7/ Mastodon is exciting for a ton of reasons. I love it. I want it to succeed. But ... have you read Animal Farm?
As Mastodon grows up, and tries to reach beyond the early adopters, please *listen to your users.*
They'll guide you to some features that cannot be optional in a system like this. And, sorry, a lot of them will feel like traditional Twitter.
Not because people have baggage, but because humans are going to human and certain things are inevitable.
6/ My team rolled out mute keywords, which people SCREAMED at us about, saying it was killing the concept of "just show me everything" Twitter.
Victims of abuse, who aren't nearly as loud, thanked us quietly.
We rolled out "hide replies" which almost caused an internal riot, and was shelved for three years, but eventually it went live.
Again, some people said we were killing Twitter. Again, they were wrong.
5/ I remember when we added quote tweet, and we have the receipts. It does *not* increase abuse. (Source: I was the lead designer on the abuse team)
You know what increases abuse? Reverse-chron replies without any sorting or algorithm, because someone can say "Kill yourself" as the first response. It becomes a game. It silences people.
4/ I remember when we moved from strict reverse-chron (which 97% struggle with) to "You might like" prompts (which 3% struggle with) and hearing from the VERY LOUD minority that we were destroying Twitter.
But we saw as the 97% had a much better time. We saw that every step forward we took (I have a whole presentation on this) was helping people more and more.
The data told us we were making a better product. And that reverse-chron kinda sucks. For most people.
3/ Designers love talking about #empathy , but it can be hard to walk the walk. What do you do when literally 97% of your users are saying "I don't like trying to curate a good timeline, and I don't like having to scroll to keep up with everything, and I feel like I'm missing out on the good stuff, and I'm confused?"
Bad designers say "Deal with it."
Good designers say "Hm. This is a problem to solve."
And that's where algorithmic timelines, guide, moments, editorial content, etc came from.
2/ As a Mastodon user, you're waaaaaay more likely than the average user to love reverse-chron with no algorithm. It's one of the main selling points for Mastodon!
But it's not rooted in what we saw in seemingly hundreds of different #designresearch findings.
The reason Twitter almost died so many times at the start is that normal people aren't looking for an IRC or RSS experience. So people joined, got frustrated, and left.
It took THREE YEARS to turn users into "healthy users." That's bad.
1/ I was lucky enough to soak in Twitter's data for years. So I could see what features people actually responded to, and which we just *assumed* they'd respond to.
Buckle up, I have some interesting news that you, as a Mastodon user, are going to disagree with.
People don't like reverse-chron timelines. (head explodes)
Let me explain myself.
I'm about to leave Mastodon for a few months. Not because I had a bad time, or couldn't find interesting people, or don't think the concept of a fediverse is dumb. On the contrary, I think it's great.
I just have other stuff to do. But before I go, I want to share some thoughts as an ex-Twitter designer and someone who's been on Mastodon since 2018.
While everyone's being nostalgic about what Twitter means to them, I may as well add my two cents.
I didn't give birth to Twitter – that was Jack and Florian. But I was its midwife and adoptive mother; for two months in early 2007, I was the code's sole guardian and caretaker.
I was also the first person to hate Twitter; back when it was SMS-only, I did the math and realized that my immigrant prepaid phone plan would charge me $2000/year to send and receive even a 2006-era number of tweets. 🧵
For those who don't know, Bookwyrm is basically a better, federated Goodreads. Because it speaks ActivityPub, you can subscribe to someone's Bookwyrm feed from directly in Mastodon and see the book reviews they post!
Also there are 2 spots remaining in the Bookwyrm patreon to pay $40/mo and support the project in a huge way *and* have @tripofmice run a server for you and 50 of your bookwormiest friends: https://www.patreon.com/bookwyrm
Oh hang on, this is interesting.
When I search for “japan” as a hashtag on my own instance, I get one result from 2019. (On other instance)
But when I do the same search over at a big instance, I get tons of results (also across instances) https://mastodon.social/tags/japan
As a user, I’m confused. But… ok! Noted! Cc @fet
@Kortizart Love your work! My wife just graduated with a costuming degree so she’s been learning a lot about this world
Hello. Is this thing on?
Hi! I’m Karla Ortiz! I've worked for ILM (Rogue One, WoW, Jurassic World, Lucy), Universal Studios, and Marvel (Black Panther, Thor 3, Infinity wars) & known for Doctor Strange's design! I'm also a fine artist who loves oils! Nice to meet you all! :D im new to Mastodon and unsure if this will be my social media home, but let’s give it a try!
I worked at Twitter on abuse, and we were always walking on eggshells when it came to anyone saying we were "shadow banning."
All we were doing was exactly what Elon is saying here. We didn't delete anything, we just tried to strip the most toxic stuff from algorithms.
That was it. That's all it ever was.
Welcome to Dunning-Kruger Peak, Elon. Isn't the view nice up here?
Elon just said
"New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.
Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter.
You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet."
That is what the right likes to call "shadowbanning."
Hometown is adapted from Mastodon, a decentralized social network with no ads, no corporate surveillance, and ethical design.