Bad social media gives you an audience: stuff like reach, personality/celebrity, spectacle, anxiety, alienation, competition.

Good social media gives you community: it’s more like voice, agency, discussion, comradery.

I want a community, not an audience.

@neil this is a great way to explain it. I've been talking to my partner about mastodon and why it's so much of a better thing for me than other options (yes, I know there are issues still, no, I'm not ignoring them). thanks!


@Greg @neil yeah, this is a helpful framing for me.

i remember years ago thinking that i wanted to write for an audience, because i want to make things _for_ people who will respond, but that notion is in such fundamental tension with all the pathology of the internet that i no longer feel comfortable exposing things to that i've basically stopped writing anything in full public view and just hang out in backchannels and low-traffic places like this...

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@brennen @Greg @neil me too. It also makes me realize why I still like the birdsite: I mostly use it to shitpost/nerdpost with a relatively small set of people and only occasionally tune in to more broadcasty voices. But trying to do that alongside people using it for broadcast is hard & weird; I miss spaces where audience-seeking is discouraged rather than rewarded.

I also like the potential to have a broad reach! But I still want it to be a conversation-starter, not a performance.

Sign in to participate in the conversation is brennen's single-user Mastodon instance. This instance runs on, and is thus bound by's ToS, which bar instances dedicated to racism, Nazi shit, transphobia, misogyny, incitement to violence, and the rest of the usual litany of horrors.