Recent events at Twitter have many thinking about abandoning the social network for an alternative. Here are some thoughts on the great redirect.

The change of ownership at Twitter and the drastic changes to the platform have caused many to think seriously about abandoning the social network for an alternative.

I too have started the journey ( and have been collecting links that I was going to use to write a primer on how to get started. But things are moving so quickly with so many people hopping the fence to the Fediverse that it’s more useful, at this point, to post a collection of useful links and let folks read up on their own.

How to Leave Dying Social Media Platforms (without ditching your friends) – Cory Doctorow’s post resonated with me. I’ve been on Twitter since 2006 so leaving behind a community curated over the past sixteen years is hard, but important.

Before you do anything, ask Twitter to send you an archive of your history. The folks that built this tool did a great job. What they’ll send you is a zip file of all your tweets in html.

An Increasingly Less-Brief Guide to Mastodon by @[email protected] is the perfect place to start learning about Mastodon. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know, told simply, clearly and in a charmingly non-condescending way. And it’s written on GitHub.

How to Join Mastodon, the Ad-Free Social Network Billionaires Can’t Buy – another “everything-you-were-afraid-to-ask” post, this Gizmodo article is a quick read that covers all the basics.

I’ve been following Jon Henshaw for years. His writing about technology from the marketer’s perspective has always been insightful. His post, How to leave Twitter and switch to Mastodon, is a step-by-step guide that will help you make the jump but also how to leave pointers so you can redirect your followers.

Mastodon – here’s where to start. You can download a client app and find a server. For posterity, here are some screenshots of what the site looks like today. homepage, Nov. 2022
Getting Started
20 third party client apps
Resources – this site will download your twitter users and give you a csv of those of them that have listed their Mastodon accounts so you can begin to relocate your tribe.

Everything I know about Mastodon – another guide, specifically written for data science folks trying to navigate the fediverse. Danielle Navarro goes into details the web app’s advanced mode, this importance of hashtags, some points on etiquette and other norms on the platform.

How to host your own Fediverse – the cool thing about Mastodon is that you can host your own server. This page will get you started if you want to dive in and host your own interest group and make your own rules.

Other Writing

Old soul Ethan Zuckerman has some wise words on why we should not give up totally on Twitter and resign the platform to the trolls.

At face value, every move Musk made at Twitter has seemed childish, willful, heartless, and destructive, and seemed to reveal how little he grasps the difference between running a media organization and running an electric-car or rocket-ship firm. It’s like a rich football fan buying an NFL team and imagining that he can name draft-picks and call plays.

Twitter is our Future – James Fallows