Eugen is a user on mastodon.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

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.

Eugen @Gargron@mastodon.social
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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.

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@Level14Boss I do want the fediverse (the network between Mastodon servers and other interoperable software) to replace Twitter as the mainstream method of public broadcasting, so in a way, yes.

@Gargron I get you, but I do think the mistake he made was expecting Mastodon to be a like for like for Twitter which I think personally would be a mistake. One of my favourite things about here is no ones voice is more important than anyone elses if that makes sense

@Level14Boss That's not the only thing he got wrong in the article

@Gargron @Level14Boss

this

The power of federated solutions lies in their underlying "glue", protocols (ActivityPub).

@Gargron @Level14Boss

I've thought of Mastodon as semi-public broadcasting, since without a topic hashtags there's much greater challenge to mining through old information.

As such, it doesn't enable one of the (vacuous) indulgences of mainstream culture: scandal, & the quote-mining of old posts for scandal.

The audience who find Twitter appealing for this (and the celebrities for make their brand off of such drama) won't exactly see Mastodon's part of the fediverse as an alternative.

@Gargron @Level14Boss

I only bring this up, as Twitter has purpose built features for celebrities (the blue tick for authentication & a blue-tick-to-blue-tick only mode I believe) and quote mining (the advanced search is rather more sophisticated than I expected it to be when I first saw it).

Their current size is a result of deliberate efforts to tie a scandal engine to an attention economy.

@Level14Boss @Gargron Oh noes what will I DO without being able to keep up with some guy I've never heard of who's friends with SHATNER?!?

For real, I wish I'd never joined Twitter firsthand and seen just what absolute dinks nearly every last Big Name or Big Name Hanger-On is. :/

@amylsacks @Gargron Will I be able to function without a Vice/Buzzfeed journalist telling me what my choice of apple says about my personality

@amylsacks I love all apples but lean towards a redder apple

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

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

yiff.rocks/media/GK1Uf-4cAVSIZ

@Gargron
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 @gargron
that's entirely irrelevant considering anyone with "good" administrative ethics can decide to make a new instance. It doesn't exist in a vacuum

@mirzaba

@Gargron
... brazenly said the sheep under the domain of the wolf of the west, to the wolf of the east (er. Dragon? *Shrug*).

@mirzaba

@Gargron

I don't see you running an instance, why don't you run one then?

@fexel @gargron
The point is not that every single person needs to make an instance. As it stands, anyone who wants to has the capability. You could be obtuse or you could learn about the functionality of mastodon. Or I guess you could just go back to birdsite since you seem to have such a problem with Mastodon.

@mirzaba

@Gargron
Not a problem with GNUSocial (it's all the same shit) just a problem with badmins who think it in the interest those who are directly affected by their choices to callously use things like full domain suspension at the first sign of a percieved bad interaction.

What you think GNUSocial should be and what I believe It should be are two VASTLY different things it seems.

@mirzaba @Gargron
You know, instead of letting their sheep have some level of agency in their experience with the federation.

@InkAndCircuits @mirzaba @fexel someone from "yiff.rocks" likes sheep huh? πŸ€”

@InkAndCircuits

@mirzaba @Gargron

It's the perfect analogy for the user. Herd mentality, easily spooked in the right conditions.

@fexel @gargron @mirzaba Y'know, it's also a really commonly used analogy. By randos on the internet who have a certain level of herd mentality, themselves. Who all think they're the Unique and Powerful Wolves.

@fexel @gargron
look up in the skies sheeple, mastodon users are too dumb to just make their own instance and lack agency in their choices.

@mirzaba @Gargron
You don't teach a child to use a loaded handgun by having them point it at their little skull do you? No. You teach them how to properly and safely handle a firearm. You teach them to never point it at something they don't intend to destroy or kill. You teach them how to use it, but instill that such a tool is a last resort if all else fails.

@mirzaba @Gargron
Or when it's actually appropriate to operate it.

@fexel @gargron @mirzaba Maybe they do intend to destroy or kill your instance?

@InkAndCircuits

@mirzaba @Gargron
They can try, but if their intention is to become even more enclosed and locked away in their echo chamber, they'll eventually find themselves the darkest of places, Boredom. That's what's slowly happening to poopbird, a virtual strip mall of corporate advertisments and the the same figureheads touting the same nonsense they always do.

@fexel @gargron @mirzaba And you are the unique one with the strength to Not Block people because you are The Intelligent One.

Never forget you're just as prone to groupthink as the people you decry as sheep. Refusing to accept other ideas because you deem them Stupid or whatever word you want to use for it is just the same as blocking the idea from reaching you entirely. /shrug

Seeya.

@InkAndCircuits @mirzaba @Gargron
After all it is the power of echo Chambers that give rise to tyrants. at least I'm damn willing to listen and explain my view of why it is or isn't true.

@InkAndCircuits @mirzaba @Gargron
The whole blacklisting people on Twitter backfired spectacularly at least once in my knowledge. The Altfurry blocklist. A blocklist that contained any furry that had the wrong opinions, regardless if they were a minority, supremacist, or just a gay doggo on the internet that plays video games (justrags)

@fexel @gargron @InkAndCircuits
You know block lists exist on birdsite too right? And many other sites. Why are you so fixated on how it pertains to Mastodon, and not, you know, the notion itself. And on that note, you're enlightened and smart right? Use those skills to find out why people use blocklists in the first place

@mirzaba

@InkAndCircuits @Gargron
I literally just talked about a TWITTER blocklist and how it backfired by blocking people that should have never been blocked. How dense are you right now?

@fexel @gargron @InkAndCircuits
Not going to lie ive been tuning in and out of what you say

@fexel @mirzaba @Gargron Well i looked at your instance rules and your behavior and frankly that alone is enough to suspend you from mine

@mirzaba @Gargron @fexel

I'm going to say as clearly as I can; on this topic, I do think Fexel has a valid point.

The admins are not entirely decentralised the way the instances are. If a popularity contest begins, cabals effectively become a gatekeeper.

Admins of different instances acting as an in-group & either valuing the cohesion of the admin in-group/fearing banishment because of pressure from those outside of their instance does stand a real chance of fracturing the federation.

@Barcode @fexel @gargron
I think that's giving him too much credit, but that is a valid problem that doesn't have to be damning.

@mirzaba @Gargron @fexel

I will point out, I never commented on a likely outcome, or even the odds of this happening.

Simply that the decentralised structure of the hardware and software doesn't affect the interpersonal relationships and group dynamics of the instances.

Also, Fexel, for what it's worth, I think the wolf/sheep metaphor is too easily interpreted as either value judgement on roles or an interpretation of an Aesop's Fable I don't grasp. I don't think it helps explain your view.

@mirzaba

@Gargron @Barcode
Damning or not, it's the theroy I hold at this time, given an incident on here, and past incidents involving mass blocklisting on other platforms.

It's that very type of behavior that's caused people with agency to look towards alternative media sources instead of big name MSM companies. These people look for honesty and truth, not agendas to keep people in the dark.

@mirzaba @Gargron @Barcode
Infowars comes to mind as one such alternative source. That being they've always made people aware of mistakes in articles they've published. And will touch on incidents that MSM won't due to a conflict to their objectives.

@mirzaba @Gargron @Barcode
( Not much of a fan of Infowars, just stating facts)

@fexel Actually, it’s about ethics in instance administration πŸ€”

@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

@Gargron
>1,300,000 users

accounts
aren't all
chronic
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