Mastodon has the responsibility to promote diversity in the Fediverse

I love the Threadiverse. Compared to the microblogging Fediverse’s sea of random thoughts, Lemmy and kbin are so much easier to navigate with the options to sort posts by subscribed, from local instances or everything federated. You can also sort by individual community, and then there are the countless ways to order the posts and comments (which are stored neatly under the main post, by the way). That people can more easily find the right discussions and see where they can contribute also means that the discussions tend to be more focused and productive than elsewhere. Decentralisation also makes a lot of sense, since it is built around different communities. All that’s needed is users.

Things were going quite well for a while when Reddit killed third-party apps, prompting many to leave and find the Threadiverse. However, it is quite difficult to entertain a crowd that has grown accustomed to a constant bombardment of dopamine-inducing or interesting content by tens of millions of users, if you only have a couple hundred thousand people. This is causing some to leave, which of course increases this effect. The active users have more than halved since July, according to FediDB. The mood is also becoming more tense. Maybe the lack of engagement drives some to cause it through hostility, I’m not quite sure. Either way, the Threadiverse becoming a less enjoyable place to be, which is quite sad considering how promising it is.

But what is really frustrating is that we could easily have that userbase. The entire Fediverse has over ten million users, and many Mastodonians clearly want to engage in group-based discussion, looking at Guppe groups. The focused discussions should also be quite attractive. Technically we are federated, so why do Mastodonians interact so little with the Threadiverse? The main reason is that Mastodon simply doesn’t federate post content. I really can’t see why the platform that federates entire Wordpress blogs refuses to federate thread content just because it has a title, and instead just replaces the body with a link to the post. Very unhelpful.

The same goes with PeerTube. There are plenty of videos on there that I am quite sure a lot of Mastodonians would appreciate, yet both views and likes there stay consistently in the tens. Yes, Mastodon’s web interface has a local video player, but in most clients it is the same link shenanigans, may may partly explain the small amount of engagement. This is also quite sad, because Google’s YouTube is one of the worst social network monopolies out there, if not the worst.

And I know some might say that Mastodon is a microblogging platform and that it makes sense only to have microblogging content, but the problem is that Mastodon is the dominant platform on the Fediverse, its users making up close to 80% of all Fedizens. It has gone so far that several Friendica and Hubzilla users have been complaining about complaints from Mastodonians that their posts do not live up to Mastodon customs, and of course, that people frequently use “Mastodon” to refer to the entire Fediverse. This, of course, goes entirely against the idea of the Fediverse, that many diverse platforms live in harmony with and awareness of each other.

The very least that Mastodon could do is to support the content of other platforms. Then I’d wish that they’d improve discoverability, by for instance adding a videos tab in the explore section, improving federation of favourites since it is the dominant sorting mechanism on many other platforms, and making a clear distinction between people (@person@instance) and groups (!group@instance), but I know that that is quite much to ask.

P.S. @feditips , @FediFollows , I know that you are reluctant to promote Lemmy and its communities because of the ideology of its founders, but the fact is firstly that it’s open source and there aren’t any individual people who control the entire project, and that the software itself is very apolitical. In fact, most Lemmy users both oppose and are on instances that have rules against such beliefs, so I highly encourage you to at least help raise awareness on the communities. Then, of course, there’s kbin, which isn’t associated with any extremism at all. As a bonus, it has much better integration with the microblogging Fediverse, but it is a lot smaller and younger, and still very much under development.

Anyways, that was a ramble. Thanks for hearing me out.

@fediverse #fediverse #threadiverse #mastodon #lemmy #kbin

    • Kierunkowy74
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      117 months ago

      @skullgiver

      “(…)Just like Lemmy won’t support Place objects, I’m not sure if any other platform will ever support Page objects, because Pages are much bigger in scope than anything most Fediverse applications ever deal with.”

      Article or Page objects are supported not only by Lemmy and /kbin (and Mastodon, but as link). It is a default object type on WriteFreely, can be used on WordPress, and is compatible with Friendica. Hometown (a Mastodon fork) also renders Pages and Articles in their entirety.

      @feditips @fediverse @FediFollows @mention @masimatutu

    • Ben Matthews
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      57 months ago

      the Lemmy devs tell you to use Kbin or Mastodon or anything else

      So to reply to Nutomic’s closing remark on github:

      I dont see why Lemmy should also implement that.

