Mastodon, a moving feast
October 10, 2022
After tentatively trying out Mastodon since around 2018 I made the move there from Twitter more or less completely this year, as it now seems likely Elon Musk's going to be Twitter's new owner.
Coincident with that move, the Mastodon instance I had been using – mastodon.technology – was being closed down.
So, I'm moving. Again, again. This time to my own single user instance, turnip.solutions, which is a suitably novel novelty domain name, I think. I'm moving to my own new instance rather than another existing one mostly because I didn't want to have to migrate again quite so soon, any time soon, unless it's of my own choosing.
I had joked that the four possible levels of galaxy brain gif madness of moving were to:
- move to a different instance,
- set up my own instance hosted on a managed service,
- self host my own instance,
- set up my own managed hosting service.
So I'm a little proud of myself for only having gone as far as level two. (All good jokes are worth repeating, but I'll also continue to repeat my jokes too.)
This all possibly makes it look like I'm much more all-in on Mastodon than I feel. Not being owned by a billionaire con-man is a very good start, so I am hopeful about it, but I wonder for example whether in, in part reacting to the presence of extremists on Twitter, we aren't maybe building even better infrastructure for extremists with Mastodon. Because on Mastodon people can easily get siloed in their self selecting instances, & outside views are something people have to actively seek out.
I'm also certain that most of the people I've enjoyed the company of on Twitter over the years simply aren't technically savvy enough or interested enough to make the jump to Mastodon. That move just isn't straightforward enough, not yet. I miss those guys.
But extremism, polarisation, atomisation even, & certainly the concentration of ownership & wealth under monopoly capitalism, those all aren't technical problems, so a technical solution like Mastodon isn't necessarily going to be of much use on its own. It doesn't need to solve every problem though, just help a bit with some of them… and a guillotine could also be considered a technical solution, I suppose… (he said, in a totally not extremist way).
I'm on a one person instance now, & I don't know yet how all this will play out, even just for myself. But I am hopeful.