There's also pleroma, which I've run and is pretty great and low on resource requirements. And there are tons of other social UX paradigms like link aggregators and even Peertube which is a tube site server on the same network as mastodon using the same ActivityPub protocol.
I'd love to see people implement novel types of social sites besides functional clones of existing social media, there are some significant architectural and UX differences in a distributed, federated social architecture that can be leveraged to great effect.
This is the wide assortment of applications that speak the same common protocol that Mastodon does, as part of an interoperable social cloud. There's a Cambrian explosion of diversity in this space. Let's see more content management systems adopting this system for self-sufficient publication.
The idea of building a local community that you have to have an account and associated identity on a specific server to access is the kind of mal-aligned incentive that tends to cause federated systems to become de-facto centralized silos and, eventually, return to the status quo of a controlling oligopoly :(.
An architectural feature of a federated system is that people congregate on servers together for whatever reasons they have. Communities are an emergent part of this architecture whether we like it or not, and this can be used to create a positive user experience that you cannot truly get on centralized services. What we wind up with is a network of communities that interact with one another, not as some people envision a network of superfluous servers that humans use simply to interact with one another, and this is unavoidable in a federated system like this. If we do want a network where the servers are meaningless to the social interaction it has to be fully peer to peer.
But one major aspect of fediverse, that people rarely talk about when promoting it, is the spam.
To summarize my impressions over the last 5 years I'd say there is no way to run a big open instance without funding. The best way for small single actor instances to survive is to be invite only or approve each member account.
And even then I'd suggest using Geo blocking to fence off your instance from certain parts of the world.
My personal wish is to see the fediverse made up of smaller, localized instances that federate across borders. So for example a Finnish instance that only accepts finnish users, but it federates with every other instance.
And ontop of that more ActivityPub relays to facilitate federation.
This would be great to stop the American-influence dominating every conversation like happens on Reddit, etc.
I really like the way social.coop, a cooperatively run instance, handles this. Because we're all just pooling a little bit of money (1GBP/yr for most people) we can run a service cheaper than we could run it ourselves if we're renting a VPS and there are enough people interested to create a rotating moderation team, so we rarely get too much spam from other instances. So far a cooperative model has worked very well for us; no donations required, just splitting up costs in the cheapest possible way so that no one gets burned out or feels like their money is carrying the instance!
But I have had many experiences with various voluntary organisations over the years. Hacker spaces, maker spaces, activist groups and online groups.
Maintaining a group is hard work and it requires someone to care about the end goal. And if that one fire brand gives up someone has to take their place.
So in the long run most of my experiences with such organisations have ended on a sad note. And especially when it comes to the Fediverse I'd say 99.99% of my users just want to try it out and see if it ever goes anywhere.
At the moment it's all coming from my pocket because I love the work and I love the idea. And at the moment it's not that much, just maybe 80 euros a month.
Yup! That's exactly the approach Kazemi is advocating, too. It makes sense if you think about the trust that there needs to be both ways in a admin/account-holder relationship.
A friend who is an artist was frustrated with the experience on Instagram, and finally signed up on an art-related community in the fediverse, and found it to be a breath of fresh air, with more meaningfull interactions, not just likes.
For some things, Wikipedia is a really bad source. Especially about things they hate.
All of your account data can be exported, and everything except for toots (and media) can be imported.
I guess this isn't reflected in joinmastodon.org yet. Each instance can also choose to call posts whatever they want:
Either way, that alone seems like it would present a pretty serious obstacle to anyone taking Mastodon remotely seriously.
In other words, I don't really mind "toot". It casts the medium with a healthy perspective on itself.
I would say that moving the posts is what worries me more about moving the account. I can refollow everyone, but I can't post hundreds (or thousands) of posts in their original datetime
If it is, have you considered running your own instance?
With that said, I really like what Mastodon has done and as far as federated and open social networks go (ActivityPub!). It's in a class of its own IMO.
But actually worse, because at least those message boards had better defined topics. I can follow some hashtags that I enjoy but in the web gui it's very limited. I've been thinking about writing my own software to help me follow tags alone. Just to participate in relevant discussion.
Otherwise you're just watching people rant in the public feed and if you're lucky you might catch the occasional interesting post.
But I persist because I truly believe in the fediverse concept.
It helps to see Fediverse as the early web, where things aren't that smooth yet, and everyone is just experimenting. From that perspective as a techie it is a joy to explore the possibilities.
For those who don't know: Mastodon works differently in how you build your social graph than Twitter, where much is automated by the recommendation algorithms kicking in. I think that once one properly grasps how to go from 'empty timelines' to having some first fine people in 'following' the process of building further can very intuitive and be a refreshing and liberating experience where one feels in control.
As for ideas and feedback..
"follow suggestions [based on] most popular/proactive accounts in your language". I would be careful here, to not get to a point where Fediverse / Mastodon becomes dominated by influencers that are focal points of activity and sees this feature becoming part of their SEO marketing toolkit. While it may help uptake and network effects, it may hurt and degrade fedi culture over time.
You might consider integrating something similar to Trunk  so people can directly follow others that have explicitly expressed an interest in a particular topic and are open for discovery. They can peruse the timeline of these accounts and then checkmark the ones to follow based on that. This keeps social graph building natural and organic, not algorithm-driven.
As for "trending hashtags", another algorithm driven engagement feature. There may be a Hashtag Directory to browse, sort and filter and an indicator of post counts to each of them. Long inactive hashtags need not be shown, but the directory shows way more entries than just what's trending and doesn't directly push you to that.
Another idea might be to have account profiles be able to have a list of the top 3 or top 5 other accounts most valued by a person, in a friend-of-a-friend kind of way. Maybe it only becomes available once a mutual follow relationship is established, and allows further discovery of the FOAF graph.
