Longevity and Fosstodon
Mastodon is great, but one of the issues with a federated social network such as this, is that users need to be sure their instance isn't going to disappear overnight. This has happened on a number of occasions to my knowledge, and it leaves the instance's members high and dry.
They then have to find a new instance, migrate and inform all of their old followers. Problem is, if their old instance is already gone, there's no way for them to inform their followers on the old instance.
Bad times all round, I think you will agree.
This has spawned a number of questions from our members around Fosstodon’s future and how it would look if we were to shut down the instance.
Our commitment to you
First of all, we do not intend on shutting Fosstodon down any time soon. Mike and I both have full admin access to the instance, the web hosting, the domain hosting and DNS config, the PayPal account and everything else in between.
This prevents the 'hit by a bus' scenario, but it also provides bandwidth. Managing an instance is a lot of work, so Mike and I both share the workload, and we have a team of awesome moderators that help keep the community in check (not that it really needs it as you're all awesome).
The project is well funded, you can see the details on our about page. We currently receive more money from our Patreon account that it costs us to run the instance. This means that Mike and I don't have the financial overhead of keeping the instance going (although we do both contribute via Patreon every month).
Any additional funds are collected and then donated to an open source project of the community's choosing.
What if we do decide to close down?
So we're good in terms of staffing and finances, so it's very unlikely that Fosstodon will close down. However, if we do decide to close the instance down, our commitment to you is that we will provide at least 3 months notice.
This should give our members enough time to find a new instance, migrate and ensure their followers know about it too. We hope that in the future a full migration option will be added to Mastodon, so users can fully migrate their accounts. In lieu of that process though, we will always do what we can to support our members.
Obviously Mike and I want Fosstodon to continue to grow from strength to strength, so we have no intentions of shutting Fosstodon down. We're healthy in terms of finances and staffing, and if the worst was to happen, we would give you guys plenty of notice.
Hopefully this post will help to allay any concerns our members have. TL;DR – we got your back!