1. 49

With so many twitter alternatives, the death of forums, the explosion of chats / video platforms and the reddit shenanigans, we are once again facing this decades old question.

So far, only Hacker News has stood the test of time, and you cannot really discuss random topics, it’s more about link sharing. “Ask HN” is not the main dish, so to speak, and the heavy curating that keeps the quality up also limit the volume of interactions by design. Lobster is basically a mini HN.

So where do you go when you want to geek out?

    1. 20

      I never realized how much I used to use /r/homelab or /r/selfhosted to learn about new/psuedo production ready open source software.

      I guess https://lemmy.world is trying to fill that gap, but for 11 years where I’ve been going is now gone. 😞🐼.

      1. 5

        I feel this comment. I’ve been mourning Reddit hard lately.

        STH has an overlapping crowd. It’s absolutely not the same thing but I thought you might like the pointer: https://forums.servethehome.com

      2. 4

        The communities on programming.dev (another Lemmy instance) are also worth checking out. Should be able to join these from any Lemmy instance.

    2. 19

      This place scratches the itch for me.

      1. 6

        I love how quiet Lobsters is compared to HN or big subreddits. It’s marvelous how good links roll in without the fanfare of other forums’ flamewars.

      2. 4

        Agree, I almost wonder what answers they expected.

        Sure we can mention Fosstodon and infosec.exchange and floss.social and functional.cafe but I don’t actually use any of those directly… I use Lobsters.

      3. 3

        Yep, this and one, maybe two discord servers that I got drawn into by pure chance and are technically not about general computing.

    3. 47

      “Where do you discuss computer related stuff now?”

      I usually don’t.

      Maybe it’s my age showing and maybe I’m just in an unusually dour mood, but I don’t really think discussion is what happens now in most places.

      In places like Twitter and Mastodon, we have lots of hottakes and shitty opinions by equally shitty people–and I’ve seen enough things posted to such great fanfare that are fundamentally wrong or midwit that I question if any cycles spent yield a dividend (minor exception for purely technical things like certain gamedev and graphics feeds).

      On Reddit and other fora, we have heavy bias towards people that have the time to goof around on forums instead of, you know, doing things. Said goofing around is frequently enough inane oneupsmanship or shilling for whatever their current tech stack is.

      Places like Discord and Twitch are content farms for lonely nerds looking to form parasocial relationships. At some point in the last decade it feels like “discussing technology” turned into just another marketing gimmick or a chance for people with slick production, some technical knowledge, and a desire for attention to peddle themselves and get their fifteen minutes.

      (I unironically suggest 4chan’s /g/ or lainchan, because then at least there is no pretense of quality.)

      I can’t even always count on work to be a place to have technical discussions, because the rejection of engineering in favor of product development on one side and the full-hearted embrace of imposter syndrome and acceptance of mediocrity on the other has put a squeeze on the very notion of technical excellence and expertise. What sort of weirdo derails a sprint pokering by talking about database sharding? What entitled single white dude has the gall to suggest people learn anything about complexity theory or automata in their free time, when it’s well known that literally any request that a worker spend time honing their craft is a massive blow against Labor and a chance to enrich Capital at the expense of underrepresented groups?

      (You laugh or jeer, but I’ve seen variants of both of these play out in real workspaces. This is a real thing that happens–and often with the best of intentions!)


      I think that technical discussion certainly still exists, but there’s just so much garbage and such an aggressive gentrification of the culture on the one side and exploitation on the other that anybody who does have their private little space should quite rightly seek to preserve it and not talk much about it.

      I think the culture–at least the one I grew up in, which is the familiar one to me and the one I miss, quite aside from whether it is objectively morally optimal–has been under active attack from both within and without, and that under such circumstances I despair for the sorts of discussions I used to learn from with the sorts of people I used to enjoy the company of.


      The things I’ve seen work best are people having a space to log/discuss their current problems or current projects, and then having a way to field questions or chat with that as a starting point. Otherwise, you become clogged with a bunch of marketing, dick-waving, shit-stirring, and navel-gazing.

