Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

April 4, 2023

Mastodon is so much better than Twitter, except for its search capabilities

Filed under: My Thoughts,Tech Related — Suramya @ 5:14 PM

Twitter has been slowing becoming less and less useful for getting updates from people you follow. Even my ‘Following’ tab is now showing entries from people I don’t follow and not all posts from the folks I follow show up on their either. Don’t even get me started about the ‘For You’ section which is full of nonsense that I am not really interested in. I have mostly switched over to Mastodon for updates and I see way better engagement over there. My blog auto-posts to both Mastodon and Twitter (along with LinkedIn and Facebook), on Twitter I have 84 followers and 11 followers on Mastodon (I only started posting there in 2023). My Tweets usually get between 2-10 views each and maybe 1 tweet out of 50 will get a response or like. The same post on Mastodon gets a lot more engagement, there have been posts which have had 8-10 replies and multiple likes.

However, that being said one thing that Twitter has which is missing from Mastodon is the ability to search. Earlier today I saw an article on how Twitter seems to have blocked users from authenticating to other services using their SSO offerings. I wanted to learn more about it and tried searching for it on Mastodon, and didn’t get any results (I then tried searching using a hashtag but no luck there as well). So I switched to Twitter and did a search there and immediately I got a lot of results that gave more information on the topic. I am sure that this event is being discussed in Mastodon but it is almost impossible to find because of the way the search is designed.

There is an opt-in project that allows people to opt-in to their setup to allow them to index your toots but because of the ‘amazing’ search in Mastodon, I can’t find the link to the project. 🙁 There are people working on this problem but a extremely vocal minority is hellbent against allowing people to search on Mastodon because they don’t want it. To be fair there are a lot of technical challenges in indexing all the toots across all the instances but it is not an insurmountable problem. It just needs people to look into the problem and others to let them work on the solution.

– Suramya

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