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.

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.

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.

That said, does anyone want to help me create a directory of instances by theme? I can do the research and writing, and maybe some HTML, but I don't know how to do backend

@DialMforMara @srol yes. I would love a searchable list of instances that I can search by theme and other parameters.

@DialMforMara @srol That's a fantastic idea. However, because new instances appear all the time, hard to maintain without crowdsourcing.

@DialMforMara @srol Yeah but let’s be honest, the actual content filling most instances doesn’t actually reflect any stated theme. There are a couple exceptions, sure, but imo not enough to make a directory.

@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.

@craigmaloney @srol I've been wondering about how this might affect behavior, as one's content might crop up in environments with highly divergent perspectives.

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 since the beginning of April this year (one of the first 300 on the instance).

I started out on, 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 (;*

@srol find one of the smaller, preferably where you already know people, and try to foster community.

@srol I focused on finding new people who share my hobbies, via tag-surfing, rather than trying to drag all my friends over here.

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 for new users use #introductions tag and find other newbies & it's a great way of meeting people who have been here for a while.

@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 Read the general feed, find people who interest you, and follow them. That has worked for me. Don't,tvworry about who follows you, focus on who you follow.

@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 think @Ewakhine had post a lot of tips with a special hastag few months ago 😃

@Drulac @srol Some of them are both french and english : I hope this can help you and I see that you had a lot of advices, that's good!

@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.

@srol for me it was being braver and following people. It populated my federated timeline with more relevant stuff.

@srol Honestly? Reply to people in the federated feed who seem nice for a little while, follow people you make conversation with and just let the ball roll from there

@srol This is cool. I like Mastodon but I feel like I don't dive in as much as I'd like. It feels like a great community has built around it, but I'd love to see how people are maximizing it.

@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?

@computistic @srol I think there's a distrust in the Western world of anything that isn't English. It's wrong, of course. I think you're right to say that it goes against open web principles. Mastodon is at a place right now where it can open up a lot of worlds, much like Twitter once did.

@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


* Learn to mute conversations
* Boost questions that people ask, so if you can't answer, your network can
* #Tag things if they are relevant, since search doesn't work as expected

Interacting with people on federated was my biggest thing. Not feeling obligated to follow or hold up conversations because these are meet'n'greet people to have real casual interactions with.

@srol The big one for me: you won't follow as many people right away as you currently do on birdsite. It'll seem quieter. Use this to examine what you want and who you want to follow. Maybe get to change some patterns.

@srol stop worrying about engagement metrics and boost/fave counts, remind yourself that you’re here for human interaction and enjoying everyone’s company.

@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 find an instance with people who gel well with you.

@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.)

@srol this isn't a useful answer and I'm sorry for vaguely shitposting but:

the thing that got me to stay was being run off Twitter


* 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.

@srol Thanks for this very informative feed. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks and have struggled with how to connect. Lots of great advice here. I look forward to getting to know more of you.


Fediverse survival guide Unlike Twitter, usernames are not unique.

If you're expecting to be a celebrity with millions of followers then you're out of luck. Mass broadcast is not what federated systems are about.

Instances means servers which federate posts between them.

There isn't any guaranteed way to delete or edit a post, so think twice before you post.

This is a purely public system. If you want genuinely private chat then use other apps, such as Conversations.

Be nice. Avoid outrage culture and block users who engage in that.

Don't be afraid to block bad users or bad instances, but keep instance blocks to the minimum possible because collective punishment is bad and it's good to have opinions which are not hostile but merely different.

Run your own instance if you can. This increases the robustness of the federation overall, and reduces the risk from bad admins. The more users there are on a single instance, the more likely it is to turn into a Twitter-like hellscape.

@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 🙂

@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 sadly I cannot see any answers to your toot :(

@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?

@srol would be interested to see the finished article. I’m a new user and it’s a bit of a mine field.

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