In light of recent events concerning Twitter, Mastodon has seen a major growth in popularity. One tracker now estimates over 6 million people are using Mastodon, up by about 1 million over the prior month. Mastodon requires users to sign up with a particular instance, often aligned to their interests (e.g., Fosstodon for free and open-source software) and instances can federate status among themselves. Would Jupyter be interested in joining or starting a Mastodon instance for broadcasting official information?
I think it’s a good idea - +1 from me. I heard that some folks in the SciPy community were discussing setting up an “official” project Mastodon instance. I’ll ask around in their Discord and see if anybody responds.
The main strength of Mastodon (it’s decentralised nature) is also it’s biggest weakness (Where do I sign up? How do I decide between the 1000s of Mastodon servers? Who’s running it?). I think any recommendations are helpful!
When I looked for Mastodon instances, Fosstodon (see original post) came up as a good candidate, although at the time, it was not accepting new requests. (It is now open by invitation only.) As with e-mail in the 1990s and earlier, the intention of Mastodon is that many organizations run their own instance, peering with other well-behaved servers, taking on the burden of operations. I’m not sure whether Jupyter or any of our sponsors has the resources to run a Mastodon node, but @choldgraf if you get any good leads in the SciPy community, please let us know!
I’m currently on hachyderm.io, a queer/tech space run by some amazing people. I don’t think it has closed signups yet, so I do recommend joining that one
@yuvipanda also shared this set of guidelines from hachyderm for what kinds of “official” open source project accounts can be accepted there. I really like them (I think jupyter would qualify but I am not entirely sure and haven’t thought about it carefully)
Perhaps NumFocus/PyData represents a large enough number of projects and groups to consider standing up a dedicated instance, as archive.org has done:
Any news? Some comparison (not all accounts are verified but most are):
- GNOME: floss.social
- KDE: floss.social
- GIMP: floss.social
- LibreOffice: fosstodon.org
- Mozilla: mastodon.social
- Signal: mastodon.world
- Julia: julialang.social
- Python: fosstodon.org
- The R Foundation: fosstodon.org
- The Turing Way Project: fosstodon.org
- pandas: fosstodon.org
I could not find an account as of today for: Firefox, Linux, Chromium, RStudio, Ubuntu/Canonical, NumFOCUS, matplotlib, numpy
I would propose: let’s jump on Fosstodon now, and later the account can be easily moved to another instance.
“Verification” in Mastodon world is the presence of a backlink from one’s official web site to one’s Mastodon profile. For example, if on jupyter.org we had a link of the form
<a rel="me" href="https://mastodon.example.com/@Jupyter">Jupyter on Mastodon</a>, then our profile’s link would show up with a green background and a checkmark. You can see two examples on my Mastodon profile.
I believe that there are folks in the scientific python world discussing setting up a server for projects to use. (cc @yuvipanda ?)
Perhaps we wait a week or so to see if that crystallizes. And if there’s no timeline by then, we set up an account with fosstodon and then move it to a new server if a better one becomes available?
I’ve decided to formalize this in a little proposal on our governance repository (not sure where else to propose it). Would love feedback or suggestions there:
Thank you! I’ll discuss it at our next governance meeting later this morning.
If you move to a new server you can migrate the list of accounts you’re following,
but AFAIK anyone following you won’t be updated, so they’ll be left following a dormant account (or no account if you delete it).
Update: I was wrong, you can force everyone to follow you at the new server too! Moving or leaving accounts - Mastodon documentation
Anecdotally, I’ve seen some follower loss when a person moves from instance A to instance B. Mastodon is still growing, so I don’t think this is a major concern right now. (I still wouldn’t recommend moving instances too often, as it requires people to update their other web sites to point to the new instance.)