One of the worst things that could happen to the fediverse is for it to be seen as a place to join to have an audience. That it isnt is its key differential advantage as a social media platform, as far as I'm concerned.

Once people start leaving Twitter or Facebook because they think they can have "reach" here, it's all over.

Of course, this is fundamentally at odds with anyone trying to make the fediverse "successful," because that's essentially the primary metric of success that they use.

Making an account because you want to "reach" an "audience" is fundamentally different from making an account because you want to post, and maybe *connect* with *people.*

The first is fundamentally tainted with an advertising and marketing mindset. It affects how you use the space and and how you view everyone else who uses it.

To summarize: Collecting followers isn't a personality.

@dumpsterqueer @Cyborgneticz :welp: I didn't even set out to call out Eugen on purpose, but here we are again.

@dumpsterqueer uuuuugggggghhhhh...

(I'm really not sure how to spell that but I think you get my meaning.)

@dumpsterqueer @Cyborgneticz @lawremipsum now I'm wondering if they checked in with shuggmonkey if they wanted to be featured 🤔

@lawremipsum ironically this just earned you my follow 😅

Oh come, all social media is based around clout and status. Even if you just think you're here to make friends and connect with people your behavior is inherently selfish / meant to project an image -- a character you play for an audience. It's human nature.

@lawremipsum @68km but they’re very pretty!

I encase them in plastic and keep them in the basement. Sometimes I go down there and talk at them for hours…

@lawremipsum It's a conundrum. There are some commercial entities that I would like to follow here instead of...other places, to keep track on what they're producing. On the other hand, ugh, advertising! I mute ad pushers every time I see them.

@lawremipsum I guess it's up to me to signal-boost things I like without - hopefully! - looking like a shill.

@lawremipsum Marketing ruins everything.

The best part of social media is the community building. It’s also the reasons that the big tech that focuses on building a space for communities fail, you can’t “reach” everyone and therefore can’t monetize that attention.


@lawremipsum this is definitely true, but having people engage and respond is rewarding to a lot of folks like me.

Something I’m still learning to navigate is the balance of boosts to original content. I amplify and curate stuff that I think is interesting. The design of these interfaces means that when I boost things and my followers reply, I don’t see it. This difference is something I’m still learning to navigate, and I bet others are as well.

@lawremipsum And maybe the emphasis on original content vs amplification is a good thing for the type of society this sort of interface is trying to cultivate. Or maybe other instances have different policies about including boosters in replies! I’m not sure. But it definitely is a choice that I struggle with personally in trying to find community and start conversations.

@b_cavello @lawremipsum What’s interesting about what you just described is that it completely undermines what another replier said about how “even if you just think you're here to make friends and connect with people your behavior is inherently selfish”. Boosting here by its design in fact becomes a selfless act.

@bix @lawremipsum I guess one could argue that me wanting to be included in the follow-up conversations is the “selfish” part of boosting, but I think being able to start a conversation about some pretty art or some fascinating idea with the person you’re connected with (the one you follow) in addition to the original poster is a pretty valuable community-building thing. The booster may serve as a bridge of relative familiarity.

@lawremipsum well I was told when I first got onto the fediverse, some instances are for certain types of conversations. Example one told me it was just for non political conversation, so I still have an account there to interact with people there. Another told me that when Brighteon came online that they had blocked that server and if I wanted to interact with them I needed an account there because not many instances would allow interactions with them, ok no problem.....

@lawremipsum so as time goes by, it is like real life. I have some friends who love politics, and some that don't, I keep politics out of my time line on certain instances that have requested me to do so. There are lots of interesting people in this world. If your stuck on one instance, it is like listening only to one radio station, or only eating at one restaurant. It forms a community like little towns that....

@lawremipsum revolve around each instance, and have a filtered feed from the outside world. I find it fascinating how the fediverse acts like the real world and duplicates local towns. Each one has its own local customs and social hierarchy.

@lawremipsum I do find as in real life no one town has it all. But each one has its own things to offer.
One thing I am glad to see in the fediverse, is porn and violence seems to be blocked. I applaud that, because it is no small task. Just like in real life, there has to be some basic rules. That is why I will have multiple accounts, because I like the diversity that comes with that. I don't chide a server owner for how he runs the show, I find one that I like and there I am.

