So the cool part about Mastodon, right? You don't need to be on the same domain as other people to talk to them. You can sign-up on or invite your friends to:

And many others, and still be able to talk to the world / follow your friends on and vice versa.

Please help those servers grow by spreading the word about them! (And if you are interested in starting a new server, you can do that too!)



@Gargron Yes and no. It's true for direct communication between people, but difficult to just follow hashtags across instances as you can't subscribe to hastags worldwide. Mastodon is like email, but it should more become like IRC, so every node has the same view of the world.

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more like #IRC? While IRC servers within the same network might have access to the same channels, this is not case between different IRC networks. Unless theres a bridge bot or something similar, I can't see what goes on in #example on Freenode's network when I'm connected to EFnet.

@FiXato @Gargron Yes and it is good to have the possibility to choose between different networks. But Mastodon is like IRC where each server has its own local channels plus some random messages from other servers. I installed my own Mastodon instance some days ago and wanted to read the messages from the other instances. But that's a quite lonely experience. You can't make a "peering agreement" which every other instance so you need perhaps decentralized databases, I don't know

sounds like your instance could benefit from a relay, or its users should follow more people from other instances so its server sees more of the federated messages (as I understand it), as I'm seeing quite some posts for that hashtag posted on a wide variety of instances. :)

@FiXato I'm the only user of my instance. And @Gargron said, it doesn't matter what instance you're on. I don't think relays work at a large scale because they're centralized bottlenecks and preventing loops is difficult. I think you should to be able to subscribe to '#$hashtag @ $instance'-patterns, with wildcards allowed for both $hashtag and $instance, as you can't feed world traffic through small instances and filter locally.

@ls @Gargron Then every instance will have to process immense amounts of data. It's a death sentence for a small instance.

Having a central hub for search and other technical purposes may help, but than being dependent on centralized service kinda ruins the idea of decentralized network.

@zloygik With a good subscription concept the instance only needs to process what is requested by its users. Like in IRC, where IRC servers only fetch messages for channels the have clients for. Data, nobody cares for, won't be loaded.

But I agree that a central hub is a bottleneck and should be avoided. Some kind of distributed database would be more suitable. Perhaps we can learn from other peer to peer systems like bitcoin, bittorrent, ...

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