This blog post is a great overview of Mastodon.

In conversations I’ve had over the past week, it’s become clear that there’s nothing very self-explanatory about Mastodon as a social network, and that in many ways Twitter users are both prepared and unprepared for the experience. There are a lot of things that are similar in concept, but there’s more to it when it comes to how it’s a “service” that can really throw people for a loop.

I use Mastodon a little, but don’t really feel strongly one way or another towards the platform. I want to like it more. I was super enthusiastic about its predecessors, like StatusNet (nee Laconica, now GNU Social), but those failed to gain significant momentum, and became overrun with spam.

Despite whatever is new and exciting about Mastodon’s web UI, open web features, etc., it doesn’t feel that new or exciting to me. It feels like a better StatusNet. I suppose, though, that I care more about writing and posting content, and owning it, than about the ephemeral and chatty aspects of social networking.