In technology, nothing is static. We need to be open to experimenting with new platforms and avoid getting locked into any one single entity or technological solution. With all the recent events, many people are looking for alternatives where they can post microblogging content like they did on Twitter. Mastodon has recently become significantly more popular due to its decentralised nature and the power of enabling different communities to define themselves.

Mastodon works by not having any single entity owning, vetting or administering everything. Instead, it provides a decentralised platform where anyone can operate a Mastodon server which they maintain, and people can join their server based on what a specific community has to offer. Users are not limited to only communicating with people on that server either, they can follow and interact with users on other Mastodon servers (known as the federated timeline). It's really powerful as it hands over control from a central authority to the people who maintain the various servers and more trust to the users for being in the circle of a Maintained mastodon server. Also, if for some reason a user isn't happy, nothing prohibits them leaving a server and finding another one.

After joining Mastodon back in April, I have been using it occasionally, but now I have used it even more. I also started playing around with hosting a server, at Civo, as I have the backing of the team here. That is where came to life!

So I have set up the instance running a Ubuntu VM (yes, we are not going all Kubernetes from Day 1 as we have some other plan for this). The infrastructure looks like this:

  • An Ubuntu instance that is scalable as its on our own infra
  • Mastodon components (rails app, streaming and sidekick) installed
  • PostgresDB will be backed up Daily to our object storage
  • Certificates - Cron to renew them
  • Civo Object store (which is all on Civo's infra, and easily expandable as the users grow)
  • ssh only via trusted VPN users
  • Administered by Mark (Civo CEO) and myself
  • Moderated by 5 Civo employees to start with. We will be adding a few more from within our awesome cloud native community to become Civo agnostic.

We have updated our rules and terms of service to make it a safe space for everyone. We will keep blocking unwanted domains as per community inputs and do our best to be a space where you can toot happily!

So what are you waiting for? If you want to try out the Mastodon thing, then is your place to go. Join and toot!