Not sure if I'm inside the tech snowglobe or just holding it and can't look away. And it's mid summer.

A new structure for the old format

Greetings, gorgeous person. If you're reading this, it's likely because someone (maybe me!) linked you to it as a quick summary of Mastodon and the Fediverse.

I will keep this as clear and to the point as possible, and will section parts off. Read whatever seems worth reading, as I don't want to waste your time!

In short, if you are frustrated with massive tech companies controlling huge communication platforms that should probably be a public utility and regulated by the people instead of a single company, read on, because this is explicitly for you.

If you don't care and actually just wanna try the dang thing, you can check out I'll be linking to this website a few times along the way as a reminder.

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is a decentralized social network. It is very similar to platforms like Twitter, but with a few key differences:

  • No company owns the network
  • There are no ads, algorithms or trackers
  • It is completely open source
  • It has flexible solutions for moderating content
  • It is comprised of many interacting servers, rather than just the one service
    • This is not as spooky as it sounds, I promise
    • It's not blockchain and has nothing to do with crypto

Mastodon is just a social network. It is nothing you don't already know how to use. In fact, the default web app and mobile apps just look a heck of a lot like Twitter. The default character limit per post is 500. You can follow, boost (retweet/reblog), favorite, reply, DM, write a bio, pin posts to your profile, use hashtags, run polls, and more. It even has some nice additional features, such as content warnings.

If you're interested, you can find an instance and join at

So how does it work?

When you sign up for Mastodon, you're actually creating an account on a Mastodon instance. An instance is just a website running Mastodon. The biggest instance is, though there are literally thousands of other instances, each with their own specialities. And the nice thing is that you can port your account between instances whenever if you'd like.

When you sign up at an instance, your account will be, where “” will be whatever instance you signed up for. Think of it like email: when you sign up for a gmail account, people reach you with Same thing here! For example, I use as my Mastodon instance, so I am on Mastodon.

Here's the great part: Mastodon instances can all talk to each other! If you have an account on one instance, you can follow, mention, favorite, boost, DM or interact with anyone from other servers seamlessly. Your instance is like your “home”, but you can step outside your home no problem and connect with anyone else.

Into it? Again, you can find an instance and join at

What is the Fediverse?

The “Fediverse” is the term for the collective network that Mastodon is a part of. Without getting too deep into it, Mastodon is actually just one part of a larger ecosystem of social networks that all can interact with each other! Mastodon is a great way to get into the Fediverse, but there's a bunch of other stuff out there too. There's even decentralized YouTube and Instagram alternatives! Just about all of these services can interact with each other seamlessly.

How is it better?

“Better” is hard to define, and will always be an uphill battle, since moving from an existing social network to another is always going to come with the problem of losing your followers. So instead of “how is it better”, I will answer “why should I try it?” because you can keep using your existing stuff while dipping your feet into a new way of social networking.

The best way I can describe it is that Mastodon feels very genuine. My guess is that's because people are actively curating communities, rather than being handled by an algorithm that tries to maximize engagement (often read: vitriol). You get back what you put in and then some. On Mastodon, a simple “hello, this is who I am!” post on an account with zero followers can still gain traction and help get you connected with others. People engage far more often with the content in their feed. It is a welcoming, collaborative and unapologetically human space. I cannot emphasize this enough: we're all just vibing over here.

In addition to that, moderation is handled much better on Mastodon. It puts control back in the hands of the community. Each instance is responsible for moderating its own content, but since there's many instances, it means that no one instance is stuck trying to solve the question of “how do we handle hundreds of millions of users posting content all at once?”. Instead, admins and moderators can act on their own instances to keep things in check, and if an instance is failing to handle its users, other instances can just block the malicious instance entirely.

That's right: if a bunch of bad actors crop up in an instance that lets them spew garbage, you can just mass mute/block them. And if you prefer being a free speech absolutist, you can just not do that. Or, better yet, run your own instance which is pretty easy and cheap, and have absolute control over what you see! No Terms of Service or Privacy Policy required. It is entirely in your control, no single company (or billionaire) can decide for you.

