Avec le temps

Dramatic news about Twitter, like we’ve seen in the past week, always drives a big influx of people to Mastodon. Mastodon, part of a larger decentralized federation of communities called the fediverse, is my social medium of choice. On a superficial level, Mastodon is very Twitter-like. The culture though, is very different. New arrivals to Mastodon are of course very welcome. I hope some of them stick around, so that they can help Mastodon thrive.

But things inevitably change too. The characteristics of Mastodon that I find so appealing today will probably eventually fade, either slowly or quickly. It is unavoidable that almost any community will evolve and change. What is a mistake is to assume that because a forum is good today that it will always be good, or that it is good for everyone. You could call this misplaced optimism “the communalist mistake”. For example, at one time (2008) I was really positive about Twitter too, although that enthusiasm has long since vanished. While I’m super excited about Mastodon now, I know enough to know that it’s not forever. In my experience, communities, especially online ones, never are. The hard lesson learned is not to over-invest yourself.

For now though, the sun is shining, and Mastodon is a great place to be. Let me know if you want an invite.

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