Mastodon is one of the most exciting developments in open source of the last couple of years: a decentralized social network that is actually taking off. If you’re unfamiliar, here is a good concise introduction, and here is a more comprehensive one.
The super-short version is that, like email, Mastodon is spread across many servers that talk to each other. You can follow users on any server, and messages spread through the network as needed. Each server gets a limited view of the total network, based on who the users on that server are interacting with.
This isn’t a new idea: GNU Social and Diaspora are following a similar model (GNU Social and Mastodon are interoperable). But Mastodon is very user-friendly, development is very active, and a rich ecosystem of apps and communities is forming around it. Exciting times!
As far as lib.reviews is concerned, there’s now a quiet little account you can follow on Mastodon. Down the road, I’d love to explore whether we can make lib.reviews actually talk to the federated social media universe. For starters, it shouldn’t be too hard to make it possible to follow lib.reviews users on Mastodon, thanks to the ActivityPub standard. Help, as always, is most welcome.