It’s been a little over a month since the launch of the Fedora Mastodon account and we’ve made it to over 3,000 followers! In 92 posts we’ve been able to highlight different parts of the community, engage with other open source projects, and even experiment with a little campaign leading up to the first Fedora event we’ve covered: the Creative Freedom Summit.
Since it’s been a little while, we wanted to turn around and ask the community for feedback on how the Mastodon account has been run. Do you like it? Is it too much? Are there topics you wish we covered more or less often? Has the frequency of posts been too much or too little?
To boil it down to two questions:
Has the Mastodon account been valuable to you, and in what way?
How can it be more valuable to you?
If you’re interested in submitting ideas for us to post, please check out this other thread on how to do that. The conversation started by specifically looking for more technical content, but we can consider all kinds of ideas.
Here’s my two cents as a non-Twitter user that started using Mastodon and still isn’t 100% used to it: it’s being awesome to see how popular the account is proving to be. We discussed a long time before the merits of creating a Fedora Mastodon, considering we’d be talking to out target audience (and to practically nobody else), but to be honest… that wasn’t necessarily a mistake of mine, but a lack of perspective.
It’s being a fantastic way to talk to our target audience. To share our progress, events, need for feedback, or even to share other people’s progress that is related to our cause. It’s a really good platform that in my opinion has been a joy to see becoming succesful in a way that I didn’t really expect.
It might be easier to explain this by saying what it doesn’t mean - there are a number of accounts on Mastodon now that simply post a headline or cross-post from Twitter, but don’t otherwise respond or engage with replies or related content on Mastodon. I follow the #fedora tag and try to respond when people ask questions, but it might be good for the Fedora account to respond to low hanging fruit (ie, “Where can I download Kinoite?”).
Another example of what it shouldn’t be is the Raspberry Pi account that sometimes aggressively shames and bans people for offering any hint of criticism about it, especially when the account posts controversial things.
There are plenty of great examples of effective community engagement from official accounts, such as the @CollaboraOffice@mastodon.social and @firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, thanks for keeping an eye out on the Fedora hashtag. It’s really appreciated to see others in the community give technical help where we unfortunately don’t know the answer. I’m also wary of setting the expectation that the Fedora account is a good place to get support, but I don’t think we’re anywhere near that concern. Relatedly, we are keeping an eye out on the hashtag to like and boost things. Since you’re feedback I’m trying to work up the confidence to engage more in replies and lean on the project for things I may not be sure of. We’ll keep an eye on the low hanging fruit!
I’m glad you mention this because I’ve done a lot of thinking on what to keep in mind when posting in terms of tone.
The first thing that I keep in mind is the Friends foundation, literally. If I have a north star when writing a post, it’s that. We’re here to foster a friendly welcoming community with intentionality and the Fedora socials are an extension of that.
Second thing is keeping in mind the community we have, as in the actual people. We have lots of users and contributors who have lots of different opinions and preferences, whether about life or Linux specifically. On one end I want to honor that diversity, but I also want to respect those individuals. It’s not fair for a project with over a dozen spins to show favoritism to Gnome, for example. The Fedora account is not just one type of user. It should reflect and appreciate all of things the project is working on and not make a contributor feel like the Fedora account doesn’t really represent the project as they experience it. Put another way, we don’t want to misrepresent our community.
Third thing is that Fedora is part of Linux history. It’s almost 20 years old. Way too many people to count have invested time and energy into this distro and its reputation. We want to be careful stewards of that not only by the content that we post or boost, but also by the processes we have and transparency (join us in our marketing chat where the magic happens).
And lastly, it’s a brand owned by a big, BIG company. We don’t want to mess with that.
So yes, we will try to avoid whatever happened with the Raspberry Pi account, lol.