Sven’s Excellent Fediverse Explanation
The ever-helpful Sven Dahlstrand (@sod) on Micro.blog:
You know how email is this cool thing that mostly just works. You can have an
@gmail.comaddress and send a message to someone with an
@hey.comaddress and vice versa.
Someone else can run the email server on your behalf, or you can run one yourself in a closet from home. You can have one email address, two or five, or how many you want.
Also, you can use whatever client you want. Gmail’s web-based client, a fancy app on your phone, or a text-based one in a terminal. They might have different features and user experiences, but they all “speak email.”
I think a lightbulb flashed on in many people’s minds from this reply. It’s hard to imagine a more cogent and accessible explanation of Mastodon/Fediverse/ActivtyPub than this. The usernames might look weird right now, but I think it’s something that will pass with time. I’m sure email addresses used to look silly when they were new, too.