Social networks also have an alternative world full of opportunities. One of them is Mastodon, a platform that has gained popularity in recent times as a result of the crisis of other networks such as Twitter. Anyone wishing to discover it and take advantage of all its resources can do so thanks to the Mastodon Brief Manual (EUNSA, Pamplona, 2023), an enlightening practical guide to help users who are new to the platform and to guide those who have opened an account but do not know how to manage it.
“It’s a counter-intuitive social network, so it requires a steeper learning curve than other social platforms. This book serves to save time and avoid mistakes”, says its author José Luis Orihuela, professor of Multimedia Communication and Digital Strategy at the Faculty of Communication of the University of Navarra. The book is structured in three parts: a guide in 12 steps to get started, an ABC of Mastodon in 46 terms and a wide selection of resources, accounts of interest, tags, servers and more than a hundred sources to understand the impact of this platform and Her future.
For the specialist José Luis Orihuela, Internet users come to this platform “seeking to regain control over their identity and their data, over their experience of the ‘timeline’ (away from the algorithm and advertising) and longing for a community environment in which the the toxicity, manipulation and hate that are spreading through social networks”
“Mastodon was designed to be the antithesis of Twitter,” remarks Orihuela. “It is a decentralized network that has no commercial purpose, that does not have global trends or general searches, that privileges conversation over popularity and that expressly protects its users from discriminatory practices that minorities of all kinds are subjected to. on commercial platforms”, lists the expert looking at the main attractions of the platform.
A free platform that defends its users
As the author explains in the pages of the book, Mastodon is a federation of servers (instances) that work autonomously sharing a common open protocol (ActivityPub) and free software microblogging (Mastodon). “Faced with the commercial colonization of the social web, Mastodon represents an opportunity to recover the values with which the internet was born: without advertising, without algorithms, without traceability or commercialization of user data and under the philosophy of software free and self-management of the servers”, remarks Orihuela.
Given this scenario, Mastodon Brief Manual is an especially useful book for everyone, since using Mastodon is not as easy as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The user experience is counterintuitive and the software design antiviral. “This makes Mastodon intentionally create friction so as not to be like Twitter or Facebook. The entry barriers to this federation of servers and its community norms are a protection mechanism to preserve the original philosophy and defend its users”, comments the author.
There is no pressure to post, or to be visible, or to gain followers. It’s the first thing new users notice: a change of pace and a peaceful atmosphere”
“For historical reasons, Mastodon has become the preferred platform for disenchanted Twitter users,” says Orihuela. For him, Internet users come to this platform “seeking to regain control over their identity and their data, over their experience of the timeline (away from the algorithm and advertising) and longing for a community environment in which the toxicity, manipulation and hate that are spreading through social networks do not prevail. There is room for all types of users, since they can be grouped around communities of interest (geographical, linguistic or thematic).
“I have been using Mastodon daily since I opened my first account at the beginning of November 2022, although I spend more time reading than publishing ”, confesses Orihuela. “Accustomed to the rush and the cult of popularity that algorithms print to commercial social networks, Mastodon is a haven. There is no pressure to post, or to be visible, or to gain followers. It is the first thing that new users notice: a change of pace and a peaceful environment”, remarks the university professor.
For Orihuela, the internet model that the big technology companies have taken hold has reached a saturation point. “Users are increasingly aware of the price they are paying in terms of care and personal data to receive free services,” she says. “Mastodon is demonstrating that another social network model is possible and –by the way– it is reminding us of what the internet was like in its beginnings, before the technology companies turned us into their product”, concludes the professor from the University of Navarra. The future is already passing through Mastodon.
Qualification: Mastodon Brief Manual
Author: Jose Luis Orihuela
Publisher: Editions University of Navarra (EUNSA)
Edition year: 2023
Available at Editorial EUNSA
Available on Unebook