This is the blog section.
Files will be listed in reverse chronological order.
This is the multi-page printable view of this section. Click here to print.
This is the blog section.
Files will be listed in reverse chronological order.
One year ago, datasci.social was created! 🥳🎂 In this time datasci.social has become a vibrant online community with 286 people who have joined from all over the world, from various disciplines or from industry, providing an online home for the data science community, broadly defined. Explore our awesome stream here: https://datasci.social/public/local
There has been smooth, mostly constant growth over the past year, and luckily we have been facing no moderative or technical challenges. Although we have a fantasic team of 6 voluntary admins/moderators, they didn’t have much to do: All that happened in a year was one week of interference from a few spam accounts spawning on other servers, which required in total 5 moderative actions. Our total downtime in this year was 488 minutes, which means an uptime of above 99.9%!
In the past months, we have also received more and more generous financial support from the community (Thank you!💕), which now covers half of our running costs. This enables running our space without ads or other interferences known from for-profit platforms, and has brought us on a realistic path towards sustainable long-term operation. Also, one year ago Mastodon hosting providers were overwhelmed due to a frenzy of new servers being created, but now the dust has settled and we might look into more affordable hosting options that might have become available over time.
Our server has not reached any capacity limits yet, and also the community is doing very well, so we continue to stay open. For now we also keep registration at datasci.social to require manual approval so our server cannot get swamped with too many new, potentially malicious, registrations overnight. So far we have processed all new registration requests well within 12 hours, a time we keep striving for.
Although Mastodon is not the perfect online social network yet, it is better than other platforms we know, not least because of its extraordinary engagement and civility which makes it great for scientists. All in all, datasci.social has turned out a fantastic project and experience, much smoother than anticipated, which we aim to keep nurturing for many more years! 🌱
If you like datasci.social, and if you have the means, please consider donating - every euro goes into server hosting: https://community.datasci.social/docs/support/
🚨 Registrations at datasci.social are now open! Sign up here: https://datasci.social/auth/sign_up
How to migrate your account: https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107939441820299376
The instance was set up on Nov 17, 2022, for this reason:
The goal of this server is to create a community of nice and diverse people who are researching human-centric data science and adjacent topics. For example human-centric data/network science, social data science, urban/geospatial data science, computational social science. Not welcome: bullies, harassers, big abusive/toxic egos.
Because this server was set up with personal funding, it initially only covered up to 100 active users. Therefore it was joinable by invitation only. After a first batch of invites and snowball invites, we have grown to around 50 active members so far. However, it still feels quite empty, and after an informal poll showed enough interest in growth we now decided to expand server capacity and to open registrations temporarily to grow.
The server capacity has just been expanded from about 100 to 500 active members. It is still only financed from personal pockets, but we plan to soon set up a donation page where anybody can chip in if they want to help out. We have created datasci.social to counter the danger of surveillance capitalism screwing up social media and manipulating public opinion, as demonstrated recently by Twitter’s demise. We believe we can do things better in a “grassroots” approach. If you agree, then datasci.social could be a fitting place for you. And if you just came to post/discuss about research - or any other topic you find interesting - that’s perfect! 👍
Growing a community needs to be done in a responsible way - as we know from 20 years of community management experience. Therefore, we made sure to adhere to the Mastodon covenant, which specifies that there should be at least two people with emergency server access, and that in case of a shutdown 3 months advance notice must be given to have enough time for people to download their data and emigrate. Further, we have assembled a competent and diverse admin/mod team, which currently consists of Ben F. Maier, Erika Legara, Esteban Moro, Michael Szell, Silvia De Sojo Caso. Moderation was not needed so far at all, but we are preparing to grow also this important part for the community, as needed.
For 2023 we just extended our server capacity, we ensured adherence to the covenant, and we have set up our community pages to communicate updates. We have also opened registrations, and will close them once we have reached 300 members. Inspired by other science servers, registration at datasci.social requires stating a reason and your ORCID, followed by manual approval by our mod/admin team (which we aim to provide fast). This is just to make sure that we actually get researchers/professionals to sign up, and to avoid the server getting swamped overnight.
We will soon set up a donations page, monitor and adjust our server rules and community documents transparently, and grow our admin/mod team if needed. If we take any major new steps, this would be done only after some time to give the community enough time to build up and stabilize.
For the long-term we are very open to continue diluting power in the spirit of decentralization, so that datasci.social may establish a governance structure where there is never the danger that one person or a small group can screw up everything - if there is interest. Concerning growth, ideally we should not surpass some hundred active members, as more than that could become unmanageable. We are totally open to let datasci.social’s governance develop in any conceivable stable way, from a group-led instance to a self-organized, community-governed entity like social.coop. We will see what works best.