@lawremipsum sorry for the long response. But I am for having multiple instances, I believe it is good for the fediverse. A place for left, and a place for right, and a place for center, and a place for each group, that you can choose to interact with or choose to avoid. If you don't like the local environment, there are others to choose from. As far as marketing, I am not a salesman, I am an engineer, with various things I like for example..

@lawremipsum many instances would not want me to discuss in great technical details the repair of a radio or building and antenna. So I keep that to user groups or areas I know that will appreciate that type of info. Just as I am not a mechanic and don't enjoy listening to details of changing wheel bearing and brake shoes/pads. So I try to respect each community and it's standards. Hope this makes sense, if not just mute me.

@lawremipsum I’m pretty skeptical that there will be some sort of mass exodus from Twitter or Facebook that completely dethrones them. Even the recent burst of new people (and I’m one of them!) is a tiny fraction of the people that use those platforms. There are social needs those tools don’t give me - and that looks like this one will - but I think that goes the other way as well.

@lawremipsum On Facebook my mom likes my cat photos, on Twitter it’s my state representative, and here it’s part of a different sort of engagement, at least so far. (I don’t quite know what yet, but that’s part of the fun.)

@lawremipsum The biggest voices on Twitter against people leaving are “blue checks” and those with huge followings coz that’s all it means to them. While the numbers show there has been somewhat of an upsurge of folks joining here, I think it’s mostly people just realizing it exists. It definitely has a more relaxing and peaceful environment that might take some adjusting to those used to toxic Twitter.

@tangysalterego a lot of people come here and are mystified by the lack of toxicity and being force-fed content and perceive it as something that's wrong or broken! People who realize there are expectations and behaviors they were trained to have and can unlearn stay, the ones that don't generally go back...

@lawremipsum @tangysalterego

What I really like about mastodon is that I read a post first, form an opinion, and then decide if I want to know how or if others rate the post.
That difference alone could be responsible for turning Twitter users into attention junkies.
I understand your concerns. But hope the decentralized structure (+ no ads) is a good safeguard against such excesses.
I'm just recovering from this self-promotion craze and follower class society. Twitter definitely needs a warning that it is endangering mental and social health.

@harmonyears2 @lawremipsum Totally agree. No ads is great. And no hissy fits if you haven’t followed back that day, you know coz you might have a job or something. I don’t miss that either.

@lawremipsum Let them try! Mastodon is robustly noncommercial. It would be *amusing*. And admins would ban narcissists.

@lawremipsum I think your sentiment is valid but I think the federated nature of Mastodon should protect us from this. Maybe a few instances could become "mainstream" but as a user, we could always keep our interactions within a certain community.

@lawremipsum i'm thinking of if it is even possible for fedi to become such a place.

so far we've been resistant to such change: audience-seekers have either been actively shunned away or left to their own means to find out that they don't have an audience here.

could this change in the future, if there's a sudden influx of new users? or what if there is already a parallel fedi for such people but we just don't see it because all those instances are banned from this corner? I personally don't mind seeing new users come here but I do agree that fedi really is more about being part of a community instead of being about "engagements"

semi-shitpost response 

pfft, people are here to reach an audience? real chads are here to rewire their reward pathways and kill their addiction to Facebook.


I think that this is only modestly wrong; their participation will be over for them, but not the verse. People looking for "reach" will find out it's not really available here, will bail out, and the rest of us will keep on truckin'

I am getting close(r) to blogging about what I have been calling "drive-by community". Its history began thousands of years ago -- when the development of a certain degree of "civic inattention" in early cities fostered early, beneficial expansions of individualism -- but various (technological, political and ideological) developments since then have advanced a hyperindividualism which impedes our ability to join together for support and resistance. Social media are part of a trend.

@lawremipsum I was listening to the TWIT podcast today and they were discussing Mastodon.

One guy explained that it wasn't practical to go to the fediverse since "they couldn't bring their followers along".

At least they were being honest. It's not about the conversation, or listening to what interesting people have to say. It's all about having follower that listen to what you say.

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A community centered on the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and their surrounding region. Predominantly queer with a focus on urban and social justice issues.

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