Like many of you, I came over during the mass exodus from Twitter in November 2022 and now I'm celebrating my one-year Mastoversary. In some ways, the move was not a big disruption for me, because I was always at the margins of Twitter. Despite joining the site in 2008, I had a tiny follower count that peaked in the 120s (now 84 and dropping!), and I would go months or years without using Twitter at all.

I probably used Twitter most frequently in early 2010's when I had a train commute that needed to be filled. But then I dropped off the Twitter radar until the pandemic, when again, I found myself with time to fill. In some ways, I think I was starting to get the hang of Twitter during the pandemic – I started connecting with some other immigrants in Japan, and I was having fun with what I posted, even if I would get like 3 faves if I was lucky. I was definitely shouting into the void.

Even before Musk took over Twitter, I was beginning to get disillusioned with the corporate web, with its feeds full of ads and other stuff I didn't want to see. So, when Musk began adding even more toxicity, I knew it was time to bail, even if I wasn't leaving much behind.

In 2022, hopping over to Mastodon was a logical fit. I had actually tried it before back in 2016 or 2017. It was a really pleasant place compared with Twitter, even back then. But I didn't stick around because it was small and niche at the time, and I wasn't into social media enough to try carve out a spot in the fledgling service that may or may not survive – though I hoped it did.

So, with Mastodon already on my radar, I made the leap. I initially joined Mastodon dot Express (now defunct) and I had planned to use the former for nerd stuff (editing, D&D, science) and the latter for Japan stuff. If you see my feed now, you can see that I just ended up dumping all my crap into one feed!

During this past year of using Mastodon, I've had a lot of fun and I've gotten to know a lot of cool folks. My toots might be a bit random, since I jump around between jokes and shitposting, conversation, daily life musings, photos, food pics, earnest posting, boosting, and grammar-posting, but I hope you've enjoyed the 7.7 thousands toots I've spewed into the Fediverse in the past year!

I've recent started as a mod for the Famichiki, and I hope I'll be able to do my small part to help maintain the community we've built in the past year. I love the idea that instead of just being "users" of a site, we can be the "owners". We can chip in a few hundred yen each month so that we aren't bombarded with ads. We can set and enforce our own rules. We can use apps that don't track us. In some ways, this is nothing new – a lot of us were probably members of a PhpBB, or Usenet, or other early Internet venue for nerds back in the day. To that independence and local control, Mastodon – and the Fediverse more broadly – add global connectivity, linking us to thousands of other communities and millions of users.

With this structure of local + global, I feel like I get a lot more engagement than I ever did on Twitter. Here on Mastodon, I probably won't have the chance to go viral and get tens of thousands of likes, but really, how many of us realistically ever had that reach on Twitter?

One of my favorite toots I've seen on Mastodon said something along the lines of "I d0n't mean to brag, but my toots are seen by dozens of people around the world!" (sorry I can't find it to give proper attribution – if you know who tooted this let me know!).

I know that toot's a joke and it's funny, but in a lot of ways it's true and that's fine! Since Mastodon offers high engagement with real users, I'm very happy with the high-quality interactions, even if the numbers are smaller.

In sum, it's been an interesting year! It goes with out saying that there's still room to improve Mastodon further, both in terms of software and community, but I'll save those for another post. Today, I'll stick to the positive because there is more than enough of that for one post!

I'd like to give a big thanks to everyone who toots out the steady stream of cats, moss, jokes, birds, commentary, musings, memes, and shitposts that have kept me so entertained this past year. And thank you to everyone – all the dozens of you – who have taken the time to read and reply to my silly toots!