As I did with Twitter when it was new, on Mastodon I’m pretty much following anyone who follows me, anyone who interacts with one of my posts, and anyone whose interesting post finds its way into my timeline. When that adds up to more posts than I can keep up with, I’ll curate much more strictly.
Gradually getting my follows arranged for Mastodon. I’m having less trouble than other people, because I had done my best to make Twitter act like Mastodon: I turned off anything that tried to “feature” posts, and just followed a list of people who tweeted interesting stuff.
I guess I don’t really expect that the demise of Twitter will lead to a grand resurgence in websites that offer RSS feeds as the way to follow your favorite writers.
But wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did?
As Twitter swirls around the plug hole, I thought I’d mention that I’m email@example.com. I encourage you to follow me there.
I am also on Mastodon, but my first account there is for my Esperanto stuff, and is all in Esperanto. I’m looking to establish another Mastodon account specifically for my English-language writing-related stuff, but I need to pick a server first. Any suggestions?
Using my microblog
Often—I’d say usually—when I craft something to post to social media I end up disappointed eventually. In particular, when I want to refer back to it and find that it’s lost in the depths of Facebook or twitter and I can’t find it, or can’t refer to it in the way I want to.
I think I’ve got this problem solved now, via micro.blog, which is social media done correctly.
Use micro.blog like this: Have your own blog that generates an RSS feed. Sign up for a micro.blog, and configure it to watch that feed. It will build a twitter-like timeline out of your blog posts. There’s a clever detail about how it does so: Your regular posts will just be posted with your post title and a link. But your short, status posts—your tweet-like posts—show up with the full content instead of just a title and a link. (You signal the difference to micro.blog by omitting a title on your status posts.)
I set up a micro.blog a couple of years ago (I was a backer on Kickstarter), and was very pleased with how it all worked, with the sole problem being that nobody reads my micro.blog feed. My frustration with that, however, has finally prompted me to do something that I’m always loath to do: Spend money.
I signed up to spend $2 a month to have micro.blog forward my feed on to twitter (and, of course, to support micro.blog). A link to this post will show up with the post title. My status posts are showing up as tweets, just like they’re supposed to.
Going forward I’ll still post to twitter, but generally just replies and retweets. With those exceptions, my plan is to publish all my content here and let micro.blog handle the rest.
Facebook and Instagram: Even worse than Twitter
Whenever I tweet about a company, I like to go ahead and tag the company in the tweet, so they can see what I’m saying about them. Besides that, I’ve a natural inclination toward brand loyalty (for companies whose products I like), so I like to keep up with what the company is doing, and twitter is a good way to do that. (Not nearly as good a way as an RSS feed, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The upshot is that I’m not infrequently searching for a company’s twitter handle—and just lately, I’m pretty often not finding one. More and more companies are limiting their social media presence to Facebook and Instagram—both of which are terrible choices.
Facebook is very bad. It tries to monetize passing on information! It deliberately holds back information that the company wants to share and that I want to see, specifically in order to pressure the company to pay up.
Instagram may be even worse. It is inherently about sharing pictures, whereas information is often best presented as text. Worse yet, it won’t share links, which is almost always what companies (should) want to do, if they’re trying to tell me about the sorts of things I want to hear about.
Twitter is a bad company that provides a service which is bad in many ways, but at least it will show me all the tweets of the company I’ve followed, tweets which can include text and links as well as pictures.
The photo at the top is of a donut I bought this morning at Industrial Donut—the latest company I noticed limiting its social media presence to Facebook and Instagram.