What if Twitter didn’t have to be at
twitter.com? What if you could follow your facebook friends on twitter, and vice versa? Email works between different services run by different companies because of standards for how email is formatted and how it it sent. Why can’t the same be true for social networking? Maybe someday?
The future is now! We have those standards,¹ and they work. Just like email between different providers, social networks can now cross those boundaries. This whole collection of different servers and different software is collectively part of the fediverse. (It might take Twitter and Facebook a while to realize that they should join, just like in the old days it took a while before Compuserve email could reach the internet.)
Maker Forums Social is a new Mastodon server, open for all Maker Forums Members. All “Trust Level 1” Members here on the forums have received a direct message with an invitation link to join Maker Forums Social. If you are new to Maker Forums, just by starting to participate in the forum, you’ll automatically get a message from the system with the same information.
Absolutely not! Many forum members aren’t even on Maker Forums Social, or even in the fediverse, and that’s OK. Maker Forums Social is for chattering socially and mostly ephemerally. Folks here have continued to be on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, and that’s normal. This is the same.
If you are asking for help, sharing a project, or starting a discussion, don’t start on Social. Start here. This forum is the right place to do all of those things. If you are writing something long, this forum is the right place to do it; Social has a maximum of 500 characters. Unlike the forum, you can’t edit what you post on Social. You can only delete.
Maker Forums Social is a “virtual water cooler” for makers. Hang out together and chatter. Doesn’t have to be about making on Social. Our FAQ about what is appropriate on the forum pretty much goes out the window on Social. The rules there are much simpler — don’t attack people, and like the forum itself, this isn’t a place for “mature” content. (There are lots of other places for those conversations.)
All the conversations that were already here on the forums still belong here.
Awesome! No pressure to join. Please go there and follow
@email@example.com for occasional site updates, including information about forum site outages, even though they have been rare. Browse what’s happening on social and some of the folks on social for more people — whether on Maker Forums Social or elsewhere in the fediverse — you might want to follow.
On the other hand, it’s always OK to have more than one email address. Having another Mastodon account doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t join here.
That’s OK. It’s an opportunity not an obligation.
Go ahead and ask your questions by leaving a comment.
¹ The ActivityPub and ActivityStream standards are what I’m referring to here. They were built from some older attempts at standardizing this, but these are from the same World Wide Web consortium that is responsible for the standards that make the web work, so I expect them to continue to be adopted more widely.