Earlier this week I took another look at Mastodon, a federated social network that has recently gained a great deal of popularity for its openness. One of the reasons for this was because I've been toying around with the idea of having 10Cv5 posts work with Mastodon federation, and the other is that I've been curious to know what sorts of new features have been added to the platform since the last time I dabbled in it. After a couple of days, though, I'm not sure whether an integration with Mastodon would be something people want.


From a technical standpoint, having 10C and Mastodon work together would be pretty simple for social posts. Very rarely do people publish something longer than 500 characters and, when it does happen, there are already a number of good options available to let readers get access to the full post. The primary concern that I see with having the two networks working together has to do with the sheer amount of noise that is streaming across the more popular network. After just a couple of days of looking through the federated timeline, I've come to the conclusion that Mastodon is a place for younger people who are looking for a place to share nude photos, play around with day-long memes, and generally goof around while bots interrupt the silliness with links to websites nobody will visit. There's nothing wrong with any of this1, but I can't see anyone who currently uses 10C2 wanting to interact on Mastodon via my service when everyone is already part of the federated network elsewhere. I could be wrong, but this isn't something that anyone has specifically asked for.

At the moment I'm still (just barely) on track to have the core components of 10Cv5 completed for the end of this year so that everyone can be migrated to the newer API in time for January 1, 2019. Adding Mastodon integration would require a couple of days so, rather than slip past yet another self-imposed deadline, it would be better to get the core system out the door and then expand the tool based on the feedback received. If people would like to have 10C's social service, a.k.a. Nice.Social, integrated with Mastodon, then it can certainly be done. If people don't want it, then I'll have time to work on other features.

Mastodon is certainly an interesting piece of work that has a great deal of potential. It will be interesting to see how federated networks evolve over the coming years as more people move away from large silos to collections of disparate containers.

  1. There's nothing wrong with this when it's on someone else's server, mind you.

  2. This is a dwindling number, mind you.