Kuantan to Penang – Food, Fun, Good Walking and Thoughts on Social Media

I flew up to Penang which is my last stop here in Malaysia. Penang is a really interesting city with so much to see. The food is incredible as is the case with all of Malaysia. You can find just about any kind of food and the local specialties are amazing. I sampled Nyonya Cuisine again last night for dinner with Laksa. Very excellent! They also have one of my favorites which is Beef Randang. The fun part is seeing the city, its architecture and just walking the city with no real regard for direction or things to see. Having a month here to experience the city means I can take my time with doing things like bus tours. I can also slow down with the touring and enjoy the mornings in my airbnb.

Today will do another walking tour in a different direction just to get a sense of the city. First off is coffee at a different place along with some breakfast. I also started a new photo album which is always fun. I upload the photographs to Google Photos but if you want to see a recap or a distilled selection, I also place a few on Mastodon’s Social Photography instance and on Instagram. Here are the links just in case you want to watch along:

Mastodon – I am a user on the Social Photography instance. If you are not familiar with what Mastodon is, here’s a bit of a primer for you. You can search for an instance close to what your needs are and likely will find one. Since its federated, you can find and follow users on other instances and they can reach to you on your instance. I’ve all but given up on twitter because its not this way. Twitter is a massive single application no matter what you do. Imagine instead if twitter were federated and instances existed that could be inter-woven with others and users were visible across the different instances. You could see posts from your local space along with the federated space. I think that this empowers social media to be more. Here is a nice review of what it offers. My user is @mpmilestogo@social.photog if you are interested. You don’t have to be on my instance to find and follow me. Since this is open source expect a higher degree of privacy with no ads. I post single and multiple photographs on Mastodon. There are a whole host of mobile and desktop apps for Mastodon. With Twitter you get one large interface with so-called hashtags to search on. With Mastodon you get a world of instances across a federated landscape.

Instagram – I also have started using Instagram again with a few ground rules. I am not interested in any business or networking goals with instagram. My only interest is in sharing photographs of where I travel. I appreciate any that follow but its not necessary. I like simply posting my travel photographs on instagram and sharing the places I’ve been. I’m not interested in making money, seeing my account reach some zenith of followers, but I do like seeing other’s photographs of their travels. If you want to see my instagram space here’s my account there.  Photographs there are just a sampling or a piece of things which I find interesting and wish to share. I am not after instagram moments or raising my followers to some threshold. The only thing on instagram which interests me is sharing the travels and adventures. I personally think Instagram is just as broken as twitter is in its use cases. Why cannot one post an image in a comment on instagram? Why are there not more rich conversation tools? Why is there no official desktop client? Many of the people whose work I see and appreciate use Fuji, Nikon, Canon, or Sony cameras amongst others. Why must we be relegated to a smart phone interface for official applications support? I do use the Mac desktop application called Flume which I find very nice. Its what a desktop application “could be”. All in all, instagram is disappointing to me but I choose to use it because I enjoy sharing photographs of my travels with no strings attached.

If you tune in on Mastodon, its my preferred network for things like microblogging and content sharing. Instagram I keep because I like to share to the community there. If given a choice or only one of the available social media outlets, I would delete my twitter account in a moment. Its a mess of hashtags and finding and losing things and posturing. Instagram is not much better in my book. Mastodon offers a solution which is more scalable and private while still offering social media sharing and a good desktop and mobile experience. Finally, you can see the start of my Penang photo album here. I will now stop slamming Twitter and Instagram for what they might have been and never will be. Its an incredible disappointment to me that we have such a set of social media applications that are the preferred ones while there are better choices out there which embrace privacy, responsible sharing, and preserve what I consider to be the future of many platforms which is embracing open source.

You can choose if you share to whatever platform to follow who you want. Twitter and Instagram are dead ends though until they make inroads to how users connect. Twitter to me especially is a garbage truck of an operation. You get the good and bad all mixed in. Instagram while oriented toward sharing photography suffers like facebook and how it actually embraces photography sharing by not having desktop clients that are official. Give Mastodon a chance if you want to see what a potential future of social media could look like.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.