Rapnie: yes, that's what's missing for me. If I'm looking for people interested in fiction books, anime or sitcoms, it could be useful to just explore those topics. That's how I end up discovering people on Twitter right? See there's a discussion on the latest episode of XYZ show, and them see their profiles and follow
Gargron: Thanks so much for the response, and all your work so far :)
On a good note, I absolutely LOVE that we can tag one specific post as NSFW, and that we can add the spoiler/TW to hide the rest of the post, So damn useful
In any case, I have running and managing a instance of Mastodon (and Matrix, and XMPP) as a side-project for some time. Some of my users asked about having a twitter bridge, where they could at least follow who they are used to from one single client. Would that help you?
which is useless, unless it's a niche instance. mastodon.social is generalist, so most people there are not posting anything I want to see.
But finding a good niche instance is really hard - in terms of the niche, rules, and actually being fast and working well.
When I started my own instance, I went to a handful of different instances and looked at the directory. Then I started following the ones that seemed interesting. That was enough for me to bootstrap my feed to the point of something useful.
But the first is very nice, and that's kinda what I was looking for, thanks!!!
I suspect this was posted today because Trump's new social network was outed as using Mastodon, likely illegally.
Mastodon already has blacklists to prevent abuse from certain servers, and given Trump's target audience, the block would probably be mutual.
i highly highly recommend pleroma over it, it uses 1/10th the system resources and doesn't download federated accounts data locally
Pleroma may save storage by not downloading federated media locally, but hotlinking to 3rd party servers leaves your users vulnerable to tracking by malicious operators, leeches off the bandwidth of remote servers, and, far more practically, does not guarantee that the media that needs to be displayed is in a file format that is playable on the users' devices. For example, as Pleroma makes no effort to convert user-uploaded files to browser-compatible formats, if Mastodon didn't go through the trouble of converting formats, Mastodon users on iOS would not be able to see many "GIFs" and videos uploaded by Pleroma users in the popular WebM format that is not available on iOS (yet).
You may prefer one or the other but there are definitely reasons for why Mastodon does it that way.
And goatse attacks. Nothing ensures that the media that was there when the post was shared to the local instance will be the same at the moment it is shown to an user. An instance can turn evil and replace nice user-generated images with ads once they are shared all across the fediverse.
It does a few things differently ;-)
> Does the fediverse make the server you join irrelevant?
In theory, yes. But in practice, joining a server means the UI gives you a global feed for that server that you don't otherwise get. And for the niche communities that have a global feed you can keep up with, you want to be able to access that.
>> Has SDF got an instance?
To circumvent that you can use mastodon social's tag page, but it's less user friendly. See here an example: https://mastodon.social/tags/activitypub
Everything That Went Wrong With Donald Trump’s New Social Network in the First 24 Hours
Not trying to get political, but this site is obviously going to be the biggest Mastadon showcase.
"My wish is that media gives proportionate attention to the many thriving, interesting, well-moderated, non-fascist Mastodon servers that are enabling healthy communities across the web before focusing on one doddering fascist's vaporware social network.
Given that this is unlikely to be a request that media honors, at the very least make sure your story gives equal emphasis to the violent fascist agenda, and countless deaths, that the person behind the new social network enabled, before delving into its photo sharing features.
And by contrast, the wonderful @tinysubversions
has, for years, been leading a movement to create healthy, supportive, pro-human, independent social networks with efforts like https://runyourown.social that are home to thousands of thriving communities. Each deserves coverage."
Unlike Truth Social, Gab actually complies with Mastodon's AGPLv3 license by publishing its source code, though in an obnoxious way (password-protected archive file):
There is a lot of talk about Truth Social violating the AGPL license.
If it it a work in progress and not yet public, do they need to share their source code, or do they need to share it once they launch?
> d) Convey the object code by offering access from a designated place (gratis or for a charge), and offer equivalent access to the Corresponding Source in the same way through the same place at no further charge. You need not require recipients to copy the Corresponding Source along with the object code. If the place to copy the object code is a network server, the Corresponding Source may be on a different server (operated by you or a third party) that supports equivalent copying facilities, provided you maintain clear directions next to the object code saying where to find the Corresponding Source. Regardless of what server hosts the Corresponding Source, you remain obligated to ensure that it is available for as long as needed to satisfy these requirements.
It depends on if the accidentally public instance could be considered a trade secret.
> c) You must license the entire work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a copy. This License will therefore apply, along with any applicable section 7 additional terms, to the whole of the work, and all its parts, regardless of how they are packaged. This License gives no permission to license the work in any other way, but it does not invalidate such permission if you have separately received it.
Gab got blocked very quickly as well, and they complied with the license.
Trump has started a couple of other alt megaphones for himself since he got booted off Twitter and they failed. He's tried email and he's tried blogs and he doesn't get enough attention on them, so he quits. This one has already started ridiculed and with poor security and moderation practices before it's even gotten off the ground. I am not sure how Parler, which caters to the same audience, is faring nowadays, but I don't get the impression it's really the alt social media juggernaut its proponents have hoped for. Gab also is for the maga crowd and it hasn't been a large crowd. The fediverse at large isn't that large either, for that matter.
So, let's see how Trump does this time.
If you need more evidence, here  is the archived login page from the mobile version of the site before it was taken down (because it was flooded and trolled). By comparing it visually to other mastodon instances and inspecting the source itself, you can confirm there was a mobile mastodon instance up at the given archival time. Additionally, the press release  links to the social media website  which links to the app store page  which has preview images that are very similar to the images posted on Twitter.