      Because - if I could post to Mdon or reply to a Mdon post from my Lemmy account, some Mdon users (more numerous) might think - hey that’s interesting, I’ll follow that guy, then see my other posts to Lemmy, click and open up the whole thread (yes that works), and so eventually come to contribute to Lemmy too.

        • Ben Matthews
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          17 months ago

          Well, for example if I could reply to a mastodon post from my lemmy account - the poster would see that there (not here - but could show up on my profile page), and might follow it, so it could gain followers. To write such a reply, I’d need to somehow view the original post while logged into lemmy. My comments here do federate to mastodon, and if somebody searched for related words (at least from the instance from which I followed my #lemmy account) they should find this. Your “virtual community” seems like a mastodon list (I have a dozen such topic lists, that system could be better, but is improving), indeed it would be helpful to consider that alongside a lemmy community for similar topic.

    • CommunityLinkFixerBotB
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      37 months ago

      Hi there! Looks like you linked to a Lemmy community using a URL instead of its name, which doesn’t work well for people on different instances. Try fixing it like this: [email protected]

    • HamSwagwich
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      27 months ago

      Pages represent web pages, whereas notes represent “a short written work typically less than a single paragraph in length”. In my opinion, using Page was a mistake on Lemmy’s end. Just like Lemmy won’t support Place objects, I’m not sure if any other platform will ever support Page objects, because Pages are much bigger in scope than anything most Fediverse applications ever deal with.

      Using note was the mistake. Limiting communication to short quips, like Twitter does, is a fucking travesty. The fact that people routinely and often make multiple tweets to extend what they want to say proves this point. Twitter/X was the worst thing to happen to communication in the internet age by further reducing the attention span and ability of people to concentrate on longer bodies of writing, thereby making people even dumber.

      Twitter/Mastodon should not even be a thing, honestly. They are dumb methods of communication for dumb people. You can always post something shorter in a long form system, but you can’t post something longer in a short form system, without making multiple posts. It’s fucking stupid and always has been. The primary reason for the short form, originally 140 char, was because you could text it in one message. This made a bit of sense… just a tiny bit, as it opened up communication where there previously wasn’t any. But as we moved away from that paradigm of 140 char text messages, the idea of a Twitter became more and more stupid, where today, we have Twitter/Mastodon as the bastion of the idiot regime who can’t think past 280 characters.

      • Skull giver
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        6 months ago

        [This comment has been deleted by an automated system]

        • testing
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          7 months ago

          @skullgiver
          when it comes to creativity, mastodon ui is a pre-emptive strike against creativity > vanilla mastodon does not support emoji reactions, and damn!!! mastodon ui hides that there are other platforms on the fedi than mastodon > mastodon is perfectly fine for all those who want to see mastodon content, and nothing else > creativity? no! creativity starts with openness, and mastodon surely has a rather isolating approach

          @feditips @fediverse @FediFollows @mention @masimatutu @HamSwagwich

          • CommunityLinkFixerBotB
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            17 months ago

            Hi there! Looks like you linked to a Lemmy community using a URL instead of its name, which doesn’t work well for people on different instances. Try fixing it like this: [email protected]

        • HamSwagwich
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          7 months ago

          Where did I say anyone was forcing anyone else to use Mastodon (or Twitter et al?)

          I don’t use Mastodon or Twitter, never have… because it’s a platform for people with low attention spans and lacking anything interesting to say or form a complex cogent though and discourages intelligent interaction in favor of quick quips and toxic behavior. Mastodon/Twitter is a cancer on the Internet, end of story.

  • Otter
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    7 months ago

    Agreed!

    I don’t use Mastodon as much as Lemmy, and from what I can tell it seems hard to see content from Lemmy with the way it’s set up. I think you can only follow communities, and if you do then you get spammed with every single comment from that community?

    That might be an activitypub limitation, but I feel like it should be possible to work around the implementation. Maybe by decoding the community/comment/user info once it comes out the other end?

