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Owl logo Keith J. Grant

You should start a Mastodon instance

…and I don’t mean a single-user one for your own personal use.

This is happening

Hi! I hope you had a great weekend.

While you were off, you know, having a life in the real world, something crazy happened online: users signed up for Mastodon. More than one person every second. All weekend long.

I logged in this morning to a full feed of content that I still haven’t finished reading.

Even weirder, on Friday I found myself as one of the admins of a new instance, front-end.social. Now don’t go clicking that link to register just yet!* I want to ask something a little bigger of you: start a new instance of your own.

This is the Fediverse’s moment, and it has a very serious chance of succeeding. The thing that will help it (and the internet, and the concept of actual decent, social social networks) is more, smaller instances. The big instances are getting buried right now. Mastodon.social has been struggling with downtime and slow response times because it has suddenly become so popular.

Small instances are where Mastodon shines

The “Local” timeline view on small instances are not a undigestable firehose of noise; it is full of good content shared by people with at least one similar interest to yours. It’s something “the birdsite” could never hope to be.

But we need more of that. When Mia started front-end.social (after a little prodding from a small group of folks), the idea was not to become the Mastodon instance for the world of front end web development. The idea was to be one instance among many. There is so much demand for this right now. We have been flooded with requests to join, and for the sake of maintaining a tight knit community, we’ve dragged our feet a bit in accepting every one of them.

So please, grab a few friends and start another one. We’d love to network with you.

I've been covering technology since the 90s (and using the internet since the 1980s, before there was a web 😏) and have to say I have never seen anything like the high speed mass migration to Mastodon from Twitter. These things generally happen as a drift not a sudden avalanche and it's extra-amazing that at this highly commercial moment in internet history, it's to a decentralised, free and open source software-based community. It's just 🤯 (in a good way)

Karlin Lillington

*Depending when you read this, registrations may actually be closed anyway. We’re having trouble keeping up!

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Banner image by April Pethybridge.