I have always been a big fan of Jabber, Laconi.ca and Status.net. All are federated services which go well beyond the centralised and even decentralised ideas. But they all were second fiddle to the centralised services like Twitter mainly down to user experience.
So I’m wondering if Mastondon will be any different? Of course theres only one way to find out, and thats to try it out.
So I am… but what is it?
Mastodon is a fast-growing Twitter-like social network that seeks to re-create the service’s best parts while eliminating its whale-sized problems. The distributed, open-source platform offers better tools for privacy and fighting harassment than Twitter does, but it also comes with a learning curve. Mastodon’s federated nature means there’s no single website to use, and learning how to wade through its timeline of tweets (which it calls toots) takes some time to adjust to.
But for anyone who misses “the old Twitter” — the days of purely chronological timelines, no ads, and an inescapable flood of harassment — Mastodon can feel like a haven
Old twitter was great I’ll be honest but its not that I long for the old days of twitter. Its just I can feel the their business model imposed from their backers/investors infringing on why I originally used twitter. There is a blog drafted which is all about how business models imposed by VC/backers/etc ruins services/products. For example Pebble, Evernote, Twitter, etc.
So I’m cubicgarden on mastodon.cloud, which should federate across to other Mastondon server instances. Feel free to say hi…
I’m wondering if I should bite the bullet and install these alpha and beta plugins under Cubicgarden.com? In my mind it seems what you need for a federated/distributed blogging system is just a few plugins away?
OStatus for WordPress turns your blog into a federated social network. This means you can share and talk to everyone using the OStatus protocol, including users of Status.net/Identi.ca and WordPress.com
WhisperFollow turns your wordpress blog into a federated social web client.
In it’s current form it aggregates RSS feeds in a page on your blog called “following” which it creates.
The links it aggregates are the ones from your blogroll with rss feed data.
And many more…
These would be a good time to have a duplicate setup of cubicgarden.com to test these and many more plug-ins out on..
How do we make things move along quicker in the area of distributed/federated technology? Things are moving very slowly although it seems most of the components are in place.
When I wrote the blog about Rebel mouse, I found some interesting links to some distributed solutions which could see the end of the likes of twitter and facebook.
OStatus is an open standard for distributed status updates. The goal is to have a specification that allows different messaging hubs to route status updates between users in near-real-time. This spec took over from the OpenMicroBlogging spec of old.
I remember writing about wordpress’s distributed solution a while ago.
The weird thing is I logged into Diaspora again today and not only is it a ghost town (not like G+, but really like a ghost town) but it got me thinking whats different about Diaspora and G+? Now the hype died down, its time to see some very cool uses of Diaspora. What have they got to loose? Dare I say it, wheres the killer application? Wheres the thing which will make people sit up and take note once again? Heck whys no one doing cool stuff with the API?
So what is the killer application which will tip people over? I have some thoughts but what ever it is, please let it happen soon before we’re all forced to beg twitter, facebook, etc for our data back.
Evan Prodromou who I finally met at FOSDEM recently, has been running a poll to find out whats the best character limit for microblogging.
For our flagship site, Identi.ca, which runs on the status.net cloud service and uses the 0.9.0 beta, we’d like to open up the discussion of what an appropriate character limit should be. Setting a site-wide limit is a community decision we’d like to leave in the community’s hands. In a conversation on Identi.ca we’ve solicited some candidate character limits that we’d like people to decide on.
- 140 is compatible with Twitter; in many languages a notice with 140 characters fits into a single SMS message*
- 280 can fit into two Twitter or SMS messages
- 300 is a fan favorite
- 420 is Facebook’s status limit and 3 Twitter tweets or SMS messages
- 500 is a little bigger
- 1000 is bigger than that
So personally I think 300 is enough. 300 will hold a very long URI with room for query string values. Also having it about the size of two text messages seems about right. If you stick to ANSI only characters you usually get about 306 characters to text with (160+160 with overhead) on most phones. Unicode drops it down to 280 characters which still seems fairly close to 300. I’m also thinking 300 characters keeps things micro readable still.
The idea of a more structured microblogging with URIs as metadata in interesting but I think metadata should be inline and in plain view. Its one of the neat things about Microblogging, which would be a shame to remove. Also got to say anything more complex than the current microblogging setup would maybe cause too many problems with backwards compatible. Literate results are good, if you want metadata use blogging instead.