By Kevin RR Williams
The Mastodon Evolution
Long before the silhouette of the Mastodon became visible through contouring sunlight, Twitter cave dwellers hailed their social media platform as the standard to follow. Other species rose and fell, while Twitter longevity seemed to consume them all.
In 2016 AD, a new rival emerged, scant by membership comparison. But with each step, it squashed a lingering artifact of Twitter. Fast forward to today. If you can imagine Twitter with a higher character limit and ability to edit posts.… If you can imagine such a social media platform without ads or badge fees…. Then, for you, the Mastodon has stepped out from the dark ages.
Mastodon is an global federated network of users who exchange messages, which by default are up to 500 characters. It’s an open-source platform supported by communities, and moderated by communities. Most have their own variation of the name Mastodon within the handle.
The communities are special-interest servers that anyone who is tech savvy can host. There is at least one for people who love to read and write books. A community could comprise members who love sports. There can be a Mastodon server for medical professionals. You get the idea.
This doesn’t mean you are cut off from the other communities. It’s possible to follow people from virtually any Mastodon server. Your feed can contain popular Toots (like Tweets), those that include hashtags you follow, or those within your community.
The Twitter Evolution
There are some similarities between Twitter and ever-evolving Mastodon. But their methodologies differ. So a new user getting used to land legs may flop around like a fish out of water, initially. Third-party apps can help locate people to follow. Those you admire from Twitter may be slowly migrating to Mastodon.
Retweets are called Boosts. If you enjoy List creation, in Mastodon, you can only add people to a list that you’re already following. I’m not going to give you a complete analysis of differences between two rapidly changing platforms.
I will say that I opened a couple of Mastodon accounts this week. (See page footer.) Different servers provide better data protection. Neither rivals the 63K+ Pinterest followers, nor the 30K monthly visitors to this site. But with small steps, perhaps you’ll join and follow me on the rising platform. Click the blue Mastodon link in the footer of any ClinicalPosters page.