Mastodon server roundup

I just did a thread about this on Twitter, but like I said in my previous post, Twitter appears primed to melt down. So I wanted to do this roundup externally to Twitter as well, just in case that thread becomes inaccessible without warning.

As I said in my previous post, I’ve got a Mastodon account now that Dara’s set up an instance of it on a server on our house LAN. And I’m seeing in general that a lot of folks are eyeing Mastodon as a place to flee to if Twitter’s going to implode.

However, Mastodon has a big barrier to entry for new users: it’s decentralized. You don’t just go to a single Mastodon website, open an account there, and sign up. You have to actually find a server to join, and that’s a pain in the ass.

So for anyone who’s Mastodon-curious but intimidated by the prospect of finding a server that doesn’t suck, here’s a roundup post to note the various servers I’m currently aware of. is the original one operated by the non-profit that created Mastodon to begin with. However, last I checked, this one maxed out its user capacity and isn’t currently taking signups. is another one operated by the same non-profit.

I have at least two known mutuals on, but this one is invite-only. is also invite-only, but with a focus on SF writers and SF readers. I’ve already found two or three of the authors I’m interested in in their accounts. So even if you can’t join this server you might want to keep an eye on it, if your favorite authors are there. is a general purpose server. Not to be confused with listed above. I have at least one known friend there. is not taking new signups, but bills itself as “A Mastodon server friendly towards anti-fascists, members of the LGBTQ+ community, hackers, and the like.” So if that sounds like a place you want to be, you might keep an eye on them to see if they open up to new accounts. Or if you have a friend already there, ask for an invite. says about itself: “This Mastodon instance is for tech workers, academics, students, and others interested in tech who are LGBTQIA+ or Allies.” They are taking signups, but signups require manual approval.

Editing to add 11/6/2022: is run by Sujitech, apparently a Japanese startup. I have one known mutual there.

Editing to add 11/6/2022:, for readers and writers of romance.

Editing to add 11/7/2022:, art-focused instance, specifically disallows cryptoart and NFTs. Not currently open to new users as of this writing, they’re processing their waiting list and ask people to check back.

I will update this post with other servers as I hear about them. If you know of one I haven’t listed here that you’d like to recommend, drop me a comment and let me know!

I now have a Mastodon account

As of last night Dara got an instance of Mastodon running on old hardware we had in the house, mostly because she wanted to see if she could. But also because Twitter appears primed to melt down, now that Elon Musk has taken over and seems hellbent on trashing the place.

We’re basically thinking, a) it’d be nice to have something Twitter-like to retreat to in the event that Twitter does melt down, and b) having something Twitter-like on our own goddamn server, and therefore under our direct control, is a good thing.

So for now we have a Mastodon instance on our house network. We are probably going to keep it. But right now we are not taking new users. The machine it’s on is ancient, and we have got to upgrade it if we’re going to run this thing long-term.

If we do open it to outside users, it will be strictly limited to people we personally know. Either in person, or with a long enough online history.

For now though if you have a Mastodon account elsewhere, you are welcome to follow me at:

Drop me a comment here maybe, if your Mastodon ID is not necessarily one I’ll recognize right offhand, and let me know who you are.

If you do not have a Mastodon account somewhere and you’re interested in maybe making one, because you’re also worried about Twitter melting down, I’m also about to do another post with a roundup of servers I’m currently aware of. Stand by for that.

A few things make a post

Some good reading on the Intarwebz today! First up, I bring you today’s Big Idea column over at the Whatever, where Mr. Scalzi brings word of Brad Meltzer’s new children’s books about Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln. Parents of small children, especially daughters, go check this out. Especially if you’re fans of Calvin and Hobbes. The art for the Amelia book looks adorable.


Meanwhile, Jim Hines has put up a good post today going over a writing advice question I hear time and again: i.e., whether you should try to write to the market. I said over there, and I’ll say here too, that even though “don’t try to write to the market” and “be aware of the market” seem contradictory on the surface, for me they’re actually kind of not. You want to be aware of what people who aren’t you are writing, so you aren’t writing in a complete and utter vacuum, and accidentally writing stuff that people lost interest in reading five or ten or even more years ago. Plus, you never know what awesome ideas you may have spark for your next book.


Fellow Carina fantasy author Shawna Thomas is talking up her work over at Eleri Stone’s place, and in particular about coming-of-age fantasy. Go give her a look, ’cause fantasy by Carina is love!


I’ve been following the news posts on for a while now, because hi, yeah, Tolkien geek, yo. But this post of theirs made me up and join their message forums for the express purpose of voicing my appreciation to their forums member who wrote some nice fanfic about Dís, the mother of the dwarves Kíli and Fíli, the only female dwarf Tolkien ever named. Looks like Cirashala’s getting her epic on with further fanfic about the character, too, based on what she’s saying in the thread that the news post links to. I approve!


And last but least, speaking of Tolkien, I’m posting about reading fantasy in other languages over on Here Be Magic today! I talk up the Trilingual Hobbit Reread, but also a couple of the novels I want to read out of Quebec SF/F as well, like the ones by Élodie Tirel I’ve been talking about, as well as Esther Rochon.

C’mon over and tell me about nifty non-Anglophone genre works English speakers should know about, won’t you?

Another year, another round of LJ fail

For those of you who may not have seen this yet, this story started going around last night. I saw the LJ Twitter account link to it, so one presumes this is indeed legit. The article’s talking about future plans for LJ, and it’s looking like the ongoing trend of not giving a damn about the old-school LJ user base isn’t stopping for the foreseeable future. The money quote is this one:

LiveJournal’s leadership has made it clear that their future American business strategy lies in generating new traffic rather than catering to the service’s current small-but-loyal membership. The challenge for Petrochenko and other executives at LiveJournal will be redefining the brand’s identity in a crowded media marketplace.

