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Woo! As you may have seen from that previous boost, Mastodon 2.9 is now out, featuring a new single column interface:

blog.joinmastodon.org/2019/06/

This is, IMHO, a huge step forward for getting non-technical people onto Mastodon 👍

Instead of the Tweetdeck-style interface, there's now a default single-column timeline which is much less scary.

(The multicolumn original is still an option in Settings, and those who currently use multicolumn will continue to see it by default.)

For those asking when their instance will be updated to 2.9, the best person to ask is the admin of your instance.

To find out who is your instance's admin, just log out and go to your instance's front page. Scroll down and you will see "Administered by:" with a link to your admin's account.

@switchingsocial Nice! Even if I will stay with the multicolumn version because I prefer to see a lot of informations at the same time

@switchingsocial Yesss, I'm eagerly awaiting Mastodon.art to be updated! I really dislike the multicolumn layout.

@switchingsocial
I like this layout as it is similar to the mainstream social media layouts and so would give newbies comfort.

@geotechland

Exactly, it's much less scary and much clearer what is going on.

And if they ever want multicolumn they can switch to it once they are comfortable with Mastodon.

@switchingsocial what I would like to see is a responsive number of columns depending on the window size.

@switchingsocial
I have to say, I like both, but I will hang out with single for a bit and see how it feels. I do like the new look though.

@krille bin noch nicht dazu gekommen, aber wird natürlich nachgeliefert sobald Zeit ist :)

@switchingsocial

@switchingsocial I love it! Can't wait to have it on mastodon.technology!

Multi-column is nice, but way too much information for me 🙂

@switchingsocial Don't put more pressure on me! Just because I am still on 2.7.0 doesn't make me lazy! Oh wait, maybe it does. Lol

I am working on upgrading. 🙂

@switchingsocial am I the only one to think that it's not really a good idea to have to logout to get access to this type of information?

The problem with #Mastodon and #Diaspora is, that most often you find Instances with thousands of accounts.

This leads to massive problems and is not in the intention of the #fediverse.

e.g. #Pleroma #Friendica and #Hubzilla hold available options to do better

@switchingsocial you should explain this somewhere on your site

thanks

@Nachbarschaft

You mean the risk of centralisation?

I do already deliberately link to smaller instances when recommending places to sign up, and I do explain what federation is and why it is a good idea for everyone.

However, I don't link to instances with tiny numbers of people (less than ten for example) because it is difficult to judge their track record.

If non-tech people lose their Fediverse account because their instance shuts down, they will simply go back to centralised services.

@switchingsocial

"I do already deliberately link to smaller instances when recommending places to sign up... "

Thanks - that is exactly what I find is important... did not find this infos on your website so... but maybe i search at the wrong places…

For me this is one of the mayor differences between Mastodon, Diaspora on the one hand and e. g. Plaroma, Friencia, Hubzilla on the other hand – you can run easy small instantiates and this is actually better can big once...

@Nachbarschaft

I don't list mastodon.social or pixelfed.social on their pages, but smaller instances instead.

@switchingsocial

I´m a great fan of your work and your site switching.social.

Still what I´m missing are information and explains about privacy and data security in the #Fedivese.

Just to resister on some kind of #Fedivese instance is not enough.

New users should learn right from the beginning what kind of pitfalls there are.

@switchingsocial

You say on your site:
“It doesn’t matter if you join a big or small site, they’re all part of the same network.”
But you are not explaining why big sites are not really good for the fediverse.

On your page “hints and tips for new users” I don´t find any hind how a new user should choose an instant.

@Nachbarschaft

I'll try to add more tips about choosing a good instance, but I do already suggest some good general instances in the "where to sign up" section.

I don't think most people want to think about instances when they are taking their first steps onto federated networks.

They just want to be given an address to sign up at.

A lot of people start out on a general instance and move onto a specialised one after they get used to it.

@switchingsocial

"I'll try to add more tips about choosing a good instance,"

Thanks - that would be great

“I don't think most people want to think about instances when they are taking their first steps onto federated networks.”

but if you care about privacy you should think about it...

@switchingsocial

“A lot of people start out on a general instance and move onto a specialised one after they get used to it.”

