Author Topic: Mastodon / POST - Yeah or Nay?  (Read 2093 times)

R. C.

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Mastodon / POST - Yeah or Nay?
« on: November 20, 2022, 01:46:25 AM »
Not sure where to post this...

Is anyone else experimenting with Mastodon?

For those not familiar with the term, Mastodon is an alternative to Twitter.

I created an account ( @rcducantlin@mastodon.world ). We'll see if it has value.

R.C.

UPDATE 5-DEC

After a couple of weeks of experimentation, I found these results. Of course, these comments are my opinion, man.

MASTODON is fine but leans towards arts and humor. The political discourse is there but is limited and not "robust."  This of course, could be a byproduct of the accounts I followed.

POST let me in a week ago and is something to consider.  If the trends I am seeing in POST continue, and it finds the necessary funding, it will challenge Twitverse. Still in the beta release, POST has good threads, interesting diversity of opinion, and has not yet allowed the vile to permeate.

R.C.



« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 11:21:43 PM by R. C. »
 

APP

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2022, 01:58:41 AM »
I'm waiting to see whether Twitter collapses or deteriorates further before getting an account on Mastodon. I follow a number of individuals and based on what I've read about Mastodon's distributed setup (network/servers/etc.), I'm not sure how easy it would be to locate and follow them. So I'll be interested in your experience.
 
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cecilia_writer

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2022, 02:11:29 AM »
This isn't a good time for me to experiment but someone I know from Twitter seems to be getting on fairly well with Mastodon. From what I've heard some of the servers may tend to be a bit inward-facing - my son has warned me off the Scotland one becausevof that (though he doesn't mind).
Personally I am staying on Twitter but have downloaded an archive of my data from there, and set up an Instagram account that follows some of my favourite cats and dogs in case the worst happens!
Cecilia Peartree - Woman of Mystery
 
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2022, 05:22:55 AM »
Mastodon is part of the fediverse which means you can communicate with other Mastodon users as well as users on Friendica, Hubzilla, Misskey, PeerTube, Pleroma, Plume, WriteFreely and others that support the ActivityPub protocol.  It's also open source software, so you can run your own Mastodon server if you want.

Decentralized systems are the way to go because they make it more difficult for sites to ban you for whatever reason.  Of course, that doesn't mean it still can't happen.  Mastodon managed to ban Gab users (Gab is basically a Mastodon site) from most of its network so bans can still happen.

IMO, the one to watch will be Solid.  With Solid, your personal data is stored in a pod that you can move from server to server or keep on your own server so you control your data.  Plume, a blogging platform which can interact with Mastodon (among others), is built on Solid.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
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R. C.

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2022, 05:51:55 AM »
...

IMO, the one to watch will be Solid.  With Solid, your personal data is stored in a pod that you can move from server to server or keep on your own server so you control your data.  Plume, a blogging platform which can interact with Mastodon (among others), is built on Solid.

Are you referring to this: Solid

R.C.

Post-Crisis D

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2022, 06:42:51 AM »
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
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Luke Everhart

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2022, 01:45:56 PM »
Twitter isn't going anywhere. The vast majority of those fired or who quit were activists and/or entitled twits coasting in a sinecure. Not really essential to the business.
Also, the number of twitter users is actually growing now despite a certain segment getting the vapors over the change in ownership and the relaxation of ideologically-driven, censorious moderation.
Many of the companies pulling ads are doing the usual corporate posturing. They'll be pulled until the brouhaha settles down then resume advertising because the cost per engagement rocks.
Cool for people to explore other platforms of course, but nobody should feel compelled to do so based on fears of twitter's solvency.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2022, 11:12:30 PM »
I think it's too early to know what Twitter's trajectory is. I'm not an Elon Musk expert by any means, but his actions related to Twitter seem erratic.

He successfully bought Twitter for more than it was probably worth. (Apparently, publications that track people's net worth dropped his by 10 billion after the sale went through.) But before the sale went through, Musk tried very strenuously to get out of it, resulting in a long and PR-nightmarish public legal battle--which Musk lost. End result--before Musk walks in the door, he's perceived as the CEO who doesn't really want to be there.

Almost immediately, he fires more than half the staff--3700 out of 7000. (By the way, I'm not sure how Luke--or any of us--could know from the outside what the fired folks were like or whether or not they were essential to the business.) Then he fires more. Since Twitter was in financial trouble, I can easily understand the need to try to figure out ways to downsize, but I don't know how Musk--who, keep in mind, claimed the information Twitter was providing him wasn't accurate--would have known who and what to cut. The fact that he was very quickly fishing for coders leads me to think he may have cut too deeply.

Oh, and then he even fires people who'd committed to his vision of Twitter 2.0. The vision involves working harder and longer. Because asking people to work longer hours, presumably for the same pay, is a guaranteed recipe for success. Meanwhile, Twitter is losing more staff because people amazingly enough resigned in large numbers also.

Some businesses have indeed been reorganized on day 1 of new ownership, but the success of such moves presupposes that Musk had spent a long time--in between planning legal strategies to get out of the deal--figuring out what needed to change. The visible evidence suggests otherwise.

Take Twitter's moderation policy as an example. Musk was initially committed to more or less unlimited free speech, with a stated intent to ban only accounts that were spamming or fraudulent. A wave of people using the n-word in their tweets (one of the factors in getting advertisers to pull out) caused him to reconsider. (As if it shouldn't have been obvious from the beginning that something like that would happen.)

Consider the case of the Donald Trump ban (offered as an example of Musk's indecision, not as anything political). Musk announces in advance that he will rescind Trump's ban. Trump says he won't come back, anyway. Musk says maybe he won't reinstate him (which might have been a sensible reaction to Trump's ban, except for what followed). Then Musk says he might reinstate him, but only after the content moderation team is in place. Then Musk says, "Oh, what the heck. Forget the moderation team. Let's just take a poll of Twitter users." The poll favors Trump. Musk reinstates Trump. Trump reiterates that he isn't coming back. Of course, he may change his mind, but even if he does, what about this progression suggests that Musk has anything remotely resembling a coherent plan in place? To me, it looks a lot like make it up as you go along.

Keep in mind that this is the same Musk who announced in the first day or so of owning Twitter that it might go bankrupt. Why shouldn't we fear Twitter's solvency when the CEO is telling us Twitter may not be solvent? I imagine he said that partly to justify his actions, but it's still not a good look for someone trying to convince stakeholders that he knows what he's doing.

If this really is a temporary state, then yes, the advertisers will come back. But until Musk starts acting like he actually knows what he's doing with Twitter, I doubt that's going to happen. And whatever arguments can be made about free speech and online forums, most major brand advertisers are not going to want to advertise on what even Musk at one point (I think right after the n-word debacle) seemed to suggest would be a hellscape without moderation.

Did I mention the sudden disfunction of Twitter's copyright protection system and whole movies getting uploaded? Because that's not going to win back big brands, either.

All of that said, I ironically agree with Luke that there's no reason for authors to leave the platform if they get good results on it. Anyone can always pull out later if (as I suspect), the platform goes into free fall.   


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LilyBLily

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2022, 12:35:47 AM »
I have a friend who works for a major corporation that keeps shedding employees and piling their work on the remaining ones. The remaining ones quit, one by one, as they find better places to work. They are not replaced. Some people stay out of a stubborn desire to keep the company going or in hopes of a big severance payoff at the end. Generally, severance money runs out, and the first packages are the best ones. Hanging on is not a good strategy.

Regardless of what types of people worked at Twitter, whether they were high achievers or dead wood, whether they were wonderful people or jerks, very few employees like to hear, "From now on, you do two people's jobs and you work long hours and weekends and have no life." People are willing to be hired on that basis, yes. Some might be willing to recommit to a company that has a new vision--well articulated--in which they personally believe. Others will remain only until they find a better place to work. At-will employees are wise to smother their instinct to be loyal to soulless corporations that have no loyalty to them.

A new vision for Twitter would inevitably mean a different set of customers and advertisers, regardless. We've seen versions of this with radio stations, as a for instance. The rock and roll station decides to go country. Boom; the current customers and advertisers leave. Others take their place. If the change was made after careful research, the station survives financially. If the change was made on a whim, maybe not.     

I know people already on Mastodon but haven't heard anything definite about it yet. These are the same people who were on GEnie long ago, on LiveJournal earlier this century, and so on. Are they the cool kids? Maybe.

Meanwhile, worry about the fact that a pixel sends your tax information to Facebook:   
https://www.theverge.com/2022/11/22/23471842/facebook-hr-block-taxact-taxslayer-info-sharing
 
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R. C.

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2022, 01:11:13 AM »
...
Some might be willing to recommit to a company that has a new vision--well articulated--in which they personally believe. Others will remain only until they find a better place to work. At-will employees are wise to smother their instinct to be loyal to soulless corporations that have no loyalty to them.
...

"Well articulated" is the operative re: The new Musky Era of Twitterverse.  It seems, to me, at best it is an ad hoc re-org strategy.  Never a good thing when trying to attract, or keep, advertisers.

"At-will employees are wise to smother their instinct..."  My instinct told me, three years before I acted, that the corporation I worked for was never going to promote me into the roll I was filled for almost five years.  When I acted, by retiring, the leadership fell into two camps. First, "my people" were disappointed but understood.  Subsequent to my departure, many of them have also "seen the light" and found new career opportunities. Second, the "rising stars" were all younger and did not worry about the experience and expertise leaving. It is their world to run and maybe they can make it work.  Thus far, almost three years into the change, the results have been iffy.

R C

Post-Crisis D

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2022, 02:45:39 AM »
People seem to forget that before Elon Musk bought Twitter, there were concerns over how much longer it was going to last.  But now, if it fails, it will be conveniently blamed on Elon Musk and not the mismanagement prior to his acquisition.

For example, one thing that has long annoyed me are the blue check marks.  Originally, it was supposed to indicate a verified account to show that the person (usually prominent figures) was who they claimed to be.  This was meant to cut down on impersonators and such.  And that's fine and a good thing.  But then it became a status symbol and Twitter would remove it for tweeting something they didn't like which makes no sense.  If they've verified that John Doe is John Doe and then John Doe tweets something offensive or whatever, unless there's indication that John Doe was hacked, what is the point of taking away the verification symbol?  Isn't it in the public interest to know that it was indeed John Doe that tweeted the offensive tweet and not a hacker or impersonator?  It makes no sense to remove a verification indicator unless there is reason to believe the account has been compromised.  Instead, Twitter used taking it away as a punishment.  Again, it makes no sense.  Either an account is verified to be that person or company or it isn't.  Anyway, that's just one example.

Beyond that, people cry over how Twitter is going to be bad now or whatever but overlook the fact that, over the past several years, it has already gone from a fun and useful site to a flaming pile of stinking garbage.  I have no idea whether Elon Musk is going to be able to clean it up or if he's just going to get his shoes ruined by trying to stomp out the smoldering feces but almost any change at Twitter has got to be better than its prior trajectory.

I used to use Twitter a lot before it began its downhill spiral.  It used to be one of the first sites I checked in the morning and most of the day.  And I used to tweet frequently.  But then it became a cesspool that was worse than AOL ever was at its lowest.

So, I'm watching with caution and have tweeted a couple times since Elon Musk took over.  I'm hoping he can get it back to being a fun and useful site, but that's a big challenge for anyone.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
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Hopscotch

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2022, 03:43:06 AM »
Entropy, eh, or is it that all good things run downhill?  The trick being to jump on the next good thing when you spot it and then jump off when it begins to entropize.  Makes for a lot of jumping, I suppose.  Curious that Musk's actions suggest he never considered that risk to his purchase.  Or?
. .
 

Anarchist

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2022, 03:54:23 AM »
The vast majority of those fired or who quit were activists and/or entitled twits coasting in a sinecure. Not really essential to the business.

This gave me a chuckle...





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LilyBLily

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2022, 05:38:31 AM »
It was funny, but the message was rather conflicted. The fake entitlement in that video strikes me as sexist. One might ask why it mocks a young woman, when it's well known that young women have a terrible time in the tech biz. A similar video mocking a young man might be more fair. Also, mimosas? Really?
 

notthatamanda

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2022, 05:46:38 AM »
I have a feeling that a lot of the software engineers who did work behind the scenes will be missed eventually even though their work was invisible to the users. You may not know what they did but when it is not getting done you start to notice.

People not in the industry have no idea how an OS or plug-in upgrade can eff up an application, no matter how much you plan, design and test for it. And now there will be far less people to plan, design and test for it. And fix it when it goes wrong.

Signed - the wife of a guy who didn't get any sleep for two weeks when a Chrome update went horribly wrong.

PS - I don't use Twitter so I don't really care at all, but this whole line of posting has a jocks versus geeks smell to it, so thanks for the flashback to high school, I guess. On the plus side, my mid-life crisis was far less expensive than Elon's so there's that.

