Bad idea of the day:
A "mastodon recommended follower" back-end that picks at random a recent-poster from the same node that has no network overlap at all (or, if that's not possible, one with as little network overlap as possible).
In other words, rather than optimizing for best match, optimize for worst match & see what happens to social interaction.
I suggested limiting it to a single node just because nodes often have very different cultures & rules. But, on small nodes this wouldn't work.
Expanding the pool to all already-federated users works too, except on *very* small nodes and *very* large nodes.
*very* small nodes might need to request the local timeline from peers in order to find enough users.
Yeah, but at the same time it pays to be careful when the cultures differ too much. Going into somewhere and just assuming that friendly signals are universal or that your needs are the same is a good way to start wars.
People are already pretty isolated in social bubbles *within* large instances. (For instance, if it only worked on mastodon.social we'd still see benefit)
Reading instance timelines really isn't feasible on large instances like mastodon.social as a mechanism for finding people to follow.
For one thing, people who post a lot are going to hide people who post less frequently, particularly if they aren't in the same time zone. (If you have relatively few relatively inactive people you follow, then having no overlap in awake time with some of your followers is fine: they appear in the home TL anyway.)
One way to make the bot opt-in is to have the set of suggestions be equal to the set of people following the bot. Then, it could take requests for people to follow, but also (for instance) post #ff messages on fridays.
This would be pretty straightforward but it also means that the pool of potential suggestions is both small and already listed in one place.
@enkiv2 it's easier here than on other social networks. Still the majority or online interactions are quite void of actual diversity of thought as people seem to fear having to be confronted with an actual person with opposing views. Debating the TV talking heads you disagree with is easy, cause they never answer back