What happens once I have more followers than Lance Ulanoff has on Twitter?

Okay, I am getting questions about who Lance Ulanoff is. Time for some Mastodon history.

Exactly a year ago today, Lance Ulanoff opened his article about Mastodon with this phrase:

"William Shatner couldn't find me on Mastodon.

This was a problem."

That was the day Mastodon became a shatner-proof network.

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He concluced his article (titled "Mastodon will never be the next Twitter") with this:

"I suspect thousands of other Tooters (blech!) will soon do the same and Mastodon will lay down beside all other other fossilized social media platforms and fade from existence."

Since then, Mastodon grew to 1,300,000 users and 2,000 servers. This is why people bring him up today.

@Gargron Mastodon doesn't have to be the next Twitter, it has to avoid becoming like Twitter. That will be it main attraction.

Well, if lack of population doesn't kill it, bad administrative ethics might at least corrupt and fracture the federation at some point.


Between inaccessibility due to hardware requirements, and technical knowledge. It leads to the concern of more sheep (users) being led by fewer wolves (mods, admins, owners, mass instance hosting)

@fexel Actually, it’s about ethics in instance administration 🤔

@Gargron I have an idea for mastodon, as you can dm me since i well tell you in there.

@Gargron I laughed hard at the "Unless someone buys the code off Rochko today..." part. Mastodon is licensed under AGPL. Clearly the article was "well reserched".

@Gargron These same people say cryptocurrency is dead. The joke is on them.

@Shamar @Gargron You're confusing the database (blockchain) that stores coins with proof-of-work algorithm that secures the network the coins traverse at transaction time.

Blockchains are a linked list containing the hash of the current block's data and the hash of the previous block's data forming a cryptographic chain; it uses storage not (much) energy.

Proof-of-Work is a protocol feature (which uses a lot of energy) for which there are alternatives: quora.com/What-are-the-alterna

>1,300,000 users

aren't all

@Gargron but is any single instance ready for Twitter scale? i doubt both that mastodon code is as scalable as of yet, and that mastodon admins can afford to pay for the resources to match traffic

@mcandre @Gargron No one instance could match Twitter's scale (without actual revenue, that is), but that's why we have thousands of instances!

@Gargron Do you know how many servers and users there were when he wrote the article? Just curious

@Gargron Is the number "1,300,000 users" means *registered* users? I remember from your Medium post that "Over 130,000 people were active on Mastodon last week," which I interpreted as 130,000 *active* users.
Just confused because two numbers looked similar (but, of course, vastly different in magnitude.)

@Gargron Hmm I think mastodon has a lot more long lasting power with instances but it will die someday everything does

@Faveing It's better not to think about the heat death of the universe :(

True. The main difference between Mastodon and other decentrlized aocial networks is that Mastodon is actually picking up stream. Most of the others fizzled out with a small number of users.

Personally, I think the prior ones arrived at a bad time. When #Diaspora was at its most popular, Facebook was a media darling and information about PRISM had yet to reach the public. It faded because there was no "push" away from corporate-controlled social media.

Mastodon is maturing in an environment in which everyone is aware of government spying, Russian election meddling, and scandals involving the abuse of social media account holders' personal information. In that environment, people seek something new and different.

Before the Russia/Cambridge Analytica scandals, it would have been easy to see Mastodon going the way of Diaspora. Those events changed the game. Hopefully, more people will see the benefits of decentralization.

@Gargron just curious where you get the user number of 1.3M from. I used to follow @mastodonusercount for how many people were on here but that hasn’t been updated in months.

@Gargron Out of curiosity: What will happen when spammers invade mastodon?

(thinking about people/bots who could make @-mentions and #-hashtags useless)

@deeds We have mods. Each server has independent mods. Report spammers if you see them and we'll take care of them

@Gargron meanwhile you could say twitter is... Going the way of the Dodo

@Gargron ehm claims to be able to see the future but ehm does not even see the current 😆 . ehm needs to stop and :BufferingBrain: a little
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