January 4, 2023

I bounced around a couple of Mastodon instances before I settled into one that I like; right now you can find me at social.lol1. The instance is run by (Kentucky-based, one man design studio) Neatnik, as part of the evolving suite of services under the omg.lol banner.

I’m enjoying Mastodon principally because the folks on my instance seem like a cool bunch, and (as mentioned a couple of days ago) the platform in general feels increasingly alive with new people — several million signups over the last few weeks. Secondarily, but super important to me, is the fact that Mastodon solves for many of my problems with social media in general. At the top of the list: it’s not advertising supported, and (therefore) not algorithmically driven. Unlike centralised, for-profit social platforms, Mastodon doesn’t care how much time you spend on it, so it doesn’t have to invent tricks to keep you scrolling. Here are a few other touches I appreciate:

  • Hide Social Graph — maybe my favourite Mastodon feature: it’s no one else’s concern who follows me, or whom I follow. With the simple tick of a box, glorious privacy.

  • Content Warnings — the ability to set a click-through message ahead of a post means less chance of accidentally stumbling upon things like movie spoilers or details about heartbreaking basketball games.

  • Automated Post Deletion — I don’t post anything to social platforms that I intend should have a shelf-life. I love that I can set my posts to evaporate in 7 days’ time.

Entirely contrary to the spirit of that last point, but in keeping with the principle of owning one’s own content, I actually have a secret, one-person, (anti-)social network right on this site. It’s called Wire, and I’ve used it (though sporadically) as a kind of Twitter-substitute the last couple of years (’21; ’22). Now, it feels like a good place to keep a few of those otherwise ephemeral Mastodon posts.

Also, purely because I find it amusing, there’s a hidden link to the Wire in the footer of every page — see if you can find it!

  1. you know it’s me because I have a proven link to zioibi.com in my profile — the best way to verify authenticity on Fediverse platforms  ↩︎