I’ve been on Twitter for almost 9 years and with time it got worse and worse on Twitter. Right-wing radicals, conspiracy theorists, etc. are getting more and more popular there. And after the last API restrictions for third party apps it was time for me to look for something new.
I found Mastodon in the process. At first sight Mastodon looks almost like Twitter. You can write short posts, follow people, be followed by people and also share and favor posts.
On Mastodon the Posts are called Toots, in allusion to the Mascotchen the Mastodon. In addition the Retweets are called Boosts and the Likes are favorites. But in principle the functionality is like in any social network. Local but global
At Mastodon there are so-called instances. These are independent servers where you can register. These instances can be topic-related, e.g. podcasts, regional or more general. Each instance has its own domain and the combination of your username and the domain results in your global address. My instance is dizl.de and my username is @nottulner, which results in my global nickname “@firstname.lastname@example.org”, similar to an email address.
With this global name people of any instance can follow me now and with such a name I can follow others on other instances. So I run my local account, but I can follow anyone I’m interested in globally.
What are the advantages of a decentralized network? I think it is always better if the data is distributed among several providers and not just one provider, such as Twitter or Facebook, can collect and evaluate all the data. In case of doubt, you can also operate your own instance in a decentralized network, so that the data then lies on your own server. Therefore, it is also important that the networks are based on open source software, so everyone can see the code, check it and run it themselves.
For Mastodon there are also already a lot of clients with which you can participate in the network. Here is a small selection:
AktivityPub is a protocol for a decentralized network. On this basis some systems were developed, which want to compete with large corporations. Among them is Mastodon, who want to take on Twitter, Diaspora and friendica are the counterparts to Facebook, Peertube is the alternative to Youtube and PixelFed is there for sharing pictures.
If you are now curious, just try Mastodon (or one of the other networks). For Mastodon you can register on my instance (dizl.de), on mastodon.social or on mastodonten.de for example. You can find more instances on joinmastodon.org.
If you want, you can just follow me here: @email@example.com