Dear Fediverse,

Soon, some venture capitalist will put $5 million into a startup that offers free fediverse accounts with unlimited storage, etc.

Unless every other instance instantly blocks such a service from Day 1, you can kiss your fediverse goodbye and say hello to a new Gmail. Once network effects kick in, they will make the rules.

It _can_ happen here but you have an opportunity to kill it before it does.

Here’s an idea: form a voluntary “Fediverse Code” that limits the size of instances to a small number. Say 100 or, at most 1,000. Any instances larger than that size are blocked.

The mega-instances we have today, like .social, voluntarily agree to cull their numbers over a period of time; aiding the migration to other instances.

The fediverse is already hugely centralised and unless we do something about it, it will be ruled by a handful of feudal lords/Mini-Jacks.

CC @Gargron

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@Gargron Another problem with is that development begins to favour their form, needs, and resources. Hence we have heavyweight components like Elastic Search that mega instances can implement but which are nigh-on impossible for individual instances to support. So we now have two classes of nodes and the feature disparity will further exasperate the trend towards centralised nodes. Remember that it was superior search + “free” hosting made Gmail what it is today.

@aral Half the features don't work right on megainstances. Like, the Local and Federated timelines.

The larger the instance, the more the useful columns drift left, until Home and Notifications become the only ones you can reasonably pay attention to.

I'm betting Federated becomes useless at 1500 users. scifi.fyi isn't quite there yet.

@aral

@Gargron

Not too far off from capitalism.

Who owns?
Who labours?
Who benefits?

@aral @Gargron an interesting topic but I don't agree with the assertion that Elastic Search is impossible for individual instances to support. I have it running on a $10/mo instance for raki.social.

@33b5e5 @Gargron Chat to Hugo about it (@mastohost) – he can’t justify installing it for personal instances and I don’t blame him.

@aral @Gargron @mastohost well, that's a totally different model he has, and sure, it's an understandable business decision on his part if he'd have to spin up ES for every Masto instance he hosts.

This still doesn't support the overly broad assertion that it's "impossible for individual instances to support" Elastic Search, IMO.

@33b5e5 @aral Yep, for me it was an easy decision, since I have so many other things I want to bring to Masto.host before Elastic Search (redundacy, speed), adding Elastic Search would just make that even hard. I want to get the basics running before I introduce more complexity and costs.

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