From tweets to toots.

Community building in times of Twitter and Co

Since May 2010, Twitter has been one of the services that have connected me to the world. Friendly, interesting and inspiring people could be found here as well as news from all over the world. In fact, they still are today, Twitter is just working hard to become unusable for users like me

Contact with the “family”

Calling the WordPress community my family of choice may sound pathetic, but it’s pretty much what I feel. And as chance would have it, Twitter is a popular communication medium in the German as well as in the global community. This is one of the main reasons for me, not to turn my back on Twitter at the moment. But with any luck, there could be a real alternative for all of us.

In Open Source we trust!

The Project Mastodon has been working for some time on an open and decentralized alternative to social networks such as Twitter. The idea is quite simple (without going too deep into the technical background): just like everyone could run their own e-mail server and then be easily accessible at bla@domainname.de, they can also run their own Mastodon servers (“instances”).

As the operator of an instance, I can either release it for the general public to register, or only open it for myself / friends / colleagues / the company

The members of an instance can interact and communicate with the members of other instances, so it is not necessary to have an account on every instance of the network, as we know it from slack workspaces, for example

The fact that Mastodon is strongly based on Twitter quickly becomes clear when you first use it. Only a few details are slightly different. What Twitter calls a “tweet” is called “Toot” in the world of the fluffy elephant. “Retweet” is “Boost” and messages can be up to 500 characters long.

To cut a long story short: I set up a Mastodon instance and threw myself into the turmoil:

Click here to display content from Twitter

A Two Homes for the Community

But because social media without social is quite boring, it is now necessary to persuade other users to take the same step and change (or create another account).

The highly esteemed Matthias Kurz aka. @mazzomaz and I had the same idea for this, apparently at the same time: we need several places for the WordPress community at Mastodon:

dewp.space

With the funny new .space-domain I have started a Mastodon instance that offers enough space for all WordPress people who want to discover Mastodon as their new social network. The instance is financed by the donations I receive for the WP Letter, registrations are open for everyone.

My personal first official act, after creating my own account, was to create some accounts, which should represent my most important projects in the new network: @krautpress, @presswerk, @wpletter, @meetups and of course @epiphyt

wp-social.net

Meanwhile @mazzomaz has also created a place on wp-social.net that invites the German and international WordPress community to stay. And above all, the claim to validity beyond Germany in the domain, which incidentally becomes part of the username, is excellently communicated.

Where to register

The magic of Mastodon’s distributed system is that it doesn’t matter if an account is created on mastodon.social, wp-social.net, dewp.space or one of the many other instances. Everyone can interact with everyone. With two instances with WordPress reference, we don’t have to fear a fragmentation of the community. Even more may be added in the coming months, and that is no problem either.

Both of our instances are designed to remain permanently in operation, so in the end it is almost exclusively a matter of taste whether your own account should be @username@wp-social.net or @username@dewp.space.