My favourite social network seems to be under threat now that Elon Musk is the new boss. On the one hand, Musk is seen as the person who will restore freedom of speech. On the other hand, he’s seen as the person who will let Twitter become a free for all for bad actors to spread hate and lies.
There’s talk of a great Twitter migration of people who don’t want to be associated with the platform with Musk at the helm. One of the places people are heading is Mastodon.
I’ve had an account on Mastodon for a few years now, left over from my experiments with the IndieWeb movement. I like the platform. It’s much the same as Twitter. But as a decentralised platform, it can be confusing because there are so many instances of Mastodon, which is its strength because you can join an instance that caters to your interests. If you have the server space, you can even start your own instance and invite only the people you want on it.
The most popular instance is mastodon.social which is maintained by the founder and CEO of Mastodon. I’m there at @firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m currently hedging my bets between the two platforms. I’m using moa to link my Twitter and Mastodon accounts. With this link, I can crosspost from one to the other. So I can either Toot or Tweet and the post will appear on both platforms. Moa can be a little slow at crossposting, though.
I was looking for a way I could just use my WordPress powered blog as the central point of all of my documentation. While I can syndicate out from my blog to Twitter and Mastodon, I don’t want to use my main blog as a microblog. WordPress isn’t really designed to function as a microblogging platform.
For now, I’ll continue using my WordPress blog for longer posts and syndicate them out to Twitter, Mastodon, and Tumblr. And I’ll continue to use Twitter as my main microblogging platform.
Some people might ask why I don’t just return to blogging full-time and forget about the social networks. And as cool as that would be, the reality is that if you want to reach more people and make connections with others who share your interests, you need to use platforms where there are lots of people.
I don’t think blogging will ever return to its former glory. The social networks are too pervasive. And let’s face it, they are super convenient. You don’t have to worry about keeping the software updated or your plugins updated. You don’t have to pay hosting fees and domain name fees etc.
Of course, you give up a lot in return for this convenience like your data, and ownership and control of your content. Your audience belongs to the platform, not you. This doesn’t really matter if all you really want to do is share a few status updates to your family and friends and you’re not really looking to expand your network beyond the one you already have with the people you already know.
I’m a big fan of social networks as opposed to social media. The key word for me is social. I like socialising with diverse groups of people from all walks of life and interests. The media bit gets in the way. Really I should say using social media as marketing tool gets in the way. It’s get tiresome when every other post you read is someone or some business clearly trying to sell you something or get you to buy something (that you probably don’t need).
As you can probably guess, I find that WordPress best suits my needs. To my mind, it provides the most leeway. It is simple to customise the look and feel of your site, whether you know how to code or not. I can blog from anywhere thanks to its mobile feature. There is also a built-in community of other WordPress bloggers to interact with.
With all of this turmoil going on in the social space, I’m definitely consolidating my efforts more around my own space, with this blog and potentially a newsletter.
OK, let’s end this with a cute cat video. We recently added a new member to our cat family. Her name is Rosa.1