7 Minute Miles Header

The Business of Mastodon

Posted March 20, 2023

Last month I wrote about the Mastodon tech stack and today I’ll talk about the business of Mastodon: finance, marketing, legal and operations. I’m by no means an expert on any of this, but trying hard to keep in front of a news cycle that seems to get accelerated by the actions of Twitter daily. There is a lot out there to read and digest, so let’s get started.


Mastodon was created by German software developer Eugen Rochko and was first released in October 2016. Five years later, Rochko incorporated Mastodon gGmbH as a German non-profit with him serving as founder and CEO. The Mastodon code is free and open-source software (FOSS) and anyone can download the software from Github and use it to run their own social media site.

There are lots of good introductory Mastodon posts, including the one by Glenn Fleishman that I linked to last month. I won’t go into the specifics of things like the fediverse and the ActivityPub protocol, but people seem to be most interested in Mastodon as a Twitter replacement. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (@eff@mastodon.social) has also published a nice series of posts.

Read more…

flourish icon

🫡 Spider Research 🕷️

Posted March 14, 2023

Started following the Entomological Society of America on Mastodon and today I learned 1) there are brown widow spiders in addition to black widow spiders and 2) a Florida study found that the brown widows killed and consumed nearby black widows 80% of the time (!)

flourish icon

The Mastodon Tech Stack

Posted February 15, 2023

The last three weeks of using Mastodon on Ivory for iOS have been lovely. Today I was able to join the preview of the macOS version and it is also lovely. The scale of everything is smaller than Twitter, but I’m so excited about the future of this project. I’m planning to write a short series of posts here, starting with the tech stack of running a Mastodon server instance, then moving on to finance, marketing, legal and operations.

From my early research, there are many different ways to roll out and optimize a Mastodon server, but there are some core open source technologies common to everything I’ve read:

Also required: an SMTP email server and file storage. Looking at this from my AWS viewpoint, I’d probably use a Linux instance with nginx, Let’s Encrypt, Route 53, Simple Email Service (SES) and Simple Storage Service (S3). Seeing several references to Docker or Kubernetes too, but I don’t know much about how those container technologies really work (yet).

Cloudflare has their new Wildebeest offering and I’m sure there will be more “click and go” options from all of the usual suspects as well. It would be fun to create a small instance as a proof of concept, but I’d also want a design that could scale up without having to rebuild from scratch. Cost management, backup/recovery, load balancing and security are also important factors.

More to come…

flourish icon

🫡 Inter-device info transfer

Posted February 8, 2023

One of my favorite recent tech discoveries is when I open a web page on my phone (can be Safari or a webview in Ivory or NetNewsWire), then go to the dock on my iMac, Chrome has a second icon on the far right with a phone pic in the middle. Clicking on that icon opens a new tab in Chrome with the URL of the page I was viewing on the phone. Very nice!

flourish icon

🫡 Nature finds a way

Posted February 4, 2023

With Ivory on iOS and hundreds of people moving to Mastodon every hour, I’m excited about social media again (hello dasharez0ne!). Fun to read some smart voices I haven’t followed in a while, plus more and more migrations from Space Karen’s hell site every time I check. Now I just need that macOS Ivory client and some of my music, food and sports people to make the jump…

flourish icon

Mastodon Flock

Pic posted February 4, 2023

OK, this interface (and service) is pretty awesome (also liked using Followgraph and Whom to Follow)

flourish icon

Link: A New Hope for Social Networking

Linked January 27, 2023

flourish icon

🫡 In anticipation of Ivory, joined Mastodon today

Posted January 24, 2023

You can find me here: mastodon.social/@kingsbury

P.S. – already super impressed with Ivory. Kudos to the Tapbots crew!

flourish icon