In early November, when the Great Discontinuity occurred, I began engaged on a Steampipe plugin to allow SQL queries towards the Mastodon API, together with a companion Steampipe “mod” (suite of dashboards) to show and chart the outcomes of these queries.
I count on these dashboards will quickly be out there in Steampipe Cloud, the place it’ll take only a few seconds to pop in your Mastodon entry token (from, e.g., https://mastodon.social/settings/applications/new) and start utilizing the dashboards.
In the meantime, should you’re so inclined, yow will discover the plugin here and the dashboards here. When you’re moderately technical you may fairly rapidly and simply set up Steampipe, clone these repos, construct the plugin, and begin utilizing the dashboards.
Why would you need to? My very own motivation, initially, was to do Mastodon analytics. I believed Steampipe’s SQLification of the API could be a useful strategy to discern and monitor exercise tendencies throughout a interval of extraordinary flux. And that’s confirmed to be true, to a restricted extent. Right here’s a snapshot of the dashboard that makes use of the instance activity API.
I’m watching this chart with nice curiosity. The place does it go from right here? I’m not going to hazard a guess. The whole lot’s up within the air proper now, and something may occur.
However as I added tables to the plugin to encapsulate extra of the Mastodon API, and added dashboards to visualise these tables, my focus shifted. I started to see the suite of dashboards as a Mastodon reader/browser that enhances the online and telephone shoppers, and that’s how I primarily use them now.
I believe the important thing profit is considered one of Edward Tufte’s core rules: information density. Every of those dashboards exhibits extra exercise than you may see at a look within the internet or telephone interfaces. I discover this very useful for looking and looking. Once I see gadgets of curiosity that I need to work together with, I click on by means of to the online app with a view to increase, reply, or favourite.
Will this fashion of looking Mastodon enchantment to you? To get a really feel for what it’s like, listed below are snapshots of a number of the dashboards I’ve constructed to this point.
For me, a minimum of, this method has develop into an efficient strategy to browse the fediverse, discover attention-grabbing folks, learn what they increase, and maintain monitor of my very own exercise.
If you’re dev-minded, by the best way, please word that these dashboards are only one strategy to pores and skin the outcomes of queries towards the plugin. Any SQL consumer can connect with Steampipe’s Postgres endpoint. You possibly can use dashboards like Metabase or Grafana, or you could possibly embed Steampipe as a component in an app.