      Don’t waste time “discussing” things with people that aren’t doing anything worth discussing, and don’t confuse volume or novelty for utility.

      1. 30

        Kinda disappointed to see this as the top comment. I generally like lobste.rs, but it does seem like there are many threads where a highly-upvoted comment saying “someone else is doing it wrong” sits at the top. (This does not seem to happen on Hacker News, there are different issues there)

        That may or may be true, but either way, writing a screed about it doesn’t really solve the problem … especially when the problem is the lack of technical discussions :-P

        FYI I clicked through to your comments, and what I overwhelmingly see is comments about people’s behavior. Not necessarily bad or wrong, but that’s what you seem pre-occupied with.

        I didn’t see any substantive technical comments.

        If you want to have a technical discussion, you can hide the comments you don’t like, and post what you do like … I think you tend to get back what you put out there. At the very least, it will help the site a bit

        1. 8

          writing a screed about it doesn’t really solve the problem

          I give what I consider actionable advice on how to solve the problem of technical discussion at the end: look for places where people who do things talk about the things they’re doing. If that isn’t useful to you, hey, that’s fine.

          The author asked a question, you seem unimpressed with my answer, here I reply with some minor elaboration, and nothing of substance is accomplished. This is the sort of discussion that led to my current position.

          I overwhelmingly see is comments about people’s behavior.

          I don’t see the same thing; I see comments on:

          • Reflecting on software not being hard physical labor and reminding teams of that as a manager.
          • Reflecting on it being okay to charge money for software.
          • Noting that a rust project with a single binary is friendly from an ops standpoint.
          • Being amused at the singularity being stopped by copyright enforcement.
          • Complaining about the misuse (based on my own experience) of feature flags in production apps.
          • Pointing out that old DOS games kinda shipped their own OS.
          • Making a joke about alternative uses for digital watches.

          Logging out, there are a few extra comments that show up:

          • Asking a question about how much people ran into Fediverse peering issues
          • Explaining why I flagged a story about an employment change.
          • Expressing a concern about the push for a Zig book this early.
          • Expressing that I think it’s not okay to remove submissions with popups.
          • (follow-on to the above) explaining my concern about the misuse of the precedent.
          • Explaining a tagging suggestion.

          If anything, I think that somewhat substantiates my claim that I don’t frequently discuss a lot of technical details in places like this anymore.

          I didn’t see any substantive technical comments.

          You might also enjoy my story submissions, and I’ll note that the lookback capability for user comments is I believe limited to one page–and my posting history is long.

          If you want to have a technical discussion, you can hide the comments you don’t like, and post what you do like

          That is one way to play the Lobsters MUD, yes.

          1. 7

            Right, this is my point

            Don’t waste time “discussing” things with people that aren’t doing anything worth discussing

            my claim that I don’t frequently discuss a lot of technical details in places like this anymore.

            What are you doing / building that’s worth discussing? Honest question – I don’t know. Many people have a link in their profiles, or I can tell from their past comments

            i.e. you seem to have set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is A LOT of technical discussion on this site

            1. 6

              Not, the author, but was there a claim of something discussion worthy being built?

              Also how come you focus mostly on someone writing a post rather than the content of the post? I ask because at least back in Usenet times that was considered impolite.

              Sure when someone always likes to troll people they’ll be ignored after some time, but I don’t see that here.

        2. 5

          GP has a history of this sort of rhetoric; i’d go on, but u/aphyr said it much better than i could a few years back.

          i really enjoy this site, but it’s disappointing to log on and see a thread like this dominated by discussion that defeats the purpose of the thread in the first place.

          i’m also disappointed in myself that this is what i’m choosing to contribute, but i have a similar desire as the OP’s and i was hoping that the comments would be a place where we could all talk about what works and what doesn’t in this context!

          1. 4

            Yeah, I think there are a bunch of people like aphyr – people who have done interesting things in the systems programming space, but stay away from lobste.rs because of the bad attitudes.

