Okay, it's time to tell new users a secret about Mastodon.

Mastodon is (whispers) part of a much bigger network 😮

Mastodon servers use an open standard called ActivityPub to talk to each other. That's how you interact with people on other Mastodon servers.

But, dozens of other federated networks also use ActivityPub, so (this is the good bit!) you can follow people on these other networks from your Mastodon account!

For example:

PixelFed (pixelfed.org) is a photo sharing network, here's a random example account @Iancylkowski

PeerTube (joinpeertube.org) is a video sharing network, with a p2p system that allows videos to go viral even on small servers, here's a random account @craftykat

BookWyrm (joinbookwyrm.com) is a social reading site, an open alternative to Amazon's Goodreads, here's a random account @mouse

Together, Mastodon and these other services form... The Fediverse :fediverse:

(whispers) Click on the link...

framatube.org/w/4294a720-f263-

The link you just clicked on leads to a video on PeerTube, on a server called framatube.org.

BUT... if you copy and paste the same address of the video into the search box in Mastodon, and search for that link within Mastodon, it will appear to you as a Mastodon post :blobwizard:

You'll then be able to watch it (of course), but also you'll be able to comment on the video by replying to the post within Mastodon, like the video by favouriting it, and follow its creator by following the account that posted it.

This is the Fediverse in action, totally different services interacting through a common open standard.

It can be hard to get your head round this at first, but it's incredibly useful and once you get used to it simply how things should be.

@feditips

Hi, one of the influx on new users here.

From a user interface point of view this is one thing it would be cool to iron out, if possible.

When I go to another server that's not my own, it would be nicer to just sign in there (using my existing account as a "single sign on" type thing) and being able to write my comment without having to come back to my own server first.

I know there are probably technical reasons for why that has not been implemented but I think it would be cool.

@benx you can write comment on any Mastodon server/instance with your account.
The *public* toots you'll publish on your server (not like this one, wich has the "open lock" icon) will be visible on all the federated servers and on your server's local timeline.

Follow

@scaglio so I run into this issue most often when using the web client for my current server.

If I want to follow someone from another server, I have to...
1/ go to their profile on their server (a different domain URL in the web browser)
2/ click on follow
3/ a pop-up now appears asking for my user account details
4/ I give the details and can now follow

@scaglio

But from that point onward I want the other server to still recognise me as being logged in to their server but with my servers account.

Does that make sense?

@scaglio

When I click log in on the web client for someone elses web server it asks for email and password but not for my existing mastadon ID

@scaglio @feditips

From a technical point of view I could guess that this is not implemented for cross script attack reasons but I don't know for sure.

@benx @feditips I think it's just a choice "by design" of Mastodon/Fediverse, it's not about XSS or else.

@benx That's not possible because your account and password are known only to your server (kolektiva.social). That's a focal point of "decentralization".

So:
- you CANNOT log in other servers server with kolektiva.social account
- you CANNOT see the other servers' Local timelines
- you CAN follow any user of any server (on your "Home" and "Federated" timeline)
- you CAN reply to any user of any server

I hope that's clear :)

@scaglio

I understand this is how it works but from a UX point if view it's a bit klunky.

Other "single sign on" systems that exist don't share passwords either.

A mirror account will be created on the other server, and you will be asked to confirm sharing certain details, but the athentication is handled by Google or Facebook or whoever and then service you are logged into is only given a token to confirm that you were able to type in the correct credentials.

@scaglio the mastadon clients themselves already work like this as they are separated from the server instances thrmselves.

@scaglio

Whether you are then authorised to access the local timeline or not (I would say no) is all that the foreign server would then handle.

@benx I think that the "mirror account on the other servers" feature is not possible because it would be a load too heavy to handle.

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kolektiva.social

A collective effort to offer federated social media to anarchist collectives and individuals in the fediverse. Registrations are open. Kolektiva.social is made by anarchists and anti-colonialists, for the social movements and for liberation!