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I'm just gonna put it out there: if you decide to run a federated social media server of any kind, strongly consider keeping it invite only and capping its size from the beginning. If your server has fewer than 100 active people on it and you have some level of trust or shared values, then moderation is a single person task that you as the admin can handle. At least in my experience.

I'm considering writing a "how to run a nice little community in the fediverse" guide with some best practices.

Administering a fediverse server requires both technical ability and emotional maturity. But the latter is never covered in the documentation.

@darius why should it be? The person who wrote it doesn’t have it or see the need.

@fluffy You'll note I'm careful to say fediverse server, because it applies that broadly (and the documentation is lacking that broadly).

@darius I mean this is why for now I’m targeting my own federated shit to self-hosting rather than having any sort of “community” thing. Because no way do I want to be in a position of maintaining a community.

It’s a shitty solution to the problem but it’s what I’m comfortable with for my needs.

@darius but Publ also scratches an entirely different set of itches than ActivityPub stuff.

@fluffy Yeah! Self hosting specific fediverse software is something we need more of. I used to host a Masto server just for me and at some point I was like "this is like driving the Space Shuttle to the grocery store every day"

@darius yeah. I just wish ActivityPub weren’t so annoying to do right. I keep going back and forth as to whether I want to build it into Publ or not but I’m sort of leaning towards wanting to at this point (if only because people keep believing the myth that atom/rss is dead and insufficient).

@fluffy btw I've been incredibly impressed with the work you've put in on publ. I might want to give it a go at some point. I only wish I knew python so I could contribute to the backend

@darius thanks! You should be able to at least play with it without any python knowledge, and a lot of what I want to add in the future is more frontendy in terms of building a nice posting interface.

@darius Decentralised community management is sort of trial by fire for us. I suspect it will be like a nature thing — poor community managers will collapse their communities, good ones will cultivate bigger ones. But good god, IRL community management is a very poorly cultivated skill, and I haven't even seen community managers by profession do it well necessarily, either. It's nebulous.

@matilde I think sometimes poor community management just results in the community metastasizing. It ends up looking good by shitty standards (our engagement is growing!) but it is just a big tumor

@darius I’d be interested in reading this if you do!

@darius this! I host my own xmpp server, but it also has accounts for a group of friends (most of whom would be capable to host their own) and a few family members (who wouldn't).

Then one LUG I'm part of has a friendica instance for its members; here I'm not doing any maintenance, but it has been my main social home for years.

(I still don't have anything like that for mastodon, because as a software it's a huge beast and I'm not sure I'll still need it now that friendica has support for AP)

@darius Both servers have < 20 users who know each other in person, and AFAIK moderation load is pretty non-existing.

@darius you also have to have the social hygiene to know people who aren’t pieces of shit, and that’s a insurmountable for a lot of folks.

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Friend Camp

The decentralized web is about trust. You should only join Friend Camp if you personally trust Darius Kazemi with your social media data. You probably only have that level of trust if we are IRL friends or have been internet friends for a long time. Generally speaking this is a small, closed community. In the end, Darius is the arbiter of what is allowed here. If you don't have a good idea of the kind of behavior that flies with Darius, again, you probably shouldn't join this instance. In the interest of specificity, we do have a code of conduct and privacy policy which you should read.

Friend Camp features several modifications that were requested by our users.

  • you can log in via any subdomain, which means you can log in to multiple accounts in the same browser session (for example, log in once on friend.camp and then as another user on alt.friend.camp)
  • they are no longer called "toots", they are now "posts"
  • if you have a locked account and you get a follow request, a reminder appears under your "post" button (on normal Mastodon mobile it is otherwise buried in a sub-menu and you might not see it for a long time)
  • the emoji dropdown is a neutral smiley face instead of the cry-laughing smiley
  • @mentions are rendered as "@user" for a Friend Camp user and "@user@domain" for remote users. This helps clear up when you follow two people who have the same username on different servers.
  • there is a "never ask me again" checkbox on the confirmation for clearing your notifications -- more info here
  • images in a CW'ed post are collapsed behind the CW. When you expand the CW, you can see the whole image immediately. more info here
  • When an mp3 link is in a post, we also embed an inline mp3 player. git commit here
  • 500 characters of profile text git commit here, requested by @deerful

Important Bit from the Privacy Docs

If you want decent privacy (the info doesn't leave this server), the only way to do that is to set your account to private, only accept friend requests from other friend.camp users, and only ever @ mention other friend.camp users. Once you start talking to people on other servers, all bets are off. Any private message you send to someone on another server could be looked at by the admin of a different server. This is kind of like email: if you are on a private email server, and you send an unencrypted email to a gmail account, congrats, Google now has the content of that email. But also, you do this every day, so, hey. The internet!

Our beautiful icon is based on photo3idea_studio from www.flaticon.com, licensed CC 3.0 BY. It has been modified by @casey@friend.camp!