Over the past several months, numerous large servers run by single individuals have shut down abruptly or made irreversible moderation decisions. A few have been widely defederated after it became apparent the admin went AWOL and stopped updating the software and moderating.
In my opinion, a major factor in these events is servers growing too fast for the existing mod/admin team to manage, and it's important for admins to set some ground rules for themselves ahead of time about when to pause registrations or recruit more moderators. But that's a pretty complex matter and it will be different for everybody.
However, at the bare minimum, more than one person should have the "keys" to a server, so to speak—even if it is a very small server where admin and moderation work can be done by one person. It's even part of the Mastodon covenant—the standards required for a server to appear in the list at joinmastodon.org. Read more…
So, I've replaced the old, hand-coded* static site with one built with Datenstrom Yellow, a nice little static site generator. This makes it a bit easier for me to add new content. Let me know if anything's broken!
I've also set up a page on OpenCollective so people can donate and see where the money's going. It's just me reimbursing myself, but this way it's easy to publicly keep track of the budget and ongoing costs.
* Even the RSS feed!
Happy New Year, everyone! 🎆
After a lot of discussion and reflection, I've decided to ditch the rule about marking Public images of spiders, snakes, etc., as sensitive. I think there are good arguments both for and against it (which are better described at greater length elsewhere). Ultimately what changed my mind was that the rule was putting off the very people I wanted to stick around.
Instead, I'd like users to simply mention what's in the photo in the body of the post or in hashtags, so other users can filter out the posts if they want. For example, a post I'd ask the author to re-draft:
Found this beauty in the yard today! [photo of crab spider]
But either of these versions are acceptable:
Found this beautiful crab spider in the yard today! [photo of crab spider]
Found this beauty in the yard today! #spiders #CrabSpider [photo of crab spider]
I still think hiding images for people with phobias has value, and obviously flipping.rocks users can still do so if they want. I also want to start a hashtag (either a weekly thing or just a general one) specifically for such posts, so they're easier for people to find and follow. (I just need to settle on what to call it!)
In related news, Darius Kazemi is currently working on a new version of Hometown which is based on Mastodon 4.0. So when that lands, flipping.rocks will get hashtag following and other Mastodon 4.0 features.
A few recent developments you may have missed:
- I've created an official admin account, @email@example.com, for server news and announcements (so it's not all mixed in with whatever I'm posting about). Please follow if you haven't done so already!
- We are pretty much fully funded for the next year. So if you haven't donated but were meaning to, don't worry, there's absolutely no rush. I'm extremely grateful for everyone who's donated; thank you for keeping flipping.rocks going.
Yep, this is just hand-coded barebones HTML, because I still can't figure out Hugo. I've set this up for major site announcements, updates, etc., that deserve something less ephemeral than a Hometown post.