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Eugen, the creator of Mastodon and admin of the biggest Mastodon server, mastodon.social, talks about the challenges new users might face when they want to register a Mastodon account. In fact these problems aren't limited to Mastodon.

Every user planning to create an account somewhere in the #Fediverse has to make several decisions first:

1. Which platform?

Do I want to settle on #Mastodon, #Diaspora, #Friendica, #Hubzilla, #Pleroma, #Socialhome or one of the more specialised choices? Given that most of these platforms differ in features, chances are high that I can make a choice based on technical facts. Maybe I already know some accounts I want to follow, which might narrow down the list of choices since not all networks are connected (most notably Mastodon and Diaspory can't see each other, so I can either use the one I need or one of the multi-protocol platforms). Even if I can't decide yet, I'll just register one account for every platform.

2. Which server?

Now this might be the harder question. Let's assume I picked a platform and now want to register my account. Which server should I chose and why? For some platforms there are servers that are specialised on single topics, so if, for example, I am an English speaking Open Source evangelist and want to use Mastodon, there is a server that is just right for me.

But what If I have several main interests? There is no special community for people who like knitting and fishing. Or, more likely, what if I can't even decide on my interests right now? See, I'm interested in many things, nothing special though, just want to talk about things. Where should I register?

Of course there are many servers in every network that aren't limited to any set of topics. So I'll just choose the one that most other people already chose, right?

Well, nearly. And that's exactly Eugen's problem here. As a user, you want to use a server that

- is well maintained and is here to stay.
- has some more users so its public timeline isn't empty.

But from a technical view it would be great if users would spread equally over all servers. So I'll just choose the one that has the least users, right?

Well, nearly. Maybe a compromise is the way to go. It could look like this:

- Look for a server with more than one user.
- See if it exists for more than, say, three months.
- Look up the admins, see what they post, ask yourself if you like them.
- Have a look at the server's public timeline.

These tools might help answering a newcomer's questions:

- https://the-federation.info/
- https://fediverse.party/
- https://podupti.me/

But the main question stays: how do you explain this to a passer-by who just wants to quickly create a Fediverse account? Could a landing page featuring a "I'm feeling lucky" button that will automatically pick a random server help?
Eugen - 2019-03-20 22:00:40 GMT
The role of mastodon.social in the Mastodon ecosystem

https://blog.joinmastodon.org/2019/03/the-role-of-mastodon.social-in-the-mastodon-ecosystem/
#decentralised #decentralized #distributed #federation #pod #node #server
 

Which server should an new #Fediverse user choose?

Eugen, the creator of Mastodon and admin of the biggest Mastodon server, mastodon.social, talks about the challenges new users might face when they want to register a Mastodon account. In fact these problems aren't limited to Mastodon.

Every user planning to create an account somewhere in the #Fediverse has to make several decisions first:

1. Which platform?

Do I want to settle on #Mastodon, #Diaspora, #Friendica, #Hubzilla, #Pleroma, #Socialhome or one of the more specialised choices? Given that most of these platforms differ in features, chances are high that I can make a choice based on technical facts. Maybe I already know some accounts I want to follow, which might narrow down the list of choices since not all networks are connected (most notably Mastodon and Diaspory can't see each other, so I can either use the one I need or one of the multi-protocol platforms). Even if I can't decide yet, I'll just register one account for every platform.

2. Which server?

Now this might be the harder question. Let's assume I picked a platform and now want to register my account. Which server should I chose and why? For some platforms there are servers that are specialised on single topics, so if, for example, I am an English speaking Open Source evangelist and want to use Mastodon, there is a server that is just right for me.

But what If I have several main interests? There is no special community for people who like knitting and fishing. Or, more likely, what if I can't even decide on my interests right now? See, I'm interested in many things, nothing special though, just want to talk about things. Where should I register?

Of course there are many servers in every network that aren't limited to any set of topics. So I'll just choose the one that most other people already chose, right?

Well, nearly. And that's exactly Eugen's problem here. As a user, you want to use a server that

- is well maintained and is here to stay.
- has some more users so its public timeline isn't empty.

But from a technical view it would be great if users would spread equally over all servers. So I'll just choose the one that has the least users, right?

Well, nearly. Maybe a compromise is the way to go. It could look like this:

- Look for a server with more than one user.
- See if it exists for more than, say, three months.
- Look up the admins, see what they post, ask yourself if you like them.
- Have a look at the server's public timeline.

These tools might help answering a newcomer's questions:

- https://the-federation.info/
- https://fediverse.party/
- https://podupti.me/

But the main question stays: how do you explain this to a passer-by who just wants to quickly create a Fediverse account? Could a landing page featuring a "I'm feeling lucky" button that will automatically pick a random server help?



#decentralised #decentralized #distributed #federation #pod #node #server
 
@Ulf Rompe

With #nomadicIdentity choosing a server is not a nightmare anymore!

