The Magnet 71: Grab Bag
Twitter alternatives, groovy fonts, terrible products
Thinking of ditching Twitter? Here are three alternatives
Many people I know who have become exhausted by the ongoing Twitter drama have signed up for Mastodon accounts. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a good explainer about Mastodon and how it’s different from Twitter. In short, Mastodon isn’t a centralized service like Twitter. It’s a bunch of different servers running the Mastodon open-source social media software. Anyone can download the Mastodon software and run a server and give it a name like mastodon.social, mastodon.cloud, or urbanists.social. These servers can communicate with each other in the same way a person with a Gmail account can send an email to someone with a Yahoo email account. Here’s an article that explains how to join a server. My Mastodon account is @firstname.lastname@example.org).
Another popular Twitter alternative is Counter.Social. It’s not as large as Mastodon, but I like the interface more than Mastodon (though I’m getting used to Mastodon’s interface). The platform isn’t decentralized like Mastodon, but the moderators do an excellent job of zapping bots and trolls. You can find me there at @frauenfelder.
Finally, there’s a social platform still in beta called Post. The creator is Noah Bardin, the person who created Waze. In his introduction to Post, Bardin writes:
Post will be a civil place to debate ideas; learn from experts, journalists, individual creators, and each other; converse freely; and have some fun. Many of today's ad-based platforms rely on capturing attention at any cost — sowing chaos in our society, amplifying the extremes, and muting the moderates. Post is designed to give the voice back to the sidelined majority; there are enough platforms for extremists, and we cannot relinquish the town square to them.
It sounds interesting, and I joined the waitlist.
If you are considering ditching Twitter, you might first want to read this advice from The Drag State:
If you deactivate/delete your Twitter account, your @ handle will be publicly available in 30 days. The chances that you will be impersonated with no recourse is very high! Don’t do it — especially if you had a fairly popular account.
To wipe things, deactivate your account, then go to bird site /login and reactivate it. All of your followers will be gone. Now lock the account and let it rot. @semiphemeral is a great tool for wiping data, including DMs.