If there is one thing that has perplexed me about the Fediverse overall it is this: why has Mastodon enjoyed tremendous success (at least amongst geeks & reporters) while most of the Fediverse Familia is still more or less viewed as an afterthought‽
Mastodon software is not as nimble as MissKey or Pleroma, it eschews easy quote posting that is embraced by the Fediverse at large & the platform is named after an extinct hairy animal that is not exactly cute nor cuddly.
So how did Mastodon eclipse it’s ActivityPub siblings, gain public notoriety & earn the ire of King Muskrat himself‽ I believe the answer lies in Mastodon’s three pronged approach at meeting people where they are.
If You Host It, They Will Come
Most Fediverse platforms have a reason to exist, as well as a passionate fan base of folks. Unfortunately most Fediverse platforms are too technical for the average person, who lacks the time or expertise to setup a server (aka instance) that features their preferred platform of choice.
Mastodon has been blessed as there are a plethora of companies willing to host & handle the technical details behind the scenes, & pacify any raging that may result from the fury “elephant” going feral (aka the crazy cache buildup!).
However, @Gargron@mastodon.social (the Mastodon Magistrate himself) is not leaving it to chance that other companies will continue to host Mastodon out of the goodness of their open source hearts, as he has plans to offer managed hosting in the future.
Mastodon is going to remain not-for-profit, Rochko said, but it’s looking at what he describes as a split model, “like Mozilla’s, where the nonprofit will continue working on the core product, which will remain open source, nonprofit and so on, and we might start a for-profit side business for software as a service, first to provide hosting for Mastodon’s for those who desire that.” (Techcrunch)
Fediverse creators should mimic what Mastodon is doing & offer the option of managed hosting to people, companies & governments desiring to operate an instance underneath their own domain.
The extra funds can be used to hire full time developers, designers, moderators (upon the platforms official instances) to improve the platform & various apps later on, making the Fediverse platform more accepting to the masses.
Keep Both iDevices Open
Whether you love Apple or loathe Apple, there is no denying their influence upon the app stores as whole.
While Apple does represent the epitome of corporate control (proprietary software, hostile to handlers fixing iDevices, sole authority upon the App Store, etcetera), Fediverse creators would be wise to create iPhone and iPad apps for their creations.
For better or worse Apple iDevices dominate the corporate world, rule the entertainment arena, lord over the sports lands & are preferred by the political elites as well.
Although many politicians & celebrities rail against big tech companies, most will refuse to switch away from toxic, centralized social services unless their is an alternative upon iPhone & iPad.
Mastodon has positioned themselves as a clear alternative to the toxic norm by creating an iPhone & iPad app.
Note: For those wondering why an iPad app should be created, many in the sports arena as well as politicians use them obsessively, so creating an iPad app would be wise.
Ghosts In The App Machine‽
Truth be told many developers view Android users like ghosts—their existence is acknowledged but they are viewed as having little influence over the material (or rather digital) world.
Although Android significant market share when compared to the total sum of iDevices (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, etcetera), Android continues to be treated as a second rate platform.
While not as flashy as their iRival, Fediverse creators should consider creating Android apps for Android phones and to F-Droid as well too, as that is where most of the mobile world resides.
Mastodon has created a polished Android app for Google Play as well as for F-Droid, & developers would be keen to adopt a similar strategy if they desire to challenge their toxic rivals for the hearts & minds of humanity.
What About Third Party Apps & Instances‽
Although third party apps & instances should obviously be encouraged, creating official apps as well as an official instance is important as it will reduce confusion for new comers seeking to escape the toxic social networks.
The goal here is to help guide new comers, leaders, celebrities, elites, regular folks away from centralized systems & help people become accustomed to decentralized systems.
This will not be easy & it will take years, but humanity in the long term would benefit from a world where the Socialverse is connected to everyone, without being massively controlled by anyone.
👨🏾💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @firstname.lastname@example.org
🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon:
👉🏾 @email@example.com 🐘 (Mastodon)
👉🏾 @firstname.lastname@example.org 📸 (Pixelfed)
👉🏾 @email@example.com 🦁 (Misskey)