How I Use Social Media

#The Twitter Years

# I don’t think I use social media the way most people do. Even when I first signed up for Twitter way back in 2013, I created my account for a very specific purpose, to post progress updates about my projects. But why Twitter? Because I could post the messages using my phone, even if I was at work. My Pokemon Hentai game project had a dedicated forum thread, but I had a bad habit of going silent for months at a time and not telling anybody how the project was going. Part of this was because I didn’t have much free time back then, so I wanted to post a quick message using my Phone right before work. But forums don’t really work well on phones. Forum software was designed in the early 2000’s for desktop computers.


# My plan (partly) worked. For over a decade, every single post on that Twitter account was a project update. No exceptions. I later added other accounts for general Twitter stuff like following artists or whatever. But I ended up never using my phone to write those messages. Why? Because of pictures. I could not stand the idea of posting anything without an eye-catching picture to go with it, even a lazy stock photo is better than nothing. Text looks boring. People don’t read about text. They read about pictures. My own eyes want to glaze over if all I see are a bunch of text posts scrolling by. Even if other people are not like me, I still want to make my posts look interesting. I have standards dammit! But good pictures need Photoshop, and Photoshop needs a desktop computer.


# Anyway I stopped using Twitter… eventually. But not for the reasons you expect. This was years before Nazi’s and Musk. Twitter simply became impractical. Sure, I figured out how to read my feeds and display them on my website. I even displayed them with a custom widget. But I wanted MORE! I wanted every project on my website to have its own updates, somehow plucked out of the master list of tweets. I even prefixed every single Twitter post with the project’s name and a colon so that I could manually search for them… and I actually pulled that off! … temporarily.

# project-updates twitter-posts-have-project-labels

# At one point Twitter stopped letting me request my feed as a JSON file. They wanted everyone to use THEIR official widget(tm) which only contained the data as pre-formatted HTML. No problem I’ll just load their widget invisibly, jQuery that bitch to extract the data I care about, throw it away and turn the data back into JSON so I can keep displaying my own posts the way I want, even the ones with adult content. And I actually pulled it off! … partly. It turned out there was another problem. Twitter was only giving me the last 50 posts. But I had projects going back for years! I wanted TOTAL ACCESS to my own data, and Twitter wasn’t giving it to me… so I took it. I downloaded my Twitter archive, wrote a program to convert it’s ugly JSON into much simpler JSON, and uploaded that directly to my website. Then I wrote a program that would let me write new messages and upload this JSON file AND post to my Twitter account at the same time. Post on your own site and syndicate elsewhere. I had accidentally discovered the IndieWeb concept of POSSE.


#The Many Mastodons

# A few years later I dropped Twitter completely, out of a sense of solidarity. Baraag seemed like a good alternative. They didn’t judge you for your art. And for some years that worked well. But Baraag eventually started struggling under its own weight. So many people were using it that they couldn’t afford the bandwidth and they occasionally had to switch off federation with other instances. Not federating kind of defeats the purpose of Mastodon. But Baragg’s own staff recommended another instance called Aethy.


# It turns out that Aethy suits me better. They require everyone to label their posts. I was already doing that. My website was already doing that. I have very strong opinions about this. I believe porn needs to be well labeled so people can actually find stuff they like… or at least filter it. This also makes a lot of sense on a federated system.

i-label-my-posts website-editor-with-tags website-search-results

# But now I have 2 mastodon accounts. So what do I do with the Baraag account? I don’t want to delete it because I still follow some of the artists on there. But if Baraag has to defederate to save bandwidth again I’ll miss out. I also want to share awesome lewd art from other artists. But nobody on there ever bothers to hide anything with Content Warnings so most other mastodon instances tend to block posts from Baraag, so I can’t really share posts from there… but I can share lewd posts to there. Clearly nobody on Baraag minds, so that’s what that account is for. Recommending art and artists.


# Meanwhile my Aethy account is only used to share my project updates, exactly like my old Twitter account. I even updated my posting program to send messages to both my website and my Aethy account.

# humbird0-makes-nsfw-banner mastodon-cross-poster

# And I have a 3rd account now. For conversations on Aethy. I mean who wants to follow an artist only to see a bunch of ugly boring non-porn posts… ew! So that’s all tucked away somewhere else.

# This setup actually gives people 4 channels:


# Part of the reason why I do this is because I wish other artists did this. A lot of times I just want an easy way to see only their art. Mastodon provides a “media” tab which usually works for this, but if they’re having conversations or talking about their favorite meals on the same account then a lot of unrelated stuff will show up there. One way to prevent this is to have separate accounts for separate things.

media-tab-with-unrelated-artworkMastodon media tab with unrelated pictures

# My projects account shows a lot of WIP stuff, but my website can provide a convenient gallery. And if you want to share my stuff on Mastodon, then the #by_humbird0 hashtag will give you a way to see the finished stuff.

website-all-projects-gallerya gallery on my website

# I have even started recommending awesome artists on Baraag who aren’t even on Mastodon. My website already does this, but when I post someone’s art on Mastodon the important thing is presenting it without making it look like I drew it… so I hung it up in a freakin’ museum with their name in big giant letters. This seems fitting. Museums present other people’s art all the time. Nobody assumes a museum drew their own paintings. Oh and most importantly, I LINK TO THEIR ART. The whole point of recommending artists is to give people an easy way to find more awesome art. You can’t expect them to go looking for it. Some artwork may not be easy to find or people might not know where to look.

website-recommend-artistartist recommendation on my website museum-postartist recommendation on Mastodon