            I don’t actually mind one comment like that – there will always be a few differing opinions – but my issue is when it sits at the top of the thread, and invites a pile-on of negativity. It’s just not interesting. It’s boring.

            Personally I have found a few great and prolific contributors to Oils through lobste.rs, so I see value in staying. Although they don’t seem to post much! There is often an inverse correlation between the people doing the talking and the people doing things.

      2. 19

        4chan’s /g/ and/or lainchan are the best forums to visit if you’re a teenager who wants to massively stunt your learning in favour of wasting time on the internet. What a misuse of my life.

        1. 9

          Okay, perhaps…but have you installed Gentoo, LFS, Arch, done anything with LLMs or Stable Diffusion, messed around with plan 9, or any of those other things that show up in threads?

          There’s a lot of trash, and some occasional neat stuff–but I find it more earnest in its buffoonery than other places. If it’s not to your liking, that’s cool too.

          1. 4

            I’ve never hung out of 4chan, yet I have heard about all those things. In fact, I’m pretty sure classic Gentoo-bashing site “Gentoo is for Ric*rs” predates 4chan. Plan9 certainly does.

            1. 2

              Sure–my point is that a lot of people’s first introduction to those topics was probably through /g/. The saga of the great attempt at revisiting Plan 9 some many years ago by /g/ is a whoooole thing.

          2. [Comment removed by author]

      3. 10

        OP: Hey guys, where to go for interesting discussions?

        Most upvoted comment: Nowhere.

        Lobste.rs crowd: Best answer!

        I kind of sometimes wish that social hubs like this would hide the username and hide the upvote counter. Because sometimes I have a feeling that comments are upvoted because of who puts them, and because others upvoted it, not because of what’s inside it.

        1. 2

          Oh wow, amazing how I hadn’t noticed that GP’s comment was only a single word. Here I was thinking that the comment had struck a nerve about the cultural decay around my favourite craft and that I enjoyed the reflection on the state of various communities, but what do I know, I’m just an idiot that upvotes whatever is the top comment, not a genius like you that can read other people’s minds.

        2. 1

          I’d like to believe there’s a bit more depth to my comment than you’re giving credit for–but, I will thank you for providing an example of why I don’t often do technical discussion in public.

          Consider: If somebody like yourself can so easily and willfully misread and misrepresent a relatively straightforward handful of paragraphs with little outside context, what are the odds of conducting a useful conversation on an involved technical topic that has nuance and requires experience?

      4. 8

        While I agree with a lot of what you said, I definitely disagree with your take on Discord. I’ve found, for example, the Nim discord server to be full of helpful people discussing all kinds of programming-related things, especially the gamedev/graphics people. Ditto for the r/EmuDev and Zig Discord servers.

        I’ve certainly come across my fair share of shitty Discord servers though.

        1. 11

          Discord isn’t a specific place in and of itself; it’s a (non-free, proprietary, and centrally-managed) platform upon which other communities build spaces for chatting, and the individual quality of all of those spaces is what is actually meaningful. It makes as much sense to criticize the discussion quality of Discord as a whole as it does to criticize IRC as a whole, or Facebook messenger as a whole.

        2. 4

          I think you’re fair here–I have a bias against technical communities setting up shop in walled gardens they don’t control.

          1. 1

            While I understand your point, and agree that communities shouldn’t rely on proprietary platforms, this way of phrasing the problem is poor. Practically no community relies fully on infrastructure they “control”. Whether that’s the public IRC server or the internet connections individuals are using.

        3. 1

          The strictly linear model makes it impossible to follow discussions. I definitely prefer the Nim forum.

          1. 1

            Discord has threads.

            1. 1

              That’s useless when people aren’t actually using them to group discussions. I just checked that there aren’t any threads in Nim’s #main.

      5. 4

        The things I’ve seen work best are people having a space to log/discuss their current problems or current projects, and then having a way to field questions or chat with that as a starting point.

        This is an area where I believe Digital Gardens [0] can actually generate great discussion if their platform allows for two way communication.

