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I started Mastodon because I believe in decentralization. The more servers there are, and the more people are spread throughout them, the stronger the network is.

I encourage people to join other servers, or start their own.

However! mastodon.social is the gateway for those who are undecided, or who don't yet know about decentralization. It is also my baby just like the software itself. I do not appreciate hostility towards it when promoting the benefits of other servers. Thanks

@Gargron

You do you Eugen.

Just glad I'm not dealing with that drama.

@Gargron hostility towards mastodon.social is not cool! ungrateful *

@Gargron as a gateway, m.s is still suboptimal. As is, it provides a very poor experience of Mastodon for users. Multiple people I know have stated they don't use the federated and local timelines because there's just too much noise - meaning a large chunk of the experience is blocked off on m.s.

Users who join m.s see this and are discouraged, meaning other people need to get them to find alternatives so they stay on fedi.

@brainblasted Yes, but many of the smaller servers are not welcoming to new users at all. Invite-only, or open only during the full moon. Without mastodon.social this network has a lot of elitist vibes.

@Gargron why not provide multiple hubs? I'm sure there are plenty of admins that would like to help out. Mastodon.social need not be the only flagship.

@brainblasted I'm hoping tooting.ai can become that, I gave that domain to another person a few days ago. Anyway, yes, I'm all for it. Switter draws its own crowd, that is great. We need more like that. But mastodon.social can't go anywhere because a) it is my home b) old links.

The power assymetry between gmail and a random smtp server is still orders of magnitude larger than between my server and any other. I'm more concerned with gaining traction (1/2)

@brainblasted in the mainstream, making real dents in commercial, entrenched networks, than the problems of my server being "too big". And even if it was, it still runs the same software everyone else gets. It's not like GMail which has its own secret sauce.

@Gargron
I'd rather stay in your instance than anywhere else. It feels safe and comfy here, we connect with your values and quite frankly wish other admins shared them instead of encouraging dogpiling and such.
Thank you for doing what you do the way you do.

@brainblasted @Gargron idea: maybe create a “bunny hill” instance which is the first place people sign up and you can stay there for up to one month before moving to a more permanent home. Admins/mods of that instance can help get new users bootstrapped and maybe help users find their “forever instance”.

@Gargron @brainblasted I run an invite only server to keep my personal friends in one place, but keep thinking about starting a larger open instance to contribute to the general community.

@Gargron
"but many of the smaller servers are not welcoming to new users at all. Invite-only, or open only during the full moon."

This is actually the main thing that stops me from moving to other instances and disappoints/discourages me. The idea of mastodon is neat.
But coming from more openly accessible content (like on tumblr) it's odd to be locked out of near every interesting instance.

I saw a few I liked, but they're all "invite only" or "need to know someone in the group".

@thatzeta try messaging the admin, there's a problem with bots rn which caused many open instances to close to invite only, but are welcoming new members still

@Gargron @brainblasted what's the elitist vibe when it is supposed to be for self-hosting? Okay, not everyone can afford to self-host financially or by knowledge and time.
But to expect anyone to invest their time in administration of a "free" service is not friendly either.

@brainblasted @Gargron The Federated Timeline is just best to freeze once in a while to grab and instant .. find people interesting, reply, follow .. It's not something you can really actively dive through. ActivityPub instances are more like a chat room.

@Gargron i personally like mastodon a lot!! i dont understand why some people dont like it. Just they just suck lmao

@Gargron I'm just gonna be honest, this particular instance has given me a space to connect and make friends while I figure out what I want to do. The best thing I've found about instances is that I don't have to be limited to just one, but I'm still figuring out which ones I want to explore. Until then, this is a good place for me.

@AdaAimee @Gargron Yeah, like... I intend to register on mastodon.art at some point
but I'm not gonna stop posting here, because why would I?? the .art account would be for art. the .social account would be for social.
All the fun of alts, and none of the login-hopping BS.

@Gargron If you believe in decentralization, why don't you close registrations on mastodon.social and direct people to use the instance picker to find another one? Why don't you spend time developing full account migration rather than a popularity meter?

