How to Fediverse

Since everyone is finally joining Fediverse as the maniac burns down Twitter shitbird, I have some more advice, after 6 years on (plus some OStatus way back when):

  1. Don't be a dick. Be kind, and even if you like arguing (as I do), don't go off the rails. We're hopefully here to have fun and build little communities. This isn't the Torment Nexus®, it's not a hell where your punishment is to be with every other shitbird user forever.

  2. Pick any instance except or, those are run by mstdn gGmbh (aka Gargamel), gigantic, massively overloaded, poorly moderated now and for the foreseeable future. Also don't join an instance blocked by everyone else, see the list of moderated servers - if in doubt, ask a friend on already on fediverse.

  3. Set your avatar, write a bio. Put your interests in there. Blank accounts might be pigs or advertisers. We fear faceless intruders.

  4. Toot (what we call posts) at least an - maybe pin that on your profile (ellipses … menu under the toot).

  5. THEN you can follow people, see Local or Federated timelines or look thru follows/mentions. If you know someone's @userid@host, put that in the search box, hit enter, it'll show up in a list, and you can pick it there.

  6. When you write something good, pin it. Read pinned toots to know who and what people are. I'm amused by people faving all my pins, but it's a little noisy.

  7. CW (content warning) ANYTHING someone might be bugged by. ESPECIALLY politics, pictures which might be even a little slutty or eye-contact, gross, whatever. CW anything that might annoy or trigger someone. If you don't do this, you will be rapidly blocked by almost everyone. This is maybe the single most important bit of etiquette.

  8. When you toot pictures, write a description. It doesn't have to be long, but the key text & image & context. There are blind users, and those on text-only interfaces. There are online OCR sites or on macOS/iOS you can just open it, copy-paste the text. If the picture is NSFW or blinking or otherwise annoying, hit NSFW to blur it out until it's clicked on.

  9. Don't crosspost from shitbird. "Free content!", no. Nobody wants that, nobody will read you.

  10. Favorite just sends a "hey, cool" beep to the author of the toot. Boost sends it to your followers as well. There is no algorithm, just a timeline! So if you like something, boost it!

    • If you don't like seeing a lot of boosts from someone, open their profile, and hit ellipses … and "Hide boosts from user".
    • If you don't like seeing ANY boosts, open 3-seashells ㆔ menu under Home, and uncheck "Show boosts".
  11. Full-text search doesn't exist mostly; some servers allow searching your own toot text only. Hashtags, userids, and toot URLs can be searched for. Put in all your toots that you want to find again, or want anyone to see in a topic search! should be camelCasedLikeThat, for screen readers; avoid punctuation in hashtags.

  12. Mastodon starts in a single-column simplified UI. It has a much better mode:

    1. Settings, Advanced Web Interface, check. Back to UI, and you have 3+ columns.
    2. The 3-seashells ㆔ menu on each column lets you modify it.
    3. Search for a hashtag, hit the 3 seashells under that search, +Pin.
    4. Hit 3-seashells ㆔ again, add even more tags, so you can have your own constant search for a whole topic.

    There are also lists of users, so you can see JUST the important stuff, and in the next update (rolling out to servers soonish) you can follow a hashtag, but that puts it in Home, which may be too busy.

Welcome to fedi, here's your pineapple and jorts.