Some thoughts on Twitter, Mastodon, work, and the future….

For the past 18 months, I’ve been resident solely on Mastodon - an open source, federated, self-hostable social network. It’s part of the Fediverse, a collection of applications that can share data between each other - there are sites styled after Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many more flavours than I have time or space to recount. It’s a fab and funky place, and I love it.

To do that, though, I decided I needed to go “all in”. I wasn’t massively happy with Twitter anyway, so I essentially left. I didn’t delete my account, but I did stop posting; as of the time of writing, the last public tweet on my Twitter account is my statement of leaving. It felt good, and I’ve definitely found a new home on Mastodon with a group of people I enjoy interacting with.

(There’s a “but” coming here, you know it…)

But (aha!)… there’s a catch. See, I have a new job now. Since March I’ve been working as a Data Scientist in the Ansible community here at Red Hat, and it’s awesome. The problem is that I’m new to data science (about 2 years if you count my training time, 6 months if you don’t) and that means I need to improve. To do that, I need people around me to learn from… and I don’t live in a major city (or indeed any city). So that leaves online interaction, and where do the #rstats community hang out? You guessed it, Twitter.

So, it’s time for pragmatism to win over principle here - I love what I do, and I want to continue doing it. I also love where I live, and don’t want to move - but as I’m not in a city, I’m going to need strong credentials to convince any future employers to let me work from home. So, in this case, the ends justify the means - not that I’m leaving Red Hat any time soon, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead!

So, I’m back on Twitter as of today. I will also remain on the Fediverse, however. Twitter will be restricted to work/tech stuff, Mastodon for everything else, and I may well set up tweet/toot deleting bots too, since I still care about privacy :)

As a side note, I’ll likely be starting to write up the work I do on the Ansible community too, either here or on other blogs - Ansible is open, I should be too. So, look out for that, I guess!