I Might Leave Lotide. Here's Why.

For those who aren't familiar with Lotide, it's a Fediverse-compatible software that serves as a link aggregator and forum, similar to Reddit, but seems to take more inspiration from Hacker News than Reddit. This means that the design is quite simple and the site is lightweight, which I quite enjoy; I don't need a million features just to share some news articles and links to YouTube videos, after all. However, as time has gone on, I've generally noticed one primary issue with the software that has continually led me to mull moving to something else on the Fediverse: federation issues.

The primary appeal of Fediverse software is the ability to use the ActivityPub protocol to interact with, or “federate” with, different software that serves similar or even somewhat different purposes. For example, users on Pleroma, a Twitter-like software on the Fediverse, can leave comments on videos posted to PeerTube, a YouTube-like software on the Fediverse, and those comments are visible from PeerTube. For Fediverse-based software, “federation” is the primary appeal.

Unfortunately for Lotide, it just plain fails to federate with certain other software, and in other cases, federation is spotty. Mastodon comments tend to appear on Lotide posts, for example, but Rebased comments rarely do. Federation with Lemmy communities works...sometimes. But other times, remote posts won't even load. And there seems to be zero compatibility between Lotide and Kbin at all.

In the age of big platforms ticking off large portions of their users, as Elon Musk did, for better or for worse, by taking over Twitter, Reddit facing an exodus of users could have been an opportunity for Lotide to gain users and thus, a community. But unfortunately, Lotide just wasn't ready for prime-time once the game started. There's certainly a chance that Lotide could gain more federation support and features, which is the primary reason why I'm still using the flagship instance, narwhal.city, but the fact remains that I'm missing out on huge portions of the exact type of content I visit Lotide to see. Presently, Mastodon has better compatibility with Kbin than Lotide, which has been frustrating to experience on my end. Cue Kermit the Frog looking through a raining window.

I am by no means salty at the Lotide developer team. I am sure they are either busy or have lost interest in the software, and I respect both. However, as a user, I must say that these frustrations have been building. For any Fediverse software, the quickest way to get me to leave is either spam me with slurs (thanks for that by the way, Poast) or have broken federation, and unfortunately, at least for now, the Lotide experience is marked quite painfully by the latter.