Yesterday was a very big news day and I was curious to see how well Mastodon would keep me informed about breaking news as Twitter continues to crumble.
I was disappointed. I run my own tiny instance populated by only about a dozen active users, so only a trickle of news was getting to my timeline. I managed to increase that by finding some people who were liveposting, but that took time and only worked so well.
I didn’t want to have the same experience today, so I’ve been tinkering on something I’m calling Mastodon Stadium Seats. It queries the Mastodon instances you specify with the hashtags you specify, then aggregates the results, removes the duplicates, and presents the most recent 14 posts in a side-by-side column. It also automatically updates every 90 seconds.
It’s a very plain presentation but easy to read. Currently I have it casting to a monitor beside my computer and I quite like it. I can glance at it every now and again as I work and if things are busy I can take a closer look.
This way, even if I end up running an instance of one, I have a method to get a regular feed of activity from larger instances when news breaks. I’m going to leave it plain for a few days and see how it annoys me before I start tweaking the presentation.
I’ve put up what I’ve got so far on GitHub if you’d like to play with it: https://github.com/ResearchBuzz/Mastodon-Stadium-Seats