So it might yet survive but Elon Musk looks to have be in the process of destroying the Twitter after having purchased it for $USD 44 Billion dollars. Even if it does survive it will be in a diminished and different form.
Welcome to the Twexit!
The great beneficiary of this foot-gun is the decentralized social media powered platform Mastodon and to a lessor degree the Fediverse “an ensemble of interconnected servers that are used for web publishing, independently hosted.” (as per wikipedia)
Currently Mastodon monthly active users is up dramatical, as of November 28 2022 @email@example.com is currently reporting 7,759,146 accounts, with +369,162 in the last week.
And on November 18, 2022, Mastodon hit a record of nearly 180,000 signups of new users in a single day.
That’s not Twitter or Meta Facebook numbers, but nothing to sneeze at.
See fedi.tips for an informal, unofficial guide for non-technical people who want to use Mastodon and the wider Fediverse.
A couple of points :
- Mastodon is not Twitter, either though it some what looks like Twitter. It has a different customs and rules. Some of these are due to a lack of resources (hordes of full time developers), some of these are a side effect of being decentralized and distributed, some of these are by design (it’s a feature not a bug).
- Masterdon is not the Fediverse, its not even the only “micro-blogging” site on the Fediverse. Other parts include
- see The many branches of the Fediverse for a nice illustration of just that
- what makes the Fediverse interesting is it is built on a set of protocols, and in particular ActivityPub is the glue, a decentralized social networking protocol based on the ActivityStreams which it provides a client to server API for creating, updating and deleting content, as well as a federated server to server API for delivering notifications and subscribing to content.
- In general, Masterdon and the Fediverse feel more like “social media” before it was Venture Capital and Advertising driven
- None of this is super user friendly and easy for none technical people. It can be frustrating for many of us technical people because its different.
- As more and more people join we are going to have to figure out better moderation rules and tools, and new ways and types of verification. Some of this can be learned from what did and did not work on Twitter and elsewhere. Some of this is going to be very different because of the distributed nature of the Fediverse and because most/many/all of the instance administrators are part time unpaid volunteers
- Twitter has been around for 16 years. It’s going to take a while before the best part of Twitter, the people and the communities built there, build up to what existed before Elon Musk, even though I’m seeing some of that already.
- The worst part of Twitter is when it closed off its api’s in order to control its display of ads, under pressure to prepare for an ipo. This stopped the possiblity of experimentation. Thankfully Masterdon does have the those pressures. It has differnt ones. Being open source and built on open protocols will shape it in different directions. Being made up of many instances, mostly very small, will also shape it. Experimentation time!
- We have a chance to build some thing(s) new, better and beautify!
- Maybe this will bring back RSS and (macro) blogging?
- Its going to be fun!
Other, probably better, takes :
- EFF: The Fediverse Could Be Awesome (If We Don’t Screw It Up)
- Tim Bray : Bye Twitter
- Tim Bray : Protect Me From What I Want
- The Verge, from back in the golden past of 2019 : How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem