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I am @[email protected] on Mastodon

Nah, it's not about riding the wave, if there even is one, to begin with

Written on November 01, 2023 · 4 min read

I am @kertas@kos.ong on Mastodon

You've probably heard of Mastodon. Your friends might be there. Maybe you've got an account, too!

Why Folks are Moving from X

Ever since X began to annoy a bunch of users, many folks have switched to Mastodon. There are various reasons, but some stand out:

  • Privacy & Control: Users dig Mastodon for its privacy-centered features. Picking an instance based on its rules and moderation gives users more control, unlike centralized platforms where a single company sets the rules.

  • Community and Niche Interests: Mastodon focuses on community. It's all about smaller, specialized groups (instances) for hobbies, interests, or beliefs. That way, users connect with like-minded folks in their cozy corner.

  • Less Ads and Algorithms: Compared to mainstream social media, Mastodon has fewer ads and less reliance on complex algorithms deciding what you see. Some people prefer this laid-back, chronological timeline vibe.

  • Free Speech and Moderation Policies: Different instances have varied moderation policies. Those fed up with content moderation on other platforms find Mastodon's approach more aligned with their ideals.

Me? Why?

For me, it's the algorithm. I started getting random topics not of my interest. Not that I don't care, but if I want to read about it, I'd rather not read it on social media.

Then, I got loads of notifications from people I didn't even know existed, mostly from those verified accounts. Unpleasant, right? Many others felt the same way.

Also, for a few months, I've been neck-deep in a project closely linked to Mastodon. It involved tweaking the core Ruby files, building a custom API wrapper, and other cool stuff. One thing led to another, and I fell for Mastodon again. Yep, I've got an old Mastodon account, but I rarely use it nowadays.

What’s Mastodon, Anyway?

Mastodon is an open-source, decentralized social platform. It's an alternative to centralized social networks like X. It operates on a federated model, with independent servers (instances) that can communicate. Each instance has its own rules and moderation, offering users more control.

Users create accounts on different instances, each with its community and moderation style. This setup lets users interact not just with their instance but with others in the broader Mastodon network. Features like timelines and content warnings come standard.

It’s popular for its focus on user privacy, community-driven moderation, and no one big boss dictating everything. Developers and users can contribute to the platform, making it more transparent.

Mastodon offers a more customizable, less algorithm-driven, and decentralized social experience. It's a hit with folks who value privacy, community connections, and more control online.

Launching KOSONG, My Personal Mastodon Hangout

In late October 2023, I set up my own Mastodon instance - KOSONG, found at kos.ong. It's private, so no public sign-ups. But if you're a friend IRL and reading this, hit me up if you want in!

'Kosong' means 'empty' in Indonesian, and 'kertas' is 'paper'. So it's 'empty paper'.

With my instance, I'm the top dog (sort of, not entirely - I’m rolling with Mastohost for service, so no code or database fiddling). But hey, I’m the admin and have full access to the dashboard.

You might be thinking, “Why have a private social platform with no one to chat with?” Kind of right, but not 100%. The power of Mastodon is that users don't need to be on the same instance to interact.

Think of it like this: you’ve got a [email protected] email and can shoot a message to your pal, even if they’re at [email protected], right? Mastodon works in a similar way.

Each Mastodon instance has its vibe and rules. fosstodon.org for free software, mastodon.art for art, and botsin.space for your Mastodon bots. With my instance, no strings attached, no theme. I toot as I like, about whatever I want, with the 90% control I have (the rest’s in Mastohost’s court). Oh, 'toot' is Mastodon’s 'tweet'.

I'm not saying you’ve got to use Mastodon. You do you on social media. But if you get where I'm coming from, there's a sweet alternative. If you jump in, you can follow me at @[email protected].

This note is written by Diky Hadna — Software Engineer & Digital Nomad Mentor. Read my story and get in touch with me!