I joined Mastodon one year ago today, October 29th. Finding the fediverse has really expanded my understanding of social media and introduced me to the open source community. It allowed me to expand my horizons in tech and interact in an environment where I feel safe asking questions and being myself.
A social media novice
In all honestly, prior to this past year, I had only posted a total of 182 times on Twitter over 13 years with few interactions. It took me a few months to finally click the join button and sign on to mastodon.social and I wasn’t expecting to post much here either.
Things changed quickly. I found a community that was tech oriented, LGBTQ+ focused (not just friendly) and responsive. It sparked something in me that wanted to participate and give back, whatever that looked liked.
Opening up to open source
For the first time, I donated to not only open source platforms like Mastodon and Firefish, but to individual developers to assist with their work. Happily! I even purchased several subscriptions to fediverse and indie apps, enjoying every single one of them. I plan to continue doing so.
Later, on a cold Sunday morning, Thomas Ricouard sent out a call for a notification sound for his new app, Ice Cubes. I gave it a shot in my own kitchen, recording ice cubes clinking in a whiskey glass. It was accepted and pushed into the app! It’s still there and has even been modded to provide other sounds throughout the app as well. All from just a friendly conversion on Mastodon during a lazy Sunday.
Both of these events spurred my interest even farther, wanting to understand more about this platform and how it works.
I want to thank the people and communities I’ve found this year, in all kinds of corners I had never considered before. Fediverse, Discord and Matrix communities are welcoming and helpful. I interact or arm-chair discussions as people smarter than me talk through problems and come up with solutions, right in public in front of the community. Sharing what they learn along the way.
So here’s my list. I have to say I was shocked at the amount I have learned (or tried to learn) over the past year. It’s been a time of growth, and if you’re reading this, you’re part of the reason for that. Thank you!
- Mastodon Magic Eight Ball Bot
- Mastodon Dev Starter Kit
- Featured Profiles Manager
- Firefish Plugin Generator
- Firefish Plugin Catalog
- Installed Dostodon on my Mac for fun
- Running my own Postmarks instance
- Running my own GoToSocial instance
- Running my own Owncast instance
- Elk Notification Bell
- Mastodon Docs (Grammar Police)
- Trunks Bug Report
- Ice Cubes Notification Sound
- Firefish AiScript Reference
- FediText Feature Requests and Bug Reports
- GoToSocialDocument Tweaks
- Postmarks Bug Fixes
So what’s next? Recently I’ve started down the Home Lab path. It’s introducing me to linux, docker, and virtual machines in ways I had never considered before. I’m enjoying it when I have time to put into it. When that is stable, I can imagine installing all kinds of things and feeling more comfortable tweaking things and contributing more code to open source projects.
I’d like to smooth out some rough edges on a project that never quite took off, but which I thoroughly enjoyed working on - the Mastodon Starter Kit. It was supposed to be a very small codebase that authenticated a user and displayed the main mastodon timeline. But it grew beyond that as I learned about all the things that go into display a timeline itself. I’m considering stripping it back down to those core items and creating a separate project for my more broad tinkering with the Mastodon API.
Finally, work wise I have some new applications most likely coming into my daily life - ZenDesk and Salesforce. I’ll be taking a deeper look into these large systems which will take quite a bit of time.