Mastodon — Next big thing?

Ed Nico
3 min readNov 19, 2022

With everyone talking about Twitter and the growing popularity of Mastodon as an alternative, I wanted to take a bit of a dive into the platform and give you my thoughts.

Firstly, what / who is Mastodon?

In simple terms, Mastodon is a decentralized social network that is similar to Twitter. It has a longer character limit of 500 characters per Toot (the same as a Tweet) and can be used to share articles, thoughts, and updates. you might say, it is very similar to Twitter, which it is, although when we scratch the surface, we observe some variances:

  • Decentralized

Instant global communication is too important to belong to one company. Each Mastodon server is a completely independent entity, able to interoperate with others to form one global social network.

  • Open Source

Mastodon is free and open-source software. We believe in your right to use, copy, study and change Mastodon as you see fit, and we benefit from contributions from the community.

  • Not for Sale

We respect your agency. Your feed is curated and created by you. We will never serve ads or push profiles for you to see. That means your data and your time are yours and yours alone.

  • Interoperable

Built on open web protocols, Mastodon can speak with any other platform that implements ActivityPub. With one account you get access to a whole universe of social apps — the fediverse.

With the above (taken from https://joinmastodon.org)/, we get the message of openness, the user is in charge and independent. Given the recent happenings at Twitter, the above might not be a bad thing at all.

Now, my thoughts.

Whilst the above sounds great, the user experience is a little confusing. When you visit the homepage, you are asked to join a server (or instance as they are sometimes referred to). This was confusing at first as I don’t want to be siloed in one server but share my thoughts and musings with everyone that is willing to listen.

The above seems to be a common issue, with users writing, “The biggest hassle on Mastodon, however, is finding the right server. You might want to join a community of Los Angles

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Ed Nico

Posting about personal knowledge management (PKM) and Tools for Thought (TFT) along with some other stuff along the way.