It plays on some of the worst tendencies of our society. I think it comes down to design choices. Most social media are designed to drive engagement.

But what if there was a different way to use the social networking site? How would that look?

Mastodon is powered by the ActivityPub protocol and it's so freeing. This is a different startup. The company is not a company at all. It's a group of people. There are no ads, no tracking, and no money to be made. The place is shaped by members of marginalized communities who wanted to escape the rage-driven onslaught of troll and doom that defines social media. A place where people talk and connect.

I am not surprised that that sounds bullshit to you. There are a lot of similar sounding bullshit in the air. We all think that every online service is a way to get attention and make money. The network built around the ActivityPub is not called theFediverse.

The community gave me tips on how to start. Hundreds of people offered me tips, one person rickled me, and one person sent me an amazing Beatles/Pokémon mashup. This is a group of people who want to have conversations with other people. If you show that you are willing to learn about the culture, they can be very helpful. I hope I do a good job by gathering the tips and context they gave me. Let's get started.

The Fediverse is what the hell is.

On one level, it makes sense to compare Mastodon with the social networking site. Both platforms allow you to follow other people's posts, as well as allowing you to share content with them. This isn't a perfect example.

Mastodon isn't a company, it's a piece of open source software with a community. ActivityPub is a protocol that many other apps can interface with.

I will grant you that but it really isn't boring. At this point in time, every major social networking site has a place where you can show off your skills. It is happening because it is not possible to share posts from one platform to another.

The Fediverse is here. You could reply to a YouTube comment on Facebook if you were a part of the broader network. The Fediverse works this way.