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One year in the fediverse

A look back at my journey into social media and the open source community. Syndication

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.

Elk, an alternative front end for Mastodon, was the true kickstarter for my interests when I awkwardly put forward a pull request for the bell notification icon displayed on profile pages.

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.

My list

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!

Started Blogging

Fediverse Tinkerer

Open Source Offerings

IndieWeb Enthusiast

Retro Web Dabbler

Eleventy Inquirer

Expanding my Fediverse

Mastodon, Pixelfed, Firefish, OwnCast, Postmarks, GoToSocial, FunkWhale, PeerTube, Kbin, Friendica

What’s next

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.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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