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📈 The new social web has reached its next milestone: For the first time, the has over 4,000,000 users! 📈

Today, the counter at the-federation.info/ shows 4,003,742 users in the Fediverse, out of which 2,761,886 users are on , 762,367 on , and 249,904 on . Fast growing projects are (69,954) that more than tripled and (25,206) that almost doubled the number of users in the last year.

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@gerald_leppert How do you use multiple ActivityPub sites? Is it better to create separate account for mastodon, pixelfed and peertube?

@threed As far as I know there is currently no way to use different Fediverse services (Mastodon, Peertube, etc.) with one account. This indeed would be beneficial.

There are limitations in Mastodon (4 photos per toot and xx MB for a video), which one can only get by through PeerTube. For educational videos I had to open a Peertube account: open.tube/video-channels/geral Thanks to ActivityPub, I could link them here, see
I don't know whether there is a better way to do so.

@gerald_leppert @threed I'm often commenting with my Mastodon account on both PeerTube and Pixelfed. It's a bit cumbersome but you need to copy and paste the URL into the search in Mastodon then it shows up there and then you can reply, favourite, boost it. And the reply will show up in PeerTube, etc.

@jeena
Same here, never had any issue posting across platforms.
That's actually a big plus for me since I don't feel like creating an account on Pixelfed (not posting photos or art...)
@gerald_leppert @threed

@threed It depends if you want to follow feeds or create them. A Mastodon account can follow a feed from any ActivityPub site, as if it was another Mastodon account. But as @gerald_leppert said, to publish photos or videos, it's easier (for now) to create an account on a PixelFed or PeerTube instance for that.

Hopefully one day all AP projects will support a standard client-to-server API (eg the one in the AP spec). Then you could login to your chosen PeerTube instance using your Mastodon account, or vice-versa, so you'd only need one fediverse account for everything.

@threed @gerald_leppert

@VictorVenema You are right. The growth of the Fediverse does not outweigh the number of users becoming inactive/dormant. Thus, the number of active users is stagnant and even decreases:

Change of "active 6 months" in the last year:
: 1.36Mio -> 1.21Mio
: 1.25Mio -> 1.09Mio
: 87250 -> 69018
: 9647 -> 12563

In other words, the needs to substantially grow faster in order to also grow in terms of actually active users.

@gerald_leppert We created our own community at FediScience, there were many accounts created, but only few of them are actually used. So it may be that many are inactive from the start.

We should somehow study why these people left, never got started, that may be more important for growth than attracting new people.

@VictorVenema @gerald_leppert

I suspect there's a similar number of abandoned users on corporate services, except admins don't really care about them as long as the ad revenue comes in.

consider also the effect of a global pandemic and quite scary political situations in many countries; a lot of people are simply overwhelmed by that and may be avoiding social media as a whole, particularly networks that have a lot of news and politics posts...

@vfrmedia At least on my server 80 to90% is inactive or hardly active. That is a lot. Could well be similar in the silos, but it is still something to care about.

There are some services that send you an email if you have been inactive for a long time. That may be way to reactivate people.

There are also people trading in accounts that look old to sell to people wanting to look like trend setters. Like @a@FediScience. If that is the reason they may claim the account later.
@gerald_leppert

@VictorVenema

I remember discussion about a "reminder" email for inactive users, not sure if the feature was added.

Your instance looks good, but is also quite specialist and comes across as aimed at uni science students and profs, who might be both quite shaken up by the effects of Covid on their studies, to the point where trying out new social media isn't a priority (they might be actively trying to avoid further distraction as more and more of uni goes online)

@gerald_leppert

@vfrmedia @gerald_leppert Such a reminder would be worth a try given the large fraction of inactive users. These are people who are at least somewhat interested. You could make it a setting so that people can opt out.

I was not worrying about my own instance, but would like to see the fediverse grow at the expense of the silos. I think that would be good for society.

That being said, there are 10s of thousands of scientists on Twitter. The audience for FediScience is theoretically there.

@VictorVenema @vfrmedia @gerald_leppert I think poor discoverability of content within Mastodon is a blocker. This is only true for Mastodon from what I hear - because it was intended as a feature.

@ashwinvis @VictorVenema @vfrmedia

Indeed, for new users, there should be some more intro that only hashtag searches and searches for user names exists. Also, it might be confusing for users on small instances that they search results depends on the federated users/instances of his/her instance. Thus, on small instances, first, you discover little on your specific topic.

New users also usually don't know fediverse search engines like: search.social/

@gerald_leppert @ashwinvis @VictorVenema

TBH the users who pick smaller instances tend to have started on the larger ones and are aware of the search limitations.

Bear in mind that young adults particularly outside "tolerant" Northern Europe (particularly in USA) who happen to be LGBT+ or in ethnic minorities no longer feel as safe and secure online; they often don't *want* to be discovered that easily on their social network..

@gerald_leppert @ashwinvis @VictorVenema

also a lot of smaller instances opt out of the data gathering exercises as in the early days there were people using altered versions of AP software to scrape data and index "prominent/influencer" users in the hope of somehow making money through online marketing to these users (I ended up on one of these lists myself and to this day get follows from the most random sources, particularly from sex workers halfway across the World..)

