Nov. 2019 - Site Issues Discussions : Preserving QOTO's S.T.E.M. focus in a time of growth, steering site


Hello everyone,

We reconvene here at the QOTO Discourse, Moderation area as suggested by @arteteco.

This thread will focus on ONE of the issues being previously discussed in the Local feed area (open to fediverse), the issues being :

  • Posts by new users who reached QOTO in search of a first home, a General instance in the fediverse.

  • Posts that have no relation to the site’s stated Thematic line of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

  • Very fast growth in the users numbers - likely caused by QOTO’s prominent position at or near the top of suggested instances on the

  • What to do to focus in the Theme, preserve the tone and the existing membership

  • How and what to do regarding the influx of General instance seeking new members.

A reminder that there are other issues (Non-English Language posts and non-Latin characters script particularly) that we are looking at in a separate thread here - to facilitate a more focused discussion. That thread is located at :

The discussion on the Theme and General posting behaviour has been ongoing for four days at this time, so I consider important to refer to past posts, as many of us made good points, and we could use any insights and consensus to advance this thread’s progress.

This thread is Open to the general membership of QOTO, to read and to participate if they like. Reading can be done as guests, no account in the Discourse (this forum) is needed to read.

Anyone wishing to post a reply is invited to sign up for an account and join the discussion - and we thank you for your participation beforehand.

Previous discussions on the STEM site theme and Focus issue took place in a few different threads, and has happened over the last 4 to 5 days. I will try to list some of them here, please feel free to read them for input, and to mention any other threads, with a link, so we can add to this summary.

Thank you.

Relevant topics list, in no particular order :slight_smile:

Now, I might have posted links above to certain posts in a long and rich discussion thread, which has been going on for 4 days now.

As mentioned by arteteco, there are at least two issues interlaced in it, and now we are trying to focus on one at a time – Languages in this thread.

Work needed: possible revision on the About this Instance / Welcome page :

There are some paragraphs that can easily come to haunt us. And some changes of topic that would be nicer if we could structure the page a bit. Some sub-headers, etc.

Specifically concerning to me:

…because, the About This Server says I can talk whaever I want, says user when asked to stay on topic, etc…

Just came accross a very good post by @freemo, from a few months back.

I think some of the explanation in that response should be incorporated into the About This Instance page, which I feel needs a bit of an overhaul for consistency and to clarify the issue Jeff explained well and clearly in the post linked.

I was thinking of possibly taking a copy of the present text, work on my view of possible edit and posting it for discussion and review. That could get the ball started, with something on the table for people to look at and discuss.

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I’m a firm advocate for semi-open registration using Matodon’s feature for requiring a written submission as to why a user wants to register. @Freemo pointed out that such a thing doesn’t deter bad actors who say one thing and do another, but I believe that even a token barrier is better than none at all.


I agree that it is a good idea!

And maybe ask to get QOTO NOT listed at the very top of the instances list at

We are not a General instance, and many people will pick the first instance in the list which is not weird, contrary to their sex orientation or in a foreign language. is a good example of excessive, by default growth. Their listing is shown, but waaay down the list.

I don’t think that’s accidental, but intentional, to avoid being hit by newcomers too hard.


I believe the listing order is automatic based on growth

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