Mastodon et al

August 12, 2019 — May 30, 2024

computers are awful together

Fediverse: Volunteer-run Twitter.

Figure 1

An alternate take on social media, somewhere between private chat and the raw context collapse hellscape of modern social media.

The Fediverse is not owned by any single megacorp, which is a plus. It does not help paranoiacs, as is not cryptographically strong, and thus subject to censorship and surveillance etc. But also it’s cute and friendly and evokes early-internet nostalgia, which is sweet. For secrecy you probably want decentralised p2p system, such as Nostr or scuttlebutt.

This is all hopelessly out of date now. I wrote it before the adoption of the underlying ActivityPub protocol by various major actors such as Ghost and facebook’s Threads

1 Mastodon

cosy twitter. Maybe it should be hyggr or something. This is close to what I imagined social media would be like in the year 2000, for better and for worse. Lots of local communities, peer-recommendation friendly, hard for a corporate overlord to influence, cute and customisable…

You can DIY your own hosting, which is a plus and a minus, 🏗

You want to have it without hosting it? there are businesses which do it. One obvious contender is Librem Social which hosts Mastodon and some other handy things. USD2-USB8/month depending on your options. Not sure how the pricing scales per user.

Simon Willison’s intro is helpful: It looks like I’m moving to Mastodon.

2 Pleroma

3 Misskey

Japanese message board that is also a fediverse server.

4 Peertube

PeerTube is a federated video sharing system, with a structure much like Mastodon and using the same federation protocols. Written in Typescript, if you are curious. I am curious how well this scales. Video is hard.

5 Plugging in to other things

Very popular. e.g. mastofeeder plugs into the RSS ecosystem.

This is a simple Mastodon/ActivityPub server that has a virtual @website@mastofeeder.com user for every RSS feed in the Internet. Just search for your favourite RSS-enabled website from Mastodon’s search and follow the user! All RSS items will be posted as toots.

6 Incoming