2023 was the first year for chaos.social under a proper governance structure with an easy way to donate, complete with regular reporting on our income and expenses. As predicted, not much changed in the day-to-day running of the instance (which is exactly why we chose the governance structure we did) – but here’s a quick overview of how the year went.
tl;dr: Things are looking good. Maintaining the instance is work, but not too much work. Please give us less money.
As our instance is invite-only, we grow only slowly, which is by design! Everybody with an account on chaos.social can invite new users, but that’s also the only way to get an account. In 2023, 1208 new users joined the instance.
Lest you think that’s a lot: here’s 2022 and 2023 together for comparison, including the big “oh lol Twitter sucks” bump:
But total user accounts aren’t really the interesting metric, because (as on every social network) many of them are inactive. Mastodon provides us with an “active users” metric, which includes all users who have logged in at least once in the last 30 days. We’re currently sitting at 6534 active users, which is 52 users fewer than this time last year (so basically no change).
We handled 1289 reports in total in 2023, which is significantly more than the 865 reports in 2022. Part of this are several spam waves we saw from other instances. Another aspect is our instance rule change regarding the use of CWs and image descriptions on the local timeline, which came into effect at the end of 2022.
This puts us at an average of 3.5 reports per day, which is still a manageable workload for us.
We need to talk about money. Because, people, please:
Stop giving us so much money.
We received EUR 17,720.51 in donations in 2023. That’s roughly EUR 1,500 per month. We spend just under EUR 400 per month on servers. We have a bit over 16k sitting in our bank account right now – if every single one of you stopped giving us money right now, we’d be fine for more than three years. (You can check these numbers on our money page, where we update them every month.)
So, yeah: we’re good. We’re not going anywhere. We’re not going to run out of money. You don’t have to stop donating to us entirely, but please consider giving at least some of your money to other projects that need it more than we do. (This is not entirely altruistic: If we make more than 22k a year, we have to pay taxes on it, and do more bookkeeping, and 17.7k is uncomfortably close to that!)
And that’s it!
If you have any questions, ping @ordnung on chaos.social, or send an email :)