Dear mastodon.technology community,
I have sad news that I have decided to shut down the mastodon.technology instance. In accordance with the Mastodon Server Covenant, the server will be shut down no earlier than December 1, 2022.
The server is currently having problems with intermittent availability. The cause of the problems is unknown. I want to give you as much time as possible to download your data and migrate to a new server.
Migrating will be hampered by the current problems we’re experiencing. I wish this was easier, but this is the best I can do.
It’s been five and a half years that I’ve ran this instance and I never saw it ending. I think this was irresponsible of me and has led to the current state of intermittent unavailability. I’ve failed to think ahead and have put my user’s data at risk, and I am sorry.
A member of my family was very recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. I am doing everything I can to support them.
Last week, with yet more Elon Musk and Twitter news, the fediverse generally experienced extra traffic with an influx of new users. I woke up to mastodon.technology downtime alerts. In the midst of supporting my family, I had to ssh into a server and fiddle with settings.
I am exhausted.
This made me realize how little joy I’ve been getting from being an admin. How I’ve come to resent the work I have volunteered to do. I’ve donated countless hours to running the instance, solving both technical and moderation problems, and I’ve always put the instance above my own needs. But I can’t put the instance above the needs of my family.
The server has also gotten too large and too complex for me to administer. I’ve always been keen to learn the next new skill I need to be an effective admin. But I just don’t have it in me anymore. The monitoring that I have in place is insufficient to solve the current problems and I have zero bandwidth to invest in learning the skills to diagnose and fix the issue.
In a sense, this is both a personal and technical problem. I wish I could continue, but I can’t.
Users have put their trust in me with their data. Choosing a new admin would require a massive amount of trust, since they’d have access to over a half decade of user data. Not just data from my local users, but from users they have interacted with.
Choosing and vetting such a new admin would be a lot of work, not to mention the messy process of transferring each piece of infrastructure to them.
If I had started this process six months ago, this might be possible. But I missed that window.
By November 1, 2022, the instance will be put into a readonly mode: posting new local content to the server will be disabled while it continues to federate. This announcement post will be shown everywhere I can to spread news.
The Patreon will also be disabled by November 1, 2022.
Users will be able to download their data and migrate to a new server until at least December 1, 2022 (notwithstanding the availability issues).
I wish I had done this sooner. I wish I had been more realistic about what I could put into the server. I wish I had kept the instance much smaller, to avoid these problems. I have a lot of regrets.
But I’m also glad I did this. For over five years, I’ve provided a space for technology people to meet and socialize away from corporate social media. I’ve enforced a strict Code of Conduct that has fostered a really positive community. I’ve made a lot of friends.
I would do things differently next time, but I would still do this again. As I said: I wish I could continue, but I can’t.
All my love,