@gargron
Why not make a poll to your users about which kind of interests new users have, and create a few instances based on those preferences?

Something like a "mastodon.social subnet"?

@Gargron is there an instance directory available for those of us who are currious?

@SinnahSaint There's a couple. The nicest, but not the most complete, is on joinmastodon.org

The most complete, but not very good looking, is on instances.social

@gargron

A lot of people think "Decentralized" has the same meaning as "Evenly Distributed, or else it's a failure."

I'm sure people who think that are nice people, but they're not as smart as they think they are.

@Gargron very true. Bashing on others to promote oneself is not a healthy way to promote oneself.
Saying that the global feed is too noisy is like saying twitter’s global feed is noisy. Of course it it!

@Gargron I'm a new user, probably more "up" than most, and I still ended up on mastodon.social because all the other instances I read about were too niche for me, or had rules I didn't like. I'm sure lots of people end up here since they don't investigate other instances, but not all of them.

@Gargron There are a lot of other server operators who also do not appreciate hostility towards their babies.

@Gargron Lies are routinely circulated about some instances - most commonly that their administrators are "Nazis" or encourage harassment.

@mattskala Not by me. Or was that just a general comment?

@Gargron It was a general comment - not directed at you specifically, but meant to be read by some of the people circulating and endorsing your statement.

@Gargron Mastodon.social was exactly the stepping stone I needed to get me started. It wasn’t long before I found an instance and community that was right for me.

It seems the more popular Mastodon gets the more jerks that think their opinion should be your highest priority, show up. I don’t have an answer but I hope you can continue to draw from the positive experiences and keep on rocking like you have been!

@Gargron amazing how negative role can be when they are using something that is free! Why don’t they try building their own program from scratch and see where they get!

@Gargron I think m.social is a fantastic lobby, it's where we land first, sign in. Then we all book party rooms and sleeping rooms and event rooms and join our convention; but we all wander back to the lobby because it's a quality mixing space and it's so interesting to see who passes through.

@Gargron Would love to be able to set this up as a private social network for my family and friends but only have a shared hosting account so not sure how that would go.

@gargron How about hiring some moderators and paying them, then? Put your money where your mouth is.

@starbreaker @Gargron
Is there like a patreon for development or something? it doesn't seem like Eugene would be making money off of this site without outside influence. if not i don't think it's fair to say "just buy mods"

@Amber

No feelings, either way, on the subject but just wanted to make note, since you asked and in case you were curious – there is a Patreon at patreon.com/mastodon.

@Gargron
Will there ever be a way to migrate toots/followers between instances? I don't know enough about programming to know what that would entail...

@doriy
The Hubzilla network has a migration feature. Just saying that they found that need too.

@doriy

'Can't migrate toots but you can export/import followers, blocks, and mutes. Just go to your profile Preferences and click Data Export under Settings.

@Gargron
I have been following mastodon for a while. In the past I didn't find it mature enough to take off.

Just opened this account a few days ago, and improvement is amazing.

Your post and replies seem to imply that user experience may differ depending on the instance you use.

is that the case? the term federation seem to imply that we all share the basic experience, content, etc

what are the differences that an user could potentially find when using one or another instance?

@rvalle @gargron the federated timeline on any given instance depends on what accounts are followed by at least one account on the instance, so potentially the experience/content can be *very* different. I can tell you from experience that I definitely see a different segment (though partially overlapping) of the fediverse from niu.moe than I do from cybre.space

@Gargron Re that topic, is easy moving between instances already possible or still WIP?

@Gargron @fitheach I love this approach, and I appreciate all that you’re doing.

The one catch I feel with the ‘gateway’ concept is that switching to another instance is problematic. Since we cannot automatically take our followers with us, it breaks those relationships.

I implore you to please prioritize a way to automatically bring followers with us when we move.

@Gargron if there is a need to help discoverability for new users (just looking on some comments/toots here), can we add a humble 💡 idea? There could be a "graph"-like visualization, maybe on joinmastodon site, where people can also take a glance of other instances, in an alternative visual approach...

This could seem like you are floating in ...space! 🛰 😄

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