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After my recent article on Bluesky something rather unexpected happened. I noticed a link to an interesting post on Mastodon and when I signed in to check it out, I was surprised to see that my feed there was pretty active. There were many familiar people (mostly from the Emacs, Clojure and Ruby communities) and some pretty nice conversations going on. That got me thinking if I should revisit it.

One of the shortcomings of Bluesky (for me, at least) is that relatively few people that I know are using it. Almost no one from tech. I guess many people from tech are kind of skeptical of another social network founded by Jack Dorsey, even if it claims that this time things will be different.

Anyways, I decided to give Mastodon another go. To make sure things go differently (better) this time around:

  • I read https://mastodon.help/ (great resource for first-time Mastodon users)
  • I forwarded by accounts at fosstodon.org and ruby.social to bbatsov@hachyderm.io.1
  • I verified my identity
  • I followed a few interesting hastags (e.g. #Clojure, #Ruby, #OCaml and #Emacs)
  • I played with some alternative Mastodon clients (e.g. Mona)
  • I pinned Mastodon in my browser, so I wouldn’t forget to check it from time to time

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to forward all my accounts to a single one and to migrate my followers there. Well done, team Mastodon!

I still think that the default UI and UX are far from great, but the real value of every network are the people and the exchanges you have with them. Mona is pretty decent on mobile and Mac, sadly no Windows version, but I guess with time I’ll get used to the web UI.2

That’s all I have for you today. I’ll keep using Bluesky and Mastodon for a while and see which one sticks. See you in the Fediverse!

  1. Early on I was kind of confused how to pick the right instance for me and I created accounts with several. 

  2. I’ve gotten used to much worse UIs in the past.