Decentralisation begins at decentring yourself

    Aral Balkan, who has 22,000 followers on the Fediverse and who recently had a birthday, has written about the influx of people from Twitter. As I’ve found, especially on my personal blog, you can essentially run a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on yourself by posting a link to your blog to the Fediverse. As each server pings it, the server can eventually buckle under the weight.

    What follows is a really useful post in terms of Aral’s journey towards what he calls the ‘Small Web’. While I don’t necessarily agree that we should all have our own instances, I do think it’s useful for organisations of every size to run them.

    If Elon Musk wanted to destroy mastodon.social, the flagship Mastodon instance, all he’d have to do is join it.

    Thank goodness Elon isn’t that smart.

    I jest, of course… Eugen would likely ban his account the moment he saw it. But it does illustrate a problem: Elon’s easy to ban. Stephen, not so much. He’s a national treasure for goodness’ sake. One does not simply ban Stephen Fry.

    And yet Stephen can similarly (yet unwittingly) cause untold expense to the folks running Mastodon instances just by joining one.

    The solution, for Stephen at least, is simple: he should run his own personal instance.

    (Or get someone else to run it for him, like I do.)

    Running his own instance would also give Stephen one additional benefit: he’d automatically get verified.

    After all, if you’re talking to, say, @stephen@social.stephenfry.com, you can be sure it’s really him because you know he owns the domain.

    Source: Is the fediverse about to get Fryed? (Or, “Why every toot is also a potential denial of service attack”) | Aral Balkan

    Parasocial relationships through digital media

    I think we’ve all felt a close affinity and, dare I say, relationship with people who wouldn’t know who we were if we met them in real life. In fact, I’ve kind of experienced the other side of this due to my TEDx Talk and the TIDE podcast. People at events would come and talk to me as if they knew me.

    It’s nice, in a way, although it makes for very one-sided conversations until you get to know people. I think it’s likely to happen again with the Tao of WAO podcast

    Over the past decade, it has become increasingly common for people to develop intense one-sided relationships with famous people on the internet. What are called parasocial relationships (meaning almost social, or perversely social) have spread almost everywhere. For example, John Mulaney fans share concern over his recently messy personal life as much as they laugh at his jokes. Fans of K-pop groups like Blackpink (called Blinks) and Twice (called Onces) flood YouTube videos with millions of comments in support of their favorite performers. (“Rosé has worked so hard for this moment, let’s support her as much as we can!!”) Zoomers goof off in the chat for hours watching Twitch livestreamers play Minecraft or PUBG. Even Peloton trainers are marketed as supporting us on our fitness journeys rather than coaches who simply encourage us to sweat.

    The hosts of podcasts in particular are the subject of these intense feelings of connection, as many observers, like Rachel Aroesti in this Guardian piece for instance, have pointed out. I have a few parasocial podcast obsessions myself, particularly the podcasting family the McElroy Brothers, who make the comedy advice show My Brother, My Brother and Me and the “actual play” Dungeons and Dragons podcast The Adventure Zone, among other things. I follow fan subreddits, chuckle at McElroy memes, and buy merch to support the good good boys (as they are called). I have become as much a fan of the McElroys “themselves” as I am a fan of their content. I know their childhood nicknames, their struggles with depression and social anxiety, and I know about the time Justin got fired from Blockbuster for stealing a Fight Club DVD.

    Source: Why Can’t We Be Friends | Real Life