So I’m hanging out on Mastodon these days. It’s the social networking site that quite a few folks have found to continue their social networking addiction, thanks to Elon Musk’s behavior as the new owner of Twitter. So far I’m liking it quite a bit. Scratch that. I’m liking it a lot. So do many of the folks I’m hanging out with.
If you’ve come to this blog post from Mastodon you’ll recognize most of the things folks are saying in my thoughts. Yes, it’s more civil. Yes, the Mastodonians are working hard to keep it that way in reacton to the Musk melon’s mucking up the joint. Yes, it’s not Twitter. Yes, the engagement is richer. And yes, it’s fun.
I’m here to tell you that I haven’t had as much fun with an Internet thingie since, well… since Twitter first came along.
While Mastodon has existed for awhile (I first staked out a piece of turf in May of last year), it picked up a fast blossoming head of steam once Musk’s purchase of Twitter went through. That momentum seems to be continuing. And those who’ve set up shop in these recent waves of refugees seem to be enjoying themselves as much as I am.
In addition to hanging out there it led to this blog. I stopped blogging and writing on the Internet primarily due to Twitter’s existence. I’m not alone in that. But as Mastodon is gaining in popularity, there appears to be a parallel resurgence in personal blogging. That urge hit me as well and here we are.
Twitter may have turned into the place of “owning” someone with a witty response, but “being owned” accelerated into a whole new nasty meaning in the last few months. So, Mastodon or no, it was time for a change.
For those who don’t know, Mastodon is set up as a decentralized network where no one person has control or ownership. It exists in a place(?) called the Fediverse. There are many Instances (or servers) where folks can find a home, and those Instances are interconnected through the Internet. If you’re not paying attention to that structural distinction Mastodon feels like a similar experience to Twitter. I’m reasonably certain that Mastodon will run into some issues down the road given its structure and philosophy. But that’s for another day.
There are other types of services in the Fediverse as well. Pixelfed is an Instagram-like service Yes, I’ve staked out a spot there as well, though I’m not that active currently. And if you’re starting to sense that these services on the Fediverse sound reactionary, then you’re correct. I’ll probably spew out some words on that in the future.
But for the moment I’m enjoying that fun I referred to earlier. Not only is the service new (we all like new things and self-validate our new choices) but the energy in the eco-system surrounding Mastodon feels very much like the days when mobile tech exploded after the launch of the iPhone. I’ve tried out more new apps in recent months than I have in the last couple of years. I’m re-discovering folks who I followed but somehow lost sight of on Twitter while discovering new folks in abundance.
So, if you choose to visit this blog you’ll be hearing more about Mastodon in the future. If you choose to find your way there you can check me out at this link.