Had an interesting start to a conversation yesterday about Mastodon servers, and the driving philosophy under them.

And how you're either aiming to create a service or a community, and how these actually have different motivations and requirements.

And I thought that was interesting.

For a community, you *have* to ban early and ban often, and defederate early and often.

As an admin, it's your job to protect the ✨vibes✨ of your space, to promote community, and to remove elements that are toxic or harmful.

A service doesn't work the same way. It isn't attempting to create (or promote) a specific vibe, it's just *there*. You make of it what you will, find what you will, and (as an end user) block what you will.

The admin "just" makes the service available.

Launching an instance is either making a service or making a community.

But critical to this thinking I was having, you have to pick which one you're doing.

You can't be both.

And the corollary here is, when you pick an instance, are you picking to join a service or a community?

A service won't really care if you have a bad time. A community, if you fit with that community, will.

This of course leads into the two fundamental ways that Mastodon is being used, offering a service and creating a community.

A service only works if communities exist. Without communities, there is little value to the service.

Communities can form on top of a service, but they're ad-hoc, messy and, crucially, *cannot* be protected by the service, because protecting a community goes against the ethos of a service.


@aurynn would you like to publish this as an article somewhere? 🤔

@maloki yeah I need to turn it into a blog post I think

@aurynn @maloki seconded, this is a great reading and a good take on fundamental difference of approach seen here.

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Generalist Hometown instance with a strong focus on community standards. No TERF, no SWERF, no Nazi, no Centrist.