Bild/FotoUlf Rompe wrote the following post Thu, 21 Mar 2019 12:38:59 +0300

Which server should an new user choose?


Eugen, the creator of Mastodon and admin of the biggest Mastodon server, mastodon.social, talks about the challenges new users might face when they want to register a Mastodon account. In fact these problems aren't limited to Mastodon.

Every user planning to create an account somewhere in the #Fediverse has to make several decisions first:

1. Which platform?

Do I want to settle on #Mastodon, #Diaspora, #Friendica, #Hubzilla, #Pleroma, #Socialhome or one of the more specialised choices? Given that most of these platforms differ in features, chances are high that I can make a choice based on technical facts. Maybe I already know some accounts I want to follow, which might narrow down the list of choices since not all networks are connected (most notably Mastodon and Diaspory can't see each other, so I can either use the one I need or one of the multi-protocol platforms). Even if I can't decide yet, I'll just register one account for every platform.

2. Which server?

Now this might be the harder question. Let's assume I picked a platform and now want to register my account. Which server should I chose and why? For some platforms there are servers that are specialised on single topics, so if, for example, I am an English speaking Open Source evangelist and want to use Mastodon, there is a server that is just right for me.

But what If I have several main interests? There is no special community for people who like knitting and fishing. Or, more likely, what if I can't even decide on my interests right now? See, I'm interested in many things, nothing special though, just want to talk about things. Where should I register?

Of course there are many servers in every network that aren't limited to any set of topics. So I'll just choose the one that most other people already chose, right?

Well, nearly. And that's exactly Eugen's problem here. As a user, you want to use a server that
  • is well maintained and is here to stay.
  • has some more users so its public timeline isn't empty.
But from a technical view it would be great if users would spread equally over all servers. So I'll just choose the one that has the least users, right?

Well, nearly. Maybe a compromise is the way to go. It could look like this:
  • Look for a server with more than one user.
  • See if it exists for more than, say, three months.
  • Look up the admins, see what they post, ask yourself if you like them.
  • Have a look at the server's public timeline.
These tools might help answering a newcomer's questions:
  • https://the-federation.info/
  • https://fediverse.party/
  • https://podupti.me/
But the main question stays: how do you explain this to a passer-by who just wants to quickly create a Fediverse account? Could a landing page featuring a "I'm feeling lucky" button that will automatically pick a random server help?- - - - - -

Eugen - 2019-03-20 22:00:40 GMT
The role of mastodon.social in the Mastodon ecosystem

https://blog.joinmastodon.org/2019/03/the-role-of-mastodon.social-in-the-mastodon-ecosystem/
#decentralised #decentralized #distributed #federation #pod #node #server
 

Are there any ethical channels for ad revenue?

(I went back and tried to bold the main questions for readers of this, I know I went a bit TL;DR on this one)

Long ago I set up one of my blogs with Google ads *cringe*. It's in a state of neglect at the moment, but still set up that way. Now I want to get more active on there again, but I do not want to do so until I solve this problem that's been bugging me. I think this has even become pathological and is causing some sort of cognitive dissonance which is making it difficult for me to post on that blog. I know, I'm a mess! Or maybe I've just been lazy. Or both... I find myself actually writing articles that would be well suited to the blog, yet I save them privately and never post them - and I am beginning to believe it is due to this problem that I've let grow over the years.

So, how does one monetize something like a blog in an ethical way? I cannot, with good conscience, continue running Google services, or the services of any company with a morally ambiguous business model, or policies that do not respect privacy. I do not just mean ads; I plan to also strip away 3rd party analytics and anything else that is deemed questionable from this ethical / privacy standpoint. I am not against basic site stats from the server (like link popularity, 404s, avg. time on page - generic statistics), but I don't feel the need to have a 3rd party involved in that, nor the need to use javascript to secretively harvest any additional info from users as most analytic systems do. I don't want to acquire anyone's contact info, or other information via any means than that person's very own express intent, e.g. they type their email in a 'get notified of new posts' form and hit confirm! I want ads that can use my site and it's articles (not user tracking and profiling) to choose relative ads (or even better just let me choose the ads manually) and do no more voodoo than is absolutely necessary. No analytics or extra features... just the most basic system to get the job done and respect the privacy of the site visitor.

Basically... I just want to practice what I preach and not be a hypocrite or part of the problem! I do a lot of talk about social, political, tech and privacy issues (I can rant or debate just about anything) and for the most part I think I live my ideologies as much as one reasonably can. Keyword there is reasonably. I'm not going to sit here and virtue signal, but I do my best - however I could use some help and advice here from those of you that have experience with this! I know some of my #distributed / #federated social media network still run blogs or other for-profit ventures, so how do you all do it? Can you share what, if anything, that you have wrestled with, or still do?

