a possum adrift

So, Twitter, Huh Pt II: The Dawn of the Blueskyodon

With the death spiral of Twitter I have found my way to two other places to feel the brave new world out.

One – dice.camp, a Mastodon instance – I joined in November of 2022, with the announcement of Twitter changing hands to the world’s richest and most moronic leech. Despite having signed up back then, the sparse community and my real-worldy commitments kept my engagement low and I have honestly only checked back here and there. Shame on me. In truth, Twitter’s very slow collapse left enough functionality that the trainwreck was worth watching because the people watching with me are really cool, so it kind of soaked up my social media attention span just the same and Mastodon/dice.camp didn’t get a fair shake at my attention as it grew. I am taking steps to focus more on the community there and interact with friends on that app.

The second option, Bluesky, I joined much more recently. Because it is invite only, I only came up on the waitlist about a week ago despite signing up in the spring. Like Mastodon, it functions quite similarly to Twitter (or rather, it functions a lot like Mastodon, which functions a lot like Twitter, I think). It’s been growing rapidly due to the renewed and accelerating downfall of Twitter and with that comes a lot of familiar faces. It’s a welcome reprieve from Twitter; the vibe over on Bluesky is much less tense. It would seem that, right now, I see more of the folks I interact with most on Twitter over on Bluesky. I must admit I am doing some very slow lifting in this regard, and I am trying to get uncommon invites into the hands of Twitter regulars to facilitate the exodus.

Both sites and their apps are pleasant enough and both will (and are?) benefit from more activity and chatter. Cards on the table, neither Bluesky nor Mastodon is quite all-the-way cooked. They’re both like when you’re baking a cake and you think it’s done and stick in a toothpick to check, but it comes back juuuuust a little bit wet.

For example, Bluesky doesn’t thread posts the same as Twitter did, so you may find your friend’s response to someone, but lack the first post that originated the discussion in the first place. Context suffers. Mastodon is like this as well, and at least on the website version, it often hides your friends replies even in instances they’re replying to other friends – leading the entire feed to feel disconnected and impersonal, as if you’re seeing people speak at an empty room. Further, Mastodon’s federated, instanced design is a bit of a hurdle for many users when it comes to getting a 1:1 copy of their follow list from Twitter, because who knows what instances your instance is partnered with and who knows what instance your friends picked in order to track down compatibility and follow across instances. This is not conducive to a sense of conversation or community. Bluesky’s website also lacks an emoji button in the text entry boxes, and a DM function, for better or for worse.

There are surely other issues, but I merely mean to illustrate that both options are clearly missing some of the functionality we’ve become accustomed to on Twitter and may require (and hopefully see!) some further feature iteration. Likely, things like the above contributed to me bouncing off Mastodon last year, but this time around I am better versed in the differences and more certain that Twitter is probably a lost cause. I am sure that as more people migrate there will be improvements to these little nagging UI/UX issues, but in the meantime, it’s going to be on us as users to sort of put in a little extra effort to check in and participate and create an air of conversation and friendliness.

title image - screenshots of both my Bluesky and my Mastodon profile pages
Find me on Bluesky @dungeonsandpossums.com and on Mastodon @dungeonspossums@dice.camp

Which sort of brings me to my last point: while we have seen, repeatedly, the eventual disastrous cost of centralized social media with the death of G+ and the agonizing slow-motion doom of Twitter, it sure is a convenient way to stay up to date with your friends and to see all of the news and chit-chat in one place. The latter sways us to risk the former, but at least for now, it really shouldn’t. The time to migrate is once again upon us. And yes, there’s certainly also a workload, a cost or an outlay in some sense, to rebuilding connections and establishing a presence on a new site – one which may be new for younger members of the audience who have only lived in the era of dominant social media players like Facebook or formerly Twitter, but which feels increasingly tiresome to us old millennial and Gen X types who have experienced the extinction of newsgroups, the rise and fall of countless forums, the demise of Myspace and Friendster and Nexopia and Xanga and every other corner of the once-new social media space. I am not immune to this sense of annoyance and vague reluctance when I consider the taxing undertaking before me. But I’ll do it all the same, and I urge all you other nerds not to give in to the negativity either, though. Friendship, camaraderie, shared interests, the magical third place – these things are ultimately worth the small effort of abandoning ship and helping to build a beautiful new boat, and they pay dividends every day.

