Another great thing about Mastodon is the level of engagement. During my entire time on Twitter I constantly had the feeling of shouting into the void. Responses were rare, and actual conversations were rarer still.
The difference on Mastodon has been stark, right from the start. People *talk* to each other here. The Federated and Local timelines facilitate responding to people outside your little bubble, without algorithm-driven "trending" topics.
Algorithms like that are bad because they serve you up more of the things you already like or interact with, and eventually distill those things down to a narrower and narrower range of topics.
You don't make an echo chamber by refusing to give time to chuds. You make it by restricting what's served up as easily accessible topics. Algorithms are VERY good at that, even when they're not designed to do so.
The timelines here are kind of the opposite.
What we need, as heavily online people, is the Small Internet.
Search engines that aren't algorithmically based, and maybe give some less relevant -- but more intriguing -- results. Social media that has filters you can set, but doesn't let an AI curate your topics. Weird little blogs, less ad-laden websites.
What we need is a little more inconvenience.
@Nezchan I liked this article (which was, naturally, shared with me on my friend's discord.)
Well, I'm not necessarily saying no algorithms of any kind here, but more keeping it to the baseline that checks relevance as you point out. But of course all the big name engines don't restrict themselves to that.
@Nezchan the only algo search engines need is "do these results all contain what was searched for?" google often breaks even that simple expectation
I find it even harder to get really good results out of DuckDuckGo, to be honest. Sometimes I still have to use Google to get something useful.
@Nezchan I still sort of feel like I'm shouting into the void here but eh... when I do get a response, it tends to be a better conversation, that's for sure.
@Nezchan On twitter I got plenty of replies to my posts, accusing me of having the gall to try to introduce nuance into a conversation and being a bot.
@Nezchan I haven't noticed, but you're right. Also I feel that a lot of conversations here are a lot less shouty and a little bit more productive. It's pretty refreshing
The layout suggests that this was part of a talk, so it's a bit hard to understand what they're trying to communicate.
I think they want to develop systems that don't push us into snap decisions, but rather facilitate a moment of reflection, and encourage us, by subtle design, to think about it?
@Nezchan yeah skery I wrote it and it was a presentation. I think you have the right gist of things and would be happy to chat about it… :-) please let me know if you want to talk and I would to share more!
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.