What about end-user perspectives? I know from my own end-user experience that I don't necessarily mind ads if done respectfully (not overwhelming or distracting, relevant to the site content, honest - all of which is rare), but I despise ads that have obviously used unethical methods (loud and annoying, plastered all over the place, disguised as legit content, etc. etc. etc.)!

Does anyone out there know of any advertising service providers that are a) morally and ethically conscious, and b) also effective to a reasonable degree? Bonus points if they operate on open-source infrastructure! ;)

Obviously there's an alternative to advertising that's quite popular these days: donations. I see myriad donation services out there, on websites and (even more so) on people's social media accounts. I'm not against this in any way! I just have zero experience with it. Does anyone here have experience going from an ad-based method of supporting a blog, service or project to a donation based method? I'm interested in knowing how that went if anyone reading this has been involved in such a scenario!

The reason I'm hesitant about a donations-only approach is because, with the blogs I've operated or been a part of in the past, very few people are dedicated readers/subscribers. This is likely a symptom of the tech-oriented subject matter; a lot of what tech blogs post is the sort of things that might solve a problem, things one tends to find on the fly via search engine. I don't imagine people donate to a site they only visit occasionally, or only for a single how-to article... Of course, the scope of my experience in blogging is moderate, to say the least. Maybe I just need to learn more about gathering a loyal audience with my writing. That said, I don't feel my writing is the main problem (of course it could improve). I really just think an 'all over the place' tech blog is just something that, while it could generate enough traffic to make at least some ad revenue, it probably isn't something that would attract a following of passionate users willing to support it via donations. I could be wrong.

Does anyone operate a combination of the two? Ads and donations. How do you handle that tastefully and respectfully? I would imagine donating would get you access to a site with no ads, if possible (it would need a user system or some method to verify who has donated, of course). But I kind of feel like incentivising donations blurs lines a little.

Anyhoo, I'd just like to hear what you all have to say on the subject(s)! I appreciate anything anyone has to share! The bottom line is that I'll blog whether I make any money or not. After talking with you all, who knows, maybe I wont monetize at all, or just go with donations regardless of effectiveness.I do find marketing and advertising to be a despicable industry in general, but I also believe it can have utility in the right scenario, and I want to believe it can be done properly - I'm just not sure exactly how to do it properly yet.

I do want the ability to generate some revenue for some things I create, such as my blog, but I'm certainly not one to try to monetize everything - in fact quite the contrary! If you've been on my Friendica node you may know that one of the promises I make to the users is to never use the site, or their sign-up/profile information (such as email addresses), for market purposes of any sort; the node comes with no hidden agendas or ulterior motives. I can only hope to prove my sincerity and dedication to that ideal over time, as users sign up and see what the experience is. That said, my blog is NOT the same creature by any means. It's a service I provide because I hope to make money by providing something of value - so far I've failed at that. However, as I gear up to give it another go, this time I intend to do things more intelligently and more consciously.
 
I hadn't visited their site in quite some time... so long, in fact, that I had forgot it existed to be quite honest... :\

That said, I'm happy to have rediscovered The Center for Humane Technology while tidying up my bookmarks! Their site does have some great info, and while I know this isn't exactly news to many of you, it is definitely worth sharing things like this to keep these topics active, and the discussions happening often!

This sort of info really needs to circulate on the proprietary networks, as most of us who use #distributed / #federated networks are all too aware of this stuff - but if you have access to FB, Twitter and the like, then please share things like this on there!
 

The Center for Humane Technology

I hadn't visited their site in quite some time... so long, in fact, that I had forgot it existed to be quite honest... :\

That said, I'm happy to have rediscovered The Center for Humane Technology while tidying up my bookmarks! Their site does have some great info, and while I know this isn't exactly news to many of you, it is definitely worth sharing things like this to keep these topics active, and the discussions happening often!

This sort of info really needs to circulate on the proprietary networks, as most of us who use #distributed / #federated networks are all too aware of this stuff - but if you have access to FB, Twitter and the like, then please share things like this on there!
 

Just a little 'Thank You'...

@Hypolite Petovan , you make me proud and quite happy that I chose Friendica for my #distributed / #federated social platform! My sincerest gratitude to you for what you've given to the community, and your (seemingly) endless patience to help others. What a great dev and a fine human being! You make #Friendica one of the best open-source software experiences out there.

I hope to eventually be able to contribute something real to the project as well, but for now I just wanted to say 'thank you'!

Btw, I'm sure there are a lot of other people that deserve a huge thanks for Friendica, and I'm grateful to them as well - but @Hypolite Petovan is the person I have direct experience with, and has helped me out several times since I started running my Friendica instance. I certainly don't mean to minimize anyone else, though, and I realize OSS is a team effort! So thanks to everyone involved!
 
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