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Find myself checking in on Mastodon less and less. I keep looking around for more people to follow who talk about interests that intersect with mine, but…

I don’t know. Seems like something about the platform gears it toward the frivolous. It’s very much a social network, whereas what I’m looking for is more like an interest network.

@lrhodes What kind of interests are you hunting for?

@jrc03c History, literature, the structure and social impact of technology, philosophy, religion, etc.

Thing is — it’s not that those interests aren’t represented on the instances I’ve seen, but the people who’ve expressed interest in them don’t talk about them much *on this platform* — at least, not seriously. There’s a party atmosphere to much of Mastodon, where I’d like to see more of a coffeehouse approach.

@lrhodes Do you think that could be just a function of microblogging in general? Like, would something closer to Slack provide more of the atmosphere you're looking for, or do you think that it's less about the platform and more about the people?

@jrc03c It’s probably a couple of things. I’ve been on a number of different startup platforms, and they tend to start out very programmer-centric. So there’s that.

But design decisions also impact usage, so I’m curious about ways in which Mastodon’s design guides the sort of discussion that takes place (or doesn’t) here.

As much as Twitter has wrong with it, it does seem like people are more willing to dish their interests there.

@lrhodes I understand. Do the people on scholar.social not match your style and/or interests?

Considering trying out some other ActivityPub platforms. Diaspora*, maybe? Pump.io? Pleroma dovetails with Mastodon so much that I’m not sure there’d be much difference there.

Any thoughts?

Also:

While it’s cool that people are using ActivityPub to create alternatives to existing social networking platforms, I’m looking forward to seeing someone use the standard to create a platform that does something relatively novel — some heretofore unexplored mode of interacting and relating.

@lrhodes did you hear about the instance where you can not use the letter E, and the other one where that's the only letter allowed?

eeeeeeeets out there

@lrhodes I would very much like to drop Twitter and be only on Mastodon.

I think the platform tech is ready for it. But I think that the usage is not quite there yet.

Back-of-the-napkin math: Twitter has approximately 200M monthly active users, and Mastodon has around 2M total users (not sure about who is active), which makes Mastodon's size at around 1% of Twitter. It basically means you need to dig much harder to find the people that share your interests.

@lrhodes my anecdotal experience seems to confirm this 1% number. Whether it be the number of people I actively chat with, # of followers, the boost counts of the platform's most popular toots, etc.

@lrhodes Friendica and Hubzilla federate with both the Diaspora protocol and OStatus, so you can continue to follow Mastodon users (as you wish) as well as find Diaspora/Friendica/Hubzilla users that might be a little more interest-focused.

@kameshima Not that it necessarily matters, but I assume those would be one-way relationships — ie Mastodon users wouldn’t be able to follow back.

@lrhodes I believe they would, but I admit I'm not 100% sure. You can try following me to see if it works, if you'd like.

@kameshima Seems to work. Which platform are you statusing from?

@lrhodes Me too. WRT Mastodon at present, I don't know about frivolity or sociality exactly. It may be just because of "Inktober," whatevervember, whatever, but what I see (and participate in) is a sort of endless sharing of each person's personal work in progress, where the response is likes and shares, not interactive discussion. I'm trying to share thought-provoking stuff on h.o - not my own - in hopes of sparking some of that discussion.

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Humanities One

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H1 is an experiment in using the features of Mastodon to carve out a space for conversations about specific topics. The goal is to devote the local timeline (visible to humanities.one accounts and on the front page of the site) as narrowly as possible to discussion of the humanities. (FAQ: Local Timeline)

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Looking for instances with overlapping themes? If you need more language and linguistics, check out polyglot.city. Academics in all fields can check out scholar.social. For STEM scholars, there's mathstodon.xyz and scicomm.xyz.