Although Mastodon is not perfect for our needs we can try to use it to our advantage. There are a few improvements that could be implemented in the tool, which we will forward to the developer community, but they will only listen to us if they see we are actively using it. So, let us get to work with what we have. All the suggestions made here can be implemented by human interaction, although this will imply a delay and, of course, the existence of “gate keepers”. On the other side the development is very small.
Below you can find a proposal to structure the wider conversation which I would like to discuss before it is implemented. This would only be the beginning, once we start using it we will know what works and what can be improved.
- Create Ghost user (a user which will note be used by anyone) called New.
- All users can (should) follow this user which becomes the central repository of the structure for both groups and topics.
- Only notification should be posted to New and any other items will be removed by administrators if needed.
- Boost every post in which New is @mentioned, so all followers (entire community) is informed.
- Every time a new group is formed a ghost user is created (DSC_Dublin_1, Gender_1, DiD_1, Transparency_1, Green_Train).
- Once this user is created, its name is posted to the @new channel. For example:
A @New group has been created for environmental issues, more information can be found here (link to a forum page with the group description). Please follow @Green_train for further news.
Thus, the entire community is notified about every group that has been created.
- Every time that someone @mentions the user, the post is boosted, so all group members are notified.
- Responses to the toot are made on the thread, but do not mention the group unless they are very important and it is considered that they could start a new thread.
- Every time a new important topic is brought up, a new hashtag should be created.
- New tags should be traceable in the system with their definition, so, whenever one is create it should be associated with the #newtag hashtag and it should be shared via @New. For example
@New #newtag to discuss the #politicization of DiEM25
Thus, if you want to know which tags are active in the system, you just need to search for #newtag.
Create a Coordiantion ghost user. Every time you want to make your message public to everyone in DiEM25 you @mention this user. All coordinators and anybody else who wants to, will follow this user, and they will be notified. However, responses to that thread will not clog your timeline, but they will be accessible to you in the right hand columns if you click on the toot you are interested in. This is equivalent to the e-mail coordinator’s list with a few big differences.
- There is full transparency
- Everyone can take part.
- DSC members do not rely on the coordinator to forward information:
- No filters
- No bottle necks
- No communication break down when coordinator in unavailable.
- Users are not notified of all replies to the initial message, hence their timeline is cleaner and only if they are interested in a topic they will follow it.
- Create clear guidelines of “how to use Mastodon” / tutorials.
- Make sure that DiEM25 members know about Mastodon.
- Review this structure as needed.
- Discuss this project with the people who may find it more challenging to change platforms or have more difficult to visualize the process.
Things would be much easier if it was possible to:
- Follow a hashtag/topic.
- Follow a toot and its thread.
- Create groups so you could use something like @DSC_Dublin.