Lain, developer of Pleroma, is also rad:
https://octodon.social/@craigmaloney - Linux, programmer, stuff
https://mastodon.social/@natecull - computery and other stuff
https://mastodon.social/@rysiek - security
https://mastodon.social/@Ronkjeffries - Well, it's Ron Jeffries
https://mastodon.technology/@Ronkjeffries - and again
https://mastodon.social/@andrewt - Maths stuff and odd observations
https://mathstodon.xyz/@virtuosew - Linguistics, odd observations
And then there are the maths people:
I just want to know if it's the same person. It would be a big coincidence if they were not.
If you want to discuss it further say something to: "@firstname.lastname@example.org"