Impressions of a platform surfer

Impressions of a platform surfer

Venturing out from our base in the Fediverse to promote the social web, the Newsmast team spent last week on multiple decentralised platforms - and LinkedIn.

Here's a quick summary of my first impressions.

Farcaster: by far the biggest surprise. Lively, growing, highly positive. Yes, it's mostly crypto content - it's "on-chain". Looking past this, there's a whole lot of good stuff going on, which the Trending Casts feed makes it easy to discover. Like Newsmast, Farcaster is pioneering Reddit style communities in a micro-blogging format. They work pretty much the same - more in future blog. Moderated channels like /farcastHER - "a place for women and nonbinary to connect" - with over 26,000 followers. And all that's before I even get to Frames.

Definitely one to watch. I can see why it's just received a billion dollar valuation.

nostr: Rabble is clearly a great guy, and is working really hard to onboard journalists and news organisations. Discovery is tough though, and so far for me nostr is a bit of a desert. The Conversation US is there, which is great. And you can follow Fediverse accounts if they're not blocking the bridge.

Slow burn for now.

Bluesky: a lively, engaged leadership team. That's the first big take. A lot of dramas, although that could just be the last week. Slightly harder than the Fediverse to find niches and engage with those - so I've not quite found my feet yet. There are some lovely people from the Fediverse spending more time on there, like Damon, Erin and Laurens. Custom Feeds are great - Science and Blacksky are stand outs. Some others are more hit and miss - I need to spend more time curating Feeds.

Like Twitter, a bit too easy to get sucked in to dramas which are nothing to do with you.

Threads: like arriving in a huge city. It's massive. With a mayor who's trying to ban politics - so the vibes are more Geneva than Gotham (sorry Geneva!). Communities like photography are next level on Threads. Every image looks like it comes from a coffee table book. Which makes it a bit harder to engage. Given the size of the place, the Following feed is your friend - and there are lots of familiar names from the Fediverse, posting interesting stuff.

All in all very big, very grown up, but a little dull so far.

LinkedIn: this is the other big surprise after Farcaster. Somewhere I've avoided for years. Turns out I was wrong. Yes, you have to ignore all those sales messages and unwanted connection requests. Yes, you have to wade through a bunch of self-promotion posts. Once you get past those things, there are some really fascinating people and organisations to get to know. And this is the only place to meet and connect with many of them. It's the social media home for non-profits and philanthropy, and it's also big with journalists and news organisations.

A new essential.

And the Fediverse? Well the quote on the cover of this blog tells that story: "a secret new internet you may not have heard of, a paradise to which we may all yet escape."

Check it out!