So Mastodon’s getting a lot of love! If Musk’s Twitter purchase is what ends up making Mastodon a mainstream thing, then hey, silver linings I guess?
I’ve been on since 2019 as @email@example.com but other than a brief flurry of activity, I haven’t used it loads. The main problem was the classic “it’s not where my closest friends are”. The other issue is that I would normally enjoy browsing this sort of thing on my phone, and I didn’t love any of the apps available for iOS. That may have changed, I need to investigate.
But part of it was also that the majority of the conversation on the vis.social server wasn’t quite what I would normally engage with. At the time it was definitely the closest to my preferred content out of all of the instances I could find. But a lot of it is slightly too niche for me or over my head a bit.
At any rate, I’m going to stick with vis.social for the time being since they seem like a lovely bunch. I’m also going to start contributing financially; these things cost money because they’re not financially supported by selling our data! But I’m definitely interested in starting my own instance at some point.
For when that eventually comes around, see Simon Willison’s 5 Nov post about Mastodon, and Darius Kazemi’s unbelievably thorough runyourown.social.
It’ll be interesting to see how significant this move to Mastodon is ultimately… SB and I were talking about it and he made the very good point that it really needs to turn in to something like email at some point, something that people see as so basic that companies like Apple and Microsoft start offering Mastodon clients baked in to their operating systems by default. I think that’s probably right, or at least it would be the clearest indication that it’s here to stay.
Besides that, the vocabulary… It can be hard for people to wrap their heads around “federation”, “instances”, etc. Part of me was thinking, do people really even need to understand that? I mean an unbelievable number of people use email, but they don’t usually need to understand the difference between POP and IMAP and that sort of thing. I guess that comes down to solid email clients and providers smoothing over that abstraction though (return to point above about native Mastodon clients). We need better apps and better metaphors.