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This is a reminder that "Mastodon is Dead in the Water" post is over 1.5 year old now and both Mastodon and the Fediverse are going strong:
hackernoon.com/mastodon-is-dea

I like the irony of sharing this link here.

@rysiek The original logic of few-but-very-popular-instances-survive is still valid. I do not have the impression that it is all that easy to knock up for self-hosting?

If we want a Fediverse app on Sandstorm, we need to fix the Sandstorm security model first. Currently it needs explicit administrator approval for any outgoing connection, so at best you'd have whitelisted federation.

@mjjzf well it's getting easier and easier, FreedomBone I think was considering including Pleroma I think, Nextcloud has an app for that, and there are a number of options that might be easier to self-host than Mastodon.

@rysiek @mjjzf I'm self hosting using docker and it's not hard at all if you've got a minimal level of technical skills. I did a write up about how I got it set up here: crowdersoup.com/post/personal/

@rysiek @mjjzf I'm working on a post at the moment about automating a lot of the management as well.

@mjjzf @rysiek Hrm? Self-hosting isn't a herculean task, the worst issue we've seen is disk filling :P

Honestly, I don't see why most users couldn't run a small instance for themselves and their friends, its not an overwhelming task...

@bikecurious @rysiek I am always concerned with things like server setup, security and updates. I can have a server ready in a moment.

@mjjzf @bikecurious @rysiek I would recommend you to try Nextcloud Social.

While Mastodon updates are mostly painless, they're not one-click-in-a-web-interface painless.

Both Nextcloud and its apps can be updated directly from the web interface, without touching the terminal. Nextcloud also gives you recommendations on how to secure it and offers an external security scanner to make sure you get it right.

@animeirl @r3bl @mjjzf @bikecurious not my experience (and we have an instance with ~100 users)

@rysiek @animeirl @r3bl @mjjzf Wrt Nextcloud, I'm impressed with how it can reliably keep 4 cores pegged on a server rendering just one page. I thought other PHP projects had issues, but Nextcloud has definitely raised the bar and made me reconsider past judgements.

I would shut the Nextcloud VM I host down, but it keeps my toes toasty and my BF tolerates the 10+ second load times. Home hosting does have fringe benefits :P

@bikecurious @rysiek @animeirl @r3bl I actually find it more useful as a service provider; i access the files, calendar, tasks and contacts from other apps, and that part is pretty efficient - calling up the PHP pages is a bit sluggish.

@mjjzf @rysiek @animeirl @r3bl Wow, your sounding like my BF right now. The Nextcloud apps I've regularly fails to upload files, though they are a touch faster. Still super sluggish (taking seconds for each task) considering they're running on a beefy VM.

@bikecurious @mjjzf @rysiek @r3bl I wanted self hosted backups but the desktop app will hang indefinitely if it encounters a single mp3 file and will stop syncing or doing any other functions. It's a joke.

@animeirl @mjjzf @rysiek @r3bl Yeah, bugs like what you describe are prevalent in NextCloud, which makes it very painful to use. Wish it weren't such a mess :c

@bikecurious @mjjzf @rysiek depends what you mean by 'most users'. If you mean a plurality of the software community folk / IT hobbyists that make up a chunk of the current mastodon demographic, then maybe that's fair. But if you mean general social media users then I disagree immensely.

@rpcutts
I think we overestimate the difficulty (and underestimate the ability of non-technical users) at our peril. Everybody can paste things from a web page into a box.
@bikecurious @mjjzf @rysiek

@enkiv2 @rpcutts @bikecurious @mjjzf oh, sure they can. That's how we end up in the current state of IT (hint, it's not any good).

@rysiek
This is kind of a hot take but

in a properly designed system, users can both do things & understand why those things have the effect they do.

Almost no systems are like this. In the absence of both, having one is preferable to having neither, since somebody else can explain the opaque parts of a sequence of steps a user has the power to execute but not the knowledge to compose, while a weak system that is understandable is at least predictable.

(Having only one isn't *good*, but meh)

@enkiv2 @bikecurious @mjjzf @rysiek have to disagree. I can't say I found setting up a mastodon instance a breeze. The people I deal with day to day get flummoxed by resetting their password.

@enkiv2
Getting it to run is not the biggest problem. I'm sure you can build something that everyone can deploy. Solving problems that eventually happens will be harder. There may be a market for hosted solutions that would solve this for anyone who wants to run their own instance but don't want to maintain it.
@rpcutts @bikecurious @mjjzf @rysiek

@mjjzf @rysiek Even if it's easy to set up self-hosting, it will never be easier to set up your own instance than to join someone else's. (I'd be delighted to eat those words, but somehow I don't think I'll have to.)

People will generally do what is easiest. There's very little to incentivize people to join smaller over larger instances, let alone to set up their own.

Without that, why *wouldn't* Mastodon go the way of email?

@mjjzf @rysiek I can vouch, when I signed up here in the Spring of 2017, I had two instances shut down within a three-four month period.

I’m not a programmer but I’m guessing the costs of trying to run and maintain a server just to run it are astronomical unless you have say a GoFundMe or Patreon behind you.

@rysiek Most of the issues listed would go away with having more small / individual instances. Still, as long as there is a huge concentration of users on a few instances, the prediction of Mastodon being unsustainable will become true. Sustainability resides in having a real long tail of instances imo (meaning over 50% of users are on the 80% smallest instances, right now it's 77% on the biggest 0,7%, instances, completely the other way around)

@rysiek it seems to me that Mastodon, the Fediverse and ActivityPub are getting more any more attention. BTW yesterday I started coding MeowCat, my fediverse project.

@rysiek MeowCat is basically a macroblogging platform with built0in wiki, It's optimised for writing long posts, but it will also be easy to write short ones. It uses Markdown.

Part of my motivation for writing it is I don't likke any of the blogging / social media platforms I've used.

Plus the federated aspect is very important to me. I want to get back to when the internet was a world of ends, unlike now when a few big actors control everything.

@cabalamat @rysiek Do you know about Writefreely? It seems to be very similar to what you described?

@jlelse @rysiek Now I've looked at WriteFreely, it seems interesting but more minimalist than what I want with meowCat

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