There is a new player in the social media scene: Mastodon. You can basically think of it as “Twitter, except with longer tweets and less Nazis” – instead of being run by a bunch of Bay Area dudes who’re funded by VC and advertising, it’s run by anyone who feels like sinking a little bit of money and time into getting a copy running on a server somewhere, and maybe setting up a Patreon to pay for their server space. Each of these servers “federates” with each other, which is a fancy way of saying “your toots on monkey.party can be seen by your friend over on samiz.data”. (Mastodon instances tend to favor silly domain names.)
I’ve been using it more and more lately. Enough that I decided to spin up my own server at dragon.style. If you’ve been thinking of joining Mastodon but have been stymied by the huge number of servers to choose from, maybe “the server run by that queer cartoonist you like” is the one that sounds inviting? Who knows.
Right now it’s a completely bog-standard Mastodon instance, able to communicate with people on Mastodon instances all over the world. That’ll change eventually; I hope to do some visual customizing, and to play with a few feature ideas I have kicking around in my brain.