Today, I have a few news and information items. First, I detail how to migrate to Mastodon so that you can continue to follow me as I escape Twitter. Second, I provide enrolment details for the next offering of our MMT edX MOOC. Third, I provide access details to my annual Helsinki public lecture which will take place tomorrow starting at 19:00 EAST.
Migrating to Mastodon
A week or so ago, Twitter unilaterally shut off access to third-party apps such as Twitterific without warning and without any explanation.
There were some rumours some days later about breaches of API conduct, but they were ruses to cover the fact that Twitter had deliberately destroyed the viability of these apps.
I used (and had purchased) Twitterific because it was a much better client for Twitter than Twitter’s own app, which has become over laden with advertisements and clutter.
So, effectively Twitter made my purchase unusable presumably in the hope that we would then rely on its own app as a way of building up more ad revenue. I cannot think of any other motive.
I have been thinking of dumping Twitter before this though given that it is now the toy of a billionaire and is increasingly full of crazy stuff, such as the multitude of Covid deniers out there who daily crow about their perspicacity as they misquote scientific studies etc.
But shutting off access to Twitterific was the so-called straw for me.
I have now migrated to Mastodon and I am hoping all those 20.5 thousand people who follow me will come over to Mastodon too.
I plan to keep Tweeting for a short time more but soon I am going to close my account and operate exclusively on Mastodon.
Initially, it was a bit daunting making the move and I cannot say I am completely on top of it yet.
But it was surprisingly simple to get up and running once I made the decision.
Here is what I did:
1. I read about what Mastodon is – a decentralised system of servers (‘instances’) run mostly by volunteers that are growing by the day and offer access to registered users.
So you have to find an instance and set up a free account.
To find an instance go to – Join Mastodon – and follow instructions to set up an account. You can also download the iOS or Android app and go from there.
I did the former and later downloaded the iOS app for iPhone/iPad.
Join Mastodon has a search facility to show you all the current instances that are taking new recruits. There are many – defined by region and/or interest group.
They each have their own rules and protocols – so if you don’t want porn or stupid right-wing stuff then you can avoid it.
2. I decided to join a general server based in Finland – Mastodon.world – which was a straightforward process.
I was up and running within minutes and my new Mastodon name is @firstname.lastname@example.org – which you use to find me just as you use @billy_blog on Twitter.
3. You can personalise the Firefox/Safari browser view and also download an app.
I use an Apple desktop and laptop running macOS and I chose – Mastonaut – as my client and so far it is working fine.
I use Mastodon’s own iOS for iPhone app on my mobile phone and that is working fine so far.
4. The federation idea takes a while to get used to but I am getting there.
Essentially, you post ‘toots’ (Tweets) and ‘boost’ toots (retweet).
You can like a toot.
You can also follow people as in Twitter and their toots will show in your timeline (chronological order).
5. I am working on creating my own instance to host Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) stuff but given my current work commitments that will take me a while to establish.
I am still working to port my blog to our new system – that has to take priority at this stage.
6. So all 20.5 thousand followers – I will soon be off Twitter.
If you think it is worthwhile continuing to follow me and get my ‘toots’ (instead of Tweets) then I hope you will go out there and create a Mastodon account and use my address above – @email@example.com – to find me and choose to follow.
As in all networked communities, the more that join the richer the experience usually.
Further, I have found the ambience on Mastodon to be quite a change from the hectoring and aggression I encounter on Twitter.
And unlike Twitter, no billionaire owns Mastodon and there is thus a general sense of collective as a result.
So become an escapee like me and keep in touch.
Helsinki Public Lecture – The global challenges in the face of an on-going pandemic, climate change and rising inflation – January 25, 2023
Tomorrow evening (Australian East Coast Summer Time), I will present my annual public lecture at the University of Helsinki.
The topic this year is – The global challenges in the face of an on-going pandemic, climate change and rising inflation.
You can tune in at 19:00 EAST using this URL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_otAZAphhgY
As part of the event, the audience can ask questions after the lecture is concluded.
The session will run for around 90 minutes maximum.
1. 19:00 East Coast Australian Time.
2. 10:00 Helsinki time.
3. 17:00 Kyoto time.
4. 08:00 London time.
5. 03:00 New York time
MMTed and edX MOOC – Modern Monetary Theory: Economics for the 21st Century – enrolments now open
MMTed invites you to enrol for the edX MOOC – Modern Monetary Theory: Economics for the 21st Century – is now open for enrolments.
It’s a free 4-week course and the course starts on February 15, 2023.
You will be able to learn about MMT properly with lots of videos, discussion, and more. Various MMT academics make appearances.
For those who have already completed the course when it was previously offered, there will be some new material available this time.
New video and text materials will be presented to discuss the current inflationary episode from an MMT perspective.
There will also be a few live interactive events where students can discuss the material and ask questions with me.
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2023 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.