If you think you fit and are interested to join datasci.social, we encourage you to do so. But don’t hesitate too long, because 300 members could be reached quite soon. In any case, have fun with Mastodon!
Michael & The datasci.social admin/mod team
In preparation for opening datasci.social registrations next week, some news 🚨
New mod/admin team: https://community.datasci.social/docs/moderation/ @benfmaier @eflegara @estebanmoro @sdesojo Not a single report so far, but good to be prepared.
We adhere to the Mastodon covenant: https://joinmastodon.org/covenant
Community pages: https://community.datasci.social/docs, with info on management, moderation, security, server. Check it out! #mastoadmin #serverinfo
Stay tuned for opening news!
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109641856876435648]
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109363241516092529]
First post from our shiny new server https://datasci.social! Super happy it worked out 🥳 #mastoadmin #serverinfo
The goal of this #server is to create a community of nice & diverse people who are researching #HumanCentric #DataScience and adjacent topics. Due to capacity/funding limits, https://datasci.social will be joinable via invites only for some time.
+Welcome to our first members @estebanmoro and @nerdsitu !
We crunched the numbers and are happy to report that in 2023 https://datasci.social had an uptime of 99.908%. The difference to 100% was due to two unplanned downtimes of around 4 hours each. Our uptime from our founding in Nov 2022 until now is 99.923%, meaning a downtime of 34 minutes per month on average.
We strive to keep this high reliability. Despite not being a commercial service, our reliability level fulfils the 99.9% Service Level Agreements of cloud services of major industry players like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
Our server https://datasci.social got its Mastodon version upgraded to the latest version 4.2.5 yesterday, immediately after a critical vulnerability became public: https://github.com/mastodon/mastodon/security/advisories/GHSA-3fjr-858r-92rw.
This long overdue update from version 4.1.9 also comes with new features that were added in the 4.2.x line, for example privacy settings where you can control if you want your posts to appear in search or on the Explore page. Both are opt-in, so if you want to have this, make sure to enable them: https://datasci.social/settings/privacy
With Meta’s Threads recently starting concrete federation experiments, we have been asked about datasci.social’s stance concerning preemptive suspension (also called “defederation” or “fediblock”).
Here my (Michael’s) short answer:
Has datasci.social suspended or limited the threads.net domain?
Will datasci.social suspend or limit the threads.net domain?
Possibly, if/whenever necessary. We are closely monitoring the situation.
Long answer: Given Meta’s abysmal history with surveillance capitalism and human rights it is reasonable to consider Threads a bad faith actor, meaning that its activities should be assumed to underlie as exploitative as possible motives. In the context of Mastodon this could mean some kind of “Embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, indiscriminate data collection, or worse. Therefore we are empathethic with any server admin who preemptively suspends or limits the threads.net domain. From our side however, we do not follow this strategy at the moment, because:
We will stay vigilant and keep monitoring the situation. For now we treat threads.net just as any other instance, and we are ready to react fast if necessary. At the same time, should we ever decide that we want to limit or suspend threads.net, we will aim to give as much advance notice as possible - especially if doing so could disrupt our members. Peace!
We have more and more financial supporters that help us maintain our datasci.social Mastodon instance - A big thank you to all our supporters! ❤️
We are now covering around half of our running server expenses with voluntary donations, which is great news for sustaining datasci.social in the long term. Every single $ helps. There are no commercial interests behind datasci.social, just people who aim to build a good community around data science (broadly defined), therefore we will always be ad-free. We strive to provide the best possible service with voluntary moderators/admins and as few as possible downtimes.
If you have the means, you still have 2 months left to get your name on our list of 2023 supporters who helped kickstart datasci.social: https://community.datasci.social/docs/support/
In any case, have fun on datasci.social and Mastodon!
We had an unplanned server outage on saturday for 4h14min, for technical reasons. We are sorry for the downtime and thank you for your understanding.
This downtime has decreased our server uptime in this year to 99.86%, which is still less than an hour downtime per month.
This week https://datasci.social has turned 6 months old 🥳
We are 133 people now (68 active), with increased growth in the past few weeks. Our server hosts a community for #DataScience, broadly defined. See below our place in the universe of servers:
Our operation is financed via donations, we are grateful for support: https://community.datasci.social/docs/support/
We still had zero moderative reports on our server so far, and we have a calm pace of new sign-ups. Therefore, there is currently no necessity to extend our team, but we want to be well prepared for a possible flood of sign-ups in case other, larger online social networks collapse.
Welcome Lucio to the team, thank you for volunteering at datasci.social!
We just had a server outage for 3h51min. We are sorry for the downtime. The reason had to do with a release of the IP by the infrastructure provider. According to our server host this is being worked on so it cannot happen again. Thank you for your understanding.
