Finding new connections through Mastodon

January 2, 2024

Back in August, I grieved over what I had lost by the demise of a healthy Twitter community. I mentioned the loss of connection with people in the Web industry. I benefitted from the knowledge they shared about working on the Web but I also enjoyed getting to see them as people with lives outside of their work. People who enjoyed the latest blockbuster with their son. People who enjoyed their pets and shared pictures and stories of their animal antics. And people sharing links to music that they discovered.

At the end of my post, I shared that I was not sure what I was going to do post-Twitter. I had started interacting with people on LinkedIn but it was not quite the same experience. I had considered some other alternatives like Blue Sky and Mastodon but I was not sure I wanted to invest in another platform.

In October, I finally decided to give Mastodon a try. I started finding some people that I had followed before on Twitter and slowly started accumulating people that I was following. At first, I was just an observer. At the end of the month, I began to slowly post some things to Mastodon and repost (boost) other posts that I found interesting.

It was not until December that I started engaging Mastodon regularly. It helped that I had content to post about as I was posting each day on my site as part of a month-long challenge. I also started finding more and more of my “old friends” that I had followed on Twitter. And I started engaging more of those people as I mentioned them in my posts (on both Mastodon and on my site).

Mastodon is beginning to feel more like what I had missed from the better days of Twitter. I am getting linked to content I probably would not have found otherwise. I am also enjoying those personal posts that make the people more than the job. I enjoyed seeing Rachel post about her cats (one of which I had forgotten about). I got to enjoy interacting with Stu as he shared about misplacing a gift he had bought months before and couldn’t find. I asked him later in the day and he told me it had been on a bookshelf with the spine facing inward. And today I discovered some new ambient music thanks to Ethan.

Those are the types of things that I have really missed and that you don’t get on LinkedIn, which is much more professionally focused. (I am sharing less personal stuff on that platform). I missed being able to form connections with people in the same industry and get to see them more than just the work that they do.

One of the barriers that kept me from joining Mastodon sooner was the fact that it is on a lot of different servers. I wanted to join a front-end-focused “community” but it was not accepting new accounts. I also was under the impression that it was really difficult to find people across all the different servers. I am not sure if they have improved this since I saw others post about it, but I found it very easy to add people that I wanted to follow. I decided to just join the default server. It had worked out pretty well so far.

I liked something that Josh Collinsworth mentioned about Mastodon in his post, Things I Enjoyed in 2023. He mentioned that so often it is “boring.”

No—really. It’s a feature. You’ll hit a point on Mastodon where you’ve seen all there is to see and so you’ll put your phone down and go do something else, and frankly, that’s a pretty unbeatable feature.

Josh Collinsworth, Things I Enjoyed in 2023

I like that about Mastodon as well. You get to a point where you have already seen the posts and you put down your phone or close the browser window and move on to something else. I am a little less bored now that I have been able to add more people to follow.

At first, I could go through my feed really quickly. It is taking a little bit more scrolling now. But it is nice. I can put it down and come back to it later and see some new things. And I am not overwhelmed by ads and a lot of content that I don’t care about.

Mastodon is not perfect and as Josh pointed out, I am sure it will continue to absorb some of the problems of other platforms as it grows. But for now, I am enjoying it and it is more of what I missed about the better days of Twitter.

If you are on Mastodon, you can find me at

Comment on this post