Mastodon has the responsibility to promote diversity in the Fediverse

I love the Threadiverse. Compared to the microblogging Fediverse’s sea of random thoughts, Lemmy and kbin are so much easier to navigate with the options to sort posts by subscribed, from local instances or everything federated. You can also sort by individual community, and then there are the countless ways to order the posts and comments (which are stored neatly under the main post, by the way). That people can more easily find the right discussions and see where they can contribute also means that the discussions tend to be more focused and productive than elsewhere. Decentralisation also makes a lot of sense, since it is built around different communities. All that’s needed is users.

Things were going quite well for a while when Reddit killed third-party apps, prompting many to leave and find the Threadiverse. However, it is quite difficult to entertain a crowd that has grown accustomed to a constant bombardment of dopamine-inducing or interesting content by tens of millions of users, if you only have a couple hundred thousand people. This is causing some to leave, which of course increases this effect. The active users have more than halved since July, according to FediDB. The mood is also becoming more tense. Maybe the lack of engagement drives some to cause it through hostility, I’m not quite sure. Either way, the Threadiverse becoming a less enjoyable place to be, which is quite sad considering how promising it is.

But what is really frustrating is that we could easily have that userbase. The entire Fediverse has over ten million users, and many Mastodonians clearly want to engage in group-based discussion, looking at Guppe groups. The focused discussions should also be quite attractive. Technically we are federated, so why do Mastodonians interact so little with the Threadiverse? The main reason is that Mastodon simply doesn’t federate post content. I really can’t see why the platform that federates entire Wordpress blogs refuses to federate thread content just because it has a title, and instead just replaces the body with a link to the post. Very unhelpful.

The same goes with PeerTube. There are plenty of videos on there that I am quite sure a lot of Mastodonians would appreciate, yet both views and likes there stay consistently in the tens. Yes, Mastodon’s web interface has a local video player, but in most clients it is the same link shenanigans, may may partly explain the small amount of engagement. This is also quite sad, because Google’s YouTube is one of the worst social network monopolies out there, if not the worst.

And I know some might say that Mastodon is a microblogging platform and that it makes sense only to have microblogging content, but the problem is that Mastodon is the dominant platform on the Fediverse, its users making up close to 80% of all Fedizens. It has gone so far that several Friendica and Hubzilla users have been complaining about complaints from Mastodonians that their posts do not live up to Mastodon customs, and of course, that people frequently use “Mastodon” to refer to the entire Fediverse. This, of course, goes entirely against the idea of the Fediverse, that many diverse platforms live in harmony with and awareness of each other.

The very least that Mastodon could do is to support the content of other platforms. Then I’d wish that they’d improve discoverability, by for instance adding a videos tab in the explore section, improving federation of favourites since it is the dominant sorting mechanism on many other platforms, and making a clear distinction between people (@person@instance) and groups (!group@instance), but I know that that is quite much to ask.

P.S. @feditips , @FediFollows , I know that you are reluctant to promote Lemmy and its communities because of the ideology of its founders, but the fact is firstly that it’s open source and there aren’t any individual people who control the entire project, and that the software itself is very apolitical. In fact, most Lemmy users both oppose and are on instances that have rules against such beliefs, so I highly encourage you to at least help raise awareness on the communities. Then, of course, there’s kbin, which isn’t associated with any extremism at all. As a bonus, it has much better integration with the microblogging Fediverse, but it is a lot smaller and younger, and still very much under development.

Anyways, that was a ramble. Thanks for hearing me out.

@fediverse #fediverse #threadiverse #mastodon #lemmy #kbin

  • Tiger Jerusalem
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    6 months ago

    I find the idea of the fediverse fundamentally broken, if not plain wrong. It’s cool for decentralised servers from the same service like Mastodon, but keep it there. Other services have different uses and interactions, I don’t want a lemmy thread suddenly showing on my mastodon timeline. I go to Mastodon for microblogging, and it would piss me off to suddenly see giant posts from some WordPress instance, or thousands of photos from Pixelfed, or a tutorial in video form from Peertube that should be a paragraph on Mastodon.

    If I want discussions, I go to lemmy. If I want long posts, I go to WordPress. For microblogging, Mastodon, and for Photos, Pixelfed. Mixing all up brings subpar experiences because the apps that deal with each service are focused, and interaction with anything outside this scope becames awful.

    • HarkMahlberg
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      6 months ago

      @tigerjerusalem Not for nothing, but kbin has both a thread-side and microblogging-side to it. Ernest even introduced an aggregate view very recently where you can see both on the same page, formatted to their respective types of posts. You could use any view you like best. I think that flexibility is a great feature.

      @feditips @fediverse @FediFollows @masimatutu

      • CommunityLinkFixerBotB
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        16 months ago

        Hi there! Looks like you linked to a Lemmy community using a URL instead of its name, which doesn’t work well for people on different instances. Try fixing it like this: [email protected]

    • Otter
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      6 months ago

      I have separate accounts on each thing, but it might still be cool to be able to cross comment. Instead of screenshotting a post and talking about it on another platform, you could comment directly.

      What I really want is to be able to use one account on a bunch of platforms. I could whittle it down to one real account and a few anonymous ones.

      Maybe a fediverse platform JUST for accounts? The user page could have a bunch of tabs for each Fediverse platform that account is using.

      It’s still weird to me, I totally agree there

      • Tiger Jerusalem
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        6 months ago

        Maybe a fediverse platform JUST for accounts? The user page could have a bunch of tabs for each Fediverse platform that account is using.

        Now THAT’S a really cool idea. Make one account, let it propagates in any services of your choosing. It would make your presence on the fediverse simpler and more consistent. Add a “share” feature that formats your posts to whatever service, center every communication around your omnipresent account.

        Damn, now I want that.

    • @[email protected]
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      36 months ago

      So uhm … just don’t subscribe to those things. Not sure why you dislike the idea of having the option though.

      • Tiger Jerusalem
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        6 months ago

        I don’t, but I do see people “retooting” WordPress texts I follow on Mastodon. They’re interesting accounts, and I don’t want to block them because of that. It does get annoying, thought.

    • @[email protected]
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      6 months ago

      Agree. Different platforms have different purposes and the experiences probably should remain separate.

      I always find these perspectives that want such a high level of fed integration peculiar when this can already be done using RSS feeds. It’s the whole reason they exist. To bring all of the updates from anywhere on the internet Mastodon updates, Pixelfed, Peertube, etc into one, single timeline view. The tools are already there for people to use if people want them.