On Mastodon

So I'm on Mastodon now.

It's nice!—it feels quiet in a good way. A lot of my toxic feelings about Twitter revolve around the sense that something is always happening and that if I'm not constantly watching, I'll miss some fantastic joke or some cultural meta or the rise and fall of some meme. I don't even really get anything out of it beyond a sick sense of satisfaction when an ePiC bUrN is delivered, or a gut-wrenching inadequacy at not being the one who came up with it. Mastodon, by virtue of being a smaller community (for the minute), doesn't really evoke those feelings.

On the flip side, because Mastodon isn't driven by hype, likes, and retweets (again, for the minute), it feels like a much better fit for folks that are looking for some community online; for that reason, Mastodon seems to get lumped in with Discord as representative of the "new generation" of social media platforms[1]. (Fittingly, their apps even look similar.) In that sense, I'm not sure that Mastodon'd be a good fit for the Wes Boses and Adam Wathans of the world: people who produce valuable content in the name of selling a product. Even the best devrel folks—people like Adam Argyle or Jhey Tompkins or even Lee Robinson, who do a great job at creating a community around the products they're hawking—would feel the smallest bit out of place[2].

Joining Mastodon has also led to a corresponding decrease in my Twitter use. I've deleted the app from my phone, and only use the web app now. There's just enough jank in the web app, and just enough friction in accessing it, to prevent me from reaching for it whenever I have 10 seconds of downtime (running tests, e.g.). I don't miss it.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that I'm quite a member of the web development community at this point—and certainly not on Mastodon specifically. I try to put Content out but I'm awful at self-marketing, so I think a lot of it just sort of goes out into the void. Maybe that's okay: maybe I'm just writing for me. I've always wanted to be famous but I don't know what I'd do with it. So I'm not sure to what extent Mastodon's really going to do it for me. But I'm gonna give it the old college try.

  1. Fittingly, their apps even look similar.
  2. As of writing, only Jhey Tompkins is on Mastodon.

Mastodon Twitter


The Mountain Goats

November 17, 2022 at The Albert Hall, Manchester


Server-sent events

Server-sent events make client-side interactivity based on server-side events trivial to implement: no more websocket servers.