Mastodon – like a 2007 Twitter all over again!
Was it really January when I put up my last post? This year has flown by!
Over the last couple of weeks though I’ve been using Mastodon, a new social media platform that will be recognisable to some as Twitter from circa 2007, no strange timeline adjustments or adverts, no restrictions on third party apps or missing @’s in replies. Back to basics. There are a few differences though. Firstly it’s an open source platform, mastodon.social was the original but anyone can spin up an instance (I’m currently on mastodon.cloud as @planty, just like on twitter) and so the main timeline you see with all the toots (tweets) are from the instance you’re on, BUT you can also see a federated timeline of these and all the other instances that are out there too!
This difference could be a really good move and a big reason to try over Twitter. You can spin up an instance for a specific subject, keeping the trolls and the noise out. So for example a mastodon.legal, but you can still take part in a wider debate through the federation to all the other instances. Also as its open source there really isn’t any need to monetise and so it should avoid the need Twitter feels to make it more like Facebook!
There are some thinks that could get confusing, for example I think you can have the same username on different stances, so @planty could appear on another mastodon instance, the federated toots show the instance as a prefix so you know which is which. But it doesn’t take much to see how this could be abused. However like I say, this is like early Twitter where rules are formed by the users, I’m currently struggling to remember how I started picking those to follow and build conversations, using things like #FF all over again!
It’s good to be back
Update 19/04: Today I signed up to another instance, one created for legal folk (resipsa.social). Good that the legal community is already onboard, but it also highlighted to me a potential problem with Mastodon, I’d already started on mastodon.cloud so now I’ve got two profiles! I’ve created @planty on both, but there is a feeling that things are becoming fragmented. If I had followers in theory I can export and import across instances, but not the ‘toots’ so for the time being it feels a bit odd.
Will let you know how I get on.