NOTE: This article is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it is information that I believe every computer user, and especially Twitter users, should know.
Ever since Twitter has been hemorrhaging users who no longer like the new owner's ideas of what the service should be like, millions of people have switched to Mastodon. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is a non-profit, decentralized, and self-hosted social platform and a popular alternative to Twitter. Unlike Twitter, which is operated by one centralized entity, Mastodon has thousands of distributed servers known as “instances.”
Each instance hosts the users’ posts and profile information, allowing for independent networks with varying themes and topics. This type of decentralization has several advantages, including enhanced privacy and an improved user experience.
When you join a Mastodon instance, you will be connected to other users who share your interests. Your timeline will then feature posts and conversations related to topics you are interested in.
You can also customize the type of content that appears in your timeline by using the “muting” feature, allowing you to filter out specific topics or conversations that don’t interest you.
However, there is one major drawback to Mastodon: it is very different from Twitter and is somewhat complex to use.
Now Brian Harnish has written a user's guide to using Mastodon. I strongly recommend reading Harnesh's guide first before attempting to learn the ins and outs of Mastodon. You can find it at: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/mastodon-social-media/481639/
Mastodon is still relatively new, so there will surely be updates and improvements in the future. If Twitter isn’t meeting your needs anymore, it may be time to try Mastodon.