Thinking About Starting a Mastodon Instance
Today I've been brainstorming with some friends about it. I actually purchased a domain name and have been looking into hosting options.
With the tsunami of new users that have joined the Fediverse over the past couple weeks due to the turmoil at Twitter, now seems like a great time to get a new instance going. But the increased attention also means that most dedicated Mastodon hosting services have been overwhelmed. One of the most popular providers – Masto.host – has actually suspended new registrations as of the time I write this while they figure out how to accommodate the surge in demand for their existing customers.
In addition to hosting, I've been considering many questions about how to administer and run such a community. How big do I expect it to get? Should I cap the number of accounts? What should our rules and guidelines be? What is our ban policy? Can people appeal? Should I set up a Patreon or similar to help defray the cost? The list of questions is long and continues to grow.
Thinking through these questions has really given me more appreciation for all of the volunteers who host and run thousands of Mastodon instances out there, especially the one I'm currently on – Fosstodon.
Whether or not I actually get a new Mastodon instance off the ground, I'm thankful that such an option exists and allows people all around the world to connect with each other in meaningful ways without for-profit companies trying to exploit them for profit.