I’m now on Mastodon

I’ve always been uncomfortable with ad-driven social media, and left Facebook earlier this year, so the recent debacle with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter led me to look for alternatives. I wasn’t very active on the bird site, but I did enjoy having a way of connecting with other bookish types, so I wondered if there was another option.

My search led me to Mastodon, a decentralized platform that at first looked terribly confusing, but proved to be not so difficult after all. I’m on there as @lorywidmerhess@bookstodon.com.

So far I am enjoying it quite a bit, I like the interface and I’m connecting with some new folks and finding ways to communicate — I have to get used to using hashtags, which is the way you find anything on Mastodon.

Members choose an “instance” (that’s the second half of the profile name) to base themselves, but can communicate with and follow anybody from any instance. I didn’t spend much time choosing an instance, just going with one that seemed to represent my bookish interests, but there are many choices and which one may be of some importance especially if you have a particular special interest. One instance called histodons seems to have become quite popular for historians, for example. It is possible to change — I already migrated once — but keep in mind that though you’ll keep your followers, you’ll have to re-follow people yourself, and will lose all your messages and content from the former instance. Maybe there is some way to fix this, but I have not looked into that.

I just love that there are no ads and no one mining my data for advertising. To me, this is what social media should be — by and for the users, not people trying to make money off of us.

However, if you’re still using the bird, I hope it goes well for you! I don’t think Twitter will actually go away, it’s too useful to too many people, and ad-funded social media will surely remain the most powerful because the advertisers have a vested interest in making it work.

Are you using Mastodon, or are you thinking about it? Be sure to share your handle with me so I can follow you!

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8 thoughts on “I’m now on Mastodon

  1. One thing I’m missing on Mastodon is… all the people, it’s still a small network. Twitter is for me a source of information, with all the journalists, writers, OSINT analysts publishing things before they get to mainstream media – and if I’m careful in my selection of sources, it’s pretty reliable. Mastodon could be great for such people, but I wonder if it ever gets big enough to attract most of them.
    I found a few, but most aren’t as active as on Twitter. There’s also no algorithm, and pre-Musk Twitter knew me well enough to usually suggest interesting things – but it got much worse recently.

    1. As I said, Twitter is very useful! I hear you about the people… I’ll miss a good number I used to follow.

  2. I know that we are all upset about Twitter but everyone seems to be going to a different place. I don’t want to have to go to a hundred different places to find out what others are reading. I feel stuck…

    1. Agreed, it’s frustrating. I don’t want to be on many different platforms either, so I’ll stick with this one and see how it goes. Maybe I can even live without social media?

  3. As you know I’m @mstdn.social/edpendragon but I’m also a presence on @toot.wales/edpendragon. I hop between these and Tw*tter but, as Piotrek says, this last site still has a lot of political commentary where I get news that’s not on MSM, or at least not till later on.

    At the moment I’m crossposting tw**ts onto Mastodon but not all hashtags are common to both. I wonder if I should migrate or maybe have a separate presence on bookstodon.com…

    1. Not sure I picked the “best” instance to join but I will stick to it for now. So many choices! It will be interesting to see how things develop.

  4. It’s wonderful not being the ‘product’ or punching bag on SM isn’t it? I never was happy on Twitter and spent very little time there and have assiduously avoided anything owned by Mark Zuckerberg or Amazon. The concept of different servers is a little disconcerting at first, but moving to another one works smoothly, and once you’re in the Fediverse, it’s easy to understand why it works so well. I’m definitely spending far more time there and interacting with all sorts of interesting people I never would have found on the fowl place. I really appreciate the kinder, more thoughtful atmosphere.

    1. Yes, it’s been a lovely experience so far. I mostly use it as a blog adjunct and hope to connect with more readers and writers this way.

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