Mastodon: Because life’s too short for imbeciles

Federated social media has been around since 2008 and I have been bouncing around various federated networks (with a couple of hiatuses) since the end of that year. The idea behind federated networks is that, rather than having to rely on a single large server to control all your messages, lots of smaller servers achieve the same result by talking to each other. The obvious analogy for this is email: if I want to send a message to someone, all I need is their email address and, thanks to the magic of open standards, any message I send will be correctly delivered.

The federated network that everyone is talking about at the moment, of course, is Mastodon.

I had signed up to Mastodon a while ago, to a smaller instance that is no more and when I returned to the network I was quite interested in the idea of running my own server. Being lazy, however, this led to a bit of procrastination on my part until I came across, which really does provide the best of both worlds: Everything on the server is under my control, while, for a small monthly fee, I can leave someone else to look after the server and software maintenance.

And when it comes to managing what I do and don’t see on my timeline, the tools provided by Mastodon are really rather good.

On a personal level, I can block and mute any obnoxious types I happen to bump into, and I can also filter out specified words and phrases if I want to ignore a particular conversation (always useful during bug sporting events). I can even block whole domains if I decide that I just don’t want to deal with anyone from a specific instance, all I need is a single click.

The site moderation tools are equally well designed. Obviously, with only one user on my own instance, I haven’t had much need to use these, but I do like the fact that I can also silence other instances if I really don’t want to deal with them.

Overall, I do like Mastodon and it has proven to be a very comfortable place to return to. I do like its decentralised nature and the fact that both the developers and the various communities are keen to encourage this.

You can find out more, including a video explainer and a list of available servers at Join Mastodon and, if you ever find yourself looking for someone to follow, you can find me

4 thoughts on “Mastodon: Because life’s too short for imbeciles

    1. It is. I gave up on Twitter about ten years ago, so I may be a bit out of date, but the federated network provided by Mastodon and others is actually a pleasant place to spend time.

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      1. I gave up twitter and Facebook though still have dormant accounts, I find WordPress takes up all my social media time so can’t be bothered with anything else. Good to know there’s a better option though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I feel much the same — there is no need to be on every social network going, and it’s good to get rid of the ones that are no fun. My Twitter account is similarly dormant but I actually deleted my Facebook account — and I’ve never looked back.

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