Closing the Loop Introducing PocketToots, a Firefox extension that syncs your Mastodon bookmarks to Pocket and adds a link back

Posted on January 23, 2023

If you are old enough to remember the microblogging website, you may also remember how people always complained about one another commenting on or retweeting tweets without having read the articles shared within them. Twitter even tried to mitigate this by adding a dialog that would pop up if you tried to retweet a tweet, asking whether you wanted to read the article first, maybe? If you really took this seriously, though, unless you read the article immediately, you would have to work your way through all the open tabs you accumulated scrolling through Twitter, first, until you finally made it to the article, after which you’d have to find your way back to the tweet again. By then you’d have scrolled on, of course, leaving the people who read immediately or not at all to comment. And we know what that ratio looks like. Not ideal, if you want to foster quality public debate.

Enter Pocket… One of many services that solved the problem of the million open tabs, also solved the issue of finding back to the tweet by displaying it along with the article, at least in the app. A feature they call Tweet Attribution. I didn’t even consciously notice how useful this actually was until I fled Twitter, along with everybody else, during the great Twitter Exodus of 2022. Unfortunately, the feature only works for tweets, so at Mastodon, I started using bookmarks to save interesting links, in order to keep track of the source. Consequently, I created two places to catch up on reading those. This was quite a disruption to my previous process. That’s why I came up with a Firefox extension that fixes this (for me): PocketToots (source)! It syncs Mastodon bookmarks to Pocket and adds a link back to the source toot. Maybe there are others who happen to use Mastodon, Firefox, and Pocket, who would find this useful!