The greatest challenge for Mastodon now that it’s getting mainstream attention is to figure out how to resist “embrace and privatise”.

Tomorrow Google announces Gastodon. What do you do to stop it becoming Gmail?


1. Push for instances of one

2. In order to make instances of one viable, simplify the complexity of the app itself: the lighter it is, the less dependencies, the easier it is to host. Installation should be no more difficult than sudo apt install mastodon

CC @Gargron

@aral @Gargron that’s why I set up my own Instance with I don’t do programming. builds the site, provides maintenance and data storage. It’s only $6/mo US. Self-programmed sites aren’t free either. Eventually you have to pay for data storage. It always ends up costing you something. Services like increase diversity because it makes MSTDN accessible to non-programmers.

@feral_yogi Yes, but at the same time services such as *could* end up being the "next Google", just on a different level. Just imagine Google or Microsoft either buying or creating such a service themselves and offering people to run "their own mastodon instances free of charge" without any hassle - just point-and-click install and you're done. That's just the same way Google Mail made available e-mail to a load of "non-techies". 😉

@aral @gargron

@z428 @feral_yogi @aral @gargron I would think people who run independent instances would block an instance that is part of surveillance capitalism.

Not out of spite, but because otherwise it means anything that I say that is federated out to those instances become part of their data.

BTW, this is why it's so important to have nomadic identities: if your instance gets bought by a bad actor, you want to be able to get out of there ASAP without losing your followers.

@teleclimber ... or even after such an incident, moving over to another instance without losing data or identity or followers needs to be a no-brainer that (at best) happens automatically thanks to fail-over mechanisms baked into the protocol. Same goes of course for switching nodes in case one gets sold or taken over by someone you don't want.

@feral_yogi @aral @gargron

@teleclimber @gargron @aral @z428 @feralyogi That's a good overview of zot, but the protocol is being updated so many of the technical details will soon be obsolete. The latest spec is at
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One of the first Mastodon instances, there is no specific topic we're into, just enjoy your time!