Not thrilled with Twitter lately? Mastodon is a good alternative social network that’s not controlled by one monolithic ad company.
It works a lot like Twitter, but with some key differences:
- Posts are 500 characters
- Mix public and private posts from the same account
- Spoiler warnings!
- Chronological timelines! You see posts in the order they arrive, not the order that some algorithm thinks will make you angry enough to “engage” more.
- No ads!
- Less data mining!
- Human moderators!
- Each server is its own community within the larger “Fediverse,” and they can all interact with each other.
Wait, what’s that last one again? Mastodon is not a centralized service, but software run by many different people and organizations. You can join a server (or “instance”) that suits you (or start your own!), and you can still interact with people on other instances because the servers talk to each other to make a larger combined service (“federation”). Think of it like choosing an email provider: You can still send to people on other providers, get replies, etc. Mastodon uses a standard called ActivityPub for this, which means it can interact with other software that uses that standard as well.
Join Mastodon gives you a quick run-down, and helps you choose an instance (don’t worry, you can always move later on). Some helpful guides (hat tip to @Canageek@cybre.space) include:
- Mastodon – Nowhere
- Why You Should Try Mastodon – Academic Aesthetic
- Toot How-To: Intro to Mastodon – Ginny McQueen
You can find me at @KelsonV@Wandering.Shop for general discussion, @KelsonReads@BookToot.club for books, and @KelsonV@Photog.Social for photography.
Oh yeah, there’s also this short video: