Summary: Join me on Mastodon. It's like Twitter, but less angry and more decentralized.
I've been a happy Twitter user for years and got a lot of value out of it over the last decade. Even so, I find myself using the service very little these days.
While I can't say for certain what is the cause of that, the non-chronological timeline and algorithms that seem to excel at showing me rage-inducing tweets come to mind. An extensive mute list helped for a little while, but even that is falling short nowadays.
That's part of why I was happily surprised when revisiting Mastodon a few weeks ago.
A lot had improved since I last checked in early 2017. I connected to a few people that seemed to be sharing interesting content, found some I already knew and had a really good time exploring the "fediverse" since then.
Here's a few things that make Mastodon great for me:
- It's open-source and you can host it yourself, while still participating in the global network and following users on other instances.
- Your feed is chronological, ad-free and there are no algorithms deciding what you actually end up seeing.
- You get 500 characters per "toot" and can hide things behind spoiler warnings.
A sample of what it could look like (although there are many different clients)
I'm enthusiastic about the direction that Mastodon is heading in and am really enjoying myself on there already. If you're looking for a place that feels a bit like Twitter in the early days, give Mastodon a proper try.
To further promote decentralization, I decided to run my own instance: mastodon.dvk.co (which was super easy to set up, by the way).
Useful Mastodon tools
If you're new to Mastodon, you'll have to put in some effort to turn it into something useful. It's not much fun logging in to an empty feed after all.
Here are some of the tools that helped me: