I love Twitter. I have a community there of people I talk with, learn from, it’s great. But Twitter also has serious problems that stop everyone from being able to participate in that community. That sucks.
I was keen on App.net, when it was around. It never really had the chance to get off the ground, I feel, since they tried a pay model.
Enter Mastodon, a free-and-open-source distributed microblogging service. Sarah Jeong has great things to say in her article Mastodon Is Like Twitter Without Nazis, So Why Are We Not Using It? I was intrigued and signed up to one of the more popular instances that Jeong mentioned in her article.
Well, I wasn’t around too long in Awoo before noticing that the existing community was starting to feel uncomfortable with the influx of outsiders. One of the posts said:
While queer furries are the ‘old guard’ of mastodon.social… here we run the joint. You are in our house, and we expect safety and calm to be the order of the day here. If you want something more lively or tech-y, find another instance.
Still wanna stay? If you behave and respect us, you’re welcome.
I am 100% on board with respecting people, but I don’t want my presence to make anyone feel like their space is not theirs. So I decided I’d try to run my own instance for tech folks like me. If you’re keen, head over to mastodon.technology and sign up.
Setting up the instance took a few hours of configuration (I’m not that great at this) and some email providers aren’t letting the confirmation emails through (if you don’t get an email, email me and I’ll get you confirmed). I put it on a Heroku hobby plan, so we’ll see how things go. If costs become a burden, I’ll throw up a Patreon or something. (Update: I did start a Patreon.)
I won’t promise that this instance will be around forever, or ever around next week, but I think that Mastodon’s distributed nature makes it a great bet for the future of microblogging (micro.blog looks promising too). Come hang out, help me build an inclusive community, and have fun.