        [0] https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

      6. 1

        literally any request that a worker spend time honing their craft is a massive blow against Labor and a chance to enrich Capital at the expense of underrepresented groups?

        Gold, Jerry! Gold!

    4. 12

      Most of “Tech Twitter” seem to have migrated to various Mastodon instances, at least the corners that I frequented. There is an initial learning curve (or perhaps more accurately, un-learning from Twitter et al.) re: choosing an instance and platform differences, but I’ve been able to replicate my Twitter experience quite well on Mastodon so far. The quality of conversation is definitely better imo.

      1. 2

        The problem is, 1% of quality posts from a giant instance will always be bigger, more diverse, and with higher chance of containing an amazing thing that 100% of whatever small instance you are on.

        Plus now you have to do your homework: what is it federated with? What are the rules?

        And what’s more, the recommendation system on mastodon is very limited, so you are basically stuck with what’s trending for everyone or your subscribe list.

        Maybe you have a good instance to recommend for programming?

        1. 8

          And what’s more, the recommendation system on mastodon is very limited, so you are basically stuck with what’s trending for everyone or your subscribe list.

          You can follow hashtags in Mastodon. Click on one you like, then press the “follow” button, et voilà. Now you’ll see posts about this topic in your timeline.

        2. 5

          Plus now you have to do your homework: what is it federated with? What are the rules?

          It would have benefitted us to do this homework before we ever engaged with Facebook, Twitter, or reddit, before they all exploded in production.

          Federation is the static type-system of social networking :^)

          1. 4

            Yep, this is a good point. You don’t get to wiggle out of the ‘doing your homework on the platforms you use’ step: large tech corporations just want you to skip the step and deal with the consequences later. Which is why Twitter is in this mess to begin with.

        3. 3

          I’ve not personally found being on a smaller instance (social.coop) to be limiting in the slightest. Federation means that I think my experience is pretty much the same as I’d expect on a larger instance: I see all of the posts I care about from other instances, and I see posts from hashtags I follow.

        4. 2

          “Programming” is a little too general I think, but for more specialized topics functional.cafe and mastodon.gamedev.place both seem solid.

        5. 1

          I agree discoverability is probably Mastodon’s biggest hurdle at the moment, but given how ephemeral (in my opinion) social media is, and how easy it is to migrate your account, I haven’t worried too much about those “drawbacks” of federation - though it’s my understanding that your posts don’t move along with you, which to some may be not worth the hassle in the first place.

          RE: instances, my main account is on .social, so I’m probably biased regarding discoverability, but most of my tech-oriented follows are split between .social, mastodon.design, and fosstodon.

    5. 12

      I guess… nowhere online. There exists a bigger Doppelgarage with workshop since the second year AC which serves as an exclusive male club (admittance only in work clothes). I watch a handful of video channels for staying up to date, I have a once in a month online video meeting with friends and colleagues, because they all did not come back from home office but moved to sometimes distant, rural, southern areas.

      I do not have twitter/X, FB/Insta/threads, and all those mastodon instances are the inverse of what I searched for in 1992 in the wild west of the then-“internet”: I want to see, meet, contact open-minded people from all over the world, not echo chamber inhabitants and PC language wardens. I am very sensitive to censorship, if it hits me or I see it hitting others, I’m gone.

      Since about 10..11 years this is only possible 1:1 via email. If I look in an old backup I can find in my bookmarks all those long gone forums and blogs with comment sections which sometimes turned into a small forum on one topic itself. In hindsight 2011 was the year when the web tipped. At least L-T-U seems to be resurrected, but bloodless, the crowd seems gone.

      My personal bubble shrank until 2019 with the wave of divorces and toxic rose wars in my friends and collegues group. We guys are mostly resilient, but we had quite a few “if you see them, you can’t see us!!” ladies.

      Then the pandemic hit, and I am vaxxed (for personal reasons) but completely against that lockdown thing which made me not belong to either of the two big groups. I lost friends from the 8th grade.

      In 2021 I felt lonely, my world had collapsed on me. In 2022 I had adapted and gotten used to it.

