One of the things I like about Mastodon vs commercial social networks is that it doesn't TRY TO GET MY ATTENTION every time I open the page or app and offer ALL THESE THINGS I SHOULD BE LOOKING AT that might be relevant to what it thinks my interests are, to make sure I stay online and don't stay away again for sooooo long! (Even if it's only been a few days.)

Seriously, I opened Instagram for the first time in a month or so and I was bombarded with more ads and recommendations than photos from people I was actually following.

I opened an alt profile in Twitter yesterday to post something off the cuff, and all the trending topics, pushing new features, etc were like walking onto the Las Vegas Strip when all you want is a sandwich.

Never mind the normal "you haven't logged onto Twitter in a few hours, here's all the stuff you missed, and look, people are posting new stuff while you're catching up, you'd better keep scrolling!" Compared to Mastodon just showing you the latest that you're actually following. And if you want to fill in what you missed, that's *up to you*

And while I'm griping about Instagram, why the heck are the detailed notification preferences split between the app and the system notification UI?

That's terrible design.

Well, if it's intended for usability, anyway.

If your goal is to make people see more notifications, though... 🙄

IMO there are two sensible ways to handle granular push preferences:

1. Use the system's per-app settings for all of it. (Tusky does this, even putting your per-account preferences in the system UI)
2. Use the app's settings for all of it, and let the system just be an on/off toggle for what you've chosen in the app (like it was before the system had UI for it)

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Picking up on this again briefly:

None of these complaints is inherent to the structure or functionality of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. They're deliberate UI design choices to optimize for the company's targets. A third party client could bypass it all (which of course is why they don't allow those).

Similarly, Mastodon and Pixelfed and so on *could* implement UI like this, but they don't. The project goals aren't engagement at all costs. And each instance can have its own goals.

Someone could add an ATTENTION-GRABBING EXPERIENCE on top of the Mastodon or Pixelfed code.

And those of us connecting with different software wouldn't be affected.

Or they could write an app that adds it! Though I'm not sure many people would consider that an improved experience.

Then again, people do use Yahoo mail. 🤷‍♂️

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our Code of Conduct.