And I'll periodically be updating this particular thread (linked from my profile bio) with ... extended stuff.
My general posting / content philosophy. Not all applies here, but the gist does:
My general guidance is that content should show respect. For readers, for people, for ideas, for truth.
Mostly for truth.
I'm a huge fan of this One Amazing Trick to Revolutionise Social Networks: Block Fuckwits.
And yes, sometimes I'm the fuckwit. Mastodon's Mute and Block features are useful, make use of them. I will, and have.
I'm also aware that individual actions aren't sufficient in all instances. But they're a start.
I've experimented with "index" and "wiki" posts at Ello. Respectively:
You might find some nuggets buried in there. Or turds.
PSA: Mastodon / GNU Social allows animated avatars.
I mute gratuitous animated elements.
But I'm not telling you what to do.
Have a fabulous diurnal cycle.
Updating the animated avatars situation: animations are now disabled by default.
@firstname.lastname@example.org has compiled a brief introductory guide: https://github.com/nolanlawson/resources-for-mastodon-newbies#readme
Q: Why are all these bots following me?
A: Mastodon and GNU Social are /federated/ network with many individual servers. Only toots from profiles followed by someone on a given server propogate. "Follow Bots" ensure that more content is spread over more of the network. This may or may not be a good thing. And other bots may have other ideas. I'm not settled on the question myself.
A con argument: https://mastodon.social/users/pan/updates/1697694
@lambadalambda @dredmorbius @tuxhedoh The ridiculous thing to me is the fact people are using follow bots to begin with. Just grab the atom feed URLs and have the local mastodon instance populate the federation feeds with that. No need to notify anyone you're following them, which is really what is causing this pointless dramatics people are having. Out of all the arguments people are having, they don't point out the flawed implementation.
For more on bots, followbots, and #nobot:
Here's an interesting response to the followbot problem:
Unlike previous followbots that actively follows everyone they find on other instances, this bot /passively/ wait for people from other instances to follow it, and then the bot will boost the "most popular" posts from those other instances.
An "ambassador bot", if you will…
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:
@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.
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.
@danyork @dredmorbius @vhf This is an important restriction that allows for "Live and let live" aspect of federation. Total "open" federation will be polluting; strict "following" federation will restrict organic growth. This is a happy medium while maintaining a happy medium. I think we shouldn't focus on "larger" instances; instead instances that have a well defined "tribal" attribute.
@Aswath @dredmorbius @vhf Good point about finding a happy medium. My point was really that the "experience" of "federated Mastodon" will vary based on the size of your instance. On a large instance, the "federated timeline" might have many entries and give you a view of a "firehose". On a very small instance, it may seem like few people are in the federated timeline. It might make people there wonder what all the buzz is about.
@tchambers @dredmorbius @vhf As@email@example.com has pointed out, a fully-federated timeline would be overwhelming and would "pollute" instances focused on building smaller communities. The Mastodon implementation is an interesting balance. Effectively you have everyone who is a "friend of a friend". So it is more than just local, but not *everyone*.
@danyork @dredmorbius @vhf Hmmmm. Agree that this is by design, and can see how it functions in this space. But it does seem of value for people to be able to view a Federation-wide view of things too SOMEHOW. In essence when they wish to, to be able to view what is "trending" across the entire network, or to do searches across the entire network of posts and people as FB and Twitter allow.
@tchambers @danyork @vhf My read is that "trending across the network" has a /different meaning/ within Mastodon / GNU Social / oStatus. The inter-node filtration is part of the trending signal. The structure is far more neural in the sense that a node may choose to amplify /or suppress/ a signal. Both those functions are critical in forming meaning.
The more I think of this, the less I like the followbots.
@tchambers @dredmorbius @vhf That was my initial thought... that there ought to be some way to "see it all" or to "search it all". But that could rapidly become a firehose... and to manage that you really need an algorithm. And right now Mastodon is keeping the chronological feed as Twitter used to do, before it became too big and we needed the algorithm to help. I think there is value in smaller communities.
Q: What about descriptions of associated networks, Stats / Nodes / Instances / Hubs, etc?
Fediverse visualization: https://kumu.io/wakest/fediverse