A few months ago I wrote a post explaining why I thought Twitter chats were not productive and proposing that those wanting to have collaborative, text-based discussions should look for a better platform. Among the limitations I identified in that post was the capacity of a Twitter tweet (140 characters) and how so many tweets contained so little information. I recommended the search for a more versatile online service and I used a new open-source service I had been exploring called Mastodon as an example. Mastodon is a “microblog” similar to Twitter, but has an expanded 500 character limit.
Mastodon takes me back to the good old days when online services were innovative and open. I ran blogger and b2 on my own server before blogger became a Google service and B2 morphed into WordPress. I still like the idea of freedom and independence online and Mastodon has this feel. You can host an “instance” of Mastodon yourself if you have the tech chops. I am afraid that my PHP and MySQL skills don’t provide the necessary skill set or I would be tempted.
If you are a Twitter user or an edchatter willing to innovate a little, I would recommend that you take a look at Mastodon. Wired has written a more recent and complete description than my own so you might want to read it and then give Mastodon a try.