Whats out there for alternate social media style platforms that arent the giant corporate garbage scapes?

its like kind of a weird thing for me personally as it seems like posting on instagram and facebook are to a certain extent become like my job. without even going into the privacy and advertising driving nonsense on both platforms, literally just from a UX standpoint both are really kind of terrible at this point. I was just talking to @palomakop about how tumblr was like kind of a way better platform for art and creative stuffs sharing and was just curious if anyone knows of anything even remotely similar that folks use these days for sharing stuffs? and/or maybe just segueway this into making a list of what kind of options there are for being social on the internet that aren’t corporate advertising driven platforms?

you already know this I think but just for the record mastodon Is a relatively popular decentralized social media platform.

There is an art instance with quite a few members I remember seeing. Don’t use it myself, (posting on scanlines is meeting this need for me for now - but I’m not doing it as work )


It certainly seems like FB strives to make us passive consumers (via its model of content impermanence as a result of large volumes, limited distribution scope and inadequate value assessment) while simultaneously manipulating us into offering up enough personal information so that we can be targeted for gain - quite an impressive feat, all things considered. It’s only real strength is its ubiquity - but that is an incredible and seemingly insurmountable strength.

Sadly, I have no comparable alternative to put forward so this is just a soapbox.

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I do miss the glory days of Tumblr. Going from that to IG felt like a huge step backwards. Though Tumblr’s parents have also been trying their darndest to screw up that space too. And it’s a ghost town mostly. I still use it sometimes. But mostly I need to revamp my 15+ -year-old website. (Someday…)

Though I often don’t have much to contribute (because I am not a super technical-minded person and many of the discussions here go over my head), I am glad this place exists, as well as the LZX forums.


I don’t use any social media place except for place like this: (because they are really focused on synths and not much else. maybe cats)
LZX community forum
and my own site + Etsy

I refuse to use FB, instagam, twitter and the likes. (and don’t understand why anyone would use them at all)

I have not found better options. Mastodon might be something but I have not looked into that seriously.

These days I’m mostly on IRC and discord.

again suggesting somwthing i dont use myself, but anyone tried pixelfed ? - certainly looks a lot like instagram…

although i have a feeling the main appeal of instagram is the critical mass

also less related, but i recently learnt about https://delta.chat/en/ , a very interesting messaging solution if you care about e2e encryption, want something decentralised and still can send messages to literally everyone (who has an email)

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its my hope that this space could facilitate discussions across the spectrum of electronic art making, and not only ‘tech talk’ - is there something you think we could do to encourage more of this ?

This doesn’t really answer to @andrei_jay, and it may be obvious to everybody, anyway…I’ve worked with no-profit/anti-corporate collectives who provide online services. Of course there was/is demand for alternatives to capitalistic, ad-based mega-platforms. The conundrum: you have particular motivations and strong opinions, so you join the alternative service - but not enough people among your friends/peers do the same. Which implies you don’t get enough interesting new content - which leads to low engagement. So there’s that.

In the past I’ve played with https://ello.co - it’s not a no-profit but it focuses on creators/artists and it used to make a point about respecting users.

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yeah the tradeoff for diy solutions vs corporate is always that individuals have to put more effort into things. and folks have mostly been trained to not expect to put that kind of effort into things! kind of a general issue in convience based capitalist societies in general!

im not so convinced that is the real problem here. most of the effort is done already by the open-source maintainers and developers.

for an individual to use mastodon / peertube / pixelfed it is basically the same as using twitter / youtube / insta - where is the extra effort ? sure these platforms might lag behind in some features, but even putting aside privacy benefits that not everyone appreciates theres still the ad-free experience and friendly admins / community focused roadmaps etc (compared to robo-bans and corporate lawyers) that make the overall experience much nicer for everyone.

if regulators / governments really did crack down on the crimes these tech giants commit, and facebook really did pull their services from europe ( like they threatened to do ) it could be the best thing to happen - the alternatives are already there, people just need a push !

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the extra effort is in going out of ones way to build communities as opposed to passively consuming the concept of a community. fb, insta, twitter, youtube all have very low effort built into them and its pretty much cost nothing for a ‘consumer’ to passively interact with them and receive a small but consistent amount of endorphins.

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like the difference between me clicking 'like" on something and taking a moment to articulate what i like about something, or articulating that i might like some aspects of a post but disagree with some other.

*clicks like on this post*

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i think it’s mostly a matter of critical mass – can i contact everyone i know on a single platform at a moment’s notice ? which is not to say this doesn’t have an aspect of effort to it – community building is effort. promoting open source & distributed networks is effort.

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To be clear, my comment wasn’t intended as a complaint. It is still reasonably interesting for me to lurk, even if I don’t have anything to contribute to most such discussions.

And I also think the discussions will, and have, naturally broadened as more people start, and have started, to participate here. Having founders/moderators [continue to] engage with and seed broader discussions could help speed that along. As a creator/facilitator of several IRL communities — with varying levels of success — I can say that one largely gets the community one models.


ELLO (www.ello.co)
Pretty cool platform, has some momentum with artists and a good philosophy behind it.

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