@vfrmedia
Sure. But searching with just one hashtag is silly. I can't search for #rock #metal #nowplaying together for instance.

The only option is adding a column in the advanced interface, but this is an obscure and cumbersome feature.
@gerald_leppert @VictorVenema

@ashwinvis @gerald_leppert @VictorVenema

searching with more than one term works inconsistently (maybe the same code?) and whether search is enabled at all depends on the instance admins choice (to be fair most admins will tell you exactly what and isn't implemented)

When I first started using Mastodon I just looked on the federated timeline for interesting stuff (you had to be quick off the mark or it ran away, I think newer versions limit the rate toots appear to make this easier..)

@gerald_leppert @ashwinvis @VictorVenema @vfrmedia Do you know of any other working fediverse search engines?

Would be great to have

@ohellno @vfrmedia @ashwinvis @gerald_leppert There is fedisearch.com

Have not used it myself. So no idea how good it is.

Please only use it for good. Mastodon does not have detailed search on purpose.

@VictorVenema @vfrmedia @ashwinvis @gerald_leppert Thank you!

Just trying to find some people to follow from other instances so I can break away from corporate search engines

@VictorVenema @ohellno @vfrmedia @ashwinvis
FediSearch also seems to be out of order: I get "We're sorry, but something went wrong."

@gerald_leppert @VictorVenema things like #nextcloud also have fediverse accounts which can be very inactive...

@mk @VictorVenema

Thanks. This is a bit strange.
The user numbers for the instances themselves are the same like to the-federation.info. Here the three biggest instances:

pawoo.net 636792
mastodon.social 531133
mstdn.jp 201961
all others are much smaller. Thus, 287 mio users actually cannot be correct.

Did you count the users or the statuses?

@VictorVenema

Indeed, this is also what I noticed. There are many accounts that appear, but never follow anyone and never post anything.

There are also quite some accounts that edit their profile, start tooting and stop just a few days after the first post.

Yes, it is more important to understand, why people are never active or quickly become inactive.

I just wonder whether there should be some nice (automatic) welcome toots to new users giving examples how Mastodon/Fediverse works.

@gerald_leppert Just send an email to our user who is inactive longest to ask why. #MarketResearch 😎

@VictorVenema
That's a good idea. As instance maintainer you also have the email addresses of users.

@gerald_leppert FYI the-federation.info isn't a canonical map of the whole fediverse. It only knows about software that implements NodeInfo, and only instances that have been submitted (or otherwise discovered). I believe the same limitations apply to other fediverse monitoring sites like fediverse.network and fediverse.space .

Also, Prosody is a server for the jabber chat federation (XMPP), which is not usually considered part of the fediverse.

Long term _active_ growth should be considered from the perspective of publication of consistent, unique content that is attractive to those audiences.

Commercial services, including legacy proprietary publishers have always understood that uniquie content is what creates value.

A read of the profile of 'fediscience', suggests that there is: "...a new open post-publication peer review system...". It would be nice to know where is this peer review system and if 'fediscience' is being promoted (by usage of those involved in the new review system).

@VictorVenema I think the question by @education goes to you. I don't know whether you have seen his/her post, because you were not tagged.

@gerald_leppert Thanks for the heads-up. Had indeed not noticed @education's reply.

I am building this post-publication peer review system. You can find it at grassroots.is

It is not working yet, the above homepage is just to demonstrate the concept/get feedback.

Once it has participants, I will herd them to using Mastodon. Had already dreamed of adding a social network to destroy the legacy ones before I discovered Mastodon.

All peer reviews should be published using ActivityPub.

@gerald_leppert are these accounts in use or historical inactive accounts. Just trying to get an idea how meaningful these numbers are?

@hamishcampbell I think the number reported by The-federation.info comprises active and inactive accounts.

This toot here should give an impression what number of users was active (in the last 6 months):
bonn.social/@gerald_leppert/10

The number of active users is probably underestimated, because e.g. Peertube does not report numbers of active users and a number of Mastodon instances do not seem to disclose the timeline/active users.

@gerald_leppert why does this stat includes #Prosody? It's not federated (AFAIK it's based on XMPP not ActivityPub) did I miss something? 🤔

@gerald_leppert Along with the difference "total users" vs. "active users", it also would be interesting to see the amount of unique active users = those that aren't backup accounts, secondary accounts or accounts for the same user on different platforms.

@Victor Venema (must adapt to the modern mention convention, not the old e-mail lists! :)
@Dr. Gerald Leppert  :verified:

'Grassroots journals' reminds of 'PCI' (https://peercommunityin.org/how-does-it-work-2/), which seems to developed the concept further...

Now we need to see PCI adopt the fediverse.

@education I know PCI. They do great work, but their system does not break the power of the publishers.

PCI only review pre-prints (which is just a small part of the submitted papers) and these papers are still send to journals to assess their importance.

Grassroots reviews are made after publication. That has the advantage that then the studies are understood much better and can be reviewed by people who worked with it.

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