    If there was an easy way to scroll through a list of subscribed communities on Mastodon (like a mini threadiverse panel inside Mastodon?), that would probably simplify things a lot. Mastodon users could read and comment on Lemmy posts easily, and most importantly: they could find and share content in a more intuitive way

    • @[email protected]
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      117 months ago

      I think you can only follow communities, and if you do then you get spammed with every single comment from that community?

      yeah, pretty much :/

    • Otter
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      117 months ago

      There are a few communities that get Mastodon comments and I love to see them!

      There’s also the Tagginator bot that got started recently which might help

      • Ben Matthews
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        37 months ago

        I succeed to follow my own Lemmy account from my Mastodon account, it works (initially seems empty, but new posts/replies show up later). From there I could potentially boost or reply. If somebody clicks on my comment in Mastodon, they’ll find the whole Lemmy thread. This should help (more numerous) Mastodon users to discover Lemmy.

  • @infinitepcg
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    207 months ago

    The active users have more than halved since July

    I wouldn’t read too much into this, it was a chaotic time, many people tried lots of different things, some created multiple accounts etc. It is completely expected that some try the website and leave again. The growth is still impressive and I expect Lemmy to continue to grow, just because it’s the better service.

  • Ben Matthews
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    177 months ago

    I discovered Lemmy via links from Mastodon, and so found i prefer these threaded communities. Nevertheless individual “status” posts have a purpose too, we need both topic-focused and people-focused structures, these should overlap and connect better.
    As my Mastodon account follows my Lemmy account, my posts/replies get into that system, more might be discovered if I included hashtags here. However I can’t do the reverse - follow a Mastodon account, or reply to or boost a post, from Lemmy. Communities might grow more if we could enable such interaction.

  • @Candelestine
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    157 months ago

    Thank you for pointing out that the majority of the userbase does not overly like the tankies. Frankly, I find interacting with them to be very similar to interactions with a religious nut, which is also annoying.

    That said, I think it is very important that we preserve their rights to be here just as we are. There is no reason they should not be able to establish their own Instances and communities. Nobody is forced into federation with them, and this overall structure can easily accommodate us all.

    If not without the occasional flamewar. We are on the internet, let’s not kid ourselves.

  • @ttmrichter
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    137 months ago

    “Mastodon” is a program. It has absolutely no agency whatsoever, and without agency there is no responsibility.

    So now you’re probably really saying “Mastodon’s developers” have responsibility.

    Good. Pay them. Writing software is a huge job, and getting your software suddenly stress-tested by millions of users abandoning a sinking ship is a good way to get overloaded and even burned out. So you think they have responsibility for something? Help them get it done. Beginning with paying their foundation so that they can hire more people to do it.

    Coming in and writing a huge rambling set of demands is not how you’re going to get anything changed.

    • masimatutuOP
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      @ttmrichter
      Yes, donating helps them develop the project, which is great and I encourage everyone who can to do so, but it doesn’t change the direction of the development. Mastodon is ultimately people powered, making spreading sentiments a reasonable way to change this, if you’re not going to develop the project yourself.

      • @ttmrichter
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        17 months ago

        Making statements is as much bullshit as “raising awareness”. If you don’t have skin in the game–as a developer, as a funder, as part of governance–your bleatings are as valuable as the bleatings of anybody else commenting without cost.

        Get involved. Get skin in the game. Participate in the process of making Mastodon. Hell, if you absolutely must bleat without working, at least bleat in the right place: the actual project’s communications channels!

        Bleating in Lemmy that Mastodon must change is just performance art.

        • masimatutuOP
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          7 months ago

          Developing is not for everyone.

          And I posted this in microblog format via Friendica specifically so that it would also (primarily) reach Mastodon. It’s got 27 boosts, which is quite alright for such a long post!

          • masimatutuOP
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            27 months ago

            I’d like to add that the developers’ communication channels is a very inappropriate place to complain for someone who is uninvolved with the project.

            (And you can tell that this is primarily directed at Mastodonians because the title is also the first line, because of the seemingly excessive explanation of how this place works and because of the hashtags and the mentions in the end of the post. Also, why would I specifically write to fedi tips if this was just a Lemmy post?)

          • @ttmrichter
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            17 months ago

            “Reaching Mastodon” is still just gum-flapping. Reach Mastodon developers. Use their issue tracker. Address them directly. All you’re doing here is beating a pot with a ladle while parading around the house.

