So I finally got a Fediverse instance up and running. After lots of internal debate, I went with Pixelfed. The reason is simple. I'm still active on Twitter, and I already have a Mastodon account with a reasonable following.
However, I'm not active on Instagram and haven't found a decent replacement. Pixelfed is not only similar to Instagram, it has many features that Instagram is profoundly lacking. The ability to upload from a desktop web browser, for example.
Or an easy way to embed photos. Check out the one below.
Which brings me to this blog itself. I was likewise debating whether I should delete it seeing how my whole life is littered with blogs that have been abandoned.
But then I realized that there's a whole lot of stuff I want to talk about that won't fit on either Pixelfed nor Mastodon, and so I need another space to go into greater detail.
I'm really excited about the prospect of building a community off a Pixelfed instance. It doesn't really make a whole lot of financial sense, and I don't expect any kind of monetization. However, from a human perspective, it just makes sense to build a space that won't be taken from me just because the powers-that-be are on a power trip and want to take my hobbies away.
Yes, I'm absolutely aware that by creating a Pixelfed instance, I've become one of the powers-that-be but on a smaller scale. But there's a substantial difference:
- If I ban you from Peerverse, you can always make your own instance
- Getting a host and installing an instance cost me $5 and a few days of figuring out how to administrate it
This contrasts with a certain Elon Musk who, paying $3 billion, acquired 9.5% of Twitter. What exactly is he paying for? Certainly not the software. Musk can spend a substantial less amount of money just hosting his own Mastodon instance and sodding off over there.
What he wants – and what keeps everyone on big mainstream social networks – is the network effect. Musk wants Twitter's audience, not the functionality.
But here's the rub. If you want to deprive Musk of that audience, it's in everybody's power to do it. Vote with your feet. Create your own Fediverse instance, or join one. Voila! No more Musk spam!
As for me, I want the freedom to talk about whatever the hell I want. Which I apparently can't do on Twitter. I created a Star Trek fan account, and those assholes "permanently suspended" it. Why? They won't tell me. I guess someone there didn't like my pro-Discovery tweets.
For me, being able to say whatever the hell I want is more important than access to an audience. It's not as though Twitter's giving me an audience anyway. Despite having more than 8,000 followers on Twitter, any 50 people see my tweets at any given time. Believe it or not, I get more engagement on Mastodon despite only having 41 followers there.
Funny that. It's almost as though, unencumbered by social network algorithms programmed for certain agendas, I can more freely interact with a community of like-minded folk.
So here's to a new start. I'm pretty optimistic. Here's to a new decentralized social media world.