Social media has experienced a lot of recent changes, and many people are now considering other options besides Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. One relatively new social media platform that has seen an influx of new members is Mastodon. But should writers join the migration to this social media platform? The social media experts at Web Design Relief review what you should consider to determine if Mastodon is right for you.
What Writers Should Know About Mastodon
What is Mastodon? This social media platform operates a bit differently than the social media accounts you probably already have. Generally speaking, Mastodon is most similar to Twitter: You can write posts and read posts from the users you follow. You can post short messages up to about five hundred characters or more, depending on which server you sign up on.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Mastodon doesn’t have promoted posts or use algorithms to determine what shows up in your timeline. You’ll only see posts made or boosted by the people you follow.
How does Mastodon work? This is the part that is a bit confusing to many people. Mastodon is a decentralized network, which means no one person or company owns the entire platform. It hosts many servers, also known as “instances,” that connect to form a global network.
To join Mastodon, you sign up on one of its servers. You can do so on their website or you can use one of their mobile apps.
What should you expect on a Mastodon server? Think of the other users on the server as your neighbors. You’ll “run into” them more frequently than you might other users, so keep that in mind when you choose a server. If you want to see posts from authors who write in a similar genre, for example, do your research and find the server where those authors are members. Once you get acquainted with your server, you may find many potential readers and fellow writers you can connect with. But if you discover the “neighborhood” of the server you initially selected is not working for you, you can always move to another server.
How do you find other users? The server you choose becomes part of your username. For example, your username might look like this: email@example.com. If someone is on a different server, you will need their full address to find them. If the person you’re searching for is on the same server you are using, you can find them by just searching their name. You can interact with people on other servers than the one you’re on. There are many Mastodon instances you can join, including an instance for book lovers.
You can also search on Twitter to see if any of your friends or the authors you follow have moved to Mastodon. Type “Mastodon” into the Twitter search bar and then use the search filters to check for people you currently follow who also mention being on Mastodon. Twitodon will also locate Mastodon users on Twitter, and Fedifinder will help you track down which Mastodon instance other writers are using.
What can you expect on Mastodon? As we mentioned above, Mastodon is a collection of different servers. It isn’t a platform run by a large company. So the moderators on the Mastodon server you choose may or may not effectively keep trolls at bay. Also, given the network’s decentralized nature, there is no guarantee the server you use will stay online indefinitely.
Is Mastodon for you? While Mastodon has recently grown by leaps and bounds, it still isn’t as big as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you’re interested in trying something new, you might consider making the move to the Mastodon social media platform. Mastodon has online info and guides that can help answer any questions you might have. Do your research and find out if friends, colleagues, or writers you’re interested in are also on Mastodon. Then you can decide if Mastodon seems right for you!
Question: If you’re on Mastodon, what do you think of the platform?