Nov 14 • 1HR 9M

Mastodon - Into the Fediverse

With the massive chaos going on over at the bird-site, James chats with another James, this one being a Mastodon instance owner, as well as an experienced open-source software developer.

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

James Bilsbrough
A technology podcast that aims to take a positive look at technology and computing. We aim to have genuinely engaging chats with folks doing interesting things in tech that make a positive impact.
Episode details

When I first joined Twitter, I remember the excitement and intrigue over this new platform, using great third-party apps and having intelligent conversations with people. Sadly, those days look like they have already, or are soon going to be, gone and lots of people are looking for a new place for their social interactions.

Enter Mastodon, an open-source social platform powered by ActivityPub and part of the wider Fediverse. My guest this week is James Smith, an open-source developer who also happens to run the Mastodon instance I joined in the last week or so.

James and James recording this episode.

We chat about what precisely the Fediverse is, looking back at the early days of the internet for some context, as well as going fairly deep into the what, why, and how of Mastodon. James also shares the story of what happened to his server during the rapid ‘abandon ship’ style departure from the bird site and how one high-profile member meant a quadrupling of server costs!

One thing to be very upfront about, Jae and I have pretty much decided we won’t be active on Twitter. However, because we don’t want to cut off our amazing listeners who are still on the bird powered platform, our Twitter account is staying put, as well as our new home on Mastodon, which because of the nature of the platform means we have more scope in terms of content.

Have you jumped into the Fediverse yet, or is something holding you back? If you have comments, or have some questions about Mastodon and need some help, we’d love hear from you, so send a note over to, leave a comment on the post, or start a discussion in Goodpods.

If you liked this episode or any of our content, we’d greatly appreciate any little bit of support you can throw our way over at our Ko-Fi page.

Episode Links

Chapter Times

  1. 00:00:04: Introductions

  2. 00:04:01: The Fediverse & ActivityPub

  3. 00:11:50: What Is Mastodon?

  4. 00:14:25: Mastodon Features

  5. 00:19:46: No Ads

  6. 00:21:51: Content Promotion, Rules, Timelines

  7. 00:26:59: Filtering The Fediverse

  8. 00:33:02: Equal Apportunities

  9. 00:37:03: The Deluge Of New Users

  10. 00:45:46: Server Architecture

  11. 00:47:34: Self-Hosting & Federation

  12. 00:51:33: More Than Just Mastodon

  13. 01:01:23: Wrapping Up


Intro and outro theme: Ace of Clubs by RoccoW