@luka So this is my "I joined early April last year and have a bad memory and what I remember/heard about the then-recent-past-history."

Not really PoC, but definitely very furry, queer, and communist. I don't know to what extent the developers were a pre-existing group vs. came from people who were using it going in to help. I think it's more of the latter.

@luka (Although to be clear, Gargron did do the vast majority of the work, and while saying it was JUST him would be erasing the contributions of the other devs, it wouldn't be incorrect to, if there is a single The Credit to give, to give him The Credit for doing by far a huge percent of it, iirc.)

@luka (That said, the Big Feature of Mastodon is enabling and encouraging and tooling for solid and local moderation and adminning, and credit for that also goes hugely to the mods of the instances themselves. I don't know the full story behind how the different features got pushed for, so I don't know if there are certain people/groups of people who should be credited for that push/ideas.)

But like I have a bad memory, and wasn't there that early on. @shel would be a really good resource on this -- zie's been here since... probably the beginning? Very early on, at least, and has done a lot of dev work, including the introduction explainer popup thing.
(Assuming zie's not busy with stuff.)

@shel @luka Oh, right, also French. There was a huge French community that was also an early-on.

And from after that, but still kindaearlymaybe there is an even-huger Japanese community, although I think there's less crossover/interaction between them and the Anglophones than the Anglophone/French.

@gaditb @luka@mastodon.art So the question of "who did the labor" is about what we're counting as labor. If we're talking github commits and programming gargron did 95% of that. If we're talking the emotional labor of reaching out to users, talking out what's needed, designing solutions, and convincing gargron to fucking do them then that was much more of a community effort and gargron was very much directed by the community and specific users especially in that process. Moderation and community management was us

@luka@mastodon.art @gaditb And also a lot of the features that people like about Mastodon, visibility settings, CWs, anti-harassment, that stuff specifically was all conceived designed and sometimes programmed by the community.

Who managed documentation, who maintained the list of instances, who conceived the idea for a landing page and designed it.

Heck, who made new instances and brought the userbase here. Who gave mastodon a reputation that made it worth joining and told all their friends to join

@gaditb @luka@mastodon.art the French community joined up around March or April; as did the Japanese community shortly after. Right now parts of Mastodon seem like a bilingual french/english community but from October to April it was much more a bilingual german/english community.

@luka@mastodon.art @gaditb the closest thing to a written account of early mastodon culture would be @kibi's oh so controversial "mourning mastodon" pieces on Medium.



depending on who you ask they're a somber call-to-action which caused what we often call the "mastodon mutiny" that resulted in gargron hiring maloki to act as project manager for a while before she had to step down for health reasons. when Maloki was PM that was the best time in mastodon development

@gaditb @luka@mastodon.art ask someone else and these pieces are just the account of how a white queer community repeatably pushed out and abused black queer people and now feels entitled to a special position in development.

and on that end of things I think a lot of the people who before were sort of passively "oh yeah i'm like... totally antiracist" were kinda shaken awake and realized how much we romanticize a time that was pretty fucked up for others and we need to make sure that doesn't happen again

@luka@mastodon.art @gaditb but like, as someone who was considered "de facto project manager/volunteer coordinator" for a couple months or so and specifically spending a lot of my time trying to rapid-pace manage the massive April wave of users and new volunteers to keep shit from blowing up; i really think the history of mastodon is the history of various people taking on the role of "gargron management and damage control" and directing this from a hobby project to something with a roadmap

@gaditb @luka@mastodon.art like, if it weren't for trev or crom or me or maloki or bea or whoever else took on this role at any given time, many of the times when gargron said something racist or was shitty would've spelled the end of mastodon imo. there were people out there saying like "i know gargron just called a black person a con artist for asking for compensation for labor so I'm gonna step in and offer up money to any QTPOC who wanna be consultants for a bit and tell me about what we could do to make this better

@luka@mastodon.art @gaditb as for how the commie queer furry crowd got here in the first place? Im really not sure myself. I found it because Nicky Flowers tweeted "Mastodon is gay communist furry twitter" (and she's not active on here anymore) and the other main person I think brought people over (I think it was Ellen McGrody?) left in solidarity with voz and tronmaximum back in January? or maybe it was in April during another Incident? (which i take partial blame for. the infamous "at least Jack doesn't @ u" incident)

@gaditb @luka@mastodon.art we weren't the First Wave though. we were the second, the November Wave. Mastodon started in October and the fist wave was from when it made the front page of Hackernews in October. The only first-waver I know of on here is halcy. Most of the October-Wave users left pretty soon after realizing that, at the time, Mastodon was in a very underdeveloped stage. the November wave is often considered "the beginning" because that's what pushed Mastodon into a site with an active non-techie userbase

@luka@mastodon.art @gaditb it should also be noted that until the French wave arrived in April pretty much all of mastodon was on mastodon.social. We didn't decentralize until the massive April wave crashed mastodon.social and caused a sort of diaspora. Until then the only instances were mastodon.social, awoo.space, icosahedron.website, and tchs.de (or however you spell it); & each of those only had a few users at most. back then private posts didn't safely federate so you kinda had to be on the same instance as friends


@gaditb @luka@mastodon.art also i rly wanna emphasize the role community filled in filling in the gaps in the featureset. Before my welcome-box was merged from November to April we literally had a bot that tooted every time it saw someone post on the public timeline for the first time and it'd ping me and I'd go welcome them myself personally lmao. the 'welcome-modal' while in development was "robo-shel" lmao. that it wasn't just me doing this shit it was a massive community effort.

@luka@mastodon.art @gaditb okay that's the end of my braindump

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