re-reading some articles about Mastodon from early 2017 identifies some common misconceptions:
- It Isn’t “True” Federation": Mastodon instances ... can block other sites or control who has access, they aren’t truly federating" - a "free speech absolutism" argument "complaining that you want to say things and you want to force other people to listen"
- You Cannot Secure Your Identity: with email, "there is a email@example.com who is likely different from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, none of whom are me"
- You Cannot Bring Your Followers: this is a negative but intentional feature of walled gardens, not a fediverse bug.
- Poor Discoverability: the one true shortcoming for the moment - or is it a feature?
- to begin with, authors must "explicitly opt in to making their content searchable" - that's their privilege, and it probably beats deliberately "misspellings and self-censorship of toxic terms to avoid dog-piling"
- and there's "no simple way to do a fediverse-wide search on specific terms... [but] Mastodon is not seen as the place to grow your following and build a brand. It’s still a place to find new friends and rebuild your own networks in a different environment"
Nevertheless, the lack of Fediverse-spanning hashtag search is for me a real obstacle to adoption and people/content discovery. However, "you can use them in your profile for discoverability, create and pin an #Introduction post... highlight specific hashtags on an instance as an admin, to let others get an idea of what it’s about."
- Expensive: most people join a free instance, where "costs are generally borne by the admins ... sometimes helped out by donations". There are also "membership only, with or without some sort of dues... and you can host your own" - the author estimates the latter costs him ~$25/m.