 
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2022, 06:41:08 AM »
According to Elon Musk, one of the problems at Twitter was that there were ten managers for every one person coding.  If that's true or even a bit exaggerated, it would mean Twitter would be fine with a lot less staff.

Reportedly, even with all the supposed "chaos" at Twitter, stuff is still getting done.  One example is that, after years of reportedly doing little to nothing about child sexual exploitation on the site, Twitter is finally taking some action on that front.

https://twitter.com/elizableu/status/1594139581045428224

If taking action to reduce the trade of child sexual exploitation on the site isn't a positive sign, then I don't know what is.
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2022, 10:07:38 AM »
This gave me a chuckle...


Anyone else catch the Office Space homage at 1:05?   :hehe

In case y'all didn't, here's the reference:





Twenty-three years after the movie came out, we're still seeing callbacks to it pop up here and there.  Mike Judge might just be the greatest and most influential satirist of our generation. 


According to Elon Musk, one of the problems at Twitter was that there were ten managers for every one person coding.  If that's true or even a bit exaggerated, it would mean Twitter would be fine with a lot less staff.


The video below was making the rounds on the internet a while back.  If that's what the typical Twitter employee did all day--and Twitter's money-hemorrhaging balance sheet suggests it was--then yeah, there's plenty of bloat that can be safely removed without negatively affecting the platform's operation.



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notthatamanda

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2022, 10:22:59 AM »
He said it "seemed like 10 managers for every coder."
So if he fired everyone with scrum manager or build manager or watchdog manager in their job description, to name a few, he fired a lot of coders who just happen to have other responsibilities. And they pass those responsibilities around a lot, cause they suck, so yeah, you don't need ten build managers, you need ten people taking a turn every week.

Seems like a chain saw approach, maybe he didn't need a scalpel, still seems a little excessive. And like Lily said, he pissed a lot of people off. Time will tell I guess.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2022, 12:40:40 AM »
According to Elon Musk, one of the problems at Twitter was that there were ten managers for every one person coding.  If that's true or even a bit exaggerated, it would mean Twitter would be fine with a lot less staff.

Reportedly, even with all the supposed "chaos" at Twitter, stuff is still getting done.  One example is that, after years of reportedly doing little to nothing about child sexual exploitation on the site, Twitter is finally taking some action on that front.

https://twitter.com/elizableu/status/1594139581045428224

If taking action to reduce the trade of child sexual exploitation on the site isn't a positive sign, then I don't know what is.
Elon Musk isn't exactly an unbiased source at this point.

Yes, curtailing child exploitation is always a good thing. But I never said or implied Elon Musk was a soulless monster who was deliberately being an agent of chaos. The point I was making was that he didn't seem to have a plan, as his changes of mind demonstrated.

You are certainly correct earlier that Twitter was already in trouble when Musk bought it. But wouldn't that have been a good reason to, oh, I don't know, do a lot of research and plan very carefully for the takeover?

I take it as a bad sign that the various critiques of Musk's strategy so far aren't coming from wild-eyed fanatics but from publications like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. And I'm not the only who thinks his actions are troubling. The recent decline in Tesla stock prices suggests I'm not alone in being nervous. Admittedly, some of that is due to Tesla having a growing number of competitors willing to sell at a lower price point. But the fact that stock prices dropped noticeably after the Twitter acquisition suggests that at least some of the drop is due to that.

All of that said, I'll conceded it's too early to be sure exactly what will happen in the long run. It's possible that Musk will pull Twitter together. But to do that, he'll need to operate in a fashion different from his current mode of operation.


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Cobbah

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2022, 09:18:57 PM »
Twitter isn't going anywhere. The vast majority of those fired or who quit were activists and/or entitled twits coasting in a sinecure. Not really essential to the business.
Also, the number of twitter users is actually growing now despite a certain segment getting the vapors over the change in ownership and the relaxation of ideologically-driven, censorious moderation.
Many of the companies pulling ads are doing the usual corporate posturing. They'll be pulled until the brouhaha settles down then resume advertising because the cost per engagement rocks.
Cool for people to explore other platforms of course, but nobody should feel compelled to do so based on fears of twitter's solvency.