Ok – if that is the case than we don´t need to worry. But form what I see this is not really the case – just very few switch…

@switchingsocial

To keel thinks simple is great, still it would be great also if you could offer a link with more information for such who want to understand from the beginning what is important in the long run.

@switchingsocial

When I started 18 month ago no one explained me this kind of things. I had to do a lot of research, which took me a long time. It would have been much nicer to have a place where I could find this kind or information all on one site - all condensed - when I started.

In many aspects your site switching.social offers this information now which is fantastic, but it lacks still also some important information. That’s why I write to you.

Thanks very much for your work

@Nachbarschaft

I'm really sorry, I just don't think Hubzilla is easy enough for the kind of audience switching.social is aimed at.

I'm trying to reach people who use computers and phones but have no interest in computing or technology.

But this is exactly why I made switching.social CC By SA, so if people feel I'm doing something wrong or missing something out, they can do their own version.

@switchingsocial

"I'm really sorry, I just don't think Hubzilla is easy enough for the kind of audience switching.social is aimed at. "

Don´t think that this is true –

Certainly you could say that HZ is more complex than other APPs of your section “Ethical alternatives to Facebook and Twitter” but still you should name it in this section.

What about if you ad HZ also to the section "Ethical alternatives for advanced users" ?

@switchingsocial

"I'm trying to reach people who use computers and phones but have no interest in computing or technology. "

I understand very well - and that is OK if on your site would be also a Link to more detailed information…

Shell I try to work out such kind of text? would you link to it?

After all it´s all about understanding and not just using computers and phones ;-)

@Nachbarschaft

My philosophy on switching.social is to keep new concepts to a minimum, so that people only have to try one new thing at a time.

If they only have to try one new thing, they are far more likely to try it.

My new concepts are that Fediverse doesn't use ads, so it's less likely to invade privacy, and if an admin does invade privacy you can easily switch to a different instance.

Centralised services are dangerous because you cannot switch without leaving the network.

@switchingsocial

“My new concepts are that Fediverse doesn't use ads, so it's less likely to invade privacy, and if an admin does invade privacy you can easily switch to a different instance. “

I would link to question this statement. Just because you don’t see any ads, doesn´t mean that you are not at a risk to lose privacy also in the Fediverse.

Unfortunately it is actually also not that easy to switch to a different instance without losing all your Friends and content.

@switchingsocial

Only in #Hubzilla and #ZAP you can switch to a different instance very easy indeed, and that should be another reason why this applications should be on your list to be found.

@switchingsocial

Somehow I´m missing at your side the integration of questions and thoughts the following article describes:

"Privacy and Tracking on the Fediverse"

blog.soykaf.com/post/privacy-a

At least a link to such kind of text would be suitable I think

@Nachbarschaft

The article is interesting and raises important points, but even though it says the fediverse is still better, it would scare a lot of people off even trying it.

A lot of non-tech people would read that and say "oh Mastodon is bad about privacy, I'll stick to Facebook where my friends are". That isn't what the article says, but that's what many of them would think the article says.

Also, the article is clearly written for people who are aware of tech and interested in tech.

@Nachbarschaft

But as I said before, if you think I've got the balance wrong please go ahead and do your own version of the site! 👍

That's exactly why I released the content under CC By SA, to make it easier for others to set up their own alternatives sites.

@switchingsocial

On your great site is not much missing and it would be a waste of emery if I would start a similar project as switching.social

@switchingsocial

I find this interesting thinking by you, but it is more about marketing instead of telling the trues.

You do a great job pointing out all the alternatives which are out there but why not also link to more complex infos and projects as well, in order to get a view on the whole picture, just for such followers who want to know? I don´t think people will be scared – they would be even more convinced instead.

@tobi

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

I think most people find reading about risks scary, especially when it involves things they don't understand.

The more I mention tech risks, the greater the chance people will leave the site and go back to Facebook etc.

I'm trying to keep switching.social light and positive, so that people stick around long enough to try these alternatives without getting stressed out.

That's the balance I mean: to tell people enough to switch, but not enough to scare them away.

@switchingsocial @tobi

Yes it is not good to scare people but why not give people the chance to understand circumstances a bit better by using simple and understandable words ?

