I've really been enjoying getting to know the Fediverse over the past few days. Some thoughts:

1. ActivityPub is really neat. Having microblogging (Mastodon) able to talk to video streaming (PeerTube), office software (NextCloud), etc. feels like the future my kid self in the late 90s/early 2000s expected.

Really interested to see how ActivityPub services will eventually integrate with other decentralized projects like Matrix or IPFS.

2. It's really remarkable how much less _angry_ the timeline feels than the birdsite. This makes sense based on the structural incentives of centralized platforms, but wow is it a noticeable emotional difference.

I think the lesson is: Don't give hooks into your brain to systems that want "drive engagment" by driving you crazy.

The ability to send sensory stimulus (new notification!) to your fragile human brain is powerful, and we ought be much more careful about who we give that power to.


3. I think it's very difficult to make sense of current events without noticing the effect of certain centralized platforms on our minds and relations with one other.

If we all use systems which cultivate bad patterns of behavior across our society, then we shouldn't be surprised at the result.

That's not just a comment on e.g. US politics. There's a lot of unhealthy/exploitative communication patterns in just the world of software, particularly around the p2p/blockchain projects.

4. The 500 character limit feels much less constraining than 280. There's less compression of thought, more natural cadence.

I've even seen a few posts that exceed that limit, which I think is done with content warnings? Still figuring out how to use all the new tools of expression this platform gives me.

@johnburnham mastadon has the 500 character limit, but other apps may or may not have that limit. To ActivityPub a message is a message regardless of size.

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Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.