Bye-Bye Mastodon, our account on Fosstodon.org was deleted yesterday


mastodon

We discovered the Mastodon peer to peer social network in February 2019 from a customer suggestion and we loved it.

The idea of having a decentralized social network, not dependent on one source is great.

At that time we used exclusively Facebook, Twitter and G+ to communicate with our community about new product developments, new products in stock, and new features on designs we work on.

Google at that time announced that it will close G+ in April 2019, so we were looking for another social network to use.

Facebook and Twitter are not liked by many people who refuse to setup accounts there, due to privacy concerns or the small signal to noise ratio or the non so technical community.

G+ seemed to be more professional oriented, with not so many cat pictures and ego scratching posts, but Google shut it down, so when someone suggested to have look at Mastodon we made an account there and were nicely surprised.

The community there is much smaller (thousands of times) than Twitter and Facebook, but we got a lot of valuable suggestions and tips from there, when we were developing new products. The community there was much more active and focused.

Social networking is very important for us to stay in touch with our community, but unfortunately the people who run the Fosstodon server do not like our new product announcements and see them as advertising.

So although we post very rarely, yesterday’s two posts about new products triggered someone and our account, all our posts and conversations on Mastodon got deleted.

We do lot of open source hardware and recently we started to contribute in Linux kernel and drivers development. We love what we do, but our employees have families to feed, so we can’t be non-commercial. Selling our boards is the way we get funds to continue doing what we do.

We love the Mastodon community, but we can’t use a social network which sees new product announcements as problem, so after one year of use we have to say: bye-bye Mastodon!

To all our friends and followers on Mastodon: we will miss you, but you still can follow our blog or the other social networks we use to stay in touch.

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wiox
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 10:38:03

    aw that’s sad…
    Did you explore other instances? I know that there is instances that would welcome you with open arms.
    Also, thanks to your former mastodon account – that was how I got to know about you and I even bought stuff from you. Sad to see that go away.

    Reply

  2. Efertone
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 11:16:53

    I’m pretty sure you can find an instance where it is not a problem. And don’t forget, if none of them worth the effort, you can easily host your own mastodon instance and everyone can follow you and you reach out ppl too, it’s the same network overall, but you have a full control on how you manage posts.

    As an extra marketing strategy, if you like create a subdomain like “social.olimex.com” you can enable ppl to register on your instance and… well they will have a “@username@social.olimex.com” if they post anything there (instance policy can be like “tech only”) they will basically promote you with their username XD If no one register there, you can still use it and post anything, you can create as many users as you want (@promo@social.olimex.com, @news@social.olimex.com, @announcement@social.olimex.com, @funfact@social.olimex.com).

    Reply

  3. otoontorry
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 11:37:59

    That’s the issue with Fosstodon.org, not the fediverse.
    Each instance has different rules, if you don’t want to follow them
    then change or host your own instance.

    Shooting down the whole fediverse ‘cuz you posted on fosstodon against fosstodon’s rules seems like an overreaction.

    Your current approach is like not using email at all cuz some email provider puts Olimex’s emails into spam. 🤷

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 05, 2020 @ 11:41:38

      sorry, but I didn’t got into details how Mastodon Fediverse works, I though all servers have same rules, I had even doubts if we set our own server will it be connected to Fediverse if we still post new product announcements.

      Reply

      • Kura
        Mar 05, 2020 @ 11:50:18

        You can easily setup your own instance.
        I personally run my own fediverse, based on pleroma (more lightweight to mastodon, but talks to it very easily as well).
        Your instance will talk to any instance it has talked to in the past, but you could broaden your audience by adding a relay instance (you receive posts from connected instances, and in return you send your own posts to all other connected ones). https://relay.mastodon.host/ is a good example for that.

        Also, once people follow you, or you follow people, posts will get sent to those people automatically.

        It is very easy to be part of this network.
        And basically, every instance has their own ruleset and based on that ruleset, they might block certain instances (prevent communication) or block, delete or hinder in other ways their own users.

        Setting up your own instance will make sure, you only have to follow your own rules. If you open up registrations for outsiders, you can get your own social network / audience that are seated at your own halls as well.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Mar 05, 2020 @ 12:13:17

        Thanks for the explanation, I still learn and don’t know well how it works!

  4. touch fluffy tail
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 11:49:11

    Sadly, this is the reality of mastodon. It was designed to enable petty tyranny of this sort. There is no accountability, and serious positions of power are held by broke activists who think that small business owners like yourself are some sort of tophat-wearing capitalists.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 05, 2020 @ 12:20:03

      Well it’s their server and their rules. Mastodon though is very good platform IMO specially if you are engaged with Open Source. I had talk in 2019 on WordPress event and I was comparing there the different social networks we use to communicate with our community. Many have never hear of Mastodon, and got interested when I told them than Mastodon has about x10 times higher number of post engagements than Twitter or Facebook, as there is very focused to open source community, which is really interested in what you do. What I learn today is that I just selected wrong server. When I was choosing server I though that each server on Mastodon makes it’s own social network closed for the others, so I choose Fosstodon.org for it’s name as I was seeking FOSS followers 🙂 Now I learned more how things work with Mastodon fediverse and we will just probably set account somewhere else or make our own instance.

