A Post-Twitter Post Post

Photo by Josie Weiss on Unsplash (bird deleted)

As Twitter (a) implodes under Musk’s whimsy, or (b) morphs into a far-right tool—muting journalists and progressives—or (c) both, I’ve been exploring other social media options, one of which is Post.news.

Earlier, in my Mastodon post, I mentioned being unenthused about digging into Post, because Mastodon has gained my attention more, and WordPress can integrally connect with Mastodon.

In retrospect, that laziness on my part was a shame, given that my Post account was approved early, while others still await approval. (To be honest, more “shameful” than “a shame.”) But I’ll return to that approval process in a bit.

Digging into Mastodon meant learning strategies for connecting with friends from other places, including Twitter. In the process, I discovered that many of the people I followed on Twitter, especially public figures, were moving to Post or setting up a second account there. Locating them was easy with the Twitter search phrase “post.news filter:follows.” (Thank you, Post user “Becca has ADHD” for sharing that!)

Enough pre(r)amble. Let’s talk about Post itself.

I’ll be keeping accounts on both Mastodon and Post. See “Tribes of Mastodon” for why there. In Post’s case, the reasons are less clear in my mind, but Post feels different.

Consider its purpose statement, “A Social Platform for Real People, Real News, and Civil Conversations.” A statement somewhat similar to Musk’s original stated aim to make Twitter “the de facto public town square.” Which he has since replaced with a mission statement as the “most respected advertising platform in the world.” I say “replaced,” because I don’t believe the two can coexist. Allow me a moment to compare those three aims.

As grammatically trivial as it might seem, the conceptual difference between “a” and “the” is enormous, especially “the de facto.” The article “a” is social, allowing alternatives. “The” is definitive, exclusive. The world doesn’t need a de facto social media any more than it needs a de facto language, a de facto government, or (in my line of work) de facto role-playing rules. (I’ll leave that last for a future post.)

“Real people, real news, and civil conversations.” In my experience so far on Post, all three are accurate. What especially stands out most for me is the news, though that may be a result of the types of people I’m following. Real people, yes, because each application is curated. Civil conversations, again yes, because that’s clearly stated from when you join, and comments are moderated.

Post strikes me as more sedate than other social media (in the Oxford Languages’ sense of “calm, dignified, and unhurried”). I’m encountering less frivolity. Not less friendliness, but in nowise chatter. It feels more like blogging, in part because the amount of formatting possible in each post is similar to the controls here on this WordPress site of mine.

Post is the very opposite of Hive. In an earlier post I likened Mastodon to a party spread through the many rooms of a mansion. In terms of that metaphor, I’d say Hive is a rave, with technological fires put out as they crop up. And Post might be thought of as preparation for a soirée.

I like raves, but you kinda gotta swim in the noise, without much hope for conversation, and sometimes the jostling hurts.

More casual parties in a multi-chambered estate are pleasant, too, though the topics are distinctly disparate, and I’m trying to track more than one.

And I’m not yet certain what this soirée is all about. The tech is being rolled out slowly, making sure each thing works as it’s supposed to, including the human interaction. But it’s fun to watch the preparations and decide which vantage point might best suit me.

But let me emphasize, these impressions are only that: impressions. Of a fellow dipping his toes into each new venue as real-life allows. Over the past many weeks, Chez Smith and Hofpar have gone through two bouts of covid, a wellhouse fire, frozen pipes, and my own transition through new focal seizure meds; and in the duration of all that, I’ve also been busy continuing to design and publish games. So this blog post is the comments of a preoccupied generalist, while others are enjoying the deeper dive of a specialist in one service or another. I’m just musing. YMMV.

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