The fediverse is an opportunity learned societies can’t ignore

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Today, we have technology that allows scholarly societies to make good on past mistakes and show their true colours: the ‘Fediverse’ provides tools and technologies that are ideally suited to bring scholarly societies out of their digital caves and into the 21st century. One of these is Mastodon. While some scholarly institutions, including some societies, have started to implement their own Mastodon instances, the large majority remain locked into their favourite corporate broadcasting platform formerly known as Twitter. A platform that is rapidly devolving and losing many of its academic members.

Where scholarly societies have seriously engaged with social technologies, they are using them not just for broadcasting, but for scholarly exchange and to facilitate social interactions, such as debate, discussion and critique among all persons interested in their research, not just their members. The different local and federated timelines in Mastodon allow seamless interactions both within the society and outside of it. Federation choices enable societies to choose which content matches their instance and they become the moderators of their own social media presence, rather than having to rely on the whims of billionaires.