A tinted collage of a screenshot from the Mastodon Users bot showing a sustained growth in the number of users and Mastodon instances with a meme next to the chart with an illustration of a man pointing at himself in a mirror with the caption above the image saying: You are not procrastinating on Mastodon, you are fighting for a free and open internet.

The fediverse needs you

I ran a poll on Mastodon recently, asking people if the feel empowered to change how the fediverse works and where it’s headed.

The results were interesting.

I’ve been thinking about how to interpret this. My guess is that if I were to run this poll on commercial social media sites, the number of folks saying “Yes” would be far, far lower. In that sense, 48% is really not a terrible result.

I do wonder if people are under the impression that you need to have technical knowledge to contribute in a meaningful way.

First of all, simply by participating you are helping to grow the fediverse, and that’s the most important thing right now.

But say you want to go further. Great! Here are some ideas on how to help further the fediverse without writing a single line of code.

Financial support

The fediverse consists of servers, and servers produce bills, and bills need to be paid. It’s a fairly simple equation. Supporting smaller instances stay afloat is very important for the overall health of the fediverse. It helps keep it diverse and prevents centralization, one of the main points of federated networks.


Don’t have extra cash to send to an instance admin? How about donating your time instead? Reach out to your instance’s admin and see if you can lend a hand with various time-consuming tasks.

Running your own instance

You really don’t have to be a full on server administrator to run your own fediverse community thanks to services like Masto.host, Fedi Monster, or Cloudplane. For $6-12 a month, you create your own small community that you can share with a few friends or your family.

Reporting bugs and feature requests

Vast majority of the various websites, mobile apps, browser extensions, and other tools used to access the fediverse are open-sourced on sites like GitHub, or its fediverse alternative CodeBerg. Both of these allow you to file bug reports and request features.

And while some features may take some time to be considered; take the example of Mastodon starting to discuss implementing quote boosts back in 2016, then going through a period of considering the various implications on user behavior and harassment, until finally deciding to move ahead just yesterday.

It was the persistence and open dialogue that helped make this happen, and it all started with one person opening a ticket on GitHub.

These are just a few examples, feel free to share more! The bottom line is, anyone can make a difference as long as they have the right mindset.

And the fediverse needs that.

More from the blog

A tinted, zoomed in screenshot of a JSON object showing server information about a Mastodon instance.
A tinted screenshot of an unlabeled scatter chart, with most data points grouped on the right.
A tinted screenshot of two charts, one showing the popularity of various fediverse platforms (with Mastodon far ahead of the rest), and the other chart showing distribution of domain creation dates, mostly clustered around 2023.

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