I’ve discovered Mastodon almost a year ago (already somewhat late to the party of course), and have used it with limited frequency (and unlimited enthusiasm). But a couple of days ago two things happened, curiously coincidentally: during my holidays I deleted the Twitter client from my phone, and then, when I came back from holiday, I discovered that Mastodon, at least in Hungary, suddenly came alive.
People suddenly started leaving Twitter for Mastodon; I got more followers in a couple of days, than in the previous year. And my feed came alive, resembling the old days of the Hungarian Twitter scene or the old IRC times.
This was, I guess, started by the same thing that made me finally abandon Twitter: Twitter’s asshole move further closing their APIs, a very hostile move against 3rd party Twitter apps; and (or?) their refusal to kick InfoWars off their platform (which is an interesting topic in itself…) I’ll admit, for me it was the latter that broke the camel’s (whale’s) back.
A Hungarian community Mastodon instance has since started, still a bit rough around the edges but improving, there is a post explaining Mastodon to the masses; at the writing of this post, it is rocking 153 very engaged users, with surely more to come.
But of course this is Mastodon: the number of users on one instance is no indication on the total users in the fediverse; and not even the number of users in the Hungarian Mastodon scene (how do we call this, I wonder; localiverse?) Case in point: I’m still registered with my mastodon.social account (@firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’m not planning to change.
I partially agree with people that say this “fluke” is driven by the relative novelty of the service — new is exciting, and for geek minded people, Mastodon is surely exciting. On the other hand this didn’t happen of course if Twitter weren’t such a jerk organisation towards the communities, dev and user alike. Which is to say, I think (and certainly hope) that Mastodon is here to stay. Not rocking Twitter like user numbers, but strong enough to not die down, and continue being a nice community. And hey, Twitter was a new service once, wasn’t it?
Last but not least: if you read this far (hands up!…) you are probably interested in the future of Mastodon. The awesome dudes creating this awesome Twitter alternative are just regular dudes, providing the community the service from their regular dude livelihoods. So remember:
Support your local Mastodon admin dude!
Is your Mastodon instance dude on Patreon or a similar service? Support them? Are they not? Tell them you want to support the effort!