Fediverse & Big Mastodon

“Even if there is only two instances on the entire World Wide Web, Mastodon is still distributed, decentralized, and federated.”

So I’m not really going to cover the exact same thing as Kev and some others, nor cover any details about Fediverse population. What I will cover is my thoughts about these 2 recent blog posts I’ve read. Mainly to point out something and to be a poo poo head.

Mastodon isn’t decentralized? Actually yes it is, but the top 3 instances holding hostage around 50% of the population is kind of our fault. We always say “it doesn’t matter what instance you choose, they all federate” and in the same breath “instance xyz just went AWOL”, which leads people to go “oh, well I should choose a big one then”. Herd mentality, reliability and confidence the instance will still be alive when you wake up is a big deal for many, many people. I honestly can’t blame them. I’m the same way, as are most on Fosstodon. Fosstodon isn’t the only FOSS/Open-Source focused instance in town. But they do hold many people, have become popular, and they are reliable. Another note is not a lot people want to invest time into running their own instance. It’s cumbersome to setup and costs money, creates more work for the person, and their local timeline will be dead. Many of just want a social media that just works and will be around for more than a month. Many of these smaller instances are just plain unreliable and sketchy. Mastodon.social grew to it’s size because it’s a flagship instance by the creator himself, it’s not focused on any particular topic. Which suits many of the Mastodon users very well, including me at times. So you can see why people would flock to the big instances and no one can truly blame them.

My proposals

Firstly, I think we need to promote the instance picker/highlighter or what ever it’s called. Secondly, we need a instance picker that isn’t so “strict”. Eugen himself picks instances to highlight that have “good” CoC, support LGBTQ+++++++++++++, and are mainly left-leaning instances. We need a simple page that people can filter results based on what potential users want without hopefully overwhelming them. Again, people just want to communicate and you know, be social. Thirdly, instance owners could cap their instances, shutting them off and only re-opening them if they have some cleared up space. I’m not saying this should be a hard cap, or mandatory, but simply a suggestion to the instance owners. Lastly, to promote other instances admins of an instance could even have a highlighted instance suggestion page. Results that the instance owners would host on their on instance/server and they would choose their handful of favorite instances they would like to promote. Whether that is topic focused instances or general instances, regardless the instance owner would be in control of said page and it’s displayed highlighted instance suggestions.

You got ideas to help with this perceived problem? Lets compile them. Contact:

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