Streamz Orientation

Streamz is a micro-blogging platform designed to teach k12 students social networking. Streamz is built on the open source software Mastodon with two views, or ways to use Streamz. The "familiar" view is based on the Twitter user interface and the "fediverse" view in the Mastodon user interface which also allows the teacher/student to see the fediverse.

What is Mastodon?

 

Your username and your domain

Streamz usernames actually consist of two parts:

Just like an e-mail address. For convenience sake, Streamz allows you to skip the second part when addressing people on the same server as you, but you have to keep in mind when sharing your username with other people, you need to include the domain or they won’t be able to find you as easily.

   
I’m @alice on Mastodon! Wrong
I’m @alice@streamz.ca on Mastodon! Correct
I'm https://streamz.ca/@alice on Mastodon! Correct

The search form in Streamz will find people either with the above address form, or the link to the person’s profile, so you can share that instead if you prefer.

The same username can be registered on different servers – there is no way to claim all of them ahead of time. Just like with e-mail, you should not expect alice@outlook.com to be the same person as alice@gmail.com or alice@yahoo.com.

Setting up your profile

Get started with your new account.

Your appearance

Profile cards showing display name, avatar, and header

Profile cards showing display name, avatar, and header

You can change how your profile appears to others by navigating to Settings > Profile > Appearance.

Display name

Your display name is shown to other users before your address. You can set a display name up to 30 characters by default.

Bio

Your bio is a short description of yourself that is displayed as a note on your profile. You can set a bio of up to 500 characters by default.

Avatar

Your avatar is an icon that is displayed next to your posts and is part of your visual identity. You can upload an avatar as a PNG, GIF, or JPG image up to 2MB in size. This image will be downscaled to 400x400.

Header

Your header is a banner image shown at the top of your profile, as well as in profile cards used in follow lists and account directories. You can upload a header as a PNG, GIF, or JPG image up to 2MB in size. This image will be downscaled to 1500x500.

Profile flags

You can set certain flags on your profile to let others know how you use Streamz/Mastodon.

Locked account

By locking your account, two things will happen:

  • New followers will not be automatically accepted, but will instead require you to manually approve them.
  • A lock icon will be shown to others, to let them know that their follow will not be immediately accepted.

Bot account

Enabling the bot flag will add a bot icon to your profile. This icon will let others know that your profile may perform automated actions, or might not be monitored by a human. Other software may choose to treat bot profiles differently, but Streamz currently treats the bot flag as a visual indication only.

Profile directory

Opting in to be listed on the profile directory will make your profile discoverable through a feature that allows browsing through profiles.

Profile metadata

Profile metadata is a way to add extra information to your profile that is easy to skim. You have 4 rows where you can define the label and the value. For example:

Label Content
Age 25
Country Canada
Pronouns he/him
Website https://example.com

It’s completely up to you what you put there. The content can contain mentions, hashtags, custom emojis and links.

Document-based verification and blue ticks are not possible without a central authority. However, Streamz can cross-reference the links you put on your profile to prove that you are the real owner of those links. In case one of those links is your personal homepage that is known and trusted, it can serve as the next-best-thing to identity verification.

Behind the scenes, Streamz checks for the rel="me" attribute on the link back. Likewise, Streamz puts rel="me" on the links within profile metadata.

Set your preferences

Customize things just the way you like them.

Customizing the user interface

Choose a theme

Streamz defaults to the light theme, but a dark or high-contrast theme can be selected.

screenshot-streamz.png

Mastodon light theme

Choose your layout

Streamz defaults to a simple, one-column layout with a compose box on the left and a column switcher on the right. You can choose to enable the advanced web interface, which allows you view and pin multiple columns at the same time.