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

  • @NuXCOM_90Percent
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    6 months ago

    No, it doesn’t.

    At the core of the various fediverse solutions is the idea of choosing who to federate with and who not to. Mastodon should not be forced to “federate” with lemmy. And

    I know that you are reluctant to promote Lemmy and its communities because of the ideology of its founders,

    Is about as good a reason as possible to not want to touch something with a ten foot pole. I know that I like Lemmy and Mastodon, but I have a VERY large blocklist on lemmy.

    But the other aspect is: As influencers learned in the 10s, the kind of content that makes sense on mastodon/twitter doesn’t make sense on cohost/tumblr or lemmy/reddit or whatever else. All cross posting does is make for a lesser experience on the secondary platforms.

    That said, I do think there could be better support for the decentralized nature of each platform. It would be really nice if I could specify what mastodon instance I use in lemmy and what lemmy instance I use in mastodon so that links would automagically convert. Which would make linking to posts a lot less awkward. I don’t want things to be mirrored, but it would be nice to link to an interesting topic or a fun post from a developer or artist.


    As for why mastodon is more successful: Because people are actually making content on Mastodon. I like Lemmy, but too many of these boards feel like “race to copy links and comments from reddit”. It IS nice to have fewer nazi chuds but… it feels like there were tankie seat fillers waiting in the wings.

    But that also extends to interactions. I like to shitpost on lemmy and rant about my various bugbears but… I have yet to have a “meaningful” interaction. Whereas I have had at least a dozen solid exchanges and discussions on Mastodon. And… it is baffling that the twitter-like feels more like a community and less like I am shouting into a crowded room.

    And a lot of that boils down to “why” people embrace the sites. Lemmy… feels like going on a date with someone who just got out of a long term relationship and can’t stop talking about their ex… and then tries to send a dick pic to show that they are over him.

    Whereas twitter is still in a mess of “Well… I don’t like nazis and transphobes but all the brands and creators I like are on twitter so I am going to protest and stay on twitter”. And blue skies and the other one very much feel like a twitter replacement whereas Mastodon (and, sort of, Cohost) feel like a “Twitter sucked. Let’s actually do better”. To go back to the dating metaphor, it is like going on a date with someone who will unabashedly order the whole fish or the ribs because life is too short to pretend you don’t like “ugly” food or messy food or whatever.

    If Lemmy can actually build its own identity? Then I don’t think we would need to worry because people will naturally want to link to discussions. But until it does? It isn’t worth it.


    And peertube is just a stupid idea that means videos can’t be monetized (so creators have zero incentive or justification to put time and effort in) while also providing a hefty cost to instance hosts because video is expensive.

    • @[email protected]
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      116 months ago

      Regarding that comment on Peertube: free social media means that people create content because they want to make something known, not because they want to earn money through clicks. Most content on YouTube that makes a lot of money is trash and clickbait. It is a much better system that people reward creators out of kindness and gratitude for their good content.

      • @NuXCOM_90Percent
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        6 months ago

        This has come up constantly over the centuries:

        It isn’t about evil corporate/fuedal/whatever interests ruining art. It is about having the time to make art. Ethan Chlebowski and Brian Lagerstrom semi-recently did a podcast where they talked about this. For a 20 minute recipe video you tend to have to iterate on the dish at least a dozen times (if not more). And that costs money and time.

        You can more or less math how many tickets you’ll sell at a theatre or what your ad/sponsor revenue will be for a video to budget that out. You can’t really do that when you are counting on sporadic donations.

        • @[email protected]
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          66 months ago

          Art isn’t required to be inherently iterative. It usually is, but that’s a casual correlation. I think what you’re talking about sounds like professionalism, which is a different thing. It encourages consistency and quantity, but not necessarily excellence, as I think the world has demonstrated fairly well.

          • @NuXCOM_90Percent
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            46 months ago

            Even something with no iteration at all takes time and money. Paint costs money. The time to sit down and write a first draft costs time.

            Which, again, is where getting paid to create art comes into play. And peertube does not provide that. Which is especially bad in the case of video media as pretty much any youtuber will tell you: You are looking at at least a ten to one ratio of time spent creating/editing to any minute of footage. And that just goes up as you work on more complex works. A few of the “maker” youtubers are pretty open that they almost always have three or four active projects and a given 10-20 minute video might represent years of their lives.

            • @[email protected]
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              36 months ago

              Certainly. Effort is important and a financial reward is certainly a strong incentive. These are advantages in youtubes favor. Moreover, the hosting cost is really where problems start to come in with peertube.

              I suppose if you expected it to properly replace youtube, then I agree, it’s a poor idea. As something that exists independently with its own value, I think it’s fine though.

              • @NuXCOM_90Percent
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                6 months ago

                I guess I just don’t see any advantages to it.

                If the goal is just to host a few videos on your own site and eat the bandwidth costs: That is a solved problem with much lighter weight solutions.

                If the goal is to host videos for other people? Well… think about why someone wouldn’t be able to use youtube or any of the fly by night “totally not just for revenge porn and gorn” (Liveleak sure was a thing) and what that means for liability. Also, that is a REAL good way to get massive hosting costs or to get put into a different tier for home internet (for a box in the closet).

                At most I can see it useful for the really sketchy sites. Sort of like how most of the chud twitters are actually a mastodon instance under the hood.


                Well, I guess I could see it having more widespread usage as various creators try to get away from youtube. Has shades of “what kind of content can’t be on youtube?” but Ian McCollum/Gun Jesus and a few of the more “educational” firearms youtubes have made their own site that could potentially be a skin on this. Linus Media Group tried to make floatplane a thing, but I think they rolled their own tech. And Nebula/Curiosity Stream are similar but are also (I think?) home rolled.

                But I could see a world where a couple youtubers try to spin off their own subscription gated site that could run on peertube. But… that means nothing to me as a user/enthusiast.

                • @[email protected]
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                  26 months ago

                  I don’t see how there’s anything special about it from a liability standpoint. The main advantage I can see from it is simply not supporting google. And yes, there are definitely other options. Does people making competing solutions to problems surprise you in some way?

                  I mean, I wouldn’t dev it, but I see no valid reason to criticize whoever wanted to.

                  • @NuXCOM_90Percent
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                    6 months ago

                    Except, again, it is not a competing solution. I often point out the stupidity of arguing that Gimp is at all comparable to Photoshop except… this isn’t even something that is useful for a hobbyist to do touch ups. There is basically zero use case barring providing tools for companies to base their products on. Because the cost of video hosting is just not something people are willing to pay. That is WHY youtube became a thing.

                    As for liability: Go allow open uploads of videos to your server. And let me know how long until you see a ten year old getting gangraped by a bunch of guys in masks. The “joke” was always that if you had an un-secured FTP you would get a LOT of free porn and… that is what you get. Because people are monsters. This is why a lot of Lemmy instances have turned off image uploading and are wary of the implications of federation with the really sketchy instances.

          • @[email protected]
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            16 months ago

            You’re both right!

            But I see a terrible paradox in the case of ads. The creator pays their bills with ads, but I have no intention of acting on those ads. Possibly the contrary, since I did not want to see the ad and I dislike being manipulated. So in my case the ad is making precisely zero money for the company who is paying the creator’s bill, as well as annoying me. Presumably I am not the only one. There is a paradox here that is hard to resolve.

            • @[email protected]
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              16 months ago

              You can’t prevent the ad from manipulating you. It’s targeting your subconscious, your moods and feelings. They don’t give two shits what your forebrain thinks of them. They want vague associations that slip beneath memory, that pop out five years later.

              They’re ubiquitous because they’re so effective though. Really is a pain in the ass.