Evan Minto 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.

Evan Minto @VamptVo

My first time getting formally involved in the W3C via the Social Web Community Group went great! Thanks to @cwebber for hosting and inviting me.

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"At the top of the tower, there is no liberation from work."

Mark Fisher, "Suffering With a Smile"


Figuring out authentication for ActivityPub has been sorta tough (at least for someone with very little experience with security stuff). It's taking a while to make sure I'm doing everything right.

Cool thing about working at the Internet Archive: folks working on super high-level decentralized web stuff just hanging out on the couches and/or asking me for help setting up NodeJS.

@cwebber Oh wow, I 100% forgot about this. I need to put it on my calendar next time.

Reading Fred Schodt's Astro Boy Essays on the bus. Two kids on a field trip saw it and started talking to me about the 2009 CG movie!

I thought that movie was completely forgotten by now, but these kids seemed to have really enjoyed it.

Is it a bad sign that every time I go grocery shopping I end up walking around humming "Lost in the Supermarket"?

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Still more tech journalism on Mastodon: "Mastodon cannot survive with such a silly name. It needs a more serious and business-friendly name, such as Google, Yahoo, or Hulu."

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More tech journalism on Mastodon: "Mastodon is currently a free service, but soon it will bend to the iron will of Silicon Valley, which is that you either sell out to investors or become irrelevant like Wikipedia."

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Tech journalists on Mastodon: "Mastodon Inc only has 50,000 users, but with adequate venture capital funding it may stand a chance"

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I expect with the popularity of Mastodon there will be pressure to add a ton of features to make it more like Facebook or whatever. This may be tempting, especially if you are a young developer and there are folks waving a lot of cash under your nose.

For any privacy related features I would pause and not rush into doing anything. If you get this sort of thing wrong then there can be a lot of bad fallout and you'll probably lose whatever popularity you might have had. A suggestion would be either to leave privacy alone and keep the fediverse as a purely public space, or to work with W3C on the ActivityPub spec to add encryption features.

A point about privacy is that if you add private keys to the servers and there are enough users then the Lavabit scenario is going to happen. Goons with firearms will show up and demand the keys, and they may be from the gubbermint or not from the gubbermint. It's better to keep the responsibilities and risks on the admins as minimal as possible.

Trying to go it alone and invent a lot of incompatible stuff isn't going to work well. What you end up with is a fractured fediverse, and lack of network effect means that users eventually return to the silos.

Ugh the scene where Frodo spots the Ringwraiths converging on the road near Weathertop in Fellowship (the book) still gives me chills.

@maloki That's where I hope ActivityPub can come in, since it's designed to handle a lot of use cases.

@maloki I should add that my ultimate dream is one network full of services of all shapes and sizes: Twitter-style microblogs like Masto, photo sharing sites, even pure messaging services.


1. A fresh take on Twitter-style interaction with a focus on tight-knit community-building.
2. It should serve as the harbinger for a new generation of federation, and a trailblazer carving new paths (via standards & extensions) to enable a greater variety of federated services. It should be a PART of the network, NOT the network itself.
3. I emphasize its localized instance cultures and what it means for the interconnected future of social media.

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There is an old RTS called Gender Wars where you play as literally men vs women and the only good part is this game over screen: mastodon.social/media/UjdBWNJR