My thoughts on why the cramped 500 characters maximum Toot is a relic which Mastodon developers should consider revising. Or making easier to change, for the few instances that allow their users more modern space and limits.
I have encountered the hard core Twitter user mentality in some admins I have made this request to.
They were users there for years, are used to the short burst posting, which I as a Forum user find baffling, unattractive and a general pain in the butt, to be perfectly honest.
There was a time, in the older days, when twitter started and ran over SMS. The 140 character limit came from that, as people had voice and SMS access, not mobile data.
The cramped space, terseness resulting from it, I could understand in that situation. But we have left that long behind.
I usually don't feel attracted to responding to the very short one liners. To call that "micro blogging" is a weird distortion of what I consider blogging to be.
I do write long posts in mastodon, and much longer form in Blog posts; have a hell of a time to post an announcement in Twitter for those in their measly 240 chars.
OP at my new Pleroma account, which thankfully doesn't have this Fossilized limit in place.
Please look at this status for an important explanation on WHY we don't have more reasonable limits on Toot size, or an easier to change limit.
By Design. Mr Mastodon head developer thinks it is best done so.
Blog post in gestation on this topic...
@design_RG I do see two benefits to having a character count limit though:
First, it creates a scrollable feed for people reading the posts. Too many characters, and you aren’t able to do that, as it takes too long to get the gist and decide if you want to read more (a required summary field would accomplish this).
Second, it forces people to be more concise in what they write, which is valuable, as readers’ time is at a premium.
Of course imho, 500 is too high to realize either benefit.
Long reply! :)
@sbjohnsrpi I have seen a post by Gargron himself stating he was against changing the limit or making it easier to preserve the altered limit in an instance if an admin had made a change. This is an older post, from 2017, so he might have changed his mind, or not; he's got a lot to oversee and think about.
One of his argument was exactly the question of vertical space usage by larger posts; he posited that the interface was carefully designed and flowed well visually with average size posts; longer ones could possibly break that flow.
But we do have larger Toot size limits here at Qoto (65K), at Hackers.Town (10K) and other instances, and I don't see that problem.
65 thousand characters is really generous, I think beyond anyone's needs atm, but certainly avoids anyone feeling cramped in style. I have used just over 3,000 chars in a single post, as it was done here and I focused on the writing, not on the Toot counter telling me I am over sized.
Here at Qoto, any post that is long will display a certain length; then a "Read More" clickable line will hide the rest. So the long posts might take about twice the average vertical space, maybe, but they don't display in full unless the reader wants them.
I am very picky about design, and try to make my own posts attractive as we are always competing for reader's attention in a never ending flow of new things.
For a while I had decided that using a CW was ideal in terms of presenting a long article -- the article collapsed completely behind a CW description, which can be thought of as the title on a magazine page or newspaper piece.
Visually, that was nice, compacting it well. Problem -- the accompanying image, always selected to be interesting and attractive, was hidden along with the text. And there's NO way to display that image, if a CW is used. So, I gave up on this since I felt many people would not see the text (collapsed) or be attracted by the image (hidden). The post might be ignored.
Gave up on that method; this is a new medium, and we have to explore and experiment, try to find the best way to achieve our goals, in communicating ideas, attracting support or whichever focus a post has.
@sbjohnsrpi Here are two screenshots, one of which I just mentioned above -- Gargron's thoughts on keeping the 500 chars.
This came in response to a Git code contribution by LambadaLambda, one of the main developers in the Pleroma project. He contributed code that would take the 500 Max Toot Size limit from the source code, and store it on a config file -- which is exactly the way I think it should be done. (not buried in the code and having to be manually edited each time an update or upgrade version is released, as it is now).
First image is his proposal; the second is Gargron's who as project leader denied it and closed the issue. He did expose his reasons.
I am very thankful to a Pleroma node admin who provided me these when he saw my posting regarding this issue.
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