All of this!  :tup3b
 
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Hopscotch

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2022, 11:40:22 PM »
From The New York Times Nov. 21, 2022: 
What Elon Musk Is Doing to Twitter Is What He Did at Tesla and SpaceX
“Firing people. Talking of bankruptcy. Telling workers to be ‘hard core.’ Mr. Musk has repeatedly used those tactics at many of his companies.…Over the years, Mr. Musk has developed a playbook for managing his companies — including Tesla and the rocket manufacturer SpaceX — through periods of pain, employing shock treatment and alarmism and pushing his workers and himself to put aside their families and friends to spend all their energy on his mission….”
. .
 

LilyBLily

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2022, 12:58:39 AM »
Charles Revson of Revlon was famous for demanding meetings on major national holidays. A loyalty test, if you will. The problem with doing that today is employees know the company will not employ them for life--or maybe even next year--so why should they give up their personal lives to the company?

But some people will. On the company's side: Are those the smartest people? The most efficient? The best workers all around? On the employees' side: Do they own stock in the company? Because, bottom line, that's the major reason to give your heart and soul to a company--because you own it. Other reasons for being "hardcore" are mere rationalizations.

I really don't care about Twitter; I almost never even looked at a tweet. I do care about the unceasing brutalization of American workers. I grew up during a period when factory workers made decent livings and white collar workers had jobs for life, and...true, there was a dark underbelly even to that optimistic era, which I only learned about slowly. My mindset is stuck in optimism, though, and I hate to see things going the other way.

In Europe, where people have jobs for life and it is hard to fire even the dead wood, employees have a better quality of life than we do in America. Their governments provide universal health care, so they don't have to cling desperately to a hated job merely for the medical coverage. They are allowed to take their vacations without the threat of finding their jobs are gone once they return. Without union and other kinds of protection, our system of employment is brutal. Chew people up and spit them out.

And don't think this isn't true of publishing. I know of numerous romance writers who were encouraged to write too fast, write too much of the same thing, and never voice their own opinions in their books. I'm sure some of that is true in the sf/fantasy world where there also is a voracious audience for more of the same, and quickly. Writers burn out from that kind of abuse. The irony of course is that we indies often feel compelled to burn ourselves out in the same manner. At least we own the company.
 
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2022, 02:21:53 AM »
I just remember a time when people would feel bad for their fellow human beings for getting laid off, especially right before the holidays. Characterizing thousands of people as entitled, useless twits because you think so? On what evidence? It's a very strange, unkind, take on it to me.
 
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Lorri Moulton

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2022, 05:39:21 AM »
Regardless of the company, I'm not a fan of holiday layoffs.  Maybe it's the bottom line, etc?  But I'm still not a fan.

We all decide what to prioritize.  I choose family over business, which is why I'm not wealthy nor famous.  But I am happy with my slow progress and control over my own company.

My bottom line?  I've always known I'd rather live in Bedford Falls than Pottersville.




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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2022, 09:16:45 AM »
I heard a theory that Musk is going to use Twitter as the starting point for a universal app that does everything.


I'm not on Twitter, so I really only see stuff that's quoted elsewhere.  One of the ideas I've seen mentioned, though--and to which Elon responded with some interest--was about making the video aspect of Twitter a viable competitor to YouTube in the "content creator" sense.  If they can do this, and the monetization model proves attractive enough to content creators, then there could potentially be a mass migration from YouTube to Twitter.  That's an absolute game-changer in the tech and social media sphere.

Whether it actually happens or not remains to be seen, of course, but I know lots of YouTube creators have been frustrated with YouTube's rules and actions for a long time, and many of them will jump ship just as soon as a viable alternative arises.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2022, 09:38:58 AM »
Yeah, YouTube has its issues, and FB's attempt to be a serious competitor was fumbled, so there may be an opening. It's just hard to see that being Musk, based on what's happened so far, but none of us can be sure, with so many factors involved, precisely what will happen.


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Luke Everhart

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2022, 10:40:06 AM »
Regardless of the company, I'm not a fan of holiday layoffs.  Maybe it's the bottom line, etc?  But I'm still not a fan.


Well everyone fired from Twitter received 3 months severance (covering them until February).
Also the average salaries were pretty good so they should have some savings. Salary varied by twitter office location (by state) but the company wide average IT salary was $128k (in California the average was $160k). Actual software engineers averaged $248k (company wide avg).


