Kudos to the author for responsibly mentioning the caveats and setting realistic expectations. Before asking friends & family to depend on a personal Mastodon server, consider carefully if you really want to take on that burden of responsibility to become a sysadmin and defacto tech support.
You could then still run your own server, just as you can with email, but you wouldn't have to take on that responsibility to get most of the benefits of taking control of your social media.
The lost potential always makes me wince in these situations. Obviously, not all suicidal people have the possibility of recovering (especially if you include euthanasia), but it feels to me like a lot of them could, if we had healthier social/support systems.
All of those applications talk to each other in a way that is finally looking like it's got enough steam to hold.
However, I have not yet advertised it to my family, because that would mean having to maintain a high uptime.
To alleviate this, decentralised user accounts would be needed, which  is about.
I too feel that identity migration (or the lack thereof) is an issue that needs to be solved. I'm not sure if there's a technical solution that would be easy for people to follow. At the very least, users should be able to take their content out and have it migrated/hosted elsewhere, similar to how email content can be moved somewhere else, even if they're forced to get a new address.
I personally believe that Mastodon and other Twitter like solutions are too noisy and disjointed, without clear and prominent topic/subject and threading. Facebook groups has a better interface for handling this kind of conversation.
One point I disagree with is the "neighborhood" classification. Most users will not really understand it or get what it means whenever the neighborhood servers change (new ones get added, some get removed). It seems way too complex. The concept of local vs. global on Mastodon is in itself a cognitive barrier for many people to overcome. Global vs. "friends" is the easiest distinction to understand and use. In my observation most of the users on Facebook tend to use one of these for their posts, and nothing else.
Why not? It should be no harder than specifying the server you want to migrate to, and the handle you wish to use there. Everything else should be handled by the backend, and the receiving server’s mod team.
Here’s question 6 from that page for a taste:
What synonym should I sub in for [x]?
Try to stop looking for synonyms; if you try to swap out individual words, you'll find it tough going. Pull back and think abstractly about what you want to say and find words for that.
The entire book, a murder-mystery, is written without using the letter 'e'.
There's a feud.
I left Facebook because it was a Sisyphean task to simply point out the glaring omissions and outright fabrications that my “friends” shared. Here? I’d have to actually deal with it, and probably also be somehow responsible for it.
So, an echo chamber.
It also had forbidden topics, including religion and politics. Very specific topics that verged in those areas could be discussed, but general positions were simply not acceptable discourse on the list.
The list was pre-moderated, mind you: every message passed through a moderator before posting, and might be returned to you. It was extremely labor intensive and basically had a full time moderator.
My response was directed more at people who avoid public discourse simply because they feel a need to correct people all the time. Funny thing is, real reason and facts don't need justice warriors. Science skeptics, fake news, and conspiracy theorists have always existed. Shouting matches haven't solved any of those problems. With time, wrong ideas tend to die naturally when thoughts and ideas (even wrong ones!) can flow freely and respectfully.
I don't know if that's really true...
On the other hand, geocentrism took a long time to die, but when it did, it wasn't because justice warriors were shouting louder (though many tried); it was simply a fact that could be independently verified by more and more people.
Real scientists don't launch marketing campaigns when they've made a discovery. They publish it in a journal and invite others to verify (or disprove) their findings.
You don't change people's minds by telling them what the truth is. You show them how to discover the truth for themselves and let them draw their own conclusions.
But don't take my word for it :) Look for the pattern in history and you'll see.
It literally invited them to prove it to themselves and yet seemingly none of them did.
But no, you're right. We should try not to be more right than other people, lest we're the bigots.
My own wish is that the tools social networks can use to change what we see would be democratised - I want to be able to choose the algorithms that define my feed, from anything goes to chronological to safe for children to only "authoritative sources" etc. Power to the people.
If all of the ‘normal’ people just become silent and let the ‘crazy’ people run rampant because it’s impolite to correct them then we head down a path that I don’t want to go down. A path where society starts falling apart because common sense things like getting vaccines is no longer popular because the vocal ones have made it so and the people who know it’s a good idea have been silent.
Sounds like a slippery slope argument, which I've been told are invalid.
What distinguishes a valid slippery slope argument from an invalid one is the details about the slope. Is it actually slippery? Does it slope in the direction the argument asserts it does?
Edges, servers at the edges - monopolies are not a free Internet.
Computers run our lives, either we are in control or they are - Stallman is right - without GNU's four freedoms neither societies nor peoples are free.
A network of 50 friends is interesting, Mastodon seems to group by interest or topic which is interesting, but there was something special about the local boundaries of BBSes that created interesting dynamics and let you see the same people on different boards and in different contexts, all from the same small-ish pool of people. It was a great mix of self-selection (which BBSes I chose to visit, the personal variations available) and forced interaction (who else would visit them and why).
I have the same issue with making computer games too. They will try it once, say good job, and never bring it up again. I now try and approach games like, 1) what is something that I can play by myself that still brings value and 2) what is that "it feature" that will make someone curious/interested enough to come back, and focus on that.
Maybe it's the same for community sites.
Are you picking friends who like to play games (i.e. they play games you haven’t designed)? If so, are you making the genre of games they like to play? If having your friends enjoy your games is important to you, consider collaborating with one of them, making them part of the design process — make a game for them. Better yet, make a game for you to play together, either cooperatively or competitively, whatever you prefer.
Alternatively, make a game where the characters are you and your friends. Ian McConville, of Three Panel Soul, made a pixel art game “for and audience of one” where the main character was his girlfriend. At the end, he asked her to marry him. You don’t need to do something so grandiose, but being a character in a game might make your friends more invested in playing it.
Are you planning to do something with it, or just collecting info?
You don't get the same flexibility, but they take care of backups, updates, and security.