Free Radical theme

ChatGPT prompt: “Write a theme song for a Mastodon server called Free Radical, which exists to help marginalized people find a welcome and safe home on the Internet.” Verse 1: Welcome to Free Radical where we open up our doors To those who’ve been excluded, who’ve been left out and ignored Our servers are a safe space where everyone can be A part of something greater, a community that’s free

Upgraded to 4.1.2

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v4.1.2.

Upgraded to 4.1.1

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v4.1.1.

We will not join the United Federation of Instances

The United Federation of Instances is a bad idea, and Free Radical will not participate. The “UFoI” is an organization of fediverse instances making a compact: if an instance enters the compact, and they abide by the group’s Code of Ethics, then all members of the group promise not to disconnect from or block that instance. If one instance believes that another is violating that Code of Ethics, then they can present evidence to the elected board of the group.

Goodbye, S3

I configured Free Radical to use S3 to serve media assets, like images and videos, almost immediately after launching it. There are compelling reasons to use something like S3 instead of serving those files directly from the Mastodon server, such as freeing that server from getting clogged with a zillion media requests. In theory, it should be cheaper, too. Well. In October 2022, our AWS S3 storage bill was $12.54 for storing about 330GB of media files and serving about 113GB of files to users.

Upgraded to 4.0.2

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v4.0.2.

Surviving and thriving through the 2022-11-05 meltdown

Background After Elon Musk bought Twitter and started making a bizarre series of decisions about how to run it, people started logging into Mastodon to see what it’s all about. Lots of them. So, so many of them. In real numbers, Free Radical grew by 20% in the last week. Which is awesome, because it’s wonderful to see new faces excited and eager to join the fun. The downside is that new users, being new to it, tend to be understandably excited and exploratory, with lots of posting, following other new people, and doing the kinds of things that require server hardware to wake up and earn its living.

Upgraded to 3.5.3

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v3.5.3.

Five Wonderful Years!

Several years ago, I heard about GNU social. That sounded like an interesting change from the centralized giants like Facebook and Twitter, so I installed it on a spare server. It was… interesting: not great, not terrible. Shortly after, I started hearing about this Mastodon thing, which was basically GNU social but prettier. I gave in and installed it on my laptop as a trial, and was immediately blown away. It wasn’t just nicer looking, but polished and professional.

Upgraded to 3.5.0

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v3.5.0.