This is your friendly reminder that contrary to the hype and marketing hullabaloo going around right now but #Mastodon is not the #fediverse! The “Mastodon Network” that Eugen Rochko claims to have created is the very same #federation that has existed for well over 10 years. The #fediverse is a huge tapestry of thousands of servers and volunteers, and dozens if not hundreds of developers and even more volunteers, who have made this space what you see today.
There is no “Mastodon Network”. It’s simply the #fediverse. That’s like Facebook saying they are the Internet. We all know what an absurd claim that would be. Facebook is an application accessible over the Internet that provides a walled-garden to its users. Well, Mastodon is just one of many applications accessible over the Internet that provides access to the #fediverse (which is not a walled-garden).
So what is the fediverse? Here’s my definition. The “Fediverse” can be thought of as a giant park that is not owned by any one person, company, group, government, or organization. A park where people gather to meet, explore, collaborate, discuss, watch videos, listen to music, chat, and do a whole lot more. A park that you can only get to by using a piece of software that lets you inside. Mastodon is just one (and currently the most popular) type of that software.
Mastodon is a door-way into the park for anybody that uses it. Same for Pleroma, Friendica, Misskey, PeerTube, Pixelfed, BookWyrm, and others.
Since journalists aren’t writing any articles about the real #fediverse, and since it (and the wonderful projects that are at its center) aren’t getting the recognition they so very much deserve, allow me to introduce you to them instead.
Because when you either accidentally or intentionally or through ignorance or apathy spread the misinformation that Mastodon=Fediverse, you erode the very foundation of what has drawn you (and the rest of us) here in the first place.
You are marginalizing and gaslighting great projects and their users.
Note: The following is not intended to be a history of the fediverse. The following is my opinion, understanding, and interpretation. If I’ve gotten something wrong, let me know. But take the following as opinion and interpretation, not fact.
👉 Castopod — Next generation podcasting software #Castopod allows podcasters of all sizes to interact with audiences in the fediverse. Your podcast becomes a social network: your episodes can be shared, liked and commented on without depending on anyone. Podcasts can be monetized or not, you have rich audience metrics and analytics, and series can be deployed to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, and other podcast services.
👉 Diaspora — One of the oldest federated instance software. Pioneered the concept of “circles” and “aspects” where users could sort their followers into logical groups and control who sees what.
👉 Friendica — The one app that lets anyone or any organization literally create their own private #facebook on the fediverse and make it accessible and federated with the rest of the World. It also has very modest hosting requirements making it accessible to more people to host without requiring a VPS or complex server setups.
👉 GnuSocial — One of the original fediverse implementations of a Twitter-like service. One of the oldest projects around (ca. 2008). Far more simpler hosting requirements than other fediverse software. (PHP+MySQL)
👉 Mastodon — #Mastodon came on the scene in 2016 and promised a more user-friendly experience. Coupled with some fortunate timing and early publicity it quickly became the darling of the fediverse. It’s certainly the software with the most amount of users. Marketing tends to do that to brands.
👉 Misskey — Several years before Mastodon there was #Misskey. A microblogging platform what provided features not seen in other projects and allows users to customize many aspects of their feed and timeline. Misskey still has a very passionate userbase and is still being developed.
👉 Mobilizon — A federated alternative to Facebook Events. #Mobilizon allows activist groups and organizations of all sizes to stand up a service for organizing events and meetups right here on the Federation.
👉 Peertube — Calling #PeerTube a “YouTube competitor” doesn’t do it justice. PeerTube is so much more than a competitor to YouTube. In a very real sense it’s a YouTube killer, if only more people knew about it and more people used it. PeerTube lets anybody stand up a service and then instantenously their published videos become accessible to the entire Federation (and vice versa).
👉 Pixelfed — #Pixelfed is the federation’s answer to Instagram. By standing up a public or private Pixelfed server you enable yourself (or the public) to post rich multimedia content (photos and videos), “stories”, and more that instantly are accessible to the rest of the federation.
👉 Pleroma — #Pleroma is a lightweight alternative to Mastodon that at the time ironically offered a more user-friendly experience than Mastodon itself and pioneered features years ago that are just now being implemented by Mastodon and other projects. Pleroma’s big claim to fame was that you could stand up a robust instance on a single RasperryPi with little trouble.
