Well, 10 days since checking this out again. It's interesting--shifting to something being a habit is the tough problem for any new platform. There is a serious labor cost to me, at least, to redirecting my attention at this point in my life, even when I'm not that happy about where my attention is. I suppose partly it's because I've done it before--put effort into a new community, a platform, etc., and then found that it all ends in the same kinds of tears.

I kind of wish for a combination "block/report" in a single click. There's people where you think, maybe that was a serious error in judgment, and others where you think "Nuke this from orbit".

When I was a kid and young adult, if you'd told me I could get on a rocket to Mars, live in a Mars colony, die on Mars, I think I would have said "Cool, yes." I would never say that now. It's not that I'm more attached to life here now. It's that it was all hypothetical then. Today that means signing on with one of several specific real untrustworthy corporate egomaniacs for whom Mars is ideology rather than an open question. They don't deserve the lives that might be given to them.

If I can't get a quick-browse sense in fact of the culture of other instances as they extrude into my federated timeline, I can't actually make wise decisions about which instances have a tendency to produce really good and generative presences in relationship to my local.

It does seem odd that federation doesn't create any visible artifacts of the instances from which people hail in a federated timeline. I would kind of like to know if I'm talking to people from my planet in the Federation Council, or if I'm talking with an Andorian or a Vulcan, or maybe even a Klingon whose instance is allowed to talk to my federation. Right now I have to look at the person's @ and then see the post/follow count to see that asterix.

My Technologies of Text students made class memes & I’m pretty sure I don’t need student evals now s17tot.ryancordell.org/fieldbo

It's like the tech utopists seamlessly transitioned from saying "the future will be beautiful" to saying "the past was glorious" without ever thinking about the fact that what they'd imagined wasn't feasible from the start.

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But it is really useful nevertheless for a brief moment to get a sampling again of what "all content" looks like.

I also get a moment where I can briefly rethink whether or why I might reply or respond to something that's way outside my usual feeds. Like, do I want to start a conversation with that person posting long political messages that aren't the kinds I normally get into conversation with? Probably not. But it makes me think again about the possibility.

Every time you open up the firehose and just see the totality of content on a platform, in that brief time before there's just way way too much of it, you learn again what you decided you really didn't want to read. For me that would be personal narrations of quotidian routines for total strangers--like, I love to hear about the breakfast of a friend, but not someone I don't know at all. It's just too much when it's hundred or thousands of people.

I see that Twitter has created a portable style of brief judgmental declaration about some subset of humanity, because there it is in the federated timeline in plenitude. I think what I dislike most about the voice or positionality of that kind of post (tweet, toot, message) is the absence of pronoun, of self-awareness, of context or example. Those posts sometimes sound as if God is putting a longer addendum on some stone tablets for when Moses comes back up the mountain.

A good set of critiques of Mastodon. Not because the clickbait headline is true, but because the points raised are specific, relevant, and addressable. The issues are real, but the underlying problems /aren't/ intractable. Federation has value and costs, portability is a concern, and moderation is hard, but each of these can be specifically improved. Do read this, take it to heart, and /improve Mastodon/! :pineapple:


One day every platform will be adopted by 100,000 people for fifteen minutes.

It's interesting how much the difference from 140 to 500 characters makes me feel more comfortable going into semi-academic mode. 140 pretty much limits to linkage, retweeting and attempted (mostly failed) witticisms and polemical messages. And I like that--up to a point. A bit more discursiveness feels natural, though.


1. Servers (instances) mostly communicate 2 ways: sending posts to each other & sending profiles to each other

2. When person A's profile is first sent over, it only has their name, avatar & bio*

3. When someone on your server Y follows A, their server will send Y their toots & these are A's only toots that Y knows about*

4. # of toots/followers/follows on A's profile on Y all refer to the # of t/f/f which are actually on Y directly or indirectly

*simplified 4 brevity

good article: opensource.com/article/17/4/gu
Tips: :fireworks:
- Search bar is hidden at top of Compose panel
- With narrow browser windows you get just one column at a time
- Your Username is tied to your instance (server), but you can toot at anyone on the world of all the elephants
- Every server is run by a different admin

@Astyan "My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins." That idea lies at the heart of every good community.

In design, we make the safest, most user-friendly option the default, with riskier/dangerous features as opt-ins for those who want them. Your problem is thinking that you are entitled to treat others badly—if they don't want to hear from you, they're the ones who should put in the effort.

If Mastodon wants to be anything more than a cesspool, they won't tolerate that.

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