Garbage Collector

The little space of a writer, tinkerer, and a coffee addict

Why do I enjoy Fosstodon

Why do I enjoy Fosstodon
The Fosstodon logo

I’ve joined Fosstodon since a little more than 2 years now. At this moment, I wasn’t into social medias and had none of them. I’ve discovered the power of the Fediverse with my former blog tool : Plume. Seeing some comments coming from Mastodon instances was fun an nice.

Then, I’ve wanted to check myself what was going on there and eventually I’ve opened my account at Fosstodon.

I’ve always liked Forums and I’ve been a lot on IRC too during my beginning of using Internet. I have been a couple of years very active on a popular French Final Fantasy community, and even been a moderator on it. Later, I’ve opened my own forum, attached to the website I’ve made while I was still in high school, in 2002 with a remote friend I’ve met on the Final Fantasy forum. During that time, the forum was at first an entirely home-made solution developed with PHP and using MySQL, the very usual LAMP setup you had during this time. Despite not being a developer and not following an IT course, I was pretty proud of it because it worked very fine and was simple (phpBB and similar were too much complicated…). But the reality came back and I preferred to move it to phpBB because I couldn’t maintain it anymore. The community was still quite active despite the website being calmer. Another forum on which I was pretty active was my Guild on World of Warcraft who was a very nice group of people.

But, with the various social media being more and more preeminent, the Forums I was still visiting and participating on got more and more silent, with just a couple of irréductibles Gaulois remaining on them. The French speaking communities get rarer in profit of the social media prisons, and quickly I’ve felt excluded because of my resistance against these platforms.

Today, I’m active on just one French-speaking community (attached to a news website) I’ve joined since more than ten years. And its getting more and more painful… Not because of the social medias this time, but the community itself.

The problem with French-speaking communities is they can’t speak about anything without spitting on the Government, make everything political, or relaying various extremist speech. And today, I think we have a new Godwin law because you can’t have a thread without somebody finding a way to relate to the Government action during the COVID-19 pandemic, the lock-downs, and the vaccines. You have no idea of how much I’m fed up with these kind of people and their sick fixation on a topic, especially when it’s not related. And it’s worse when I encounter one of this people in real life.

What’s the relation with Fosstodon you might ask yourself if you’ve read so far ?

I’ve choose Fosstodon in the Mastodon instances list because I’m a free open source software enthusiast. So instead of going to a general instance, a more oriented community seemed to be reassuring to try to engage discussion with people.

Also, the fact the instance has a rule of English tooting only seems to keep it from too much “local derivations” like I can see in French speaking communities. With a more international community, people who like to repeat again and again their refrain about French politics and whatever will be rarer than on a French-speaking community. Because most of the community won’t care about them, the shitstorms have less chances to occur. Besides this asset, another aspect I see (or think I could observe) is that the discussions are usually very opened and cordial. Could it be because a part of the community is not English-native, motivating people to avoid creating conflicts ? (unlike threads on social medias where anybody jump to each others throat at any moment)

I have the habit to review each of my post before submitting them. First, because I don"t want to make people eyes bleed with various English errors. The second reason is to ensure my message won’t be misunderstood because of a bad sentence writing or word usage as I’m not an English native. Maybe it’s just a transposition, but I think that could be a reason of the good vibe in this community as it is composed by people from various origins.

I could also praise the welcoming of this community. Despite being FOSS topics oriented, if you read my post history, you’ll see I don’t really talk about it a lot. I’m interested on this topic, but my interests in IT-related stuff are also the legal topics (if you’ve read this blog, you may have seen some GDPR related articles for example) around them, or testing Cloud services, tinkering things, etc. And also, I write a lot about more personal stuff, could it be video games, movies or TV shows. And I share my photos too. Basically, as I’m not a developer myself, I won’t be able to discuss about these topics.

And despite all of this unrelated stuff, I’ve never been “attacked” for this. I could have been kicked from this instance a dozen of time with all of the off-topic things I post there, but it’s not the case. I like to see funny things, to post funny things too, IT-related or not, and the community won’t complain because a lot of people do the same. Or maybe it does and I’m muted by half of the instance, it’s also a possibility.

So, to summarize, why do I enjoy Fosstodon ? Because it’s a welcoming community, open-minded, without the sad people I would have to endure on French-speaking communities, and in two years I’ve never received any unpleasant message. And it’s pleasant to be there.

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