I need to get something off my chest. Buckle up folks.

I'm deeply concerned about the future of the #fediverse and open social protocols. NOT because of the recent Twitter news, but quite the opposite.

The way so many poo-poo'd and decried those efforts was heartbreaking. It shows a severe blind spot in the "libre" community.

Listen, if you don't understand why Twitter, why iOS, why Microsoft (back in the day), etc. is popular, you just don't get this fight.


UI/UX will win with users EVERY DAMN TIME. The only way free protocols can get any mainstream traction is if the UI/UX is *as good if not better* than proprietary alternatives.

People will use Twitter, IG, Facebook, etc. for the rest of time…if the UX is way better. Period. End of discussion.

That's why Twitter's foray into open protocols is SO IMPORTANT. If they can bring their UX knowhow into the discussion, that's a GOOD THING. This can't just be libre-geek-hacker world forevermore.




I am sorry... but have you seen the UI/UX of Twitter recently?

It's atrocious, slow, confusing as all heck, a complete disaster

Mastodon was confusing for me at first, but honestly, the lack of constant attention grabber is a sweet relief.

Not saying that there is no room for improvement: there is a lot of room for improvement, but I am honestly not sure at all if Twitter is the best company to turn to for a better Mastodon UI.

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@ParadeGrotesque In a straight up two-up comparison between Twitter.com and Mastodon in a browser, I would agree Mastodon is quite respectable and Twitter does have some issues.

But I'm talking more holistically…the process of signing up, finding content you care about, staying engaged with the right kind of notifications, feeling included in important conversations, etc.

Also Mastodon-compatible mobile apps (at least on iOS) are a mixed bag, at best.


Then you and I have had a very different experience. I feel a lot more engaged & interested on Mastodon than on Twitter. Signing in is pretty much the same, and I am a nobody on both platforms so being included in conversations is not an issue.

Tusky is a wonderful Android app, and one which is almost as good (if not better!) than the original web UI. I have always refused to install the official Twitter client, for obvious reasons (user tracking, etc). Make of that what you will.

@ParadeGrotesque @jared this actually encouraged me to try out tusky and just a 2 second look at the app and it looks so much nicer than fedilab. thanks :3

@jared @ParadeGrotesque I disagree with this from the pov of a user who is signing up for the first time. The first thing Mastodon asks you to do is "pick an instance".

Forcing a choice on something they don't yet understand is the worse way to onboard users.

And sadly it's inherent to the design of federated services.

Centralized services have a huge advantage here: user gets to make no choices. No instance to choose, no mobile apps to compare.


You have a point. I think it's more minor than how you present it, but, as you remarked, it's the nature of the game with a federated service.

Perhaps a web site introducing Mastodon and allowing you to pick and choose an instance based on your interests would be useful in that case? Does a web site like that already exist? 🤓


@teleclimber @jared @ParadeGrotesque agree this is a source of much friction. I consider myself *very* tech savvy and didn’t understand this at all when signing up. I believe joinmastodon.org has improved a lot since then though.

@jaredmoody @jared @ParadeGrotesque in my case I understood what "choose an instance" meant, it's just that I couldn't find an instance that seemed like an ideal fit. So I was stumped. They were all very similar and yet differed in some ways. I wasted maybe 20 minutes and finally ended up on a German instance (I'm in Los Angeles and don't speak German) because it seemed well managed.

@jaredmoody @jared @ParadeGrotesque

It's like going to the cereal aisle in the grocery store if you've never eaten cereal in your life.

@jared @ParadeGrotesque I agree with @jared on this - the sign up process alone on Mastodon is poor enough to discourage many.

My 2nd highest complaint would be lack of an official mobile app. People equate service with app. That “mastodon” searches yield only 3rd party apps is disconcerting if you’re not expecting it

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