      If it wasn’t for my relatively stable company, I’d probaly could stop speaking :)

      And no, I am not mumbling in my beard, holding monologues to a pet, glueing my ears with 24/7 background music. My life just has become a silent movie :) My house is a space station now, and earth has become onother planet and I am a cheap knockoff of the martian :D Difference is I have accepted the circumstances and do not want back.

      As I am not any more mobile most of the time, I have demobilized my IT. My smartphone is an expensive dongle for the bank, most of the time it rests at the desk. There is a second reason for that: I hate tiny little glyphs on tiny little glossy screens (yes I am old).

      Part of the online video meeting group from above is trying to start a BBS over ssh, because of course there is discussion (mostly politics, bringing up childs, and gardening) but up to now it is mostly Email (yes we are 45-60). But we are weary of the messenger censorship introduced in the EU.

      Telegram I have for various searchbots and for keeping contact to ukrainian friends.

      I am not aware of anything useful in the matrix universe.

    6. 11

      I mostly discuss it in a smattering of IRC rooms, Discord channels, and Mastodon.

    7. 8

      Basically nowhere. I’ve kinda given up on it. I talk to ChatGPT sometimes. Lobsters seems ok.

      TBH most people in the field don’t seem worth talking to, I don’t feel I have much to learn from them and, even if I did, “conversations” online tend to be exhausting arguments about minutia and wording.

    8. 6

      I get more out of more intimate communities. Lobsters is still fairly intimate but it’s public so I’m still relatively quiet compared to some of the open-doored but actually walled gardens like chat communities. I run Code & Supply including its chat and prefer that and some others similar but focused on particular areas of tech instead of general with a particular geolocation as a base audience (C&S is probably around 80% Pittsburgh people).

      The changes to Twitter and Reddit are creating a diaspora that is actually a strange contraction in my online activity. I post more on Mastodon than I have on Twitter in recent years, but still relatively nothing compared to a decade ago. I don’t care for forums and haven’t for ~15 years. I love reddit, but my use shifted toward mobile in the last decade and I’ve always hated the mobile web or official Android client, so disrupting that workflow means I, like others, aren’t using it as much anymore.

      I’ve turned my attention toward my self-improvement. I’ve reallocated to Duolingo (Dutch!) the 20-40 minutes daily I used to spend on Reddit on my phone. I’m probably spending more time on Instagram and on my aforementioned chat communities, and TBH it’s probably less specifically computer-related stuff than just general tech and geek stuff because I’m not getting that 5-minute injection of community from reddit now.

    9. 6

      Work. This is why having an intellectually stimulating office culture is so important to me.

      Online forums always degenerate into a terrible signal-to-noise ratio eventually. It happened to Slashdot, Digg, and Reddit, it’s happening to Hacker News and Stack Overflow, and it will happen to this site unless the developers are willing to continuously innovate (that is, piss off some significant portion of the users by changing things now and then) to keep ahead of all the people trying to game the system (marketing, trolls).

    10. 5

      For a long time it was Reddit and Hacker News. Then I added lobste.rs several years ago.

      Now it seems like Reddit is going away.

      I always found Twitter to be very bad for technical discussions. It’s more of a broadcast medium for links.

      Occasionally I reply to a subtle issue on Twitter, and immediately regret it … I want to say “can we take this discussion elsewhere?”

      I’m starting to use Mastodon but I find something of the same problem. I’m glad it’s there though

      Hm this jogged some memories: before Reddit there was the Joel on Software Forum, and before that Usenet. I never read Slashdot for some reason.

    11. 5

      My answer from 6 months ago. I’ve added a couple more since.

      The whole point of the internet is to have lots of places to bounce between.

      1. 2

        This doesn’t look like a public link, could you possibly transcribe the contents here?

        1. 5

          Apparently unlisted posts can’t be seen when not logged in. TIL. Thanks for letting me know!

