What is Mastodon and the Fediverse?
Quite simply: Mastodon is a microblogging platform which can talk to other Mastodon instances through a mechanism called Federation.
This means that a Mastodon Instance is a community of its own and communicates with other communities.
This is really all you need to know, now you can visit SDF's Mastodon and join in the fun!
SDF hosts these three services which participate in the Fediverse
Are you still here? You want to know more?
The Fediverse is about decentralization. If we look at the rise of monolithic internet sites beginning in about 2003 we see a fundamental shift from the principles of the Internet being a network or networks to the Internet being a path to a walled garden. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Google and Facebook encourage centralization so that they can capture, contain and monetize user data. This user data and the metrics generated around it allow for the implementation of algorithms which can do things as innocuous as make sure you see Grandma's Cat photos in your feed to harmful things like making sure you are enraged first thing in the morning by someone specifically known to have a devise opinion. It also is used for advertising as well. How many times have you had a talk with a friend about a particular item and you open your social media App to see an advert for that item? Does it freak you out?
A core tenet of the Fediverse and those internet sites that participate in it is around the decentralization and non-monetization/non-manipulation of the folks who use these sites. That does not mean that you cannot build your platform in the Fediverse because you certainly can, it is just done in a more organic and non-commercial way. You don't pay for advertising or promotion, but you can work to build a following by interacting with people who share your interest. That being said, there may be instances on the fediverse that take money for advertising and there may be some that absolutely do not allow self promotion. When evaluating an instance on the Fediverse, check the local feed and details about that instance as well as their acceptable use policy.
Mastodon allows individuals to self verify their accounts using their own website. The procedure is very simple, just follow these steps:
1. Visit https://mastodon.sdf.org/settings/profile and copy the Verification HTML
2. Save that HTML in a post or index.html file that you can link to.
3. In your Mastodon profile, add the Profile Metadata “Verification” and the URL to your external website where the copied HTML can be loaded from
Once you'd done that, a verification worker will be scheduled to check that URL. If the HTML tag is found as copied from your profile, the Verification will be highlighted in green.
Please note: since verification is scheduled it may take sometime before the task is complete.