NPR had just a 1% drop in traffic after dumping Twitter

Originally published at: NPR had just a 1% drop in traffic after dumping Twitter | Boing Boing


More evidence for reputable news outlets that they don’t have to hang out in Musk’s Nazi bar.


Please tell me that is pronounced with a soft “sh” for the X.


Yep. And we should encourage them by quoting Mastodon, BlueSky or whatever instead. Even if it’s a repeater bot.

Every time I see an embedded tweet, I groan and skip it. Because they are no longer trustworthy and can be changed at the whim of the Dolt at any time.


Sarcastic New Concept GIF by CBS


I don’t like the idea of BlueSky yet. You still need an invite to join. And Mastodon feels like a platform for the tech savvy. Maybe that’s not true, but it feels that way to me. I don’t like that I have to pick a … I can’t even remember what they call it, server? Something else? Anyway, I have to pick a section of Mastodon to join, and I have no guidance for which one/s I should or shouldn’t join. I don’t like that it’s asking me to make decisions about how I’m going to use the platform when I don’t know anything about the platform.


Do you have to to watch a video embed on it though? To look at most things on Twitter you need to be logged on.
Just on the basis that people post stuff I can’t even see, let alone dig into and seek some validation for, should discourage people from quoting Twitter. Screenshot maybe as that’s all I get anyway.


I have no idea. I tried to get on BlueSky once and it said I needed an invite, which told me it’s either in beta or it’s trying to be exclusive, both of which make it a nonstarter as far as I’m concerned.


1% sounded like a lot to me for one outreach method, but then that 1% at this point is probably mostly hate-readers/-listeners looking for things to rage about on their li’l bluecheck timelines…


I was reading a thing from a tabletop YouTuber I like the other day, his and his spouse’s channel had had a total of 600 clicks through from Twitter in the years they’ve been promoting it on Twitter, with far better results from Facebook and even Reddit - and they have no presence on the latter so that’s just people linking to their videos on there…


I’m not asking for you to make an account, merely that when adding a quote to a post, consider sources other than the Dead Bird Site. No worries, I’m only saying that site is dead. Unreliable.

And really, Mastodon isn’t any more tech taxing than normal email. It’s just that people talk about running your own server that makes it feel daunting.



This is definitely the number one barrier to people joining a Mastodon server (or “instance”, not that it matters).

I usually suggest that people first look for servers focused on their main interests or hobbies on lists like this or this or Googling. For example, here’s one for legal academics and here’s a more general one for people in the legal community. That usually narrows things down to a handful of servers.

The next step is to check the server’s moderation policy. At a minimum, the server should follow the Mastodon Covenant, which offers users several protections and tries to keep out fascists and white supremacists. Certain servers go further, and an explicit moderation policy is always a good sign.

Finally, take a look at the local discourse on the server to see if it’s your kind of crowd. Then join – worst thing that happens is it turns out not to be for you, after which you can move your account elsewhere or close it.

Mastodon and Fediverse platforms in general require a bit more due diligence and care in on-boarding oneself than Twitter or Facebook, but that’s for the best in my view, even if it currently limits platform growth. Why anyone still trusts Dorsey (Bluesky) or Zuckerberg (Threads) to host their social media presence and identity remains a mystery to me.

What would really help is if NPR and other reputable media outlets that left Twitter set up their own professional Mastodon servers for use by members of their editorial staff and organisation.


I think the challenge with Mastodon is that you have to pick a place to call home and there is little information about what to pick, and whether you can change later if you don’t like it, etc. While technically it may not be hard to pick some place, sociologically it feels like you are being forced to align yourself with a group when you may prefer to be neutral. I think that’s a big barrier.


You chose an email provider from among Google, MS, Yahoo, Protonmail, your school, your Internet provider, your employer, etc. Why would other messaging be any different?
Also, your decision is not final - you can have multiple accounts and no one will ban you for it


Exactly. Most people don’t want to deal with that. Hell, I don’t want to deal with that, and I’m fairly tech savvy and, historically at least, I’ve been an early adopter of new social media. But I don’t want to deal with that. And most people don’t want to deal with that. That may be acceptable and result in what Mastodon wants, which is a limited platform catering to various niche users. It will never replace Xitter doing that, though. And it’s fine if it doesn’t, and it’s fine if they don’t want to replace Xitter, but people need to stop recommending at a replacement for Xitter, in my opinion, because it isn’t.

Gotcha. I don’t link to Xitter. Ever. I rarely link to any social media because I prefer to link to the original source, which is honestly what people should be doing anyway.


While the federated/standards-based architecture is the same, social media is more public-facing than e-mail. As @Muser says, there’s a different sociological dynamic going on when choosing a Fediverse server.


NPR is on Masto, and they seem fine. it’s one way i’m keeping up with the news.


I do have an account on Mastodon, by the way. It’s not like I was too stupid to figure that out. But that was awhile ago, and at the time, no one was there. I may see if I can get myself logged back in and give it another go.


Without spoiling the fun, when looking up how to embed a post in HTML, I stumbled across’s 404, and it’s so doggone cute!

Go ahead and try it out.