          Here’s my post:

          Kartik Agaram
          Dec 28, 2022, 16:47 Pacific
          Non-private places I currently hang out
          https://futureofcoding.org/community Slack
          https://www.val.town (D)iscord
          https://handmade.network D
          https://communitywiki.org/wiki/LionKimbro D
          #merveilles (IRC)
          https://blinkenshell.org  #
          cc @bouncepaw @jakintosh
    12. 4

      I don’t really do it as much.

      Reddit was my platform of choice, but I’ve stopped wanting to use it ever since the client I used stopped working. I have no interest in the federated alternatives. I made an effort to get a https://lobste.rs invite after leaving Reddit, and lobste.rs hits most of the computing topics I went to Reddit for: domain-experts discussing something they work on, project announcements, general computing news. Though, I haven’t really contributed much since I’ve just been trying to get a sense of the culture around here.

    13. 3

      I’m trying to get things going on bsky but it’s really quite right now.

      1. 1

        i want to get on bluesky for the sole reason of getting more use of my firstname.lastname domain

      2. 1

        The way to stop it from being quiet is to hand out invites…. wink, wink, nudge, nudge. ;)

    14. 3

      I am not sure if that’s what you mean by technjcal discussion but in my opinion mailing lists and the real world work the best.

      HN, lobsters, etc. are more of a comment section for people that want to give their opinions on things. They favors shared and emotional opinions.

      The other side is the content i that is being discussed which like with media in general favors sensationalism, emotions, pretty, well marketed, “everyone can understand the content and have an opinion” style content. So both work more on psychology than anything else.

      Mailing lists and real life tends to be in smaller and more focused settings. There’s no upvoting creating such bias, they are not good platforms for targeting huge amounts of people, so the topic tends to be more important than the psychology (which isn’t absent).

      That’s why sometimes you might find interesting one on one discussions on HN and lobsters.

      I think such settings can also exist in small subreddits, discord channels, irc, etc. But it appears that at some size the psychology takes over

      Also don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that the whole upvoting stuff is an inherently bad idea but psycholoy sets in.

      At least that’s my understanding.

    15. 2

      I’m sad that none of the smaller communities of reddit have migrated to my federated link aggregator, brutalinks.

      I was probably not fast enough to make it similarly good to old reddit and lemmy and kbin ate the mindshare. :(

      1. 4

        Probably because nobody’s ever heard of it?

        1. 1

          Well, I’m a developer not a marketer, what can I say?

          1. 2

            Don’t need to be. Simply posting it here on Lobsters or HN goes a long way in getting your project noticed. You have some very cool work in AP/fedi things—get it out there! Now’s decidedly the best time with all the fedi-related news making the rounds.

    16. 2

      I discuss in my uni’s linux club’s matrix room(s). If I don’t care about feedback, I’ll scream into the void on Mastodon.

    17. 2

      Discuit looks promising …


      They have a really fast and clean UI, and the subs are starting to pickup. It’s my go to at the moment, since the Reddit shenanigans, but they do need more people.

    18. 2

      Like a number of people here, I don’t seem to find community online any more. I was into topically-focused forums more than universal sites like Reddit. Most of the forums I visited are either gone or are shells of their former selves.

      So I don’t know. Lately I’ve been reading books and writing very letter-like emails to family members. Some actually reply once in a while.

      1. 2

        Some actually reply once in a while.

        The family I hope, rather than the books ;-)

    19. 2

      Lobste.rs and Mastodon.

      1. 2

        What are the “#“tags you search on? I’m starting to figure some out here and there, but it’s always nice to have suggestions.

        1. 1

          Nothing really, I just have a very curated list of people I follow. :)

    20. 2

      I’m going through a busy time in life, so I have less time to use on exploratory conversations on forums or even write long thought provoking prose. That’s why I have Fun Format Fridays, to live this through others right now. These “forums” is typically lobste.rs for me right now. YCombinator is really no fun.

      When I do have time, I’m spending it on whatever personal project tickles my fancy, practicing French, or actually relaxing (which rarely happens).

      IRC and Discord I use for intra-day blurbs to keep my social mind happy. Maybe you miss that? IRC for me is “top free speech”. I literally don’t know any place that’s as free as that and ephemeral.