            • masimatutuOP
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              27 months ago

              @ttmrichter
              Well it’s not an actual issue; it’s just my ideas of what would be better. If only I think it, why should they do anything? What I’m really trying to do is to see what people think and spark some thoughts.

  • @[email protected]
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    137 months ago

    The main reason is that Mastodon simply doesn’t federate post content.

    Doesn’t it? I regularly see Mastodon users commenting on threads, so they must be able to see them somehow?

    • masimatutuOP
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      87 months ago

      Yes, but they only see the title and a link to the original post in place of a body.

      • Ben Matthews
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        47 months ago

        I don’t find that - using Mastodon (4.2) I can see threaded discussion in Lemmy - each comment as a post - but have to start somewhere.

  • @Greyfoxsolid
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    97 months ago

    As a new user, I can tell you what some of the big issues are. First, ease of use. Lemmy is not as user friendly or intuitive as something like reddit. Second, lemmy is a dumb name. It’s a stupid point, but shit like that counts.

    • @[email protected]
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      27 months ago

      Have you consider another instance? Instances with a more memorable or meaningful name makes Lemmy name not look so important. There is for example many national “feddit” instance whose name is “un pied-de-nez” to Reddit. jlai.lu is a french speaking instance name in the tradition of forceful translation that was born withing french subreddits and so one.

      • @Greyfoxsolid
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        37 months ago

        Having to decide between instances is a huge turn off for would be new users. It’s a weird concept and it even took me a while to understand it, and I’m pretty tech savvy. Lemmy will never take off like reddit until it’s more centralized.

        • @[email protected]
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          17 months ago

          Maybe I’m not the typical user but that is something that got me into Lemmy. I started to use Lemmy without an account, reading and discovering new communities and specialized instances until I’ve got my favorite instances. Then I’ve found my current instance, fell in love with it and finally decided to join the fediverse.

        • @[email protected]
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          17 months ago

          Well you started using an email provider without understanding the concept of federation. Heck you even started browsing the web through http without understanding the concept either.

          • @Greyfoxsolid
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            07 months ago

            When I first got email, it was issued by my service provider. Easy. When I got my next email many years later, through Gmail, the sign up process was easy to understand and intuitive.

  • @[email protected]
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    7 months ago

    No, it doesn’t.

    At the core of the various fediverse solutions is the idea of choosing who to federate with and who not to. Mastodon should not be forced to “federate” with lemmy. And

    I know that you are reluctant to promote Lemmy and its communities because of the ideology of its founders,

    Is about as good a reason as possible to not want to touch something with a ten foot pole. I know that I like Lemmy and Mastodon, but I have a VERY large blocklist on lemmy.

    But the other aspect is: As influencers learned in the 10s, the kind of content that makes sense on mastodon/twitter doesn’t make sense on cohost/tumblr or lemmy/reddit or whatever else. All cross posting does is make for a lesser experience on the secondary platforms.

    That said, I do think there could be better support for the decentralized nature of each platform. It would be really nice if I could specify what mastodon instance I use in lemmy and what lemmy instance I use in mastodon so that links would automagically convert. Which would make linking to posts a lot less awkward. I don’t want things to be mirrored, but it would be nice to link to an interesting topic or a fun post from a developer or artist.


    As for why mastodon is more successful: Because people are actually making content on Mastodon. I like Lemmy, but too many of these boards feel like “race to copy links and comments from reddit”. It IS nice to have fewer nazi chuds but… it feels like there were tankie seat fillers waiting in the wings.

    But that also extends to interactions. I like to shitpost on lemmy and rant about my various bugbears but… I have yet to have a “meaningful” interaction. Whereas I have had at least a dozen solid exchanges and discussions on Mastodon. And… it is baffling that the twitter-like feels more like a community and less like I am shouting into a crowded room.

    And a lot of that boils down to “why” people embrace the sites. Lemmy… feels like going on a date with someone who just got out of a long term relationship and can’t stop talking about their ex… and then tries to send a dick pic to show that they are over him.

    Whereas twitter is still in a mess of “Well… I don’t like nazis and transphobes but all the brands and creators I like are on twitter so I am going to protest and stay on twitter”. And blue skies and the other one very much feel like a twitter replacement whereas Mastodon (and, sort of, Cohost) feel like a “Twitter sucked. Let’s actually do better”. To go back to the dating metaphor, it is like going on a date with someone who will unabashedly order the whole fish or the ribs because life is too short to pretend you don’t like “ugly” food or messy food or whatever.

