I'm really thinking hard about setting up a Mastodon and Pixelfed instances. And not just for professional reasons. I feel like social is going in that direction. Silos are alive and well. Don't get me wrong. And people are probably always going to want to gravitate towards a huge meeting place like Facebook where everyone they know is in one place. But I see my social desires changes from 8 years ago. And I think I am not the only one.
I've been on Twitter, Plurk, Yahoo 360, Google Plus and god knows how many other social networks. And back then when the concept was new and a majority of the reaction was benign people posted and said anything. You could be as kind, stupid, disgusting as you wanted and it was just noise in the ether of time. Now everyone see and remembers everything. Young people can't be young and mess up because they have a permanent record of their transgressions that will follow them forever. People can't talk about their political views for fear that they will be attacked by the stranger with no icon or the cousin waving dixie and their AR-15. It is part of the human condition to share and be noticed but unfortunately the Internet is not always the best place to stand out. And while I do feel it is a public service for out loud racist to scream out their narrow minded views and let me know where I stand in their world views I don't want to always be bombarded by their “views”.
Thank God For Federation
New social networks like Mastodon, gnuSocial, PixelFed are popping up to solve some of the old issues with silo social networks. Issues like doing for social what Wordpress did for blogging. Roll you own network that is based on a specific theme or interest. Or run is yourself for a specific group of people so everything you share can be off corporate servers and not made for all of civilization to view and critique. And these social network servers use a protocol called ActivityPub that allows a user on gnuSocial Server A to interact with both a user on gunSocial Server B and PixelFed server C.
Now I don't like the idea of echo chambers. And these servers can be used to help narrow minded people with narrow views of the world to gather and organize. Must like groups on Slack, Signal and Facebook can. But the thought of a safe haven for people to just find safe harbors to just socialize is more than appealing. And there will always be public gathering places like Facebook to post your Christmas and vacation pics and to setup class reunions. But I've come to terms with the fact that I don't need to log into Facebook when I just really want to talk with 5 people. And I can see the desire to eat on average $15 to $20 a month to socialize with the couple people that matter in my life safely and directly and a few select people in the wilds of the net. Need to pick up some AWS and Docker anyway.
...To Be Continued