As Twitter implodes, there remains the elephant in the room: social media persists. The elephant’s cousin — Mastodon — proves it. Well, sort of. As social creatures, people are going to connect online, one way or the other. At first, I heard about various Twitter alternatives, but Mastodon seems to keep rising to the top. Though I doubt I’ll join, I’m interested in that it’s “federated,” kind of like email.
I can’t get into the technical stuff because it’s mostly over my head. I’ve read a few articles about it, but Glenn Fleishman’s recent piece strikes the loudest chord. It relates how Mastodon works similar to email. Due to this and the fact it also looks and feels much like Twitter helps spark my interest.
I am, after all, a social creature who favors text over photos or videos when “connecting” with my fellow humans. And I miss the old days of original Twitter with its simple restriction of 140 characters per Tweet. And of course, like Twitter of yore, Mastodon is labeled a “microblogging” platform. Anything like blogging gets my attention.
Another feature of Mastodon that is most intriguing to me: a plain ol’ feed that’s in reverse chronological order and shows only people you follow — no ads, no sponsored posts, no algorithm amplification. That sounds so quaint or elementary, yet it also sounds so refreshing in its straightforward simplicity.
So I’m learning more and will keep an eye on the pachyderm in the room. Maybe it will grow more popular or powerful and fulfill a promise like that of the early internet or the modern Indieweb, such that people can directly interact quickly and easily online without the problems of web 2.0 social media. Maybe we’ll see a shift away from centralized and commercialized platforms like Facebook.
While I don’t like social media as run by billionaires — Musk and Zuckerberg — Mastodon might be different enough to be worth joining. Like email, maybe Mastodon has enough old-school wisdom to last well into the future.
Have you considered Mastodon?