Experimenting with Mastodon without effort
Mastodon is currently considered the alternative to Twitter. SURF and Universities of the Netherlands are therefore jointly exploring how a Mastodon environment for education and research in the Netherlands can take shape. We started a pilot in February 2023 for all institutions in WO, HBO, MBO, research and the UMCs. This way, they do not have to set up their own IT environment or acquire specific expertise.
Why have your own Mastodon server for teaching and research?
- Get started immediately as an institution and as a user: SURF hosts and maintains the server.
- Together we create a constructive community.
- We investigate the technology (fediverse, activity pub. etc.) and learn about it.
- Users may be anonymous, but are always traceable.
- You can create group accounts (useful for webcare teams, for example)
- We can express the public values we consider important
The pilot in the media
The Mastodon pilot has not been complaining about media attention. A selection of articles (most of them in Dutch):
- How is Mastodon doing with all those Twitter leavers there? 'You have to start all over again' (Volkskrant)
- Education wants alternative to Twitter on Mastodon (FD)
- Higher education starts trial with Mastodon (DELTA, TU Delft)
- SURF and Universities of the Netherlands explore use of Mastodon in education sector (industry association BTG)
- Ask universities to take ownership of new social media (Norwegian KNAW)
Public values first
"In this digital age, a communication channel based on public values is increasingly important for universities. This ensures integrity and autonomous messaging," said Ronald Stolk, CIO of Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and chair of the Public Values Committee within SURF.