Q: What's this "Federation thing?"

A: A bunch of communities, on different servers, sharing /some/ but not necessarily /all/ of their traffic. Or, in some cases, none. It depends.

The User Guide has a good section:
github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/

Follow

Q: It sounds as if that's complicated. Do you have a picture you can share?

A: @vhf made one: techn.ical.ist/users/vhf/updat

It misses a few edge cases, but mostly, that's how the spice flows. Er, toots.

Q: What about descriptions of associated networks, Stats / Nodes / Instances / Hubs, etc?

A:

* diaspora, friendica & hubzilla: the-federation.info/
* gnusocial & postactiv: fediverse.org/
* mastodon: instances.mastodon.xyz/

Fediverse visualization: kumu.io/wakest/fediverse

See: gnusocial.no/notice/1928996
h/t @ymivlr

@dredmorbius @vhf Interesting. I did not understand that if someone is not followed by *anyone* on an instance, then *none* of their tweets appear in the federated timeline. So the "federated timeline" is only those users who have some connection to your instance. This means that the larger instances (ex. mastodon.social, mastodon.cloud) will have a bigger and richer federated timeline by virtue of having more people who will follow others on other instances.

@danyork @vhf Keep in mind that bigger need not equal richer. If you're on a smaller Instance with a discerning population, you may find it's selecting out the good stuff, and kicking off the bad.

That's where the follow-bot concept strikes me as potentially badly misguided. It directly disrupts the selection and filtering behaviour of organic following.

It's not clear to me that it's possible to readily distinguish bot from non-bot traffic.

@dredmorbius @ymivlr don't forget fediwiki.info ! I put a bunch of cool info about how GNUSocial works, with API documentation, etc. as well as a How-to-setup-mastodon-in-docker tutorial!

@stitchxd @ymivlr Since this toot is part of the FAQ, you've just added it :smile:

@dredmorbius I know this too is quite old (by some standards) but it gives a security warning first, and then a 404.

Do you have a more recent diagram?

CC: @vhf

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mastodon.cloud

Generalistic and moderated instance.