This report covers the San Francisco Bay regional Mastodon instance sfba.social, with general statistics, financial details including income (donations) and expenses, moderation efforts, and changes made and being considered.
On February 28th, 2023, we tallied roughly 37,900 friends on sfba.social. This is an increase of about 400 new users during the month, fewer than the 750 new friends we gained in January.
From Feb 1-28, the moderation team received 66 reports, about 69% of January’s total.
We are very fortunate in that financial contributions are easily covering the monthly hosting costs, and we are continuing to build reserves to sustain the instance long-term.
Expenses are mainly monthly hosting costs with Linode and a steadily decreasing cost with AWS:
Our very simple balance sheet:
Linode announced a 20% price hike which is unfortunately going to increase our expenses starting in April. With our projected burn rate, the running costs of the instance are covered for over five more months now. We are targeting at least six months of funding reserve.
Donations are gratefully accepted at: opencollective.com/sfba-mastodon
Moderators work to make sure that the local feed posts follow sfba.social rules. Our moderation efforts rely on users promptly reporting posts that go against our server rules, which helps us quickly deal with issues as they come up. Users are encouraged to actively curate their feeds using Filters and the Mute and Block tools.
In general, folks at sfba.social seem to be following the server rules well and also promptly reporting users who do not, which the moderation team appreciates very much. Early reporting helps keep bad actors off our feeds!
The Admin/Mod team handled 66 reports in the month of February. This is a another decrease over January, where the moderation team resolved 95 reports.
In November, 2022 sfba.social reported 2.14 reports/100 users. We have remained at much more reasonable levels since that big bump of new users:
- December moved back to 0.9 reports/100 users (36750 users)
- January went down to 0.25 reports/100 users (37500 users)
- February went down even more to 0.17 reports/100 users (38000 users)
Nearly all reports are resolved within a day.
At the end of the month, there were 0 open local reports and 0 reports on remote instances, as well as 1 pending appeal.
We continue to actively address bad actors on the federated network by defederating instances with poor moderation standards or a history of lax enforcement. We monitor the #fediblock hashtag to identify servers that may warrant investigation on our part, before they become an issue for our users. You can see a list of defederated servers on the about page (under “Moderated servers”). Servers marked as “limited” cannot communicate with our server by default, but users can follow and communicate with specific accounts when they know the full account address. Servers marked as “suspended” cannot communicate with sfba.social, with no exceptions.
No changes: the Admin/Mod team is stable and the work load is manageable.
The team held its first in-person meet-up for the whole community at Club Fugazi (@ClubFugaziSF@sfba.social) on Feb 26th. Our members got to meet some of our team and have a local entertainment experience at a reduced price. It was an amazing show (the 7 Fingers circus is just mind-blowing) too!
Organizing further local meet-ups and creating more opportunities for our members to meet each other is one of our continuing efforts. What kind of in-person events would you like to see/attend? Let us know at @email@example.com!
Maintenance and Upgrades
- Datacenter migration: we were informed by our cloud provider, Linode, that they will shut down the datacenter we currently use to run all our assets and migrate them to a newly built datacenter (also in the Bay Area). Until that transition, we can’t resize any existing instances, which puts us in a tight spot when responding to surges in traffic. Unfortunately, the new datacenter does not support the IP migration feature we use for our database cluster (see last month’s report). That means we need to undo our cluster before the migration and rebuild it using a different IP migration feature (based on BGP instead of ARP). This is annoying, given that we just setup the cluster a month ago.
- In last month’s report, we said we were considering whether a switch to the Hometown fork of Mastodon made sense for our community. After some investigation, we’ve decided that sticking with vanilla Mastodon makes the most sense for now.
- Matrix for messaging: In last month’s report we mentioned the technical hurdles with single sign on. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make much progress on this issue in February, but will continue to work on this.
- Updating the information hub: we are working on an update site, which will include adding an on-boarding guide to help new users get going quickly.
- Upgrading to Mastodon 4.1.0: we plan to increase of the character limit on posts from 500 to 1024 when we do this upgrade
- Updated Code of Conduct: We are working on adding language to the Code of Conduct to provide ways for local businesses to engage without overwhelming the timeline and allowing users to opt-out. As always, changes will be announced via @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nothing at this time.
We look forward to the next month—if you would like to contribute, please donate to opencollective.com/sfba-mastodon
And we always welcome comments!