SmallCamp Blog

Hello world!

Welcome to SmallCamp! 👋

We're a small community of friends, and friends of friends. 👯

And we intend to stay small. Well, why? There's a few reasons:

Don't worry — being a small community doesn't take away from your ability to talk to other Mastodon instances, or the Fediverse.

What is Mastodon?

That last bit might have been TMI. Let's talk about it.

Join Mastodon is an excellent site to get a sense of what Mastodon, the software that powers our community, is.

Here's a fifteen-second primer:

Social networking, back in your hands.

Follow friends and discover new ones among more than 4.4M people. Publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. All on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free.

...and a two-minute video introduction, if that's more your thing:

My friend Kev Quirk has written a very detailed, excellent guide to all the basic features, How does Mastodon work?, which also includes a bit about Fediverse and Federation:

To explain Mastodon federation a little better, I’m going to use email as an analogy – hopefully this will make things easier to digest.

The Mastodon network is made up of individual servers, called Instances. If we use our email analogy; think of Mastodon as email as a whole. So if Mastodon is “email”, then an Instance would be an email provider. For example, Gmail, Hotmail, or Zoho.

They’re all completely different servers that are run by completely different companies, but Gmail, Hotmail and Zoho can all send email to one another.

Mastodon is the same. My instance, Fosstodon, is run my myself and my friend Mike. Yet we can Toot with thousands of other Mastodon servers around the world that we do not run.

Why SmallCamp?

SmallCamp uses a slightly modified version of Mastodon, called Hometown. This lets you and me only talk to people within SmallCamp. If you want to invite a friend over, feel free to do so. If the moderators are happy with some baseline checks, your friend will be added in and shown around. 😊

If you're new, it is highly recommended that you introduce yourself with the #introduction tag.

We, quite simply, are a safe space. A larger goal is to become a place for you and your friends to feel comfortable not just showing your uber positive highlight reel, but also talk about personal, often difficult, content that other platforms tend to penalize.

Finding people to follow

Your Home timeline would look pretty bare to start with.

Thankfully, people have volunteered themselves on a website called Trunk. Scroll down to “The Lists” and just find people you find interesting, and give them a follow!

It's usually easier to:

  1. copy their username (in the format of `@username@instance.com`)
  2. paste it in SmallCamp's search field
  3. press the follow button

Code of Conduct

A code of conduct is available on our community's about page.

Please be sure to skim through it, and as usual, DM me in case of any concerns.

Funding

If you'd like to contribute (once, or monthly), consider donating on Buy Me A Coffee. Setting up a Patreon, which is what you might be familiar with, for the server costs at this time is overkill. We'd end up giving away in fees an equivalent amount of the little money that we do need.

Costs

Hosting: We spend about 5.88 euros per month to host this server including a very basic backups.

Domain name: We paid about 5.2 US dollars to acquire the domain, but will need to pay close to 13.5 US dollars per year to keep it.

Media server: We also use a media CDN, the monthly cost for which is unknown at this point.

Labour: Priceless. The server is managed by Ru in her free time. :)