Of admins and instances – of community and communication
I nary try to sound contrarian (not trying now, either), nor am I to stir a fuss, as I just write junk online for S&G's, but something to take note of, and have “a say” on, is the dichotomy of what is being said/done in federated spots online, and what is true/real of federated spots (as well as the greater WWW, in general).
You see, a moderator (or moderators) or admin (or admins) can and will spring up from the far corners of anywhere and formulate an “instance” of some kind (generally Mastodon, at this point), and intentions aside, or naivete aside, growing an instance (or any online space) with limitless abandon is likely the last thing one would want to do to foster a community. OR adequate communication.
The “Twitter '09” sentiment that is being tossed around, the “I say something and get responses right away” narrative, the “my follower count is growing faster than it had in years on Birdsite” – those elements (be they important to you or not), will surely dissipate as instance user/member count grows. Even without algorithms or ads, things become heavily crowded and loud in an online space with...say...10K people (or more).
Sort of a self-manifesting echo chamber.
Now, if one wants to draw a community and healthy communication online, it's obvious (like IRL) personal interactions or/and “intimate” (not in a romantic sense) exchanges are the way to go about...talking to people.
I'm either instinctively wary, or just blatantly thumbing my nose at the idea (false concept, and proven (over time/experience) lie) that en masse groupings and clusters of everyone can have a force of positivity online. A large “site” or “forum” or “instance”, it brings about status and “name recognition” for a/the service – not quality of service for the end user.