Some about open social platforms vs commercial ones for the + others who are .
Strap in, this gon' get long...

I've been around the Net for a while now.
I've come and gone more than a couple of times from a ton of social services including masto, frendica, ssb, even a few BBSs as well as a handful of the major commercial platforms.

What I want to talk about is the fundamental difference between the open platforms, and the large commercial ones like .
Everyone playing around on the fediverse for the first time quickly realises that things here "friendlier", more "human" than their commercial

counterparts. But *why* is this the case? What specifically makes it work that way?
Well, lets take a look at what makes them tick...

Social platforms are inherently about *interaction* - users interact with the platform, with each other, with advertisers, and increasingly (but out of scope here) people/orgs trying to change or influence public discourse.
Now, in any given system there exists a definition of what a "successful" interaction looks like.

Redefining this minimum unit of "success" seems to change the way an entire platform is utilised.

On the commercial platforms most of you came from, you as a user might consider a "successful" interaction to be one where a bunch of people like/see your post.
But the *platform itself* has other ideas - to Twitter Inc. a successful interaction is one where somebody sees (or preferably clicks) on an ad.
That's it, that's the whole game.

Absolutely everything you do on the site is in some way assisting Twitter with this goal. They'll twist and warp the algorithms responsible for not only what shows up in your feed, but what content of yours is shown to others to maximise efficiency for themselves.
You're creating the content, they're making the money.

This incentivises a consumerist model.
If the fundamental unit of "success" is a user viewing an ad, content tends to be produced for *consumption* (A bit like television).

A handful of massive accounts with gigantic audiences are pushed to the top of the pile by the algorithm, they churn out a ton of content that's consumed by thousands or millions of people who also happen to see ads while they're looking at it.
These consumers don't really add anything to the conversation - most are just lurkers idly liking or RTing the inane conetent to larger and larger audiences who hopefully view/click the attached ad.

Comment threads tend to quickly degenerate into shit-slinging, in a carefully curated way that just *happens* to keep people consuming more ads as they come back to argue.
Mostly these consumers interact with each other, not with the creator of the content.
It's no social at all, it's commercial. Transactional.

Mastodon (and the other open networks) have a different definition of "success".

Here, a good interaction is one where information is transferred (implying the receiver actually *wants* the information you're sending), and I'd argue if you're doing it right a successful interaction is one where information is *exchanged*.
This place is not ad-driven, and as such things like follower count, page views, and RTs don't actually matter. Sure your numbers were bigger on twitter, but interactions here actually *mean* something.

It's important to get out of the headspace "there's nothing of value here unless i can scream into a void with a hundred million potential witnesses (none of whom actually care enough to talk to you)" and realise a couple of hundred interesting people can generate more content than you could ever read/have actual conversations about.
In my experience, the quality of followers here is orders of magnitude better and the interactions you have with them are *social* by nature, not transactional.

Over the years there have been a bunch of mass exodus events from the main platforms just like the one we're seeing at the moment.
Most of these new users will fall off after a month or two. The ones that stick around tend to be the ones who realise the culture here is fundamentally different.

"producing content" isn't really enough. "promoting" yourself doesn't really work - at least not much after the initial follows.

It's not a consumer/provider model (with some 3rdparty clipping the ticket on ad revenue), it's a social model, and as such you actually have to socialise for it to work.
Successful interactions are generally a 2 (or more) way thing where ideas/information is exchanged, not distributed.


Asking "Could mastodon ever replace twitter?" is like asking "Could a communist society ever produce an iPhone?"
Maybe, but you're asking the wrong questions. Would a communist utopia even want to build an iphone?
Would a Mastodon community even *want* to emulate twitter?

What all this boils down to is realitively simple/obvious when you think about it. This is not that. Learn the tools you have, and use them for what they are instead of trying to make this place work like the old one.
In order to be successful on an open social platform, you actually have to be ...*social*


@zyk Great summary. Its interesting comparing it to things like Metafilter which is strongly moderated and has a great sense of community. Also a couple of small photography forums I'm on which also have good moderation - much friendlier & its about sharing tips/tricks/info more than one-upping or point-scoring (like dpreview). Moderation, community & a small entry barrier (token sub) to dissuade trolls.

@zyk I mean, I keep hearing about how gargron apparently wants to do that.


why not, both platforms have great ideas. It’s kinda of like the 50’s in the US. capitalism and socialism were about 50/50. when one dominates the other that’s when things go bad.

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