Brian Feeney

Twitter to Mastodon

Over the years, I've taken numerous week-long breaks from Twitter. Logged out in all my browsers. Deleted Tweetbot from my phone. Stepped away from the birdsite and gave myself a breather from the firehose of ... everything. When Musk bought Twitter three weeks ago, I did the same. Except this break might be The Big One. And not just because I'm taking some kind of principled stand against a smug billionaire I don't like (nearly everything is owned by billionaires, anyway), but because Musk seems determined to burn Twitter to the ground. The site is imploding spectacularly. Sadly. Triumphantly. Deservedly. Idiotically.

I feel terrible for those good people who lost their jobs. I personally know a few of them. They all intended to build the best Twitter it could be. At least, until one of most childish adults on the planet bought their work from under them for reasons not yet clear to me. Musk fired half the company in the first week. Half of the rest have since resigned. What kind of skeleton crew is even left to carry the site into 2023? Even if Musk does manage to keep the site online, it's likely to be reduced to another Rightwing chat room. Can't imagine many tweeps would be interested in maintaining that nonsense for a salary.

Now that everyone appears to be testing out Mastodon as a replacement, I've logged back into my original account. I'm [email protected]. It's an instance set up by the kind founders of the XOXO conference, a community of designers, developers, and other creators of things mostly for the internet. I'm happy to be there and appreciative of the hosts. Joined in 2018, and it seems to be alive and well.

I'm also experimenting with using a second account — [email protected] — for following journalists, public figures, and other news-making folks. The plan is for that account to replace the up-to-the-minute feature of Twitter, while the account is where I follow colleagues and friends and otherwise make my community. I had always intended to do this separation of concerns with Twitter, but never put in the effort. We'll see if this works. Gonna fuck around and find out.

Update 4/5/2023: Found out that it didn't work. Too many people fall into the gray area between colleagues and public figures. I should have guessed. Living in Brooklyn, you end up seeing or meeting celebrities all the time, which reminds you they are just regular people. Social media is like real life in that way. It doesn't make sense, in practice, to separate people like that.

November 21, 2022