It's kinda weird to think about a social network where businesses own their own presences, rather than relying on a capricious third party service like Twitter or Facebook. Imagine NBC or The Verge running a Mastodon instance for their reporters to toot from, or Bethesda operating an instance for PR and customer support. No more lost business when Facebook changes their algorithms again because they need more money from boosted posts.
@alahmnat Hmm, it seems you can't quote someone's message in order to reply to it and post it in your feed... But yeah, the thing is, it's not weird at all. This is exactly how email works, how IRC works, how websites themselves work. It's Facebook, Twitter, etc, who are the weird ones, really...
@ThorTheNorseman Yeah, as I understand it, toot quoting is something that's been explicitly left out to combat bandwagoning. And you're right, it's only weird because social media has been centralized for so much of its mainstream history, while everything else is just understood to behave in a decentralized manner. Kinda wonder what things would be like if social had stayed like this *gestures around*.
@alahmnat I feel they threw the baby out with the bath water by removing that. On Twitter, I use them to reply in a "public" way, and to humorously remark on another tweet. I don't really use them for "me too" posts. Frankly, one of the weaknesses of Twitter is that you can't really share Twitter threads you participated in with your followers.
@alahmnat And yeah, the problem, I think, is that it's much easier to monetize something you can control... and open source software tends to suffer from a lacking user experience. It's always about 80% there featurewise, with the other 20% being neglected forever.
@alahmnat Hm, but don't people's home instances decide how to display federated posts? So if, say, the NYT had its own Mastodon instance, but most of their readers read it from other instances, they would still be vulnerable to disruption if the most popular instances started filtering algorithmically, right?
@alahmnat That's one of the things I was talking with someone last night about - there's also the benefit that this effectively nullifies many forms of 'paid support scams' - if the person claiming to be a representative is federating from the server known to be run from the business, then it's more likely they're legit than if it's some random tooter from elsewhere.
@ultimape True the rest of the web already works like this, but I specifically meant weird in the context of social media, since that's been centralized in the mainstream basically since day one. This federation is just such a fundamentally different way of running things, and it's cool :)
@alahmnat I just joined Mastodon and I'm feeling my way around. I hadn't even considered your use case here. That could be huge.
I think so,
and that's why, even if Mastodon is not yet perfect, it has te potential to last. It's noticeable that some people here are just enjoying a kind of rare feeling of freedom on the Web.
So the point is not: "is mastodon the new blablabla " as most media are asking superficially. The point is that mastodon exemplify a principle that should have been the norm from long.
@stevenhorner If this really takes off, I think there will inevitably be some huge commercial instances that average people gravitate toward because they trust the provider to stay online and do the technical stuff for them, just like email has services like Gmail and Outlook/Hotmail. But in this scenario, the more technically-minded are at least able to set up their own if they so desire, yeah (again, there are parallels to email and web hosting in general).
@alahmnat Zynga could still be worth more than their physical assets
@alahmnat The interesting things about this are
a) If the Federated Timeline ever becomes algorithmic, the source will be visible. So no guessing whether/how the algorithm has changed.
b) Smaller outlets that can't afford to have dedicated, multi-person SEO teams benefit way more than the big ones. They'd need a Mastodon admin, but their web hosting team can just add that to their responsibilities.
@alahmnat As someone who has run commercial social accounts the landscape at the moment is desperate. There's a tug of war between creating quality content and then having to offset some of that budget for promoting posts which hurts. From a personal perspective I hate seeing sponsored posts it ruins my experience which should be all about online discovery. While early days I'm loving the fact Mastodon could and hopefully will disrupt the wasteland that Facebook has created.
@alahmnat Where things could get difficult (or fun!) is when individual platforms/instances want more tracking, more A/B testing, more capabilities to fuel their business model in some way. Or when enough large content providers start driving development in general in that direction. Super curious to see how that ends up looking.
@alahmnat yeah, but I guarantee you if MSNBC knows about this, they're sitting here wondering how they can pay money to artificially boost their viewership, like whether they can set up bot-chains to boost their toots. Toot-boosting if you will. If they tried that kind of garbage on their *own* instance they'd get de-federated real quick. I think brands will be really hesitant to dive in.