Social network Mastodon is rearing its head again, as Twitter has provoked a new wave of frustration amongst users. It’s a little more complicated as a concept than Twitter, but the best primer on it that I’ve found so far comes from our good friend Joe Rosensteel.
The short version is that Mastodon clones features of Twitter with open source software that can be run on any server. Those servers talk to each other and form a larger world than any one server could. The default place most people land is mastodon.social but they have halted admissions because of the large influx of people leaving Twitter at the same time. You can join mastodon.cloud or any other server. Since your server can talk to the others, and you can move your account to another one, there’s no immediate pressure. There’s a timeline which is functionally like Twitter - or at least how it was back when it was chronological. You can mute, block, follow, etc.
The longer version …
I’ve set up shop at @email@example.com, an instance that Jason is running, but you can follow it from any other Mastodon instance. If none of that meant anything to you, it’s probably worthwhile to read Joe’s article.