I’ve read several of your comments here and I am often simultaneously intrigued and overwhelmed by the depth of your platformosphere analyses.
I've had a lot of time to think about social media networks, the interaction of users within the context of social media networks, and what works and doesn't work, as a result of having been part of the Internet since before there was a web. Since before there was the inklings of a web.
I used to do research with Archie and Veronica, and if you don't know what those are – terrify yourself and go do a little bit of research into how things used to be.
As a result, and also because I am weirdly obsessed with automatically generated understanding of arbitrary text and corpora of data, I accumulated a lot of random crap which sometimes falls out.
My experience on Mastodon is significantly better than on Twitter:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but it would pretty much have to be. Twitter was pioneering in a lot of ways and continues to be, but many of the design decisions which went into it and which have never really been addressed don't actually line up with the way in which it is currently being used. And I don't mean anything about content, harassment, or anything of that order. I just mean the way that normal people engage with the tool to achieve some outcome.
Mastodon is effectively taking the lessons of IRC from 20 years ago, slapping a web front end on it, and using Federation as a first-order mechanism to do things with. It's the Federation mechanisms that let you do things like "show more" and which implement locality as a means of filtering which are the really big deals in Mastodon. They are, not surprisingly, also some of the least talked about features of the platform.
Cake vs blogs vs Reddit. I didn’t mean to cast aspersions on Reddit. In its heyday it was an amazing site worth investing my time in. But its interface isn’t as appealing as a Wordpress blog site or Cake.
No, you probably should cast aspersions on Reddit. It has earned some aspersions. I appreciate many of the freedoms that the platform offers architecturally and many of the tools that it's integrated, but it has suffered from its success. It's probably unfair to blame a platform for the people who find it and like it, but if it was ever fair to do so, Reddit would be the platform to do so for.
I rather like the "new/beta" Reddit interface in night mode because it makes actually reading content doable. You can scroll down through content, see enough of it that you don't have to unfold every single post to see what it's about, reply and share very simply, and move on to the next bit of content. Sub-Reddits provide locality so that you can specifically be in a community with content you're looking for and the friction for creating new sub-Reddits is extremely low, so if you don't like the community you find and there other people who don't like it, you can migrate to someplace you do, create your own locality, and more power to you.
If Cake had properly thread-presented replies so that we could actually see the nesting and follow the line of conversation (and a night mode), it probably would be one of my favorite interfaces to work with on a regular basis, right alongside Medium for blogging.
We've got what we've got.