solar tao

announcing -- an interactive map of active mastodon and pleroma communities. check it out and lemme know what you think <3

oh yeah, make sure to use it on a laptop/desktop -- it's not optimized for mobile at all!

@tao Found that out the hard way heh, seriously thought this is incredibly cool. Well done!

@drisc thanks! gonna clean it a bit up over the next days/weeks but glad you like it!

@tao Since it’s not optimized for mobile, I’d suggest removing the mobile-friendly meta tag so that phone users can zoom out on the whole interface. Then even if it were hard to use you wouldn’t be met with this:

@vy_let ah didn't even realize there was such a tag -- must've been a part of the boilerplate i used. thanks -- i'll remove it :)

@tao Nice 😎 Can’t wait to use it when I get in to work 😉

@Gargron edges are based on inter-instance mentions in the last 5k toots/the last month (whichever comes first); those are instances that haven't communicated with others in that time!

* List of instances $150
* Edge weights $300
* Refusal to color nodes because of the aesthetics $3,600
* Graph layout algorithm $400

someone who is good at data visualization please help me budget this

@tao i cant get into it on mobile, the “no instance selected” thing covers the instance selection drop down 🙁

@tao it sounds interesting, but even having totally disabled my js blocking and my adblocking addons, it would only load up a blank blue screen for me.

@juliebean hmm, odd. Anything in the browser console?

@tao a fair bit, yeah, though i am admittedly not tech savvy enough to make much sense of it.

@juliebean this is super helpful, thank you! are you using firefox? if so, others had luck trying with chromium/chrome instead. that being said i'll try to fix this!

@tao i do use firefox. i quit chrome a few months ago though and don't want to go to the trouble of installing it again. still, glad i could be of help. ^_^ good luck figuring out what the issue was.

@tao wow this is cool!
some unsolicited feedback:
- the selected instance should have some kind of indicator that shows it's selected, and where it's at. otherwise it's real easy to lose it
- whenever i drag, it would deselect the instance. a bit annoying to use. Try binding the select / deselect to 'click' instead of 'mousedown'

@changbai i appreciate it! yeah, these things are super annoying but require some changes in the graph framework i used. they'll probably be the next things i fix!

@tao aww, my place wasn't crawled. gotta add some 2 empty accounts
I think you might be excluding quite a lot of instances this way, which is too bad cause they're what peak fediverse should look like in my opinion
@tao just saw the reasoning you gave in the about popup, I think this way you might be missing out on discovering how the community of small instances looks like
sorry if I'm posting too much

@Michcioperz no, i appreciate the feedback! but that's a fair point. the reason i didn't do it is for instances that small, it's less of a community of instances than a community of individuals. i don't want to process an individual's data without their consent, but maybe an opt-in thing would work here?

@tao I guess that's one way to do it, I would be very interested in expressing my consent to that

@Michcioperz noted -- I'll let you know if that gets implemented in the future :)

@tao Once you've set a filter, it isn't easy to see how to unselect it.

Otherwise, brilliant!

@tao Also, it would be nice to have a mode which colours the selected node (e.g. red), those immediately connected to it (e.g. orange), those two steps away (e.g. yellow) and so on, without removing the rest of the map.

@simon_brooke good point! i'm hoping to change how the graph is drawn to give this kind of flexibility soon :)

"this instance has fewer than 5 users and was not crawled"

@ciaby yeah, i didn't include those because then it starts to look more like mapping individuals, which i wanted to avoid.

If you put it that way it makes sense :)
Nice tool, thanks for making it!

@tao Looks nice!

I'm just wondering, what's behind the effect that when you're looking at the whole space, you have the core and the ring totally separated? Are there really two distinct subfediverses with zero overlap, or is this some kind of deliberate artifact?

@Stoori nope, it's not deliberate! the instances in the ring are those that don't really interact with others (at least in the last 5000 statuses within the last month). either they're very insular, or just not actively in use.

@tao Ah, I see! Of course there's the long tail of odd instances out there.

@caillou yeah, it's not intended for mobile. i could probably make that clearer when opening it from a phone!

@caillou the main reason is that graph visualizations are resource-intensive, and i don't see the benefit of supporting phones if it won't be performant on a significant number of devices. for a data analysis tool, that seems like the wrong thing to index on.

@tao TFW you're doing decentralisation right but others aren’t.

(Federation is to centralisation what platform cooperatives are to corporatocracy; what oligarchy is to autocracy. Is oligarchy better than autocracy? Given wider distribution of power, arguably. But are either democratic? No. Federation may not be a plutocracy but it’s still a technocracy/noocracy. In it, as in centralised systems, the individual – as starkly illustrated in this example – is statistically irrelevant.)

@aral like you, i'd like to see the fediverse become truly decentralized! however, if that were the case, i probably wouldn't have made this -- it strikes me as creepy to map individuals like that without their consent. that's why i've kept it to larger instances for now. that being said, it sounds like there's demand for an opt-in for smaller instances so i'll work on it!

@tao I think what you’ve made has a lot of value: anything that makes centralisation visual/easy to grasp is a valuable tool for making the case for decentralisation ;)

My criticism wasn’t of your tool but of the limits of federation. Federation is a valuable conceptual bridge towards decentralisation, it’s just not the final destination :)

@aral @tao how is decentralization to the point of hyperindividualization the only "right" way again? small but non-personal instances can build communities. why is it important at all for an individual, rather than the group they belong to, to be statistically relevant?

@tao Looks great. By when will you add GNUsocial? We're still in the Fediverse ;-)

@dalme it's planned! Mastodon and Pleroma share an API so it was the easiest place to start :)

@tao Mmm. As I know the Twitter-API is planned to work on the three (it already works on GNUsocial) projects. What API are you using? (Because maybe with Twitter-API you need an OAuth key at Mastodon&Pleroma)

@dalme /api/v1/instance for stats and /api/v1/timelines/public?local=true for statuses -- no auth needed. i think it's just the mastodon API!

@tao Yes, auth is needed for the Twitter-API to read timelines and things like that. In GNUsocial you can't get information about the server from the API unless it has NodeInfo running, but I guess just 4 or 5 servers run nodeinfo right now..
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Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a solarpunk instance.