You have certainly heard about Mastodon, the new open-source and decentralized social network that appeared at the end of 2016 and which has been growing rapidly in recent weeks.
I am not going to write here a detailed article about Mastodon; many other sites and blogs have already described it broadly but I will rather explain briefly why I am enthusiastic about this social network, and I will also take this opportunity to introduce you to the insance I myself launched two weeks ago.
I have previously published two articles (In Search of an Alternative Social Network and Some Experiments with Diaspora*). In these articles, I describe what would be the ideal social network for me, I present some projects existing at the time of the writing of the article, and I even started to set up a Diaspoara* pod .
However, I didn’t find what I was looking for. All these projects were very interesting, but they suffered from several defects: too young, not stable, difficult to install and maintain, few users, very limited community, …
So I gave up in my search of a free social network, without advertising and marketing, and decentralized … until now!
Like many of you, I discovered Mastodon recently, via an article, a blog or other tweets, and the words “social network”, “federation” and “open-source” sounded like a sweet melody in my hears. Quickly, I became familiar with the project and tried to install an instance … which was quite simple thanks to the cocker-compose script built into the project.
I used the Scaleway server platform to quickly and easily set up a server capable of creating the necessary Dockers containers, and in an evening, my instance was up and running, and was federateing with other instances (mainly mastodon. social).
At that time, there were barely more than 40,000 users and a few dozen instances. Now there are more than 350,000 users spread over more than 500 instances! How to explain this success? First of all, it’s a very good project based on good values, but that’s not all! Mastodon also seems to have benefited from a good ‘publicity’ coming from many sites and blogs while Twitter (which could be considered its competitor) announced new changes in its tweets sorting algorithm, which badly annoyed its users.
Quickly, I discovered a lot of enthusiastic users, who seem happy to be the pioneers of this new social network providing all the freedom they need, who discuss about anything and everything (technical, programming, chat pictures, Make-up, politics …) in a good-natured atmosphere.
Until now, I am alone on my instance, and I communicate with users of other instances, thanks to the federation. I took the time to install my server: minimal security, management of updates, backup system and restoration test in case of troubles, …
Although I do not intend to host thousands of users on this instance, I decided to open the public registration soon. Everyone will be welcome, and I hope that the readers of this blog will come to register. We will be able to continue presenting and speaking about our projects through numerous toys (or toots, ie the messages we exchange on Mastodon), discover new ideas, …
See you soon on Mastodon and on my instance !!!