    If Lemmy can actually build its own identity? Then I don’t think we would need to worry because people will naturally want to link to discussions. But until it does? It isn’t worth it.


    And peertube is just a stupid idea that means videos can’t be monetized (so creators have zero incentive or justification to put time and effort in) while also providing a hefty cost to instance hosts because video is expensive.

      • @[email protected]
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        7 months ago

        This has come up constantly over the centuries:

        It isn’t about evil corporate/fuedal/whatever interests ruining art. It is about having the time to make art. Ethan Chlebowski and Brian Lagerstrom semi-recently did a podcast where they talked about this. For a 20 minute recipe video you tend to have to iterate on the dish at least a dozen times (if not more). And that costs money and time.

        You can more or less math how many tickets you’ll sell at a theatre or what your ad/sponsor revenue will be for a video to budget that out. You can’t really do that when you are counting on sporadic donations.

        • @Candelestine
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          67 months ago

          Art isn’t required to be inherently iterative. It usually is, but that’s a casual correlation. I think what you’re talking about sounds like professionalism, which is a different thing. It encourages consistency and quantity, but not necessarily excellence, as I think the world has demonstrated fairly well.

          • @[email protected]
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            47 months ago

            Even something with no iteration at all takes time and money. Paint costs money. The time to sit down and write a first draft costs time.

            Which, again, is where getting paid to create art comes into play. And peertube does not provide that. Which is especially bad in the case of video media as pretty much any youtuber will tell you: You are looking at at least a ten to one ratio of time spent creating/editing to any minute of footage. And that just goes up as you work on more complex works. A few of the “maker” youtubers are pretty open that they almost always have three or four active projects and a given 10-20 minute video might represent years of their lives.

            • @Candelestine
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              37 months ago

              Certainly. Effort is important and a financial reward is certainly a strong incentive. These are advantages in youtubes favor. Moreover, the hosting cost is really where problems start to come in with peertube.

              I suppose if you expected it to properly replace youtube, then I agree, it’s a poor idea. As something that exists independently with its own value, I think it’s fine though.

              • @[email protected]
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                7 months ago

                I guess I just don’t see any advantages to it.

                If the goal is just to host a few videos on your own site and eat the bandwidth costs: That is a solved problem with much lighter weight solutions.

                If the goal is to host videos for other people? Well… think about why someone wouldn’t be able to use youtube or any of the fly by night “totally not just for revenge porn and gorn” (Liveleak sure was a thing) and what that means for liability. Also, that is a REAL good way to get massive hosting costs or to get put into a different tier for home internet (for a box in the closet).

                At most I can see it useful for the really sketchy sites. Sort of like how most of the chud twitters are actually a mastodon instance under the hood.


                Well, I guess I could see it having more widespread usage as various creators try to get away from youtube. Has shades of “what kind of content can’t be on youtube?” but Ian McCollum/Gun Jesus and a few of the more “educational” firearms youtubes have made their own site that could potentially be a skin on this. Linus Media Group tried to make floatplane a thing, but I think they rolled their own tech. And Nebula/Curiosity Stream are similar but are also (I think?) home rolled.

                But I could see a world where a couple youtubers try to spin off their own subscription gated site that could run on peertube. But… that means nothing to me as a user/enthusiast.

                • @Candelestine
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                  27 months ago

                  I don’t see how there’s anything special about it from a liability standpoint. The main advantage I can see from it is simply not supporting google. And yes, there are definitely other options. Does people making competing solutions to problems surprise you in some way?

                  I mean, I wouldn’t dev it, but I see no valid reason to criticize whoever wanted to.

          • @JubilantJaguar
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            17 months ago

            You’re both right!

            But I see a terrible paradox in the case of ads. The creator pays their bills with ads, but I have no intention of acting on those ads. Possibly the contrary, since I did not want to see the ad and I dislike being manipulated. So in my case the ad is making precisely zero money for the company who is paying the creator’s bill, as well as annoying me. Presumably I am not the only one. There is a paradox here that is hard to resolve.

            • @Candelestine
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              17 months ago

              You can’t prevent the ad from manipulating you. It’s targeting your subconscious, your moods and feelings. They don’t give two shits what your forebrain thinks of them. They want vague associations that slip beneath memory, that pop out five years later.

