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Mastodon, for those who don't want Twitter


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Mastodon, for those who don't want Twitter
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-11-11, 14:33

Thanks to Musk buying Twitter and the mess of a company it is shaping into right now I was introduced to Mastodon. Prior to this week I knew nothing about it. Of course, I've dug into some of the technical aspects of running a server and it doesn't seem that bad if kept in a small scale: Install from source guide.

Their docs site explains the principles behind how it works in the practical user level sense.
Quote:
A Mastodon website can operate alone. Just like a traditional website, people sign up on it, post messages, upload pictures and talk to each other. Unlike a traditional website, Mastodon websites can interoperate, letting their users communicate with each other; just like you can send an email from your Gmail account to someone from Outlook, Fastmail, Protonmail, or any other email provider, as long as you know their email address, you can mention or message anyone on any website using their address.
This strikes me like the conceptual migration from email. Only less private. So I can microblog (Twitter's original goal) but mention someone with another server and have it cross connect so they would get the notice.

Reading through the docs some, anyone can spin up an instance with "one-click" deployments at places like Digital Ocean and such. Of course, pray nothing ever goes wrong if they have no idea how to run a linux server. Looking through the manual installer it seems pretty simple for someone like me or Brad. Again, the capacity would become the big challenge to overcome if there is a lot of direct media shared. Links to external sources wouldn't be a problem, but images or even small videos would chew threw storage at a blistering pace.

Anyone here using Mastodon currently? What is it like "day-to-day"?

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-11-11, 15:36

Your understanding is pretty correct. Mastodon has been around for several years, and it's one of these federated services that's slowly been gaining popularity recently, but, yeah, Musk's Twitter takeover has certainly brought it back into the center spotlight.

E-mail is an good analogy, and one that I've seen used many times to describe Mastodon. Mastodon is decentralized. So, yes, anyone can run their own server, and messages can be sent and seen across servers, but also individual server operators can moderate what content shows up in their server's feed. If I started a custom Mastodon server on applenova.com, as the owner/admin, I could block truthsocial.com so that people browsing my server would never see content that originated from there. This allows an operator to curate their instance's community with varying control, and that's why Mastodon's signup page encourages you to browse for a community that feels somewhat like-minded.

I registered a name on one of the big servers yesterday just to see what it's like, and, well, it's pretty much Twitter just not on Twitter.com.

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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-11-11, 23:15

This is still a centralization.

I had an idea years ago about each computer user having outward facing "spikes" that can connect to other users to whom they have specifically established a linkage with (SOMEHOW).

When a user in this decentralized network shares data, a flag is set so that when their compatriots poll each other, that flag is detected and the data is shared, like email, and the receipt is recorded.

The information would only be handed off when those two machines shook hands.

It was a terrible idea when it came to large numbers of users, or large data files, or slow network connections, but the part I thought would be cool was that each user would have an app to assemble the collected data into a coherent dashboard on their end.

It would probably suck for threaded conversations, unless you could blockchain it?

Anyway, that's the clunky way a non computer scientist tries to solve the puzzle of decentralized communal conversations.


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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2022-11-14, 07:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
This strikes me like the conceptual migration from email. Only less private. So I can microblog (Twitter's original goal) but mention someone with another server and have it cross connect so they would get the notice.
Yeah, basically.

If you flip it around, Twitter is like Mastodon but the instance is always Twitter.com. So my handle would be @chucker@twitter.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
Anyone here using Mastodon currently? What is it like "day-to-day"?
It has some teething troubles especially now that there's been big influxes of users, but it's overall not that different.

You can pick a large instance like mastodon.social, which is probably inadvisable since the moderators feel understaffed, or you can pick a smaller one. In my case, I picked one dedicated to my region of northern Germany. You could also pick one for, say, an interest of yours (Star Trek, gardening, whatever). You mostly want to pick based on whether you think the instance's rules sound about right, and whether you trust the admins/mods to enforce them fairly. You can also migrate to a different instance later on.

(Recently, mastodon.technology shut down, with several weeks' notice in advance, so a lot of people had to migrate.)

One thing that's IMHO an improvement but has been controversial is content warnings (CWs). Some people simply treat them as topics (like an e-mail subject); others try to limit their use based on what they think not everyone may want to look at. (Some instances also have express rules that you must CW certain subjects.) Where it gets a bit tricky is when people tone-police each other over "you should've had a CW on this".

There's also a history of fiefdoms.

I gotta say, though, while I miss some of the Twitter users enough that I'm not really willing to shut that down just yet, Masto overall feels more pleasant.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2022-11-14, 07:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
This is still a centralization.
It's sort of in the middle between centralization (single-instance like Twitter or Facebook) and complete decentralization (every user is a peer that others need to directly connect to). The latter is impractical for a multitude of reasons, including:
  • most people use social media on their phones, and iOS and Android severely restrict how background apps can connect to each other.
  • CPU, bandwidth, latency concerns
  • every single user now has to moderate what they receive. Yes, that's freedom™ in a way, in that you get to decide what you want to look at, but it's also paradoxically the opposite, in that you're now forced to scrutinize everything you receive.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-11-14, 10:17

So if I built social.anmc.applenova.com I could have @turtle@social.anmc.applenova.com as my username. If anyone from mastodon.social messages me, it would have to be to the full @turtle@social.anmc.applenova.com. My messages, DMs (or whatever they are called) and history in general would reside on the server for social.anmc.applenova.com. If I pull the plug on that server then all the history is lost? The internet will forget (maybe lament) the passing of the history/data?

I could create @turtle@mastodon.social but it isn't the same and won't have the history right?

However if I did that can had our anmc server running then I could friend myself and pump myself up and inflate my own ego right? (Trump needs to read this.... oh wait, nevermind.). Really though, these are different users on different servers so if they did communicate and I pulled the plug on social.anmc then would @turtle@mastodon.social lose the history with social.anmc?

* Side note: I don't have DNS abilities for applenova.com, just using it as an example.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2022-11-17, 21:28

I found my Mastodon profile that I signed up for 4 years ago

https://mastodon.social/@kierankelly

I'm still sticking on Twitter until Twitterrific no longer functions, but figured I'd add my Mastodon handle here.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2022-11-17, 23:00

https://macaw.social/@youfoundryan
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-11-17, 23:40

I am pretty sure that I understand Mastodon even LESS than Twitter...



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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2022-11-18, 03:48

Twitter is you’re in a pub except it’s massive and you can hear everyone and need to filter the noise.

Mastodon is you’re in a pub, kind of oversized but not massive, and you can hear some voices from adjacent pubs if you like.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-11-18, 07:53

I need to see more screenshots of the interface, to try and understand how it works.

This silly video overview was helpful.
https://youtu.be/IPSbNdBmWKE


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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2022-11-18, 08:54

You can find Mastodon clients that look very similar to Twitter clients. Basically the same feel.

The biggest change really is when trying to follow someone who is on a different server. There's just one extra step.

Really, if most of the people I follow on Twitter moved to Mastodon, I don't really think it would be too different of a service overall.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2022-11-18, 11:38

I'm using Mastonaut as my client. Desktop Mac OS with a Tweetdeck-like interface.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-11-18, 12:33

I know that Bad Brad mentioned the Fediverse, but after seeing this video I'm excited as all get out!!

https://youtu.be/S57uhCQBEk0


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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-11-19, 19:19

I built a Mastodon instance. It wasn't hard. The hardest part I'm having right now is getting the outbound email to work.

You can't sign up without confirming your email. You can't get an email because port blocking and I haven't stopped to overcome that yet.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
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