Where the hell is Steveo, pt 2

So I've been puttering around, and I still haven't found a place to land. I've got some thoughts, however.

I thought long and hard about what's really important to me in a 'social media' site and I realized what I'm looking for comes down to two things -

First, the appeal of G+ was, for me, finding folks sharing a broad range of topics. I don't mean there were people for each topic, I mean the people I followed were, themselves, posting about a multitude of interests. Most of my circles were gamer folks, so a good 70% of the topics were related to tabletop gaming. However, the folks I enjoyed following most were the ones who also posted about mixing drinks or making art or attending events or their animation fandoms. In short, I came to love reading about the passions other people had for experiences I didn't share. The ability to categorize posts made it so that I felt it was OK for me to post in a similar fashion - randomly skipping from topic to topic depending on what was on my mind at the time.

Second, there was a built-in resharing to G+ that made it easy to discover new people to follow. You didn't have to go to too much effort or join communities to get to new folks.

Which brings me to the five possible replacements for G+ that I've been haunting and the reasons I haven't landed on any one in particular.

1. First, there's Mastodon. I've been using Mastodon for a while now, since before G+ began its countdown, actually. And while it's Twitter-like interface feels familiar, it's a pain in the ass to find new people. It heavily favors walled-garden communities which its a feature, I guess, but not one that encourages contact if you happen to start off in the wrong walled garden. I'll keep using Mastodon for the time being as a place to post short random thoughts, but I'm not seeing myself getting attached in the long term.

2. There's Lasagna. I'd say Lasagna is most promising, but that's based entirely on the fact that a lot of the people I found interesting G+ seem to, if not actively inhabit, at least visit Lasagna on occasion. Lasagna's format, on the other hand, is not currently usable for me. It's an-all-in stream of everyone on the site. It's the social media equivalent of getting to drink from Stanley Spudowski's firehose. Imagine a web forum with the user base of a good sized Mastodon server and no categorization to posts. I'll keep checking in with Lasagna and see where they go with it, but right now it's way too much for me.

3. There's MeWe. MeWe suffers from a discoverability problem. If you're not joining communities, you're effectively invisible on MeWe. And everyone else is invisible to you. I'm just not that intersted in putting in the effort to make MeWe work. All I want is a place to comment on stuff.

4. I've also checked out YouMe, which is very similar to G+, but like Lasagna is still in the midts of figuring itself out. The interface for YouMe doesn't work for me. The side menu breaks content up by content type rather than source which seems - throwbackish? to me. It seems more like a site to put your stuff than share your stuff. Like it feels like someone looked at early 2000's web 2.0 where you had a different service for everything you wanted to do on the net and rebuilt all of those services, then created a hub for them. There's also the site owner's rules which include "no pornography" and "no links to selling stuff". The first rule - well fuck that. I'm adult and I want to hang out online with other adults. If one of them posts a boob it's not the end of the world. Plus, I like boobs. The second rule is even more of a deal-breaker for me as many of the RPG folks I followed also wrote indie RPG materials and often linked to them at DriveThruRPG or other sites. A lack of promotion options is a lack of RPG folks, honestly. And lastly, while YouMe has a leg up in discoverability on the other three, I'm not seeing anyone I know on that site. Or even anyone I'm interested in so far.

5. Which brings me to Pluspora. Pluspora almost lost me the moment I signed up. Pluspora has a good bit of discoverability which lead to some former G+ folks adding me shortly after I joined. Unfortunately, it seemed like some of the worst G+ folks were part of that. I almost bailed, but I kept the tab open and stuck around. The site's functionaility has room to grow, and the interface needs quite a bit of polishing - I'm not a fan of the big fat stream at all. But the user base is slowly growing, which is making me more interested in the site. It's the most likely place for me to end up, but the big fat single column layout makes it feel less welcoming to nonsense "funny" posts.

All five are open tabs on my browser, although I'm checking in with YouMe less and less. I'm working on shutting down my Facebook account, which is making me flip to those tabs more often.


Who knows, maybe I'll just open a VoyForum.

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