mastodon meta, timelines
it's honestly funny. i just had a conversation about just this with @keyboardsmash on twitter. the conversation was about that it feels way different – uncomfortably so – posting on mastodon from how it feels to post on twitter, to your bubble. only to read about the controversies on mastodon regarding the public timelines.
from our conversation, i concluded that the local and federated timelines are actually kind of a curse. like sure, you can always post unlisted and try to ignore the existence of the two public timelines. but the mere fact that there are two public timeline right next to my home timeline makes mastodon feel less intimate and less safe - posting opinions here just seems scarier then blasting them out into twitter, since posting stuff to public timelines is the default and kind of what is expected, especially on smaller instances.
like i get and like the idea of connecting with new people online (else i wouldn't have any friends lol), plus i know that there's cool people on my local timeline, but coming from twitter, i don't really want to think about my target audience. i'd rather just toot for my friends and boost my friends' toots - and use the public timelines only as an opt-in for explicitly public posts. i think mastodon allows for that, but the it's not the default, and imo, the roles of the public timelines and their implications on how we use and think about the social network aren't really clear, especially for new users.
mastodon post visibility explained for twitter users
worth mentioning (it's kinda hard wrapping your head around it and remembering why and when to use what): #FediTips
the quasi-default, or what you'd expect from twitter, would be unlisted. you post something, people see it on your profile or in their home timelines if they follow you. people can also boost your post to repeat it onto their own home timeline. the basic concept of twitter
if you want something like a dark account, you'd set your profile to "require follow request" and then post everything as "followers-only". feels very unusual for twitter folks, because you can still post "unlisted" or "public", even as a "private account" - because it's not actually a private account. your posts aren't protected, except they're posted as "followers-only".
direct "messages" are super weird because once you started chatting with someone and you @ someone else, they can suddenly see the dms they're mentioned in. it makes sense, sure, but only if you don't think of those direct posts as conversations - and handily, mastodon helps with that by actually showing them as conversation! /s
please correct me if i got something wrong!!
@sk DMs would be better named "private thread" or "private toots" or something. Like on Twitter when A posts something, B asks for details, and A says "I'll DM you", that's when you'd use Mastodon DMs: as private replies to continue the conversation under the tweet without anyone else seeing it.
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