      Reply

      • touch fluffy tail
        Mar 05, 2020 @ 12:34:44

        > I told them than Mastodon has about x10 times higher number of post engagements than Twitter or Facebook, as there is very focused to open source community
        fascinating.

        I’d like to see your data. Originally, I responded to your posts because your numbers (thousands fewer users) agreed with my own.

        I would advise you to be cautious of people who say that you can “simply set up your own instance” because discoverability is hard. It may well be that it was only because you were a user on fosstodon that you had such good numbers. Perhaps if you set up your own instance, or join another, you’ll have even less engagement. There is also the problem that the community is deeply fragmented and it is actually impossible to be able to broadcast to all instances. The federated nature has many difficulties, and I wonder if it can be done. I hope so. I wish for your success.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Mar 05, 2020 @ 12:35:59

        yes, there is still lot to read before I decide what to do next

  5. Efertone
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 11:54:11

    An instance can block other instances if they want, but it will be applied only for their instance. The rest still can see it.

    The catch is mostly the federation mechanism. None of the server will get the messages from other instances. If someone follows someone from a different instance then posts will be sent to that instance and that user can reply on it or boost it and their followers will see it (and will be searchable on that instance too). So basically if you have followers from populated instances with active users, you will get bigger audience. The extra piece is, it’s not just Mastodon, but Misskey, Pleroma, PixelFed and a few others are connected with the same protocol (this is a pretty good list: https://fediverse.party/).

    On your own instance: you can even control, how many characters can be a post (somewhere it’s 200 or 500, some others have 1000 or 5000 as limit). If you like more Instagram like services, PixelFed is basically the federated Instagram.

    Reply

  6. Nacho
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 13:49:38

    I’m happy following you just by your email newsletter, this blog and your website, your boards are good quality and have been running here 24×7 for 5 years now, that’s why I keep buying from you.

    Social Networks are not “interesting” for every kind of business, it depends on what you sell and the profile of your buyers, in many niche markets it’s indeed a good point not to be on social networks at all.

    It’s you who know your customers better 😉

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 05, 2020 @ 15:45:33

      Mastodon and Social Networks are not used by us just to connect with buyers, but with community, as I wrote there were very nice interactions when we asked for comments for our new OSHW designs and the Mastodon users were always more technical focused and responsive than other networks. I hear for many non popular but interesting open source projects there.

      Reply

  7. Max
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 18:41:52

    You’re right, some of us stay away from all mainstream “social networking” sites on purpose; I never could or would want to follow anyone on one of them. On Mastodon, I just might – but as others mentioned every instance has their own rules and profile and I haven’t found one I could call a good match for me yet; well, I’m still just a novice at this sort of thing anyway, but I too would encourage you to not give up and either find a friendlier instance or host your own…

    Reply

  8. Ed Davies
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 20:01:30

    I agree with those who say businesses should run their own instances but that’s a bit idealistic for now while the fediverse is still a bit of a niche.

    In the mean time, perhaps you could try Octodon.social. You’d have to be a tiny bit careful to avoid anything that could be seen as directly advertising appearing on the local timeline but that’s not difficult: https://octodon.social/web/statuses/103770059228364660

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 06, 2020 @ 08:03:38

      Thanks for the suggestion, I will spend some time this weekend to figure out what to do. The pitty is that we spent 1 year on Fosstodon, got 500 followers, many tips and suggestions there and now we lost all our content.

      Reply

      • Ed Davies
        Mar 06, 2020 @ 19:32:53

        “The pitty is that we spent 1 year on Fosstodon, got 500 followers, many tips and suggestions there and now we lost all our content.”

        Yes, it’s sad they deleted your account rather than just asking you to migrate elsewhere.

  9. Robert Brown
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 23:28:12

    This is one of the biggest points of contention in Fediverse: some servers are ran by assholes, to put it bluntly. Sorry for your bad experience and I hope you are clever enough to work through this bug.

    Reply

  10. Daniele Poddighe
    Mar 06, 2020 @ 00:41:13

    have you try Diaspora?

    Reply

  11. Kenny
    Mar 06, 2020 @ 21:11:08

    In case it’s of any use to you: https://fosstodon.org/web/statuses/103777011112628713

    Hopefully you create an account somewhere else so I can follow it.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 07, 2020 @ 19:11:05

      Thanks! I see after your message someone restored olimex as account but with empty profile, zero followers and no content. At this point I do not see any reason to stay there with their restrictions and just deleted it, but anyway thanks for your support on this.

      Reply

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