Repeatedly watching smart people get tripped up on Mastodon, the Mastodon API, and ActivityPub has changed my opinion on the complexity of these services.

I have long thought the “Mastodon is hard” folks are being silly, but now I think they’re right. The conversation around interoperability and standards causes people to completely misunderstand what is possible (or even desirable). The ways in which Mastodon is not only or entirely ActivityPub confuses people.

The folks who seem attracted to Mastodon in the first place who are non-technical are sold a bill of goods about what is possible, not understanding protocols, APIs, federation, self-hosting, and all the ways they interact, along with the myriad of non-Mastodon services and how they can or can’t interact with each other and Mastodon.

What we used to call “prosumers” are getting killed by all of this mess.

Mostly they should just write on their blogs and forget about it.