@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.
@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 #36c3 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
@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.
@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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