How is it worse?

Obviously the big hump to get over is that if you “move” from one social network to another, you lose your followers. On Mastodon, you can change instances without losing followers, but to make the initial switch does require some effort on your part to build up a new social profile, and of course, who wants to to that?

The biggest issue I have run into as I've helped people onboard to Mastodon is discoverability. Big tech social networks have their algorithms and whatnot watching what people like, say, etc so they can suggest accounts to you to get started. Mastodon tries but definitely falls short of giving you a big list of who to follow.

Luckily, folks have done a few things to help, like making big lists of great accounts to follow by topic for example.

The good news: Like I've said, people are far, far more engaging on Mastodon. Just starting off by fleshing out your profile and posting an introduction post (using hashtags for topics and whatnot helps too!) will get you engagement. People are much more likely to click in to your profile. We're all looking to follow genuine folks, so if you just be you, you'll get settled in no time.

Common Misconceptions

Misconception: is Mastodon

Reality: is one instance of Mastodon. It is the largest by registered users and run by the original creator of Mastodon. You by no means need to sign up there, since instances can all connect with each other. Mastodon is the software, not the website. Think about it like Wordpress in a way.

Misconception: Mastodon is owned by a company

Reality: The codebase for Mastodon, while open source, is run by a company. The network uses an open, established protocol for interaction. As an example of this, recall that Mastodon instances can interact with any other service in the Fediverse, including non-Mastodon stuff. And since the codebase is open source, anyone can make their own version of it if they don't like something. And instances outside of are completely unaffiliated with the company, which to my knowledge mostly just exists for logistics.

Misconception: (or another instance running Mastodon) went down! It can't handle the users!

Reality: That's one instance going down, and often if it does happen, its because understandably, people flock to it whenever bad news about Twitter comes out, overloading the server. There are thousands of other instances that still go on if another server has a temporary outage, and they are temporary indeed.

Misconception: It's not actually decentralized!

Reality: “Decentralized” has a lot of baggage these days because of the crypto crowd. There are many ways to decentralize, and the Fediverse is one of them. A fleet of community-run servers rather than one company-owned service is a great way to have the best of both worlds. People who just want to have an account can just have an account and use it, while still not being under big tech surveillance. Often, servers are crowd funded by those who wish to contribute. And on the other end, if you want to totally own your data, you can run your own instance! There's even one-click systems out there to spin up a Mastodon server on the cheap. You are totally in control.

Misconception: I'm not cool enough

Reality: Yes you are, you cool cool person.

Misc Notes

I'll finish out with just a few more quick thoughts about this all. I don't want to just sit here and try to sell you on Mastodon for ages. I do want to give you an understanding of what the heck it is, so that you can decide if you want to try it out yourself.

Human: Mastodon/the Fediverse feels very human. We are building this space very much by the people for the people. No company owns the network. It's not plagued with brands doing marketing. There are literally no ads. If you are trying to market yourself or you are trying to “build your personal brand,” this probably isn't what you're looking for. But if you're sick of “brands” and ads and marketing and influencers and algorithms stoking anger, you may want to try this out.

Easy: A lot of folks seem to be afraid of the word “decentralized” or “instance”. I promise you, if you can use email or Twitter, you can use Mastodon.

Flexible: Unlike Twitter, Mastodon has a completely open API, which means developers can fully build excellent mobile apps. There is now an official Mastodon mobile app, but other great apps exist, such as Metatext or Toot! on iOS, or Tusky on Android.

Here to stay: Mastodon (and moreso the Fediverse) has been around for years now, and it shows no signs of going away. The software is open source, the system it is based on is an open standard. No single company can fold and take down Mastodon. Even if a server goes away, the rest of the network is still here, and growing rapidly. It's the difference between having one huge Walmart in town that is the only place to shop, versus having an abundance of smaller shops to go to. If one closes, its no big deal, we've still got plenty of other places to shop. Sure, you may need to change how you shop a little bit, but the quality of the produce is much, much higher. This metaphor is reminding me that I need to go to the store, sorry.

