Twitter has users. Mainstream (Silicon Valley) tech and drug dealers are the only two groups to use that term to describe people. And they're both obsessed with manufacturing addiction and exploiting those people. Calling people users is a form of othering.

Let's do better.

Mastodon doesn't have users. Mastodon has people. Call them members if you must. But not users.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google have users. We have people.

CC @Gargron

@aral @Gargron

How about
mastozens? (like citizens)

how would people see Mastodon it if we called them 'members'?

@jd @Gargron @aral i think the point is that we like to think of mastodon as more than just software or a service. it's a community of people working together.

@wxl @aral @Gargron

If #Mastodon people think of themselves as members or as citizens then a common ownership can develop, people will have demands and a method of discerning needs and wants can then develop. I think all software projects (including opensource) have a problem with democracy – I am not sure it can even work.


@jd @wxl @aral @Gargron benevolent dictatorship works better for network admin, but if you want a say in your own server make your own instance

@ZDP189 @jd @wxl @aral @gargron
This has always been the way online networks operated. whoever controls resources also has control over what they are used for. An old quotation commonly seen on Usenet was "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one" (apparently written by a US journo in 20th century). At least Mastodon makes owning one more feasible (but still not trivial).

@vfrmedia @jd @wxl @aral @Gargron members can vote with their feet. If an instance is badly run, members can migrate to a different instance.

Perhaps Mastodon can work on automated migration and bring their network of follows and followers. The trick is members would have to move, not clone themselves.

@ZDP189 @jd @wxl @aral @gargron a few people have already done that (not for any bad motives, usually due to tech issues with their original instance) but have had to export and import the data manually. Currently the network is small enough they've been able to find their friends again but as it grows that could be more problematic.

@vfrmedia @jd @wxl @aral @Gargron exactly. Also imagine if someone with a big following like 200k accounts tried migrating and the system had to propagate the changes across all instances! The traffic alone would be crippling.

Members will just have to experiment with different instances, read reviews of instances and trust in the admins.

@vfrmedia @jd @wxl @aral @Gargron

I wonder what will happen when instances max out. Few can afford the storage and traffic of a mature social network.

I foresee a time when certain instances become very exclusive, with a wait-list to get in and celebs and top content providers charge to bring their prestige.

@ZDP189 @jd @wxl @aral @gargron

I doubt if a network run on a shoestring with hobbyist level resources is going to be able to afford "celebs/top content providers influences" - or they would *want* them in the first place.

Folk here seem already happy to share what music/performers they enjoy, and/or what #tech / #cameras / other #gadgets they use, without really needing external "prestige"..

@vfrmedia @jd @wxl @aral @Gargron we haven't even talked about code divergence yet.

Right now, all the code is coming from one guy. Once the protocol is established, there's not much to stop instances implementing their own code. Different instances may eventually have different interfaces, with different features. At this point, who knows which instance will later prove to have been the best to have joined?

@ZDP189 @jd @wxl @aral @gargron this has already happened, some instances allow >500 chars toots , another tech example I have encountered (albeit one you defnitely try to conceal from end users) is differences in SIP protocol on VOIP telephones/endpoints & the servers they connect to. there is however a broad consensus on the *basic* features you expect from a VOIP phone (i.e voice calls, handsfree, caller ID etc)..

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