Mastodon, Twitter and the Possible Future

Mastodon, Twitter and the Possible Future
The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Welcome to the second edition of Known/Unknown Value.

So much for timeless content, like many people, I'll be talking about the Twitter takeover and exodus (or hedging bets) to Mastodon. The situation is fluid, and hot takes abound, but it's important to discuss the value people derive from their social graph, which has a wide impact on society and how we organise.

Welcome to hell

Welcome to hell, Elon
This is a great headline with a consistently damning assessment of Twitter's existing problems from The Verge. It paints a bleak picture of Elon Musk's financial and ethical position in taking over Twitter. The article makes an argument that successful social media networks are built on moderation. It also sets out where a lot of Twitter's real value comes from i.e. the social graph of power brokers, politicians, journalists and celebrities that use Twitter. Also, kudos for the new site design from The Verge, which breaks with minimalism and gives a call back to old-school blogging newsfeeds.

The long game
Investigative journalist and technologist Dave Troy sets out his belief that Musk is attempting to move Twitter into being a 'public good at a protocol level'. While Troy makes some big logical jumps, this is an interesting read on the pitfalls of tech fundamentalist solutionism and how ideological movements such as effective altruism impact our lives through their prominent adherents.

Welcome to Mastodon (and the larger Fediverse)

I'm new in the space and still learning, but like what I see so far - a balance between community and technical protocol.

You can find me at

A Vision for Democratising Social Media
An interview with the founder of Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, on the influx of users to the service. Interesting to read the German take on free speech when so much of the worldwide discourse is shaped by the American version.  

How to Join Mastodon
A short guide on how to join Mastodon.  

10 Quick Mastodon Tips
Tips for how to orientate yourself and interact.

Decentralised Social Networks vs the Trolls
A useful video explanation of how decentralised networks can work together to isolate and reject far-right extremism. The creator helpfully acknowledges that the protocol is not a panacea for hostility online.

100 Rabbits
The Hundred Rabbits website shares seafaring knowledge and esoteric offline-first software that emphasises sustainability.

Hand dryers v paper towels
The century-long fight brings together economics, sustainability, marketing, sanitation and some other things you won't expect.

Elephants in the room
Tiktok and Apple dominate digital advertising by controlling your data in very different ways.

Catch you soon.