This subject has played an outsized claim on my attention this past week. At work, we are constantly pressured to promote our “brand” on all kinds of social media. I’m fairly proficient at Facebook, less so on Instagram and Twitter, and here on WordPress I sort of fumble along. With all the news of the Spacechild Billionaire acquiring Twitter and his ego and job cutting leading to a mass exodus of Twitter users, I took note of where many of the journalists I follow were setting up new digs – a mysterious new world named Mastodon. Part of the Fediverse. Don’t ask me to explain much. The most I can tell you is that it is a international network of many computer servers, run by volunteers. Some communities are very small, some are bursting at the seams and their servers are having problems with the huge Twitter Migration. There aren’t any ads. There are many different features.
So I spent a bit too much time exploring it last night and this morning. I set up an initial account at mstdn.social@slowturnstudio and searched hashtags to find a few interesting people to follow, and on the way found some of the journalists that I follow on Twitter. Then I realized that there were art “instances” (communities) that would be a better fit, so I set up another account at @firstname.lastname@example.org. The addresses are really confusing. I downloaded two different apps to my phone, Mastodon and Tusky. So far I like Tusky better.
I really need to understand Instagram better instead of diving into a completely new platform with a steep learning curve, because we’re talking about creating a work Instagram account. But, here I am.
During the past few months, I have probably spent more time on Twitter than anywhere else. It’s come to be the place that I go for breaking news and to follow some really great journalists. When I first created an account there, it was to follow Steve Martin. Really, that was about it. I even said that in my profile at first. “I’m just here to follow @SteveMartinToGo.” I follow a lot more comedians and actors there now, and I don’t think that Steve Martin tweets much any more.
While I do have a Twitter account, I don’t tweet much. I retweet others. I rarely have any real interaction with others, and that’s okay. I have a lot of that on Facebook and Instagram, and I’m not on Twitter for socialization.
In that way, Mastodon is very different. It could be that so many new people are searching for others to follow. It could be that it has, at this point, a much smaller pool of users for “tooters” to choose from. So far, so good. I’m keeping my Twitter account, but if it crashes or goes mostly right wing, I have a new place to land where I can follow political posts in a well moderated system.