@PeanutGallery (outside way to get a feel for the fediverse)


Very cool idea! I wonder if this could be integrated into Mastodon tooting as well (like replying with a :thumbsup: or something, or @ a bot to propose a question).

An interactive mod to the idea might be to make a way to anonymously tunnel in to the fediverse from the web. For example, a website with an anonymous chat box where you can ask the fediverse a question. People on Mastodon see the question from the @PeanutGallery account (or something) and can @ the PeanutGallery to respond to the chat area.

The answers from instances would appear at the webpage like:

    octodon.social: the answer is 'mRNA'. Youre welcome
    mastodon.social: Whu? What is this, Jeopardy?

and so on. (no usernames, just the instance name) Then you can get a feel for what kind of people are on instances and have fun doing it.

I realize it’s not an algorithm, but I’m in a silly mood o.O

"Find an Instance", search algorithms and metadata

You’re right that it’s a completely different topic but I love the idea?? I think it’s entirely doable, too, but I don’t want to hijack my own thread talking about it, do you want to split it off into the General board?


Sure, but I don’t know how to split…


I split it off for you. :slight_smile:


I have concerns about a highly visible anonymous posting service being built into mastodon.
I don’t really disagree with the idea, but it’s something that could get ruined fast by being used for abuse. Maybe we could make it rate-limited or something? Maybe make it into a game so the rate limit doesn’t feel arbitrarily imposed?
“The instance Dating Game” anyone? :stuck_out_tongue:


There’s little reason not to place a human filter between the anonymous source and the user account. Maybe give it a queue, posting a question every few hours, with a human intermediary deciding which questions go in the queue.

(That would give the admin the opportunity to front-load it with questions, too, so users have a chance to find it and start submitting their own.)


All right!

So here are my thoughts about how to implement this!

First, hooking the API up to a chatroom style website; I have no experience in that, but I think it should be relatively simple to take existing software and hook it up to the API, for anyone who has any experience in either of those things.

Second, have a page for instance admins to submit their instance, along with the account on their instance that has been created for the purpose of this hook-up. That account can be set up with whatever posting publicity level that the admin wants, be named whatever the admin wants, etc.

Third, I agree that a fully anonymous feed into mastodon is less than ideal. A team of volunteer moderators on the “Peanut Gallery” site filtering the questions is a decent solution, but lacks the immediacy of the chatroom set-up.

That flaw could be mitigated, however, if instead of having it as a chatroom per se, it has it more like… a commented FAQ? A discussion board? The questions that have been submitted and answered are displayed in a list, and clicking on one opens up a page with the responses from people on the various linked instances.

So then, instead of a chat room to ask a question, there are two primary functions on the site: “Submit a Question” and “View Q&As”, the latter of which is the listing, and which could be sorted either by number of responses, number of instances which responded, or number of views.

I think that idea would require more coding than the simple anonymized chat room, but would probably be more useful overall, especially in the sense of having a browsable history.

Editing to add a follow-up: There should be a function when adding your instance to the site to have it queue up previously asked questions, so your instance gets a chance to add answers to them! This is important.


We could take a hybrid approach. Instead of live chat or just a static message board, we could have the perspective individual choose from a list of pre-approved questions that the bot would then ask the instance. Like the annoying as hell chat messaging nintendo tries occasionally :smiley: Only, you know… better because we’re doing it for different reasons!

We could still have the submit a question process as well, it woulld just eventually add a question to the list. Which we’d prune occasionally for boring/stale ones. Maybe keep a count of which ones get used the most over like the last week and rotate out for new questions when the list gets unmanageable…

I’d still want to rate-limit it though, spamming a safe message like a billion times a minute is still spamming. Plus I’m still really into the idea of making this into an instance dating game… :3

Okay, I’m developing out this idea a bit too much. Someone criticize it before I get too attached.


I think an instance dating game is a fun idea and in the wise words of Miguel and Tulio: “Both. Both is good.”

The thread idea is that the questions go to ALL the linked instances, not to a Specific Instance, and the toots to instance accounts wouldn’t automatically get deleted, so I’m not sure if there’s really a point in “re-sending” a question, so to speak.

I do agree about the queue; it’d merge well with the human moderation angle, which is what I had in mind but I think I forgot to actually put into words. It’d also make each question more manageable to send to dozens or hundreds of instances.


I do think there is a valid point in re-sending FAQs. We can’t assume the responses are going to stay representative forever, or that people are going to scroll way back to find a popular question to update their answer. At the same time we don’t want to annoy people with the same question every day. Maybe we track the popularity of each question and we occasionally ‘refresh’ their answers? Maybe if they trend in the top 3 for a week or something.


What if website users could “poke” a question to resubmit it? There could be rate limits to this (one poke per question per day, e.g.) It’d be like bumping a thread.


Possible. This could also play into the nintendo-esque chat mode, allowing the thrill of real-time response.
The downside is that people might get tired of the same questions again and again.


So if each instance had a @PeanutGallery account, e.g., the people on that instance could see the questions by following it? Handling the relay at the web server does sound much faster than using the fediverse to propogate the message.

Actually, it might be interesting to have a @PeanutGalleryGlobal and a local one. This would allow users to ask questions to both the fediverse and a specific instance if they so desired. The instance could have its own chat/Q&A page on the website, too, for this purpose. It might even (I’m dreaming here) evolve into a sort of wiki/description page for the instance.

I like the idea of mixing real-time interaction and a relaxed, static portion that people could browse.

Static portion might be:

  • Q&A
  • archived chat logs
  • “guestbooks” of toots pushed to the website from Mastodon, just for lulz
  • ??? other fun stuff

The guestbook could be possible if a user directly @'s the peanut gallery without clicking reply.

The interactive portion could be:

  • IRC-esque interaction with the entire fediverse
  • Scheduled events (The Dating Game, Q.I., or kibbitz a movie, etc.)
  • Direct chat with an instance’s people
  • ??? other fun stuff

I would like to see media attachments being pushed to the website, but unfortunately there are abuse issues with that.