Hey everyone, I'm working on a guide on how to thrive on Mastodon. If youve been here for more than three months, I'm curious if you would have any advice for a new user to get them to stick around and not bounce off.
All comments welcome, feel free to boost.
What we really need is a directory of instances by theme/focus, not just by level of rules enforcement.
My most important advice is start on a smaller instance, follow lots of people, and don't be afraid to butt in on conversations as long as your goal is not to be offensive. And if you're accidentally offensive and apologize sincerely, people will forgive you and life will go on.
@srol I'd recommend letting folks know that they might not replicate their experiences on Twitter or Facebook and that is okay. This isn't about making things sticky so you never leave. It's okay to disconnect and come back when you're ready. You don't have to use Mastodon all the time to gain some benefit from it.
@srol Also I think it's important to understand that you can't win Mastodon. On Twitter and Facebook you can try to have the most followers and the most engagement. But distributed systems don't cater to that thinking. You can't be the one with the most engagement or the most followers because each system is different.
Though I suppose that this isn't too different from the open web and our brief flirting with centralized/standardized systems or environments has led me to think that that is/ought to be the norm.
@srol Been on mastodon.xyz since the beginning of April this year (one of the first 300 on the instance).
I started out on mastodon.social, but moved across when it started creaking under the weight of new users.
I've found lurking on the local & federated timelines to be a good way to find people to follow, and have always found my fellow Mastodonauts to be a generally friendly bunch.
* Don't be afraid to ask for help (:*
* Beware of pizzas bearing pineapple (;*
1. Your instance admin (nor the relative obscurity of being on the fediverse) is not a shield against brigade behavior.
2. Different instances not only have different sizes and cultures, they also have different web interfaces.
3. Hashtags, & reaching out to others: Use 'em, and do it.
4. People aren't who you think they are; don't judge too quickly, or you'll be the one on the mute lists.
5. Corporate social media is still there if you need to be protected from normal human interaction.
@srol Talk to people you don't know!
This seems obvious but coming from the low engagement rates of Twitter, it isn't so obvious.
Also, check to see if interesting toots in the public timelines already have replies. Those are both great ways to find new people to follow.
@srol Make an introductions with tags, follow a bunch of people (possibly by finding them posting on said tags), and do not be afraid of posting public toots and/or engage with those!
And choose an instance with a theme you like, you'll find people with a similar mindset
@srol I’ve been on over a year. One thing that worked for me: don’t wait or only be here is those from other sites are here. One great thing about here is the opportunity to meet new people and create a new community. Some ppl I know have left because their friends from elsewhere aren’t here. But I find that nice in the sense that I’ve made new friends. I use this space differently than I do other social spaces for that reason.
@srol and then there’s the usual—find one or two people to follow, follow their followers, etc
@srol If you see a particular toot you like, don't hesitate to say so to the author. That's a nice way to make new friends.
Also, follow a lot of people. A lot. If you liked someone toot, don't overthink it and just press "follow". There's rarely so much activity that it will make your TL unreadable anyway.
Finally: don't hesitate to mute people or instances that you find too annoying. And don't be a crybaby if you are muted. Nobody has to be able to read or like what you say. Just move on.
@srol I would advise people to follow anyone who seems interesting, whether you know them -- or even know of them -- or not. I've found some amazing people here, simply through one of their off-hand random posts. Add people shamelessly and fearlessly. You can always stop following them later, if they turn out to be turnip heads.
@ernie @srol People should be more welcoming and no doubt many of them are, but recently I read a Toot which said that the person hated seeing languages other than english on their profile, this goes against openness and principles of web, like Mastodon already provides settings to modify, but anything that makes them feel they donot belong here seems to be against the principles mastodon is designed for. What do you think?
@ernie @srol Definitely it goes against the diversity and limits the number of people that can benefit from the web since the content is primarily designed for English Readers, that's just wrong, most of the world does not speak english, twitter although still can be improved has a healthy number of people posting internationalized content, but many in west don't see it since it's a different bubble
@srol I signed up last October and then didn't come back till April this year because the standard theme is inaccessible for me. What has made me stay since then is finding stylish scripts that made the theme more accessible and installing an app on my phone that integrates multiple Mastodon and Twitter feeds as well as finding good people to follow!
@srol This sentiment's been brought up once or twice already, but probably the most important thing is to not feel bad about butting in and giving your input once in a while. Also the higher character limit allows a lot more room for nuance in individual posts, so don't be afraid to put it to use.
@srol I've been here a bit. I've googled, asked followers, and asked on tags and still don't know how to find good instances. There are tools to sort by rules, but none to look by topic/vibe. I've seen shade in .social at those of us still stuck in only .social, but no help which is frustrating
@srol Pick a large or mid-large instance, and camp the FTL for a few days to build up a follow list.
Then export it, head to a medium or small instance that seems more inline with your ideals and import your following list there.
(With the new version you can even redirect from one account to the other.)
a) Pick the right server (i.e. check you're happy with the mod rules & the people you'll be connecting with)
b) Learn what makes Mastodon different from Twitter in the first place
c) Figure out the interface. The top-left corner gives you access to the wider fediverse 👍
d) Don't be a dick. It's a good rule for life, but on Mastodon the threshold for BS is a lower
e) Make new friends here! You did it before on Twitter, you can do it here too 🙂
* tagging is important
* Understand how your various timelines work, someone had a great graphic for that
* finding people to follow is hard but you'll get there eventually
* I sometimes search for tags I'm interested in and follow people that use those
* Every instance has a different feel and theme to it
@srol TWO TIPS:
1. Making an effort to disengage from that other birdsite and to focus on this one, bookmark this, set it as a fav or homepage and delete the other one from browsers/phone.
2. Only following HUMANS and/or weird bots. No media/news. If you're here because you're tired of the mental exhaustion that comes with that other birdsite, then make this place about human interaction, those early days of social media where it's just cool people engaging with other cool people.
Thank you everyone for your feedback. If you are a new Mastodon user, check the replies to the original message. More good advice than I'll be able to include.
@srol @angristan Follow a few accounts you find interesting (<10). Reply their toots from time to time. Post something once in a while. Write about stuff you are keen on. You don't have to share personal/private stuff. Use tags (browse them too), this is a way of reach others.
Don't spend too much time here.
it's build and maintained by it's user. If you have resources to share, feel encouradged to do so.
@srol Pay attention to the URL bar. It matters because you can end up reading something on another instance.
Also, any URL an be pasted into the search bar. This is helpful because due to quirks of federation, it's sometimes the only way to find a remote post or a remote person.
Also, I wrote this 🙂 https://github.com/nolanlawson/resources-for-mastodon-newbies
@srol I'd compiled a set of refs that /used/ to be in my profile bio link, though that seems to have disappeared. It's still on the Internet Archive though:
@srol Try to be on Mastodon because either A) you know someone there and want to communicate with them, or B) you are looking to communicate with a very specific community/group of people about a common subject.
Try not to think of Mastodon as a way to make new communication happen, but as a way to help facilitate already communication.
@srol Can you thrive from a single-user instance? That's an issue I feel isn't covered anywhere if you google.
I was worried about creating my account on the wrong instance, so instead I set up my own on my VPS to try it out, and keep control of my data. No interest in admin'ing other users.
Tooting from my instance, I am an isolated island. If I had fame/notoriety/importance, then it could work out? For just reading it works fine.
Maybe a hub only boosting registered SU-instances would help?