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Tag Archive for ‘Pixelfed’

Moving on From Instagram ➝

Chris Hannah:

I’ve been thinking for a while that there needs to be a new dominant photo-sharing service, but it’s definitely starting to feel like more people are thinking that way too.

We’ve allowed the major social networks into our lives for too long. They’ve overstayed their welcome. If you’re still using Instagram, you should consider trying something else. Chris recommended some options, but I’d also add Pixelfed to the list.

Pixelfed is an open source photo sharing platform that you can self-host. And, like email, you can interact with people across different instances. I have my own instance that I run, but you can also sign up on a public instance. There’s a server list on Fediverse.party and you can follow me @mike@libertynode.cam.

➝ Source: chrishannah.me

‘It Has Become QVC 2.0’ ➝

Om Malik:

Instagram’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger created a mobile social network based on visual storytelling. The impetus provided by the early photography-centric approach turned it into a fast-growing phenomenon. For Facebook, it was an existential threat. And it was worth spending nearly a billion dollars to own, control, and eventually subsume. And that’s precisely what Facebook has done.

What’s left is a constantly mutating product that copies features from “whomever is popular now” service — Snapchat, TikTok, or whatever. It is all about marketing and selling substandard products and mediocre services by influencers with less depth than a sheet of paper.

I still publish photos to Instagram because that’s where my family is, but Pixelfed is my home for photography on the web now — you can follow me @mike@libertynode.cam. I only check Instagram when I’m posting and only because the service lacks the APIs to do so through a third-party automation.

➝ Source: om.co

On Photo Sharing

Pixelfed Account

I started using Instagram a handful of years ago, with the goal being to keep in touch with my extended family. We don’t have get-togethers as often anymore and since I wasn’t going to touch Facebook with a ten foot pole, I thought Instagram might be a reasonable middle ground.

I never really felt too comfortable with it, though. Instagram is, of course, owned by Facebook and comes with all of the same privacy-related baggage. I was able to get past that because I could see photos of my cousins and leave the occasional comment, but eventually, I stopped posting.

It wasn’t just the privacy issues, another problem I have with photo sharing services like Instagram is that they just make me feel terrible. People distill their lives to only the best parts. I look at my life by comparison and feel like I’m not doing as many interesting things. It’s a mental trick, mind you, my friends and family aren’t spending their lives in luxury any more than I am, but because everyone is sharing exclusively that portion of their life, my Instagram timeline is continuously filled with people having way more fun than I currently am.

I’ve since deleted the Instagram app from my iPhone and have only jumped back into my timeline once or twice through a web browser. Each time I came out of it feeling worse than when I went in. I don’t want to do that anymore.

But it got me thinking about photo sharing in general. And more specifically about how we’ve created this efficient system for sharing to a mass audience. The personal aspect of photos is lost in the sharing process. When I would post a photo, I wouldn’t receive any comments, it never sparked any conversations. I would just get a handful of likes and that was that. What’s the point? It’s become a game of vanity where the number of likes you receive is the only feedback mechanism. It stinks.

As an experiment, I started sharing photos with individual people, privately, over iMessage. I wouldn’t send them a whole collection of photos, just one at a time here and there. And what I found is that when you send an individual person a photo privately, you actually spark a conversation. You end up relating the photo to something that you did when you were a child or reminiscing about when you and the other person traveled to that location years ago.

When you make the decision to share a photo like this you end with a real, meaningful interaction. An interaction that, otherwise, would have been reduced to them simply tapping a heart icon to send a notification. I want a lot more of the former and a lot less of the latter.

I still have my Instagram account, my Pixelfed instance, and a shared album in iCloud that friends and family can view. But I don’t know if I actually care about sharing photos publicly anymore. I suppose there is some value in having a place where only my best photos are located, but I already have Day One which does a great job at filling that role.

I’m going to sit with this thought for a while and see whether there’s room for some amount of public photo sharing in my life. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the conversations that come from privately sharing those photos with individuals.

Some Thoughts on Social Media ➝

Chris Hannah:

We can all see the distinction between what happens in real life and what appears on social media.

I think that is where Micro.blog has felt different to platforms like Twitter for me. In a sense, it feels slower, but at the same time, it feels like you are connecting with real people. Whereas when I use Twitter, most of the time it feels like I’m interacting with an online account rather than the person behind it.

I’ve definitely fallen into the trap before, where I’ve used Twitter as a place to share perfect photos, links to my blog posts, and anything else that can bring external validation. But I think I’m going to try and just use it like a normal person for a while, and see how it goes.

This matches my experiences perfectly and is part of the reason I mostly left Twitter. Everyone’s vying for attention and thinking too much about metrics rather than having genuine interactions with real people. That’s why everyone has the same opinion — if you don’t agree, you’re not part of the club, and therefore will lose followers.

I moved to Micro.blog earlier this year and while it’s a fantastic community, the tools around it weren’t quite to my liking. Everything felt almost good enough. I still pay attention to several folks on Micro.blog and check my mentions regularly, but I’m on Mastodon these days. It’s still syndicated to Twitter and Micro.blog for folks that would rather follow me there, but I post to Mastodon first.

Although I fall into the trap of sharing almost exclusively the best photos on Instagram and Pixelfed, I try to be a bit more real on Mastodon. That’s the place where I can just share my thoughts — whether it’s complaining about software updates, posting links to music I’m listening to, or anything in between.

➝ Source: chrishannah.me

Fediverse.Party, Explore Federated Networks ➝

Imagine if you needed a Gmail account to send a message to a Gmail email address. Or you needed a Yahoo account to send a message to a Yahoo email address. That would seem completely absurd. But that’s exactly how Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social networks work.

By contrast, the fediverse uses ActivityPub to communicate across instances. If you have an account on Mastodon.social, you can still interact with someone on Indieweb.social because they utilize the same protocol. And everything just works — you can follow, reply, comment, and interact with other users across instances in every way you’d expect to.

In terms of the software itself, there’s Mastodon, Pixelfed, PeerTube, and more. And it’s all free and open source. So not only can you sign up to join an instance that someone else maintains, you can also setup and maintain your own server.

Fediverse.Party offers a pretty good overview of the most popular software in the fediverse. And there’s plenty of information about user statistics, links to tutorials, lists of instances to join, and more. I’ve been toying around with Pixelfed recently and have been very impressed. I think this technology is going places.

➝ Source: fediverse.party