Today marks exactly one month since E-day, when Elon Musk took the helm of Twitter and caused successive waves of people to look for alternative social media platforms.
I’ve had a half-written set of blog posts on the scaling process I went through, which keeps getting pushed back to focus on the burning fire of the day on infosec.exchange, personal/family commitments, and $dayjob. What I need to write there needs to change because I’ve learned so much in the interceding time. That said, I want to give a one-month update. I’ve said in many venues that we started with 180 active accounts on October 26, 2022, and as of today, we have 32.763. Within the past two days, I was able to get Prometheus up and running to monitor the front end load on the web severs for infosec.exchange.
This shows that we’re in the 4000-5000 connection range. During the height of the excitement, around the time that Artemis launched, we had over 9000 connections.
Taking a bit longer look, Hetzner, the company that hosts infosec.exchange servers, provides some traffic graphs, and since I’ve continually rebalanced the load across servers, their tool’s ability to aggregate select servers into a single graph is helpful. This is what the graph looks like as of today. Note that there is some oddness in how their graph reports the current level, so ignore the sharp drop off on the right.
This graph seems to indicate that the traffic has peaked and is slowing down some. That meets with my intuition based on the number of new sign-ups. During the height of the migration, I was seeing multiple new accounts registered per minute. Overnight last night, there were 57 new signups, or about 10 per hour.
I’ve written and spoken about my view that infosec.exchange was the “front door” into the fediverse for the security community. I wanted to provide a soft landing spot for our community (and anyone else) looking for a new social media home, but I know that the fediverse is designed to be federated, and some people would move to other instances (like ioc.exchange, hackers.town, hachyderm.io, chaos.social, and many others), and some have set up their own instances, both personal and new communities, like defcon.social and cyberplace.social. I believe we’ve also experienced a good number of “tire kickers”, which created accounts to see what it was all about, and subsequently left. Those things are all good and expected.
What I am most pleased about is the home and local timelines. It feels like infosec twitter from 10 years ago, with people sharing ideas, news, pet pictures, asking for help, and so on. Someone thanked me today for creating the community that exists on infosec.exchange. My view is that I did not create it. I just set up some servers. It’s the people who are here that make it awesome.
And speaking of people… One of the hard lessons I learned is that when a bunch of people are put into a room together, there’s going to be problems. Keeping a community together requires constant gardening to pull the weeds out. We’ve experienced our fair share of trolls, harassment, and other issues. It’s a very tough line to walk between facilitating a community where people feel comfortable being themselves and being an authoritarian overlord that manages what people are allowed to say and think. At least in terms of how people perceive the situation. I am super fortunate to have the world’s best moderators supporting the site. These people are extremely diligent, introspective, and caring. If anyone deserves credit for the site not going to hell in a handbasket, it’s them. Technology is easy; people are complicated.
I look forward to continuing with this community and looking for opportunities to continue improving things.
Since we’re in the zone, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best to you and yours.