Riding the Mastodon

This is not a post about a cool new mount in some game that I found somewhere, though come on people I think it is obvious that there needs to be this somewhere. No, and if you’ve been paying attention to the world, you have probably seen that a certain trillionaire recently purchased an (already) defunct social media platform for an amount of money most people will never understand.

Ding Dong…

Twitter was already a dying platform. Then Elon bought it. I thought, like many, maybe it won’t be so bad, maybe this will be okay and Twitter will just be Twitter with all of its faults.

I was proven wrong, after thousands upon thousands of firings of workers and watching the Fascists flocking back to the cesspit, I took it up on myself to have my little tiny voice become another in a sea of people jumping ship. The Halfling’s Hoard Twitter account is deactivated and will be deleted in 30 days or whatever, who cares. Follow me on Mastodon once you have created your account, I will be sure to toot whenever I write a new blog post.

A elephant should outlast that little bird

Now let’s leave that behind and talk instead about the positive of this. Mastodon is a social media platform that the TTRPG people who care about the world around them are fleeing to!

Mastadon’s mobile home page… Is that George Takei, guess he’s here too now, I have made the right choice!

I see George is already here, so guess we are going to the right place!

Now there are a few new things to understand here that are different from the bird site.

  • You are signing up for a server to be with like minded people (imagine discord but you can still see everyone else’s Toots from other discords, well kinda)
  • Tweets are now called Toots
  • There is not a “Retoot with quote” options
  • You can migrate to a different server if you please at any time
  • Everything else pretty much functions like Twitter did
  • No ads
  • No algorithm
  • #hashtags are still a big deal
  • Very few fascists that I’ve seen so far (like I’ve been here for a few months and I don’t remember seeing any yet, they probably couldn’t figure out the servers thing)

I m not here to help you join or give you advice on how or why necessarily there are plenty of places out there telling you how to jump ship and shy you should jump ship. What I will say is that I joined a few months back and have been happy seeing the growth of the community and am enjoying the flocking hoards of TTRPG designers and their communities who have been joining me!

All of this and more awaits you in whichever server you join, the two I would recommend if you’re there for TTRPGs would be Dice.Camp where I live, or perhaps try Tabletop.Social who have a slight slant towards board games and less as much the RPGs. All of that said you are not removed from any other servers once you’ve joined yours, you are welcome to go explore other people’s Toots! Follow others on different servers, like Takei who is on the Mastodon.Social. Also if you get tired on one server, Mastodon has made it possible to just migrate to a different server, so no worries if you choose the “wrong” place to start.

All of that said you may find yourself lacking friends to talk to, and Yochai Gal has created a form to add your name to a growing list of people in the TTRPG world joining Mastodon.

There are also a variety of apps to choose from when looking to get into Mastodon. Some work on web and others work well on your phone, the choice is yours and so far I have used Tusky an android app, Mastodon’s official android app, and a browser based system called Hyperspace. All of these seems to be just fine as far as usability.

I am by no means a programmer or even an expert in the web, but the decentralized nature of this system seems like it will be a great way to keep in touch with short messages and a great sounding board for people looking to have some RPG conversations away from prying eyes of Nazis.

If your looking for some of the guidelines for creating a healthy space for all follow these guidelines as posted by some users out there in the Tootiverse (probably won’t stick) but lets give it a try…

Some accessibility advice for new folks on Mastodon:

🐫 CamelCase your hashtags so it’s easier for screenreaders to parse each words.

#️⃣ Put hashtags in a block at the end, rather than peppered around in the text.

🖐 Type abbreviations in uppercase (like TTRPG) so that they’re read out letter-by-letter.

📸 Add alt text to any images you upload.

Symbolic City@SymbolicCity

If you’re interested in keeping server costs down, one thing you can consider (please don’t feel any pressure to do this) is setting a retention policy on your posts at https://dice.camp/statuses_cleanup

In general over time our costs will go up if we retain all posts forever. This is fine, but if your use case doesn’t need all of your messages preserved forever you can help keep costs down by automatically deleting some of your old posts.

Sage@sage (Owner/Moderator of the Dice.Camp Server)

I hope to see you out there in the Tootiverse (yeah, lets get this one to stick it is fun to say and type).

– Derek Bizier, The Mastodon Riding Halfling Master

Post Script: Thanks to Yochai Gal for pointing out that Mastodon no longer uses toot, it has officially changed to posts with the verb form being publish, though there are some apps that have not updated the UI yet. Here is the link Yochai provided to an article explaining the change. I think it is a rather childish sort of funny worth sharing. Thanks again!

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