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Hopscotch

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2022, 10:48:54 PM »
"...pushing his workers and himself to put aside their families and friends to spend all their energy on his mission….” [bold added]

On the employees' side: Do they own stock in the company? Because, bottom line, that's the major reason to give your heart and soul to a company--because you own it. Other reasons for being "hardcore" are mere rationalizations.

We all decide what to prioritize.  I choose family over business, which is why I'm not wealthy nor famous.  But I am happy with my slow progress and control over my own company.

This is why, altho' I'm a hardcore capitalist, I believe all companies should be employee-owned.  Like democracies, which are citizen-owned.  Sort of.  Well, maybe that's not such a good comparison.  But you get the idea.
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LilyBLily

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2022, 12:20:40 AM »
Laying people off right before a major holiday is a fine old American custom. When it happened in my family just before Thanksgiving one year, a friend said her husband was laid off just before Christmas years before--of course when their children were little and she was not working. The company wants to save having to pay for those holiday days off.

Severance sounds wonderful, except that these days the severance contract may be so onerous no one should sign it. I got one once that wanted me to promise never to apply to that company for a job the rest of my life. Considering how corporations add and subtract companies and morph in other ways, I thought that was an unrealistic restriction of my future, and didn't sign. There may be a clause in the Twitter severance contract that's just as ugly. 
 

Matthew

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2022, 04:03:25 PM »
RE: Twitter

Well the whole thing is generally dismal. Getting fired sucks, especially before the holidays. I think Elon's hands-on approach will either be the savior or doom of the company. I think he acted too quickly without doing any research. It's not uncommon for restructuring and layoffs to occur, but from what I've seen that's usually months to a year in the future. He already had to backpedal and hire back people. Should twitter evolve, and into what? TikTok? An unmoderated mess?

Okay, so the website still works. (Guess what: it already had problems, because Elon demanded services be shut down, including one for 2-factor authentication, meaning some people couldn't login). Let me describe to you a little of my day job... my job title is Site Reliability Engineer. We try our best to ensure quality, reduce error rates, improve monitoring and alerting, and ensure reliability and resiliency. A lot of this is done through years of building automated systems and listening to feedback and making slow changes. It requires an immense knowledge of how the entire system works. With staff cut, from both developers and infrastructure staff like SREs, there's a loss of knowledge, a lapse in following proper procedures, and a rush to make changes without regard to good quality software. Right now to me, Twitter looks like a train with no conductor barreling down the tracks. Eventually it will meet another train or a curve in the track it's going too fast for. It works for now, but it will get messier over time if not properly maintained and improved upon as needs change. I would expect to see, at minimum, a large increase in bugs, and return of common infrastructure problems and error codes (e.g. Twitter's "fail whale"). These problems will be most noticeable during high-traffic events. To compound on these problems, Twitter seems to have all in-house servers. You need specialized staff to do that. One of the benefits from Amazon's rise into cloud computing was that you can pull from a large number of AWS certified individuals to have a good understanding of infrastructure and how it works (though not the company-specific setup). I fear Twitter is losing too much institutional knowledge.

All this said, I don't really expect Twitter to go under. I think Elon will learn what a pain owning a social media site will be though (especially with regards to keeping advertisers and governments happy) and might sell it off in 1-2 years at a loss simply to wash his hands of it. His idea for an "everything" app I think may be too idealistic, and would take an incredible amount of work and time to make a reality.


RE: Mastodon

Decentralized services sound nice in theory, but I'm not convinced it will be a realistic alternative. Discoverability seems like it will be more difficult, and the fractured nature seems not as intuitive as an end user, especially when trying to find people or a topic to follow. And then every Mastodon server has its own rules... so what, some of your posts are blocked on some Mastodon servers that don't like it? Also, call me cynical, but I fail to see anyone wanting to host these massive social media sites (including file hosting!) out of the goodness of their hearts with no ads or method of monetization for very long. Then what? Corporate-sponsored Mastodon servers? And what if Wendy's doesn't like seeing Chick-fil-a on their server? (Although, I suppose whether or not we would want companies on social media can be an entirely separate conversation)

As an interesting anecdote, one of my friends in a different industry mentioned that he's actually getting more engagement on Mastodon than on Twitter. I don't think there's any harm in, if nothing else, duplicating posts across Twitter and Mastodon. But that's more work. It depends where your readers are.