In any case, though, I will be winding down my presence on Twitter a bit at a time and spooling up my presence at these two sites while I feel out which apparatus I enjoy using more. I find that my enjoyment of social media is naturally very related to the community I find there, so in the end I will likely go where friendly faces set up shop and spread good cheer. Twitter in its original state proved a fabulous place to meet people with shared interests, begin friendships, learn about issues and news, and build a sense of community – which of course is exactly why it is being dismantled. I owe a lot to Twitter; this blog and the relationships that ebb and flow through it are the result of welcoming and enthusiastic Twitter folks like Larry and Jordan encouraging me to do more dorky stuff and run a blog. But now Twitter is rapidly becoming unfit for purpose, so it is better to begin building a camp somewhere friendlier.

As an aside, Facebook came up with their own competitor for this void which they called Threads some time back. I tried it and I hated enough about it instantly that I have entirely avoided it since. I don’t know if anything has changed there, but if it has substantially improved, let me know and I’ll take a look maybe?


If you’re on Bluesky or Mastodon, please say hi and let’s all pitch in together to build a great and welcoming new world – somewhere, or somewheres – for each other and our friends as they also climb aboard. You can find me on Bluesky under the handle @dungeonsandpossums.com which is indeed my website URL; kind of a neat feature. You can find me on Mastodon under the name @dungeonspossums@dice.camp – dice.camp is one of two large TTRPG-centric Mastodon instances. Please do drop on by one or both and let me know you’ve landed safely!

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2 comments on “So, Twitter, Huh Pt II: The Dawn of the Blueskyodon

  1. taichara

    I’m on the fediverse but not dice.camp or the other one (well, I was verified on dice.camp loooong after I applied, and tabletop.social was my first try and it didn’t quite work), but on @chirp.enworld.org instead and have been for quite some months now (I can sense some of the indie rpg purists out for my blood lol but that’s okie X3) —

    But we’re mutuals already in any case so I guess that’s not really news? :D? hi

    I’m not on Bluesky and I rather it that way, I think. I don’t trust Jack Dorsey, I don’t like some of the policies already on there, and honestly I’ve poked around and have gotten a pretty nice mix of dead dudes/rpgs/art people/writing people/etc starting to accumulate on fedi. I kind of suck at socializing anyway and have only ever been a hobbyist in the rpg scene so maybe it’s for the best and I won’t feel like so much of a speedbump, even if I do still miss posts on fedi (just because of the haphazardness of federation, instead of algorithmic wharrgarbl).

    Haven’t tried Threads. I’m more likely to wind up on Bluesky, which is no, sooooo *lol*

    .. This is a lot of babbling, oi. Sorry about that.

    1. Dungeons & Possums

      Definitely no judgment as to which instance you dwell upon! I just checked and confirmed I’ve definitely had you as a pal on at least one of those instances and just added the others as bonus insurance πŸ˜‰

      I can definitely understand the reticence about Jack’s new gamble since it’s only the rose-tinted Not-Elmo glasses that make him seem reasonable by comparison; the dude’s also a huge bummer in his own right. I have weird hangups on a couple of things about Bluesky’s AT Protocol as well – block lists et al being public via the API is concerning to me as it could be an avenue of harassment for jerks to exploit against the vulnerable and so I’ll be keeping an eye on that going forward.

      That “fediverse missing posts” thing is something I have suspected in an inexplicable way – good to know I am not alone in that sense, even if it’s not easy to quantify πŸ˜›

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