Moving a Mastodon Server
Ash, the admin of mastodon.technology, is shutting it down. Mastodon Technology has been my instance (server) for the last couple of years - it has been my introduction to Mastodon in general. He wrote about it on his blog.
I feel sad for Ash. I exchanged words with him directly a couple of times over Mastodon. He’s a good guy who’s dealing with bad things at the moment.
Fortunately for me, it’s not the end of the road. In the fediverse, all instances are connected, and since fosstodon.org quickly offered to adopt us, Mastodon-tech folks, I’m now on that instance along with my followees and followers, chatting about CASIO watches, as us nerds do.
Mastodon is a success story. In my opinion, the only “real” success story of the fediverse. I know there are other successful services, but I believe only Mastodon is a technological improvement over its origin, Twitter1. This is a major reason why fediverse services fail to achieve popularity: they do not offer an improvement over the original commercial version. At the same time, the commercial version is most likely faster, more reliable and more accessible to most folk, so there’s no incentive to switch. Only die hard techies or privacy freaks will use PeerTube over YouTube, or Pixelfed over Instagram, for example.
Mastodon doesn’t look anything like the “real” Twitter. It copies Twitterdeck, which I bet most Twitter users are not familiar with. Twitterdeck itself was an independent app until 2011, and back then it already gave users a better Twitter experience (at least on the Desktop). Twitterdeck fixed Twitter, and Mastodon’s creators based their app on an improved Twitter solution, one that is very different from the original. They did not copy Twitter directly. If they were, I doubt Mastodon would be as successful as it is today.
There are added features that enhance the experience even further, making it superior not just to Twitter, but also to Twitterdeck. Better options to filter content. Options to edit toots (tweets). An option to blur sensitive pictures. A superior tool for different post distribution (1:1, followers only, global). Add to that an ad-free experience and lack of “think of the kids” fear-driven censorship, and you got yourself a good incentive to switch from Twitter, which has none of that today.
If you are one of the few folks who read this post who haven’t tried Mastodon yet, I highly encouraged you do. It is a very polished experience which offers you all the content you want (and nothing that you don’t want) for free. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this blog would probably not exist if it wasn’t for Mastodon.
And Ash, if you’re reading this – Once again, thank you for allowing me and many other folks experience this.
Reply to this post on Mastodon,Twitter, or you can always email me: taonaw<at>protonmail<dot>ch (for GPG, click the lock icon on the navbar to the left).
Some could argue that other common factors of federated services are technological superior. Things like the code being open source or encryption, perhaps. That might be true, but the point I’m making is improvement and changes to core functions of the app. ↩︎