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why join mastodon

Mastodon, the federated social messaging platform so many people migrated to when things started to go sour on Twitter. If you haven’t joined yet, or you’re thinking about going to Bluesky, why should you join this Mastodon thing instead? You have to choose a server and all, sounds pretty complex right?

Well, it isn’t really. Here are some reasons why you should join over 11 million people (May 2023):

  • It’s here to stay. In fact, it has been here for a long time already, and it keeps going. It’s based on Open Source projects, and on the open protocol called ActivePub, and is spread over multiple servers. It can’t be taken down.
  • No ads. Seriously. NO ADS.
  • Picking a server doesn’t really matter. You can always move servers later on, and you can follow anyone from any server anyway. Just don’t pick a tiny one with only 10 people on it, unless they are your friends, and they own the server oslt.
  • You’ll be escaping the clutches of Musk, The Zuck and Jack.
  • Your feed is yours. No algorithm messing with what posts you see. It’s just who you’re following, in chronological order. Yes, that one guy really is posting a lot.
  • It has lists, bookmarks, favs, boosts, polls, video, images, all the stuff you know from the birdsite and more.
  • There’s more to it than Mastodon. Mastodon is part of the so-called Fediverse, and there are different types of servers out there that all speak ActivePub to each other. Some are specialized in video, others image sharing etc. But that’s all rather technical, and you shouldn’t worry about that to begin with. Just hop on, and check it out.
  • It has a lot of accessibility features. People tend to add alt text to images.
  • ​You will learn about the legendary John Mastodon.
  • It’s fun, like in the early days of Twitter.
  • There are a bunch of different apps for all platforms to choose from. So if you don’t like the stock one, or you miss a feature, just look for something else. I’m sure you’ll find something you like. On Android, I like Tusky.
  • You can post up to 500 characters by default. Even more on some specific servers.
  • If you don’t like how things work on your server, you can pack up your followers and move to another server. Something you couldn’t do on Twitter, unfortunately.
  • You don’t want to be part of yet another billionaire’s idea of a social network, who ends up selling out anyway.
  • You don’t want the next social network you join to be acquired by yet another billionaire and his crazy idea of how a social network should work. They aren’t even that social to begin with.
  • No ads, no tracking user data. OMG, can you believe it?
  • There are tons of cat pictures and the tag #caturday is booming in the weekend.
  • If you want to geek out, you can run your own server, or pay a hoster to host your own instance. Set up a small server for your friends, your company, your community, or just for yourself.
  • Porn is OK on most servers, as long as you hide it between an #NSFW content warning.
  • People will actually engage with your posts. Well, not always, but more than on that other site anyway.
  • You can join a server hosted in your own region. That way you keep your data out of US hands, and you can speak your own language with the locals. Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, the list goes on.
  • It’ll make you feel like a rebel, an anti-capitalist, giving big tech the finger. Yes, it’s that awesome.
  • More geek stuff: it has RSS feeds baked in for every user account and tags. Just add .rss at the end of the URL. Go nuts!
  • It has an API to write all the bots you want, for free. No paying for API access.
  • The website comes with a tweetdeck-like interface out of the box (see advanced mode in the settings).
  • It has advanced blocking features, muted words, hiding your social graph, the lot. Great for minorities.
  • You can import/export pretty much all your data.
  • Custom emoji per server. Want something special? Ask your admin!
  • No real name policy.
  • Piss off Elon by setting your Mastodon handle as your Twitter username.
  • Have fun, don’t take it all too serious. Follow lots of people, see your feed come to life.

Ready to join me?

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