👉 WriteFreely — A blogging platform that is built to federate. #WriteFreely federates your words and your content as your write them, and your readers can follow and comment on your posts without having to leave their local timeline.
In closing let me be clear, I have nothing against Mastodon or Eugen. I think it’s a fantastic project and it is an amazing piece of software. I am thankful for the level of awareness and exposure it has given the Fediverse as a whole.
But to continue to perpetuate the misinformation that Mastodon somehow created the fediverse or that the Federation is Mastodon is something that I can’t let stand without challenge.
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍 Updated 2022-11-10
bofh.social, which is the instance I operate, runs Pleroma using the SoapboxFE. (CC-BY-SA)
Not sure what it says about me that when I heard Cathy Griffin was on the Fediverse, I shrugged my shoulders, but when I heard @rbreich was on, I felt genuinely excited.
Probably because I feel like he's the real life Toby Zeigler from the West Wing.
(and then searching this, it's because it's true? https://observer.com/2011/01/obama-brings-on-the-bteam/2/ )
As I get older, I'm more aware of feelings or biases I've never put to words.
Reliability is one of the most important values I have- if someone says they'll do something, they should do it, or at least get in touch with me to let me know they can't.
When someone is unreliable, I have a hard time with it.
I also know this can be a symptom of other things, such as ADHD, so I won't say someone unreliable is "bad"- but I can say my own needs aren't met when encountering unreliability.
How to migrate from one Mastodon server to another without losing followers:
1. Sign up on new server
2. On NEW server: Go to Account -> Moving FROM another account
3. Enter old account's handle
4. On OLD server: Go to Account -> Moving TO another account
5. Enter new account's handle and submit
@atomicpoet FOSS and adjacent cultures often have a weird blind spot where they are unable to distinguish between people making a modest living and rapacious corporations.
The fediverse needs to allow and encourage individuals and small businesses to discuss and promote, and sell their activities therein.
The alternative is the all too common model of well paid people doing evil all day in a day job and building something lovely at night for free. Which results in a net win for evil.
Happy 83rd birthday to Wendy Carlos, a pioneer of synth technology and film scoring. From Moog genius to scoring films (she collaborated with Kubrick on A Clockwork Orange and The Shining), Carlos is an under-championed legend, and reluctant Trans icon. 🏳️⚧️ I wrote about her in This Woman’s Work but here’s a starter thread about her life and work: https://twitter.com/sineadgleeson/status/1540670328837246977?s=46&t=I2m3_wTxX8LPuS6ufltZBA
1. If you're not part of the targeted group, don't say "It's not racist to..."
2. If you try to find "gotchas or workarounds", that's a jerk move.
3. If you think that "That group always complains that what I say is racist." that's racist
4. It's possible to do/say something bigoted without being purposefully offensive, but how you respond matters a lot.
5. If any of what I've said offends you- then it's time to look inwards.
No! It was a more general issue that I’ve seen in a number of spaces (lgbtq, gender, race, …), where someone will experience discrimination and everyone will say, “you should sue”, “you should speak up”, “you should protest”…. And you know, not everyone has the spoons to do that, or is at a safe place in their life, and that’s okay. I just didn’t want people to equate “listen to Black voices” with “let them instigate the conversation and do the work”. But I didn’t do a great job of expressing it.
I should c&p Jew Who Has It All more often.
Looking through my own peesonal list of reports, the sad fact is that most instances really don't do anything about antisemitism even if their own rules say no racism, and they don't do anything about anti-Israel statements or harassment of Israelis, even if their policies are no discrimination based on national origin.
That puts on the onus on me as a site operator, and on users to be subjected to hate.
Sadly, we are used to it. #JewsDontCount
Fediblock, moderation, antisemitism
The “benevolent dictator” of the instance mastodon (.) se is unfortunately spreading stories about the necessity to fight the “globalists”, a well known antisemitic dog whistle.
I’m sure that there are nice people who just want to speak Swedish or talk about local stuff in Sweden on that instance but with such an admin it will likely become a heaven for antisemites of all kinds. Someone like that will make an awful moderator. A #fediblock should be considered.
Geek, Hacker, Free Software and Free Culture advocate, Jew
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