Other Options: Mastodon is not the only Twitter-like Fediverse service out there, but for simplicity, its the one I've been discussing. You can check out to explore further.

Closing out

There's a lot of reasons to be reconsidering how we interact online. I've been on Mastodon for several years now, across a few different instances and even hosting my own instance for a while. The amount of engaging interactions I've had compared to other social media is staggering. It feels great to have conversations with folks who are just here to be themselves, rather than trying to get the algorithm to hook on to their posts. It feels great to not see brands posting fake mental health breakdowns. It feels great to see bot accounts labeled as bot accounts. There's even an entire instance dedicated to bots!

There's a lot of cool stuff coming down the pipeline as well. Groups are being planned across the Fediverse. Improved apps and discoverability. Yes, it has its own shortcomings, but they are rapidly disappearing.

If you'd like to know more, I'm happy to chat. You can reach me at on Mastodon!

If you've read all the way to here, you should just take the next step and try it out. Browse some great instance options at

Ron Amadeo writes for WIRED magazine…

Google has no actual competitive advantage here. No one will find Stadia's lag acceptable if they find the lag on other services unacceptable. The cloud advantage was one of the main pillars upon which the Stadia business was built, and there just isn't any evidence that this theoretical benefit is working to Google's benefit in real life. Nvidia isn't even a cloud company, and it can at least match Google.

You can’t outrun the speed of light. Gaming is a highly engaging medium. The instant feedback between the input and the game is what allows players to settle in to a flow state, feeling as though they are directly controlling the game. I would liken input delays in games to those “voice jammer” apps that replay your voice back to you on a delay while you’re talking. It just gums up your ability to perform normally.

That’s not even getting into the issues with ownership and whatnot.

There is, imo, no path to victory in the AAA game streaming space. You can at best make some neat tech demo, and maybe even sell it to a small audience who can deal with the lag for a subset of genres, but you’re not going to displace consoles, phone games or computer gaming any time soon with that.

Filed #replies #gaming #google

Hey there. I just figured this out and it took more searching than I had expected. So I hope this post helps you, future searcher.

If you use the Daily Notes or Periodic Notes plugins for Obsidian, and you hate that it creates all of the files in one giant folder, you can clean it up by telling Obsidian to create intelligently nested folders by year, month, date or whatever else you’d like.


It was fun while it lasted.

The New York Times Company writes…

As part of our portfolio of games, Wordle will have an exciting future with the help of a team of talented engineers, designers, editors and more, furthering the user experience.


Wordle was acquired for an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures.

No hate towards the creator for selling the game. They made a free game that millions of people play a day and love. It’s fair to get some money off of that. But NYT paid 7 figures for this game, and intend to “further the user experience.” Nevermind that half of the reason the game is so loved today is precisely because of how simple and “non-furthered” it is.

Another NYT article also includes the phrasing “the game [will] initially remain free to new and existing players.” Initially.

RIP Wordle. We barely knew ye.

Filed #replies #gaming #social

Brendan Sinclair writes for…

Sony Interactive Entertainment today announced a deal to acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion, the latest in a string of big-ticket consolidation deals in the games industry.


At present, the studio is working on maintaining Destiny 2, expanding the Destiny franchise, and working on new IP.

I would really prefer overall to see less of “Giant games company X buys smaller developer Y, thus consolidating the marker further” but that’s just how the business is going at this point. Wild to see the stark divide between AAA and indie studios.

As a VERY bought-in Destiny 2 player, I actually don’t mind this though. I mean yeah, I’d prefer for Bungie to independently just do well, but Sony tends to do well by their studios, and if the FAQ is to be believed, Bungie will remain a wholly self-controlled subsidiary with creative control.

