Yesterday Maren Deepwell, Kerry Pinny, Taylor Jadin and I ran the first of three sessions introducing Mission Mastodon. “What is that?” you wisely ask. Well, it’s a collaboration between ALT and Reclaim Edtech to provide a temporary server for folks interested in exploring the federated social networking platform Mastodon. It’s a sandbox space to experiment with signing-up, finding people you follow elsewhere, wrapping your head around content search, as well as re-programming ourselves to think beyond the large, monolithic sites that have come to dominate online social spaces.
Jon Udell’s recent post “Of course the attention economy is threatened by the Fediverse” discusses how a federated tool like Mastodon subverts the underlying attention economy driving the influencer culture most of the corporate social media giants have embraced. What if some of us aspire to something other than broadcast celebrity, what if we actually want to be social in the most generative sense of that word. To quote Udell:
I just want to hang out online with people whose words and pictures and ideas intrigue and inspire and delight me, and who might feel similarly about my words and pictures and ideas.
Hope springs eternal in this digital optimist, and those netizens like Udell who have worked hard for several decades to underline the myriad issues with networked culture while remaining focused on trying to build and promote a better, healthier web are my heroes. And I can even follow and talk to them on these miraculous networks. To misquote the Bard: “Sign me up for this brave new web, that has such people in it!”
But I digress, I just wanted to link to our first session, and thanks those who showed up in the chat and made it that much better. It was a lot of fun to talk about how Mastodon feels different (in many of the ways quoted above), but also to chat and share useful tips and tricks that might come in useful as you’re getting started.
You can watch the video here, as well as the future episodes in February and March. Also, be sure to check out the chat happening on Reclaim’s Discord, which you can access from the linked watch. I highly recommend the conversation given there some great resources shared by folks, including this list of annotated Mastodon resources Chris Aldrich has been collecting. Finally, if nothing else, watch the video above for Kerry Pinny’s 55 second intro that is absolutely brilliant! I love that my nickname is now “the Joker!”
Anyway, if you are at all intrigued by any of this, join us in this expendable Mastodon server that will explode in
90 89 days….