Exploring Mastodon with Alex Barredo – Hashtag Trending Weekend Edition for March 17, 2023

Can you meet someone without an algorithm? If you’re on Twitter or LinkedIn, who you meet and what content you see is heavily influenced by the program controlled by these companies. Mastodon, the new social network, wants to prove that you can have social engagement without central control through an invisible algorithm. Impossible? Well, something is working as it approaches almost 10 million members.

On Twitter, as well as other recommendations on who to pay attention to, what messages to look at, who to contact, are considered important and for the benefit of the member. But who do they really benefit? Are they objective? For example, is it any wonder that Elon Musk often makes suggestions about who to follow or what tweets you want to see? Coincidence?

Many are skeptical, and with good reason. But the reason that algorithm exists is because it works. Does it show you where you want to go, or does it? Maybe it’s just a way to use the dopamine receptors in your brain. Maybe it’s a way to control you. So you get excited about your follower count. Showing you people and ideas that reflect your interests…

Yet they do it. Works. People go down the rabbit hole by following where the algorithm takes them.

At best, it will serve you what you care about. It can bring some people together. But at its worst, it encourages the most extreme experience, drives a wedge between different groups, and brings out the worst and most extreme behavior that radicalizes and indoctrinates people.

So we come back to the question. can a social media site survive without that dopamine hit? Can it thrive without an algorithm guiding it?

Mastodon, the Twitter alternative, is an experiment that is one of many, but has somehow succeeded where others to date have failed.

Mastodon does not have an algorithm. There is no central control. Respect is earned. And so far, for the nearly 10 million people who have joined, it’s a breath of fresh air and a place to share information.

ITWC has created our own website at technews.social. it’s free, it’s focused on people and journalists who are interested in technology.

But just because there’s no algorithm doesn’t mean people aren’t focused on making the user experience better and better. My guest is one of those people.

Today my guest is Alex Barredo. Creator of Mastodeck, a new interface for Mastodon users. You can find him on Mastodon at:

Alex Barredo

If you want to try Mastodon and want to get started, visit technews.social and we’ll help you get started.

P.S. Here are some guides for Mastodon that I found.

Buffer has a beginner’s guide to Mastodon

I like this Ride the Mastodon guide because it is very simple and easy to understand.

Beyond the beginner’s guide, here’s what could be the ultimate detailed guide to GitHub.

And if you’re serious about going down the rabbit hole, someone has compiled a huge list of things written about the mastodon. Clean up your afternoon – or weekend!

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