Over the last few days I have found myself playing around with Mastodon quite a bit more. For those who remember I wrote a series of posts about Mastodon, talking about its potential as a twitter replacement. The two posts of note are probably “Adventures in the Federiverse” where I largely botch the agreed upon “Fediverse” name, and a later one where I talk about the customs I wish I knew about going into it. I still have a lot of hope about the concept, but I also found myself largely falling out of frequency in using it. Nineties.Cafe had this great run of regular activity and then almost simultaneously we all sorta wandered off more than likely because we got busy.
https://t.co/evkzAf6A3u has been stable for 48 hours!
* Yahoo email signups have been FIXED
* Image loading issues FIXED
* Federation FIXED
Fingers crossed we're good for the influx of new users!
— Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer (@Gazimoff) December 18, 2018
This recent flurry of activity has in part been do to the very excellent Gazimoff aka Gareth Harmer and creating the MMORPG.social mastodon instance. At first I thought this was something connected to MMORPG.com since well you know… he is one of the writers there. After some digging however I guess the root is with the loss of Wildstar, the idea seems to be bourn out of trying to create a neutral non-game based MMORPG community that lets people continue to stay in touch. This is something I can definitely get behind, plus the launch of a new instance is an awful lot like the launch of a new MMORPG itself… and everyone appears to be happy and busy and active.
The only negative is that I seem to be leaving ground strewn in my wake full of past instances. For those who have not followed my madness I have ended up unintentionally being a bit of an instance jumper. Thankfully Mastodon by default has a system that allows you to forward users from one profile to another… but they are effectively disconnected personas. MMORPG.Social is my fourth experiment with the platform… let me run through them all.
- @Belghast@Mastodon.Cloud – my first attempt and I only started here because Mastodon.social the flagship was full
- @Belghast@Elekk.xyz – I rapidly realized that this instance had way more of “my people” on it and jumped because of its game focused local. I still sub to the Patreon to help support it.
- @Belghast@Nineties.Cafe – I jumped yet again when my good friend Liore founded this instance to create a permanent niche in the mastodon network that we had a bit more control over. The truth is I don’t plan on abandoning this but over the last several months it has become pretty inactive.
- @Belghast@MMORPG.social – Finally I am here because I thought this was a really interesting experiment and thusfar has been a very charming local to hang out and talk MMORPGs with. At the moment it seems to be very FFXIV focused, but folks have commented on some of my Destiny related posts as well.
Now can I say with certainty that I won’t jump again? Nope not at all, but the cool thing about Mastodon and the ActivityPub based Fediverse is that you don’t have to care much about it. You can export the people you follow from one instance and move them forward with you to the next. You are by no means limited to communicating with your local pool of users, but can instead drink from the firehose and go out into the much larger global fediverse and interact with hundreds of other instances each with their own specific goals and purposes.
— Belghast 🆚 Awkward Holiday Parties (@belghast) December 15, 2018
I think the biggest challenge that Mastodon has is we keep looking to it as a replacement for Twitter as a whole. That is a lot of responsibility to be placing on a fledgling network, especially given that personally I have been actively using Twitter since April of 2009 and racked up in that time some almost 58,000 tweets. My gut reaction when something happens is to still hop on Twitter and say something about it. There is a lot of inertia there to overcome, and if you go into it expecting it to be the new thing that everyone is going to use… it is more or less just setting it up for failure. Instead I am largely angling for the stance of “This is something else fun to use” and setting myself for those expectations. I know that I will never convert the critical mass of twitter folk to take up the banner of tooting… but instead I am finding it interesting to branch out and meet some new and interesting people there instead.
I have goals of sorta tweaking each of the four profiles I have on Mastodon to be different things, because I still want to use Nineties.cafe, but probably as a more personal account, and MMORPG.social will become the account I use more to talk about gaming stuff. I know several users who have done an excellent job of separating the streams, and each account gives me access to a totally different Local feed. I just need to sort out a better Android client to use that has good multi-account support since Tusky as much as I like it… requires you to log out completely to log into another instance.