Reflections on six years in the fediverse

I originally joined the fediverse a long time ago now, with diaspora. But that didn’t last for too long, and I don’t really count it.

I properly joined the fediverse six years ago, when I span up my first Mastodon instance.

And, well, here I am, six years on.

Social media, done right (for me)

Unsurprisingly, given that I’ve been here for quite a while, I rather enjoy my time in the fediverse.

I interact with a load of fun, geeky, interesting, creative, entertaining people - I was going to say “oddballs”, and that’s not wholly incorrect - and it is a genuine pleasure.

A handful I consider to be new friends, which is just lovely.

In my experience (and I am talking only from my own, personal, experience), conversations are enjoyable, respectful, and pleasant.

My conversations, and feed, tend towards the tech-y, given the people I follow and who follow me, and that makes it a delight.

Day or night, or both, there are people around to chat.

And there are even some people who don’t use Linux.

Yes, the vibe has changed significantly over the last couple of years and, IMHO, not entirely for the better, but it was, and is, simply a nice place to hang out.

Tailoring my fedi experience

In part, I think my fedi experience is so enjoyable because I spend a little time most months tailoring it.

By this, I mean that I work, actively, to get the kind of feed I want.

I follow people when I think I’ll enjoy interacting with them, or I want to see more of their stuff.

I unfollow people if that turns out not to be the case.

I mute if I need to, and I block very occasionally.

I filter, based on keywords, quite a lot, to suppress politics, sport, cats, word games, fedidrama, and plenty of other stuff.

I’ve needed to mute and block and filter more in the last couple of years than in the four years beforehand, which is a shame, and I rather rue the decline of the CW.

Being a cis het man in a queer/LGBTQIA+ fediverse

One of the joys for me of being in the fediverse is its wonderfully queer/LGBTQIA+ populace.

Whether this is the fediverse, or just my tailored fedi experience, I don’t know.

But either way, I like it.

Every day, my feed is packed with gay people, lesbian people, trans people, non-binary people, agender people, people in polycules, pansexual people, asexual people, aromantic people, and more.

I’ve learned loads, and I try to be an ally.

Self-hosting FTW

I’ve only ever used my own, self-hosted, single-user, server.

First on a low-spec’d virtual machine on one of my older hypervisors, then on a Raspberry Pi, and now on an Intel NUC.

Basically, I’ve scaled up gradually as the volume of posts, and demands on the machine, increased.

It could do with a bit of tweaking, as boosts by someone with 10,000 or more followers makes clogs it up for a couple of minutes.

Self-hosting my home in the fediverse has been… easy!

Sure, Mastodon is not the most straight forward of installations - there are a lot of moving parts - but I’ve genuinely no complaints.

And I’ve been very happy with glitch-soc, for its Markdown support.

I’m not a fan of the mega instances, and I’d love to see more people hosting their own fedi instance, but I know that that that requires a significant amount of privilege and, right now, is not for everyone.