    21. 2

      Good old 4chan /g/.

    22. 2

      I find the question a bit odd, what is “computer related stuff” anyway? I have completely different sites or channels or communities for hardware, software, software development and so on. Never really used Twitter for that, maybe some incidental news I got there first.

      That said, a lot of it is private channels on IRC and Slack, with friends and acquaintances. I did browse some subreddits from time to time, but not for research or discussion, more for inspiration. And obviously I’m here (and sometimes on HN).

    23. 1

      Today mostly with Telegram, I still post some #TIL to Twitter but I know it will die soon and I think I should organize the insights I got better offline using Obsidian and other open standards based tools.

      We are approaching dark times and will only have peace when a distributed platform gets adoption. The best rn content wise is SSB IMO but it’s slow AF.

      1. 2

        Telegram? What you do you mean? Can you tell me where you look for computer related stuff there?

        1. 2

          Groups. A few brazilian ones like Linux Universe and NixOS Brasil I am more active but there are some other groups that I lurk and sometimes engage in discussions. I avoid groups where there is some kind of religion about a technology because people are more biased towards a side or a way of doing things.

          I also follow the lobste.rs Telegram channel.

          Yeah, it’s proprietary stuff but it works, it’s fast, solves the problem, zero maintenance basically and it’s not zucked up with non chronological stuff.

          1. 1

            Ah nice, makes sense. thanks :D

    24. 1

      I was getting rather sick of the assorted reddit groupthink(s), and their recent corporate behaviour finally pushed me into baleeting my accounts. I talk with various tech people via mastodon/fedi/whatever, but most tech people who moved to mastodon looking for “twitter with more of my groupthink” (for whatever kind of group they’re in) are on instances that block the one I’m on, so they’re all just lost to the other universe now :(

      1. 1

        That sounds like a perk, the group think crowd(s) are exactly the ones I’m trying to avoid. Why “:(” ?

        1. 2

          Because that’s where most of the tech people went. Most mastodon hosts which don’t specifically care about the culture war still use the same blocklists because they don’t want to deal with the anime-avatar paedonazis, and DGaF about all the regular hosts that are on that list simply for not taking part in said global blocking practices.

    25. 1

      Occasionally there’s an email or reply that leads to an interesting discussion (on here, HN, or some issue tracker), but it’s a rare thing. I engage in a parasocial sort of conversation as I read books, in that they’ve filled a gap for me…

      Most back and forths happen AFK. I work in public, so I meet a lot of people and my co-workers aren’t in our bubble. Between the two groups, there are a few folks who ask what I’ve been up to[1]. I’ve found that enthusiasm is contagious, and that anyone with an open ear can share in it. Their background and faculties are less relevant than their willingness to riff on ideas and their interpretations, to ask solid questions, and to deepen their understanding over time. It’s great to realize I’ve met someone experienced, but all the knowlege in the world doesn’t make up for chemistry, and really, it’s a pleasure to be earnestly engaged with on any level. I can only hope to have cultivated habits that give back to these people[2].

      1: I haven’t kept up with everyone like I should.

      2: I can “only hope” as I am (broadly) oblivious to my own manners, and ignorant of the desires of others; Not everyone wants their attention back, and may need repayed in other ways or at other times[3].

      3: Boy do these footnotes contrast!

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      I’ve found IRC and Matrix to be quite lively still. I also have seen more Discourse-based forums popping up around tech topics in the past decade. All of these have provided me with more genuine discussion and more reliable information than twitter or reddit ever did.

      One trend I find unfortunate is each open source library standing up a Discord instance around their single project. It really makes the discussions quite fractured. In theory they are analogous to Discourse but they aren’t easily indexed by web crawlers so the discussions have no long term value. The one plus I’ve found is that those instances usually have a handful of people who are very dedicated to the project and often eager to engage with me. The Bevy game engine comes to mind.

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        What IRC channels are you lurking in?

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          It varies a lot over time. #rust #networking #electronics #linux most recently over the past year.