Of course, who knows how long that will last. Hoping the answer is “basically forever” but I know first-hand that the promise of “you’ll remain a self-contained subsidiary!” is not a forever deal.

Filed #gaming #tech #replies

Tom Phillips at Eurogamer writes…

Worms developer Team17 has announced it is getting into NFTs.


So, should 100,000 people buy one, the energy used to register these unique images would be “the average annual kettle usage of just 11 households”.


Eurogamer understands that several teams within Team17 had no knowledge of its controversial plans to launch a range of collectible Worms NFTs prior to the project's public announcement this morning.

Deeply weird to me to see companies still doing this, despite the constant negative feedback they’re getting. Each one of these articles seems to come along with employees being blindsided by the announcements. The devs don’t want this, the players don’t want this, and the entire concept of game NFTs is plagued with problems currently just being hand-waved. It’s literally just executive calls because they see crypto hype and they want in.

As a reminder, NFTs are not even that popular even if the crypto crowd is extremely loud about it:

only 400,000 wallets have ever interacted with an NFT, and far less actually own an NFT right now. The FOMO they're creating to try and scam you out of your money, and the talk about how everyone uses/is abt to use nfts is all an objective lie. It's all astroturfing.

Twitter: @Spaced_god

Filed #crypto #replies

…even if its nearly two and a half hours.

I am probably not the first person to suggest you watch this video, and I probably won’t be the last. But, if you have any knowledge of the “web3” and crypto space, this is, in my opinion, mandatory watching. This is a feature length documentary which dives incredibly deep into the fundamental problems with the entire concept of web3/crypto/NFTs, looking at human, economic and technological problems that plague the systems and exposes the reality behind why the manufactured hype is so rampant.

Spoiler alert: it really is all a scam. And it does not do anywhere near what it purports to do. What it does do, it does poorly.

Click the image or link below to watch the video on YouTube.

Watch “Line Goes Up – The Problem with NFTs” on YouTube

Anyway, it’s a long video, but I cannot stress enough just how worthwhile it is to watch to really and truly understand why so many people in the tech space have been screaming to the sky recently about how bad this all really is.


I've been increasingly annoyed in my day-to-day with technology over the past few months. Mostly in the context of apps and websites both on mobile and desktop.

Maybe the pandemic has made me depend on tech more for entertainment and escapism. Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe I'm more tuned in to bad design patterns as a front-end developer. I dunno. What I do know is that I'm not the only one dealing with these problems, and it feels like these annoyances have accelerated recently. I sat down for just 10 minutes and tried to dump out everything I could think of from just the past month or so that I've realized is just obnoxious.

The sad thing is that we've gotten so used to how things are that we've just accepted it as normal. But somewhere along the way, I just hit one too many X-buttons on a popup asking for my email for a newsletter, and I got triggered real bad. So, here's my annotated list of just ten or so minutes of thinking about bad experiences we have to deal with in today's tech landscape.


I love Obsidian. I'm writing this post in my main Obsidian vault right now, actually. You should check it out for yourself, but in brief, Obsidian is a very powerful notes management application with document linking, among a bunch of other great features.

I also love playing tabletop RPG games. My current favorite game is Quest, but I mostly play D&D 5th edition. Specifically, I mostly DM when I play, and I've constantly been searching for an actually good digital DMing setup.

It wasn't until after I had already begun building my own app specifically for DMing that I found Obsidian, which basically did everything I was planning to build. Though it does lack some of the features I wanted, but still, it was enough to make me stop what I was building and find a way to work with it. Let's run through my process and why Obsidian is so dang good for DMing.

I'll preface this by saying I mostly run custom campaigns in custom worlds, but I believe even without having a trove of your own custom written content, Obsidian proves useful.


A few months back, I had an idea and a desire to learn a new language. I combined the two into a project called Prose, a simple command line app to organize written word intended for flexible publishing.


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