              They’re ubiquitous because they’re so effective though. Really is a pain in the ass.

    • Tiger Jerusalem
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      17 months ago

      Well said, that’s my feeling about it too.

  • Tiger Jerusalem
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    7 months ago

    I find the idea of the fediverse fundamentally broken, if not plain wrong. It’s cool for decentralised servers from the same service like Mastodon, but keep it there. Other services have different uses and interactions, I don’t want a lemmy thread suddenly showing on my mastodon timeline. I go to Mastodon for microblogging, and it would piss me off to suddenly see giant posts from some WordPress instance, or thousands of photos from Pixelfed, or a tutorial in video form from Peertube that should be a paragraph on Mastodon.

    If I want discussions, I go to lemmy. If I want long posts, I go to WordPress. For microblogging, Mastodon, and for Photos, Pixelfed. Mixing all up brings subpar experiences because the apps that deal with each service are focused, and interaction with anything outside this scope becames awful.

    • HarkMahlberg
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      @tigerjerusalem Not for nothing, but kbin has both a thread-side and microblogging-side to it. Ernest even introduced an aggregate view very recently where you can see both on the same page, formatted to their respective types of posts. You could use any view you like best. I think that flexibility is a great feature.

      @feditips @fediverse @FediFollows @masimatutu

      • CommunityLinkFixerBotB
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        17 months ago

        Hi there! Looks like you linked to a Lemmy community using a URL instead of its name, which doesn’t work well for people on different instances. Try fixing it like this: [email protected]

    • Otter
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      7 months ago

      I have separate accounts on each thing, but it might still be cool to be able to cross comment. Instead of screenshotting a post and talking about it on another platform, you could comment directly.

      What I really want is to be able to use one account on a bunch of platforms. I could whittle it down to one real account and a few anonymous ones.

      Maybe a fediverse platform JUST for accounts? The user page could have a bunch of tabs for each Fediverse platform that account is using.

      It’s still weird to me, I totally agree there

      • Tiger Jerusalem
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        Maybe a fediverse platform JUST for accounts? The user page could have a bunch of tabs for each Fediverse platform that account is using.

        Now THAT’S a really cool idea. Make one account, let it propagates in any services of your choosing. It would make your presence on the fediverse simpler and more consistent. Add a “share” feature that formats your posts to whatever service, center every communication around your omnipresent account.

        Damn, now I want that.

    • @[email protected]
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      7 months ago

      Agree. Different platforms have different purposes and the experiences probably should remain separate.

      I always find these perspectives that want such a high level of fed integration peculiar when this can already be done using RSS feeds. It’s the whole reason they exist. To bring all of the updates from anywhere on the internet Mastodon updates, Pixelfed, Peertube, etc into one, single timeline view. The tools are already there for people to use if people want them.

    • @Candelestine
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      37 months ago

      So uhm … just don’t subscribe to those things. Not sure why you dislike the idea of having the option though.

      • Tiger Jerusalem
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        7 months ago

        I don’t, but I do see people “retooting” WordPress texts I follow on Mastodon, for example. They’re interesting accounts, and I don’t want to block them because of that. It does get annoying, thought.

  • @[email protected]
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    7 months ago

    I think one of the biggest practical hurdles here is the authorized fetch issue which prevents some Mastodon instances from correctly federating with lemmy and peertube. From what I understand the issue there is actually Lemmy-side, so that probably needs a serious look at first.

  • @[email protected]
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    37 months ago

    Thank you for this message.
    I believe that the fediverse will not exploit its full potential until fedizens start to fediverse accross the different plateforms.
    Of course, as the biggest plateform by far, Mastodon has a role to play. Interoperability accross multiple social media is what makes the fediverse fondamentally different from traditional social network and not yet another attempt at managing a social media plateform right.

  • @[email protected]
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    27 months ago

    It’ll come. Lemmy itself doesn’t federate well with Mastodon. I have no idea what’s going on, but if they all implement ActivityPub, it’ll be fine. Just give it time.

    • @[email protected]
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      17 months ago

      They all implement ActivityPub differently. The flaw in the system is that W3C/ActivityPub as a protocol can’t tell either of these projects “you are doing it wrong”.