Well said Ed! While I have been using RSS more and putting some more stuff on my personal site I am staying on Twitter as long as the service remains a usable service that I can enjoy/curate. I have tamed down my using at a my go to news source though over the last year and find it has been good for my brain :).

If it does all go down, the replacement won’t be a Twitter clone it will be what’s next. That is how the internet works.

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Excellent article! Coincidentally, I just spent the morning with Mastodon. Other than that I keep misspelling "mastodon", I've been lucky enough not to have encountered any of the problems you did. I'm using the social.linux.pizza server because I'm into Linux and it attracted me. So, for me, it's a perfectly usable server and seems well moderated (not saying Mastadon [sic] is a perfectly usable Twitter substitute).

I actually do have desktop Linux for my home computer, so I'm more patient with this. Your point is well taken.

I can at least see Twitter posts in Mastodon (I follow "edbott@twtr.plus", for example), which is helpful, while I wait for the day that will never come when everyone creates a Mastodon account to replace their Twitter account.

I cannot reply or "re-toot" Twitter posts because, "BirdsiteLIVE does not make any public posts; every post is scoped appropriately using the "followers-only" or "unlisted" ActivityPub audiences."

So, in other words, I can't reply or "re-toot" Twitter posts, and I don't know why, because twtr.plus is under control of people who have no ability to explain themselves using English, a perfect reflection of the whole problem with trying to use Mastodon as a replacement for Twitter.

No, not a replacement for Twitter.

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I agree that's there's no clear alternative to Twitter today, which is a disappointment in that if you've paid attention, all of this was on some level foreseeable, so it's entirely possible a decent alternative could have been well on its way by now. I was (am) almost entirely a read-only user of Twitter, and deleted my account the day TOFG took over, as I didn't really need or use the social part of the network.

I can't support the (tacit? explicit?) endorsement of racists and antisemites, the conspiracy mongering, the mistreatment of employees and the generally accelerating societal cruelty encouraged by Twitter's new owner. I drive an EV and it's a Kia. I have solar panels and they came from a local installer. If at some point I buy battery storage, there is one company that I absolutely will not buy from.

I'm very probably non-typical, but I replaced Twitter with Feedly, and this is working fine for me. A lot of the Twitter accounts I was following are actually publishers with websites or blogs, which were easy to switch to an RSS feed. I did setup a new Twitter account with no follows, no followers and that I don't login to, strictly for authenticating to the ~17 people (including Ed) I still follow in Feedly via their Twitter connector.

Maybe this is all pointless, but I deleted an account with a long history in favor of another account with nothing, and my goal is to not use Twitter at all, which really depends on a small set of people that I'd like to follow switching to something else that isn't Facebook, since I also quit that a decade ago.

I certainly don't *expect* anyone to switch on my (or anyone else's account) but I'm here in hopes that happens. I do think if there were a roughly equal Twitter alternative today, enough people would switch that Twitter would likely enter a death spiral. Remember that TOFG has to service a load of debt every month. He's already driving advertisers away (and threatening them!) and if users had a place to go, things would probably get very ugly on the revenue side. That may happen anyway, but as Ed mentioned, it probably won't be because of user loss, due to a lack of near term alternatives.

I think the next 2-3 months are really the opportunity to take Twitter's users. Beyond that, I think the folks still on Twitter end up in a boiled frog situation where the service really is worse, but it happens at a slow enough rate that they just tolerate it as the new normal, as has happened in US society over the last ~6 years.

Twitter already had a lot of issues, and all of the bad parts are going to get intentionally worse under this ownership. I think as it stands, the US would actually enjoy a net benefit from Twitter becoming completely unusable, and if nothing else, I'm here for the weenie roast.

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Nice piece, Ed. Things are so much better when people take time to fashion thoughts in elegantly written sentences that can be as long as they need be, rather than simply blurting out their first thought in some kind of mindless ejaculation as they usually do on…

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You're right in the network effect of Twitter.

The challenge is how do you scale the town square and maintain civil behavior. Can Mastodon even do it. I signed up long ago, but that server appears to have gone away. Who know managing such a service could be difficult and expensive?

Without speculative funding and if it is not a safe place for advertisers there's a problem.

For some uses, like customer support, we've long needed an alternative to Twitter and that's an opportunity. Twitter has been the difficult, I suspect, because companies risked being shamed by not participating and now has become the default for the social bots. This isn't the place to mull alternatives but since they don't have to be the town square, I can think of viable approaches that don't depend on Twitter.

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Why is everyone so whiney about this? Is it because Trump and friends will no longer be banished? If you don't follow them what difference does it make. The left seems to be screaming for a Nanny state where they will be protected from ever hearing anything but the choir they admire.

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I say let’s start a movement to bring back Plurk.

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Great read. I too jumped on mastodon a couple of weeks ago, joined Sfba.social and found it pretty easy to setup and learn. Each person’s experience will be different depending on skills, patience and server you target, but has been good for me so far

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