Actually, more than a year.
Sometime around early October 2022, I got massively sick of the impending leadership change at Twitter. This was a site I used just about every day for 10 years, and I could feel that things were going to get a bit tumultuous. Looking at my options, I decided, like thousands of others, to try Mastodon.
I originally signed up at Mas.to, thinking it would be a good alternative to the massive flagship instance at Mastodon.social, but larger than some of the other niche instances. I lasted about a week before deciding I was in love and was committed to running my own instance.
The hardest part of creating an instance, in my opinion, is choosing a name – it becomes part of your digital identity. I didn’t want to tie it to my existing domain name in the event friends or family wanted to join me. I settled on “squanch.xyz”, not the best choice, but inspired probably by recent binging of Rick and Morty. (The name didn’t last long…)
I started playing with Mastodon before realizing the storage requirements were ridiculous. Everything is cached?? Performance wasn’t great on my tiny Digital Ocean droplet. Not sure if I wanted to keep paying for my single user instance with ever more resource requirements, I searched for alternatives. I settled on Akkoma, a Pleroma fork.
When I made the move to Akkoma, I ditched the name Squanch and moved to Dartboard.social – kind of just a generic catch all name I would feel comfortable sharing with other friends and perhaps strangers.
Everything was smooth up until this last October. I realized I wasn’t paying attention to my subscribed relays (a way to increase activity on instances by sharing content feeds automatically, even if you aren’t subscribed to certain people – it all appears on the “firehose” Federated feed). My Akkoma database ran up to about 40gb of data and performance was being impacted. I decided once again to explore my options, and started playing with GoToSocial.
You can look at my previous post about GoToSocial to see my thoughts. It’s running real smooth with only minor annoyances here or there. I’m actively working on pruning my Akkoma database but the outlook is kind of grim currently. Might need to wipe and restart fresh with a more sane deployment. But I’m enjoying GoToSocial so much, I’m not sure I’m going to go back.
In all, I’ve found lots of great people on the Fediverse, enough to not miss any other social media. Additionally, I’m way more engaged in the topics here – radio, music, social justice topics. I learn a lot more and I take part in the conversation more. There is a lot less doomscrolling here. I’m looking forward to many more years contributing to this better, open social media.