You do a great job on your new page here : switching.social/federated-sit

But if you just mention masto.host and not explain also that self hosting with e.g. friendica is much easier to manage - things get really pushed by you in a wrong direction. 😞

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

It is not about the words but about the level of interest. People who have no interest in technology will not see such essays as nuanced discussions but as lists of warning signs. They may wonder why they are even trying the fediverse when it is so full of risks.

By the way, as far as I know there are no managed hosting services for Friendica?

Non-managed hosting is *way* beyond the scope of switching.social, it requires far too much technical knowledge.

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

Put it this way: when people sign up to Facebook or Twitter, there is *zero* discussion of the risks.

If the Fediverse has extremely detailed discussion of the risks, people may wrongly believe that the Fediverse is much more risky.

I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about risks at all.

But if we talk about risks in great detail, people will go back to centralised (and much higher risk) platforms, because they don't mention risks at all.

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

If you imagine an apple and a chocolate bar, the apple is clearly healthier by every scientific measure.

No food is risk-free, so in theory you should cover the apple in health warnings.

But if the apple came covered in health warnings and the chocolate bar didn't, people would start to think the chocolate bar was healthier.

That, combined with the chocolate bar's sugar hit, would make people abandon the apples altogether.

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

If we cover the Fediverse in health warnings while centralised services have no warnings at all, people will start to think the Fediverse is riskier.

Those people would be drawing the wrong conclusion, but it's the conclusion they are likely to draw.

Humans just aren't very good at assessing risk in things they don't know about.

Warnings scare people off, lack of warnings reassure them, despite the worst dangers often having no warnings at all.

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

Symmetrical transparency is great because it lets people weigh up relative risk. I agree that would be best to aim for, but it won't happen because centralised services won't play along.

Asymmetrical transparency can be terrible, because it can give completely the wrong impression and make much lower risks seem like much higher risks.

@switchingsocial @tobi

Where I life the risks of FB & Co are described every day in the new.
It´s not about scaring, waring and pointing out problems – this is done my other already. Is about explaining and understanding and showing how to do it different.
The easy solutions are just fine if you also link to the more complex one, just for such how want to take a deeper look.

@switchingsocial @tobi

"Non-managed hosting is *way* beyond the scope of switching.social, it requires far too much technical knowledge."

If all the peopel who are running a WP-Site will know that they also can run an instance of the Fediverse than the real Fediverse will come to life...

Why not tell them? ;-)

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

I do tell them, but it has to be managed hosting (like masto.host).

@switchingsocial @tobi

With “Softaculous” a Auto Installer for cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, InterWorx, H-Spher

softaculous.com/

you can instal Hubzilla like a WP site.
Friendica will be added as well soon hopfully

softaculous.com/board/index.ph

So interested people just have to find a WebHoster with the Auto Installer Softaculous installed – and here we go...

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

Switching.social is aimed at end users, not website admins. Lookign for webhosters is way too much work, way too tricky, way too techy.

Most people don't want to run a site, they just want to sign up on other people's sites. Managed hosting is a nice mixture of these two things, that's why I mention it too.

Hubzilla is too complex for switching.social, I'm sorry.

@switchingsocial @tobi

that is just fine

but if you mention masto.host you can also mention other options...

But after all you seem to be very clear + firm in what You are doing so I will stop suggesting things, even so I still believe it´s quid important to explain and show the road which could lead to the true fediverse ;-)

Show more

@switchingsocial @tobi

Setting up a own instance with #Friendica or #Hubziall is similar to setting up a WordPress site. You should give this kind of information also.

It is not just about using computers and phones and go to masto.host - the fediverse is about to get back control over your social network data.

The big instances with thousand of user are a problem here.

@Nachbarschaft @switchingsocial i find transparency also crucial for advocating floss alternatives. The german translation of switchingsocial will probably include the aspects you are talking about.
gitlab.com/swisode/website/iss

@tobi @switchingsocial

HI Tobias… thank - that is real interesting that you talked about the “privacy-and-tracking-on-the-fediverse“ link few day before i linked it here even so i had no idea of you discussion on gitlab.

I may join you at gitlab later

@Nachbarschaft @tobi

Brilliant! Good luck to your version, this kind of diversity is great to see 👍

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Mastodon

mastodon.at is a microblogging site that federates with most instances on the Fediverse.