I do currently use Twitter. If it goes away, I may see how many people migrate to Mastodon. Otherwise I might go back to Tumblr or hosting my own blog. Social media is always evolving. Companies rise and fall, tastes across generations change. If nothing else, the Twitter debacle is a reminder to stay on your toes.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2022, 04:36:55 PM by Matthew »
 
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Wonder

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2022, 03:42:05 AM »
RE: Mastodon

Decentralized services sound nice in theory, but I'm not convinced it will be a realistic alternative. Discoverability seems like it will be more difficult, and the fractured nature seems not as intuitive as an end user, especially when trying to find people or a topic to follow. And then every Mastodon server has its own rules... so what, some of your posts are blocked on some Mastodon servers that don't like it? Also, call me cynical, but I fail to see anyone wanting to host these massive social media sites (including file hosting!) out of the goodness of their hearts with no ads or method of monetization for very long. Then what? Corporate-sponsored Mastodon servers? And what if Wendy's doesn't like seeing Chick-fil-a on their server? (Although, I suppose whether or not we would want companies on social media can be an entirely separate conversation)

As an interesting anecdote, one of my friends in a different industry mentioned that he's actually getting more engagement on Mastodon than on Twitter. I don't think there's any harm in, if nothing else, duplicating posts across Twitter and Mastodon. But that's more work. It depends where your readers are.

I do currently use Twitter. If it goes away, I may see how many people migrate to Mastodon. Otherwise I might go back to Tumblr or hosting my own blog. Social media is always evolving. Companies rise and fall, tastes across generations change. If nothing else, the Twitter debacle is a reminder to stay on your toes.

Well said. I've been on Mastodon for a while (since before the Twitter blow up) and I've found it to be a great place for making internet friends and chatting with other writers, but it's not really a marketing platform. Honestly? That's part of the charm. People who go to Mastodon expecting it to be Twitter may be disappointed. A lot of features that make it pleasant for humans make it less than ideal for marketing.

Wonder
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2022, 04:39:29 AM »
I think social media platforms that are actually for socializing rather than a way of aggregating people to serve them advertising might be a nice change. Unfortunately, that doesn't give a company much incentive to run the platform. But I would quickly move all my online socializing to to such a platform and never look back. I use Twitter and Facebook pretty much only for advertising these days, anyway. And AMS, for all its faults, works better for me even as far as advertising is concerned.

Speaking of which, Twitter has lost ten of its twenty top advertisers, and some of the others have reduced their ad spends.

Also, apparently Musk cut too fast. One of the things that went was the Data Protection Officer (that the company is required to have under GDPR). That caused a fuss in Europe, though I'm sure it can be remedied pretty quickly. But there is some risk that Twitter, allowed to deal exclusively with Irish authorities (easier than having to deal with each country separately) may lose that special consideration and have a lot more hassle. Some European authorities are already unnerved by the idea that user data may not be safe on Twitter anymore. That could be just speculation, but I can see the theory behind it. If a company is out of it enough to cut its DPO, what else that it needs might it have cut by accident?

I've also read that one of Twitter's officers, I think the vp of public policy, filed for and received an injunction preventing Musk from firing her. (She's allegedly been working over 70 hours a week but didn't respond to his email asking her to commit to a more intense working experience. Gee, I wonder why.)

I'm having a harder and harder time imagining how this is going to work out well.





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Post-Crisis D

Re: Mastodon Yeah or Nay?
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2022, 05:32:00 AM »
I'm not on Twitter, so I really only see stuff that's quoted elsewhere.  One of the ideas I've seen mentioned, though--and to which Elon responded with some interest--was about making the video aspect of Twitter a viable competitor to YouTube in the "content creator" sense.  If they can do this, and the monetization model proves attractive enough to content creators, then there could potentially be a mass migration from YouTube to Twitter.  That's an absolute game-changer in the tech and social media sphere.

Whether it actually happens or not remains to be seen, of course, but I know lots of YouTube creators have been frustrated with YouTube's rules and actions for a long time, and many of them will jump ship just as soon as a viable alternative arises.

I would definitely like to see a viable alternative to YouTube.  For a long time, I've wanted to do video but I have not been enamored of YouTube and the alternatives are almost nil.  I thought about Vimeo but its limitations are, um, limiting.  So, I just can't find the motivation to do the videos I would like to do when the outlets are unappealing.

If Twitter Video (or TwitterTube) becomes a viable candidate, I would "jump ship."  Well, board the ship.  I mean, technically, I have a YouTube channel but since I don't have any videos uploaded . . .
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
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