The ONTD_political community is not amused. Neither is JF’s fandom_lounge.

I am not abandoning LJ quite yet. But I HAVE shifted a lot of my primary reading over to Dreamwidth–so if you’re on both sites, and if you are actively posting to DW, I’ll be reading and replying to you on DW. So if you plan to make the jump and you’re on my LJ friends list, let me know so I can add you on DW.

Indulge my curiosity!

So, the geekier amongst us have been keeping track of Diaspora for a while, given that it’s touting itself as an Open Source alternative to Facebook and Google+ and Twitter and such. Right now it’s in very early development stages, and while it’s possible to join existing Diaspora pods, it’s not exactly non-geek-friendly right now.

I’ve been on LJ long enough to be fairly sure that even if Diaspora attracts a geek audience, it’s unlikely to pick up significant numbers–and in particular, not likely to deal much of a blow to the huge numbers of Facebook, Twitter, or G+ users.

But I might be wrong! And I’m curious just to see what y’all think about it and whether you plan to use the system. I myself am not planning to at this time, in no small part because I’m barely able to keep track of the social networks I’m already on, and do not have time and patience to learn another one. Especially one so early in its development.

What do you think? If you’re seeing this post on LJ or Dreamwidth, please click on over to the version of the post–the polls won’t work from LJ or DW.

Continue reading “Indulge my curiosity!”

LJ’s latest PrivacyFail

I’ve seen a lot of news going around about this, but for those of you who haven’t, LJ has just turned on new functionality to crosspost to Facebook and Twitter.

On the face of it this seems fine. I crosspost regularly, as y’all probably know; all my posts these days originate from my WordPress blogs, but from there they head out to LJ, Dreamwidth, Facebook, and Twitter all at the same time. I’m fine with LJ allowing that to happen for stuff that originates on LJ.

What I’m not fine with is that you can apparently now also crosspost comments. Including comments on locked posts, or posts which are set to screen all comments. The crossposted comments will include a link back to the original post–and if that post is locked, sure, only the people who are authorized to see it will still see it. But there’s no way of knowing if those crossposted comments might quote bits of the original post.

So there’s big privacy fail here. There’s also just general fail of manners, because seriously, it’s just rude to link back to locked posts that people on other sites can’t read.

I wouldn’t have been turning on this functionality anyway since my crossposting originates off of LJ and I therefore do not need it. But I’m leaving it off also on general principle just because of this big gaping security hole. I encourage you all to do the same. Also, while I don’t often post locked posts or posts with screened comments, I do ask that if I do, please don’t crosspost any comments off of them.

The FAQ post about the new functionality is here. The new news post that mentions it is here.

If you feel passionately about this, I encourage you to submit feedback to LJ about it.

If you feel really passionately about this, enough to bail on LJ, I have Dreamwidth invite codes. Let me know if you want one.

Heads up, LJ peeps

For several days now, LJ’s feed of custom styles has been broken–which has meant that the custom style I set up to let it download a feed of my Friends list into my mail client hasn’t worked, so I’m totally behind on keeping up with all of you!

If anybody posted anything addressed specifically at me, can you link me up in a comment? Thanks! *^_^*;;

This? This is what Twitter is FOR

Tonight, I learned that pretty much every character major and minor in the cast of The Venture Bros. has an in-character Twitter account! This came onto my radar when I saw Nathan Fillion answering tweets from @numbertwentyone and encouraging people to follow him–and then flirting with @DocGirlfriend, who was all over flirting right back.

Naturally I started following all of my favorite characters and being highly amused by tonight’s exchanges between them. Then I noticed I’d picked up a new follower of my own. And the following ensued:

annathepiper: Don’t look now, but I appear to be followed by @DeadlyMolotov. No no you fool, I said DON’T LOOK! She can shoot your eye out!
DeadlyMolotov: @annathepiper Retweeted and favourited.
annathepiper: @DeadlyMolotov Thank you kindly! Partner says to tell you “By the way darling do not forget lunch date in Volgograd.”
DeadlyMolotov: @annathepiper As long as he brings the dolphin; Tell him that. He’ll know what it means.
annathepiper: @DeadlyMolotov Partner’s a girl. Also, a supervillain! Come to think of it, this probably explains where she got the dolphin…
DeadlyMolotov: @annathepiper Oh? Even better.
mistwolf: @DeadlyMolotov @annathepiper Your partner with a dolphin scares me deeply.
annathepiper: @mistwolf @DeadlyMolotov I’m quite sure I don’t want to know her intentions for that dolphin, here OR in Volgograd. I already know too much!

I think I just had a geekgasm. <3

Whoa, Twitter just got hacked!

So there I was about to answer @heatheringemar’s lovely supportive tweet about my cake-resistance efforts tonight, as well as tweeting my previous post, when Twitter suddenly inexplicably fell over. No fail whale, no nothin’, just suddenly I couldn’t get through.

Didn’t think anything of it though until I saw this post show up on JournalFen’s Fandom Lounge community–from which userinfosolarbird has concluded that Twitter’s apparently suffered a name service hack. From what the JF poster saw before Twitter vanished completely, it looked like a group in Iran tried to take over the site. One expects in retaliation for Iranian students trying to use Twitter as a protest mechanism. Dara doublechecked by trying to get data off of Twitter’s nameservers, and yeah, they were reporting bad hosts and everything before Twitter just dropped completely off the net.

Anyway, y’all, if you can’t get through to Twitter tonight, this is very probably why. I don’t envy Twitter’s support team right now; they must be having a very stressful night!

ETA: Dara has more tech-oriented details over here.

ETA #2: And we’re back! We now rejoin your regularly scheduled tweeting, already in progress.