We opened a Patreon page to allow our members supporting our running costs financially, which is several 100$ per year: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=88962596
We will list supporters on our support page: https://community.datasci.social/docs/support/
We appreciate any support - every $ counts, and all goes directly to server hosting and maintenance!
We have reached 100 members on https://datasci.social! 🥳
Since opening registrations in Jan with 50 members we have doubled in size, following a nice pace of growth. We are now also steadily posting over 100 new posts/week.
With ample capacity to grow, we encourage everyone interested in data science, network science, computational social science, and related fields to join us, or to spread the word about our place. Although we have 5 mods/admins, we still had no single moderative report so far. Our server had 99.998% uptime. Smooth sailing!
Our next step is to implement a support page for members to have the possibility to donate to the running costs of our server.
Enjoy and see you on Mastodon!
Our server https://datasci.social just got its Mastodon version upgraded to the latest version 4.1.0 which was released two weeks ago. Most notably, you can now add alt text to images you have already posted or edit existing alt text. It has been frustrating until now to be unable to add/edit forgotten or incorrect alt text.
Apart from alt texts and many small fixes, it is now possible for admins to import server-wide domain blocks which might come in handy for server-level moderation.
See the full release notes here: https://github.com/mastodon/mastodon/releases/tag/v4.1.0
Update after 1 week of open registrations at datasci.social: We had 24 new signups, growing to 64 active members. This is a nice pace - everything running smoothly. We have capacity for much more 😎 #mastoadmin #serverinfo
datasci.social is probably the only Mastodon instance dedicated to #dataScience or #networkScience - if you are active in these topics and want to be part in / build a place with like-minded people, join us here: https://datasci.social/auth/sign_up
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109715558321049775]
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109586707593045947]
Was a great learning experience on #githubPages, #githubActions, and #Hugo 👍
We now also have a new admin email address: firstname.lastname@example.org This will be important for whenever we possibly have more admins in the future.
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109529632807504224]
Btw, today https://datasci.social has turned 1 month old 🥳 #serverinfo #mastoadmin
We are 45 people now, see below our place in the universe of instances:
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109528660377988552]
If registrations were open, would you join https://datasci.social? :python: :rstats: :networkx:
(Context: Registrations are currently closed due to limited budget/capacity, but we could consider to grow in 2023. No promises though! #serverinfo #mastoadmin )
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109506480484787426]
Happy to report that in the first 3+ weeks of running datasci.social we had 99.990% uptime. We missed one 5-minute tick. #mastoadmin #serverinfo
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109410236599220838]
Our instance https://datasci.social is now one week old! 🥳 We are now 39 people, still a good way below our current server capacity of 100. Everything still running smoothly. Waiting for several 2nd-level invites to get used up or expire before thinking about further growth. #mastoadmin #serverinfo
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109384382663865252]
Update on our https://datasci.social instance, day 3: We are now 33, and more people keep joining, slowly but surely. 🐌 Everything still running smoothly. #mastoadmin #serverinfo
We are also indexed and appear here (highlighted in light blue): https://observablehq.com/@mauforonda/what-goes-on-in-mastodon
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109377758797505850]
Update on our https://datasci.social instance, day 2: We are now 23, and more people keep joining, slowly but surely. 🐌 Everything still running smoothly. #mastoadmin #serverinfo
Hi-Five to us! 🙌
@carolinamttssn @LR @nerdsitu @estebanmoro @yaxi @martikagv @leoferres @alsbirk @trivikverma @NeaveOClery @eflegara @yy @sdesojo @pholme @alel @converge @lajello @annasapienza @Petem @robysinatra @benfmaier @lauretti @mherranz
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109374854036872933]
We had a slight hiccup at datasci.social with our email provider in the last ~16 hours which has been resolved now. (Was due to #TwitterMigration) Sorry for any delays in receiving system emails, like for sign-up. #mastoadmin #serverinfo
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109372480577572934]
Just added these fancy custom #emojis to our server https://datasci.social
If I’m missing anything vital for #DataScience, let me know! #mastoadmin #serverinfo
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109371260177603579]
After our first day we now have 14 active people on our https://datasci.social server:
6 senior / 8 junior (research-wise)
6 female / 8 male
3 aged 40+ / 11 below 40
Wide variation of followers (2-2580). Everything still running super smoothly. Going to continue to grow veeery carefully for now 🐌 … #mastoadmin #serverinfo
[Post copied from https://datasci.social/@mszll/109365042571003803]
About our #server https://datasci.social: We are doing invite-only sign-ups for now for technical/budget reasons, and not because of elitism. And because a slow ramp-up is more healthy for the community, #moderation etc.
(I have run a massive online community for 20 years, 15k active users at peak, so I have some idea what I am doing. #mastoadmin #serverinfo 👍 )