2022-11-06 orcmid on fediverse ux

Dennis E. Hamilton (@orcmid): 1/n Yes, and more than that much, it is a Balkanized federation of combative factions. And misbehavior approaches Facebook brilliance. The odds of picking a good server/platform that is not crumbling under exploding membership are against the uninitiated. https://twitter.com/edbott/status/1588936991579770882

2/n Mastodon can't prevent imposters on different servers. Challenge to know about it and convince servers to block imposters. Facebook as bad with typical users confusing imposters with hacks and unequipped to identify the imposter account. https://twitter.com/sarahkendzior/status/1588630998774083584

3/n The critical question to ask of any supposedly self-regulated decentralized/libertarian/federation regime, such as Mastodon, is "what is the justice system?"

4/n I left my first-chosen Mastodon server http://qot.org because I could not follow a friend on another server, one with an immense unexplained server block list. This made that server, its members and their TOOTs completely invisible. Whose "freedom" is meant here?

5/n Mastodon is well-documented though not about what given servers do with overall Mastodon protocols. There are provisions for following, silencing, and blocking individuals. Servers can be silenced (i.e., off a server's federated stream). Admins control it. Silos ;).

6/n Mastodon's run-your-own-server option is a bit like the FOSS squirrel. It already leads to hacks along with over-burdened admins, not unlike the old-West days of dial-up Bulletin Boards. My first-chosen server allowed Markdown Toots (with TeX formula WIP). Interoperable?

7/n pausing to bemoan the lost arts of NNTP, RSS, and news/blog aggregators. Have your own blog, gather and comment on all the others you care about.

8/n Mastodon provides for archiving your presence on a given server, not more than once every 7 days. The archive was a tar.gz of JSON files at my http://qot.org account. I grabbed one on leaving http://qot.org. Wishful thinking about loading it anywhere.

9/n Mastodon has no provision for loading an archive where save or anywhere else. However, there are ways to move things like your list of followers and a few other things. Those save into CSV files and they can be imported/merged at a new account/server.

10/n I should say, you can transfer the CSV-format list of those you follow, the followeds. What happens for your followers when you move to a new account/server is trickier.

11/n When you realize that you made a poor choice of Mastodon server in your first foray away from Twitter, you can be forgiven for walking away and trying again at a different server. You might or might not be able to have the same user identifier. Do what you can. Early.

12/n If you have followers and you want to move your Mastodon account to a new server, there is valuable information for how to preserve your followers. Go slowly. Create the new account first. Then let the settings of each account guide you. https://docs.joinmastodon.org/user/moving/

13/n Mastodon will demonstrate for you how Twitter is so valuable in reporting from only those you follow (plus what they retweet). Mastodon is trickier both in narrowing interests and letting your interests be known.

14/n @KristinMBranson has a great thread on finding and setting up on Mastodon, featuring how one finds birds-of-a-feather and lets people find and track you by your interests. https://twitter.com/KristinMBranson/status/1588628801516605442

15/n On your way into/around Mastodon, the disruption of Twitter is having Biblical Matthew Effects as network effects collapse/collide and the long tail thrashes around. I moved to http://mastodon.sdf.org with its massive membership, now seeming to be crashing with the waves.

16/n Another source of guidance and tips about Mastodon: https://fedi.tips

17/n "This server abides by the Mastodon Covenant - Please be excellent to each other." a simple rule that warmed my heart. It's been far too long since I've had a Unix Shell Account so I will pass on that aspect of sdf.org :).

18/n An important provision of Mastodon is tagging (in #hashtag format). You can tag in your TOOTs and POSTs. You can filter the various views into Mastodon via tags. And you can list tags in your profile as a way for kindred spirits to find you. Some have just that.

19/n Please tolerate the turbulence: "Hey, so, we've hit 1,028,362 monthly active users across the network today. 1,124 new Mastodon servers since Oct 27, and 489,003 new users. That's pretty cool." Hat tip @Gargron@mastodon.social