Tag: Fediverse (page 2 of 6)

Convivial social networking

Adam Greenfield composed a thread this morning on Mastodon in which he referenced Ivan Illich’s call for conviviality. This was also referenced in a post by Audrey Watters which was shared a few minutes later in my timeline by Aaron Davis.

Such synchronicity is, of course, entirely random but meshed well with my state of mind this morning. I find it interesting that Audrey thinks it’s ridiculous to think that Mastodon is “what’s next” and instead looks to email. For what it’s worth, I see the Fediverse as being a lot like email, actually.

Given that she’s got a brain and experience several times the size of mine, I’d love it if she wrote more about this…

It’s easy to look at the world right now and focus on the shit… The Republican takeover of the House. The economy. The way my body feels after running 6.85 miles on Sunday morning and then sitting in the car for 2+ hours on the drive home. The implosion of Twitter. The ridiculousness of suggesting Mastodon is “what’s next.” And so on. I mean, I have lots of thoughts on all of these, particularly the Twitter and Mastodon brouhaha. I read an email newsletter that referenced a Twitter thread in which Alexis Madrigal argued that Twitter, at least in its original manifestation, was for “word people.” I quite like that framework, and it’s helpful in showcasing how Facebook and now TikTok really would rather the ascendant influencers be picture people. TV people, even. It’s time to pull out ‘Tools for Conviviality’, perhaps, for a re-read, because I’m loathe to make the argument that email is, in fact, where we find technological conviviality these days. But that’s the direction I’m considering taking the argument. If I were to write about it and think about it more, that is.

Source: The Week in Review: What’s Good | Audrey Watters

Mourning what we’ve lost

I found this an eloquent explanation of emotions and feelings I’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks as the Fediverse has been ‘invaded’ by people considering themselves ‘refugees’ from Twitter.

As Hugh Rundle points out in this post, some of us have already mourned what we’d lost with Twitter and had made our home in a comfy, homely new place. There were rules, both implicit and explicit, about how to behave, but now…

For those of us who have been using Mastodon for a while (I started my own Mastodon server 4 years ago), this week has been overwhelming. I’ve been thinking of metaphors to try to understand why I’ve found it so upsetting. This is supposed to be what we wanted, right? Yet it feels like something else. Like when you’re sitting in a quiet carriage softly chatting with a couple of friends and then an entire platform of football fans get on at Jolimont Station after their team lost. They don’t usually catch trains and don’t know the protocol. They assume everyone on the train was at the game or at least follows football. They crowd the doors and complain about the seat configuration.

It’s not entirely the Twitter people’s fault. They’ve been taught to behave in certain ways. To chase likes and retweets/boosts. To promote themselves. To perform. All of that sort of thing is anathema to most of the people who were on Mastodon a week ago. It was part of the reason many moved to Mastodon in the first place. This means there’s been a jarring culture clash all week as a huge murmuration of tweeters descended onto Mastodon in ever increasing waves each day. To the Twitter people it feels like a confusing new world, whilst they mourn their old life on Twitter. They call themselves “refugees”, but to the Mastodon locals it feels like a busload of Kontiki tourists just arrived, blundering around yelling at each other and complaining that they don’t know how to order room service. We also mourn the world we’re losing.

[…]

I was a reasonably early user of Twitter, just as I was a reasonably early user of Mastodon. I’ve met some of my firmest friends through Twitter, and it helped to shape my career opportunities. So I understand and empathise with those who have been mourning the experience they’ve had on Twitter — a life they know is now over. But Twitter has slowly been rotting for years — I went through that grieving process myself a couple of years ago and frankly don’t really understand what’s so different now compared to two weeks ago.

There’s another, smaller group of people mourning a social media experience that was destroyed this week — the people who were active on Mastodon and the broader fediverse prior to November 2022. The nightclub has a new brash owner, and the dancefloor has emptied. People are pouring in to the quiet houseparty around the corner, cocktails still in hand, demanding that the music be turned up, walking mud into the carpet, and yelling over the top of the quiet conversation.

All of us lost something this week. It’s ok to mourn it.

Source: Home invasion | Hugh Rundle

Image: Joshua Sukoff

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