Oh no, the evil algorithm is back!
A small program to generate "programmatic" lists in Mastodon, as a way to experiment with different kinds of home feeds.
Mastodon's strict chronological timeline favors frequent posters over less frequent ones. In my experience this causes a problem where your feed is dominated by a few hardcore, big-follower-number posters, while you're missing out on content from less frequent posters (such as Twitter holdouts, or your mutuals).
Mastodon's solution to this is lists, but lists require curation and effort to maintain. So what if those lists updated themselves?
Create an empty list with the name
#last_status_at<1w. The program will recognize it by its name, and overwrite its contents with users who haven't posted in a week.
Go to Development in your Mastodon account, and create a new access token.
Export these variables:
Your list is now populated with new accounts. Run this program periodically to update it (this both adds and removes accounts).
#last_status_at<1d-- contains all users which haven't posted in a day or more.
#last_status_at<1w-- contains all users which haven't posted in a week or more.
#last_status_at<1m-- contains all users which haven't posted in a month or more.
#mutuals-- contains all users who you follow and who also follow you.
Variations such as
8m are permitted.
List names do not have to match exactly, they only have to end with the specified string. For example, it is permitted to name a list
My best friends #mutuals, so that your preferred list name is shown while the "machine-readable configuration" is still there. There can currently however only be one
# in the name.
List clauses can not be composed, so creating a list of mutuals who haven't posted in a week is not possible right now.
I want to keep experimenting with this on my own account for now, but am looking for ways to expose this as some kind of service to other users.
However, this program hammers the API a lot. At a minimum, there would have to be a way to throttle updates, which currently doesn't exist, and ideally both on a per-user and a per-instance basis.