Mastodon Follow-All Thread - abandoning the blue bird site

I searched and didn't see a Mastodon thread elsewhere, so here we go.

While the electric-ship-rocket-car "Space Karen" burns his new $44 billion toy to the ground, decentralized social media platform Mastodon has seen the kind of surge in adoption that has eluded it up until this point.

Get Started

1. Pick a server to join
2. Create an account on that server
3. Login
4. Follow @[email protected]
5. Follow other people too I guess
6. Tweet "Toot" something (yes, they're called "toots").
7. Post your account here, for the rest of us to follow

The following is my understanding of how Mastodon works, and how best to explain it, given my incredibly limited time using it. There may be inaccuracies or just plain nonsense below...

What you need to know to use Mastodon, in a nutshell:

Mastodon is decentralized Twitter, which is less technical or intimidating than it sounds.

Think of Mastodon's "decentralized" nature like your email service: there's no one central service called "Email", but rather you sign up with a particular email provider (Gmail, Hotmail, etc), and you can send and receive messages with everyone else who uses email, regardless of if they're on the same provider or a different one.

On Mastodon, you register an account on a specific server, and you can read Mastodon posts from people regardless of what server they're on. So whereas you might have registered @buttface on Twitter, on Mastodon, if you create your account on the "mastodon.xyz" server, you'll be @[email protected], and you'll access Mastodon by logging into the https://mastodon.xyz website.

How do I choose a server?

This is probably the part that trips people up the most. Many servers are themed around a certain concept (tech, a geographical region, LGBT, etc), though generally, these themes are more about attracting like-minded users than driving people to post a certain kind of content.

Each server can have different rules for use. This largely extends to:

- what content is allowed to be posted by accounts on that server

- what other servers (if any) have been "filtered out" from view of the users of that server

Roughly speaking, unless you go hunting for one of those "freeze peach" types of servers, you're mostly going to find servers which adhere to the Mastodon Server Covenant.

How do I follow someone?

Let's say you want to follow George Takei, whose Mastodon account is @[email protected]. Just search for "@[email protected]" with your Mastodon provider's search bar, and he'll pop right up. (If you don't know what server someone is on, try searching for just their username - ie. if you search for "georgetakei", you'll find @[email protected])

Other Resources

- instances.social: A much larger, more comprehensive list of Mastodon servers
- fedi.tips: An Unofficial Guide to Mastodon and the Fediverse
- /r/Mastodon on Reddit

Alright, I've gone ahead and created @[email protected].

The "choosing a server" step needs to be improved. There aren't any servers that really appeal to me, so I just chose one of the general servers, though my concern is that if a lot of people are in the same boat as me, it'll basically lead to server centralization again. At least there seems to be a very easy way to move my account to another server, if I find one later that's more aligned with my tastes.

I am there! On dice.camp : @[email protected] where I will mostly be desperately trying to rebuild up enough of a following and crossing my fingers that I can find new commissions from there at least as often as I did on twitter *sweating profusely*

...But otherwise most likely posting my ttrpg stuff, as usual.

(If you find me under another name on there...no you didn't .... i absolutely didn't just start a new account because i wanted to be on a server with my RPG chums, don't be silly... ) But yeah seriously follow me on the one above because i probably will be ignoring the other one.

merphle wrote:

The "choosing a server" step needs to be improved. There aren't any servers that really appeal to me, so I just chose one of the general servers, though my concern is that if a lot of people are in the same boat as me, it'll basically lead to server centralization again.

Big servers being the path for "normal" people to come to Mastodon is inevitable.

There's countless ways to get an email address, but for most people the answer is "just use Gmail", or Hotmail, or back in the day it was Yahoo. Those three account for about 85% of US active email users. But the distributed nature of email is just too fundamental to break. Nobody wants a Gmail-users-only email account.

merphle wrote:

At least there seems to be a very easy way to move my account to another server, if I find one later that's more aligned with my tastes.

Yeah, I expect I may move off of SDF to another instance. I've made a few accounts on different servers just to get hold of the @legion name, and I'm peeking in at their Local streams to see where I want to settle. Fortunately, if I do move, making the old account alias to the new one should bring everyone with me.

I'm @[email protected]. I created that awhile ago but am only now really looking into it.

I've moved my account to @[email protected]. Did the migration, so the 2 of you who followed me should get moved to the new account.

Discovered that the Mastodon migration process does NOT include migrating your posts. There is an open issue on the Mastodon Github about this, hopefully that changes. The whole "just move servers" thing doesn't seem like quite as bulletproof a solution when it really only means migrating your followers to a new account.

I've chosen fosstodon.org because it's a long-running and seemingly well-run system. They have a blog for communicating the status and changes to the service, and seem to have established a track record for transparency. Had to wait for my account request to get approved, but now that it is, I'm reasonably confident that I should be able to stay there for the long term.

I tried but I am home. I saw the list of servers in the list of topics I couldn’t fathom what the heck I should pick.
If it does become the de facto choice after Twitter and assume something rise to the top of the servers and maybe I’ll join then

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/0denVm4.png)

If Mastodon fails to catch on, I think the main reason, more than the convoluted server deal, is going to be that they're called "toots".

iaintgotnopants wrote:

If Mastodon fails to catch on, I think the main reason, more than the convoluted server deal, is going to be that they're called "toots".

But what else are you supposed to do with your own horn?

I posted in the Twitter thread: @[email protected]

*Legion* wrote:

1. Pick a server to join

merphle wrote:

The "choosing a server" step needs to be improved. There aren't any servers that really appeal to me, so I just chose one of the general servers, though my concern is that if a lot of people are in the same boat as me, it'll basically lead to server centralization again.

Try here: https://instances.social/

There's a search you can see, what interests, if they are open/closed for signup, uptimes, version, etc. A lot of information.

And then looking at an instance frontpage usually has some rules, and some other servers they might block or limit (piracy, porn, etc.). So it's nice to check out places. I found one based in Germany, but English speaking, that seems to be reasonable. So far so good.

@[email protected]

I chose it before really knowing what I was doing, I still don't know. Since it seems to be about building a curated feed, I didn't much care

Super pleased to get you folks on mine!

I think my original account was on a now-defunct server and vanished with the server, which I didn’t know was a thing that could happen and is a huge dis-incentive in creating an account I actually plan to use for anything.

Hmm you know what’s going to keep me off Mastodon for now? The apps aren’t all that great. I found a couple that are fine with the basics, but for things like sharing and showing multiple timelines I haven’t found one I like.

@[email protected]

Not sure, but I'll put down a place to call home and toot from...

Maybe we need a social network called Goodjer, with the rotating Stans as our logo.

I'm here - @[email protected]. We'll see if I actually bother to use it.

PaladinTom wrote:

@[email protected]

I tried following your account, but it couldn't find you. I'm not sure if it's because the server I'm on is not connected to the one you are on or some other reason. It's this aspect of Mastodon that I find most confusing.

Mine: @[email protected]

I’ve got an account for rpg stuff at @[email protected]

I'm @[email protected] at the moment, but that's just the random server I joined. I do find Mastodon's sign up process unintuitive enough to where I do question its ability to succeed Twitter, as most people just want to click a button and go. But, hey, I'll add some people and see how it goes.