The Definitive Guide to Mastodon

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Paul Stamatiou: Mastodon

I no doubt expect Elon to reverse some of his decisions from the regular backlash from users and press, but there’s no trust anymore. Even if a new CEO or a new owner is announced, I don’t know if Twitter can ever be truly trusted again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.


Mastodon feels like the early days of Twitter, with people just sharing thoughts, not worrying about how to optimize for engagement. It feels more intimate, authentic, and close-knit. My only advice for those starting out on Mastodon is to boost posts you think others should see to help with discovery, and also, you can favorite your heart out knowing it doesn’t do unexpected things like injecting the post into others’ home timelines because there’s no algorithmic timeline.

I'll use this as another chance to remind readers that I've moved my social media time over to Mastodon 100% of the time. I'm @[email protected] over there, and I agree wholeheartedly with Paul here: Mastodon feels like Twitter felt when I joined it many, many years ago.

I never got much from the Extended Twitter Universe, and I really just wanted to use it as a place to keep up with my nerdy friends and talk tech. I'd guess about 80% of the people I talk to have moved over to Mastodon. I miss the other 20%, but honestly I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything not being there.

Huh, it seems you don't have to use Twitter because it's not the public square. Interesting.

Anyway, I do think that Mastodon will start to feel more like the current version of Twitter over time. It doesn't have that today because the audience isn't large enough to make figuring out how to optimize your posts for engagement to be worth it, but if it grows to 10x (or 100x) its current size, then those incentives come back. I don't think decentralization solves this, as evidenced by how the decentralized web optimized around clickbait headlines and listicles, for example.

But we don't have to dislike something today for what it may turn into down the road. For now I'm enjoying Mastodon, just like I enjoyed Twitter…until I didn't, and now I'm gone.