Thoughts on Mastodon and Bluesky

- Posted in apps bluesky mastodon

After a few months of using Mastodon, and a few weeks of sometimes launching Bluesky and being confused, I have thoughts. Like many people, I was fed up with Twitter at some point and decided to look elsewhere.

My Mastodon profile is here and my Bluesky profile is here.

Mastodon: Clients

The default Mastodon web experience is not the best… I tried to migitate that by using different clients. Elk is a bit better on web. Ice cubes for iOS is OK, but it seems to have a lot of ghost notifications. I get a push notification, and then my list is empty. I haven’t found a client I really love.

Mastodon: DM’ing

DM’ing on Mastodon is quite different than on Twitter. A DM is a “private mention”, it shows up right on your feed in the same place as other messages.

When you DM, you are essentially sending a messsaging to mentioned people only. But UI-wise, it’s quite unclear what is what.

DM’ing on Twitter was a big deal for me to ask questions to my network or have small private conversations. DM’ing on Mastodon so far doesn’t feel right.

Mastodon: Activity

Activity on Mastodon is quite low so I see the same over-active people writing their things. I do only follow 1/5 of the amount of people as I do on Twitter so the answer is probably there… but I still have the impression that people just – use it less than Twitter?

In a way I prefer an algorithm there to make noisy people less noisy, while still following them. But if I look at the “For you” tab on Twitter, it’s full of poor content (very comparable to LinkedIn has been for years) – making me appreciate a non-algorhitmic feed. You can’t have it both ways I guess.

After many years of Twittering I have consistently been hovering around following 600-ish people. At one point, this gave me a steady stream of news and opinions, while still being managable to read. But I think things have gone downhill lately.

What about Bluesky?

There is also Bluesky, which is so new that I can’t say much.

First I was confused by the look and feel of it. Some parts look so unprofessional that I wondered if they are even genuine. The marketing website doesn’t style their links and looks very bare bones. The iOS login screen looks like it was put together in a minute, in such a way that I first thought I was dealing with a scam app.

The few times I’ve tried it, it’s been a weird experience. Almost no one I know is on there and I got followed by 30+ people who I don’t even know. For now, it’s not engaging at all, so I just quit the app a few minutes after I start using it.

Today, in the process of writing this blog post, I tried to add my own domain as a username (a feature of the AT protocol) but it did not work.

The concept of verifying your identity using a domain you own is interesting. Essentially if you have access to the keys of a domain (by being able to set DNS records) that is enough of an identity verification, and that sounds pretty legit to me.

I thought it was funny when somebody registered themselves to the Github CDN or standard S3 bucket urls.

All in all

All of the above is leading me to mix my Twitter and Mastodon usage. I guess I wil occassionally launch Bluesky to see how it evolves.

At one point I thought we (we, as in the communities I follow) would all quit Twitter and move over to Mastodon.

But that’s not the case at all.

Anyway, some thoughts. Over and out.

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