Dear new users:

It's alright to take your time and get up to speed on here. You don't have to hit the ground running. You might have picked up the habit of interacting with social media as it it were naturally a competitive performance--we all did--but the best thing about Mastodon and the fediverse beyond it is that it's not like that. Take some time to decompress.

It took me about six months to fully drop the armor that I'd been wearing from being on other sites. That was three years ago. This place changes lives.

Also, it's okay to be picky. Sign up at a new instance, if the first one you pick isn't the best fit possible. You'll find your home, and folks here understand it takes trial and error.

Above all, take a deep breath. What feels weird now will make sense pretty quickly.

Glad to have you.

@erosdiscordia Absolutely browse around the instances or even consider self hosting your own (that’s what I do - kinda - check Just bear in mind that switching instances and automatically keeping your followers isn’t possible. Once you have more followers this could be painful.

Also, you don't have react immediatly to everything.

It is still possible to come back and reply later, there are favourite and bookmarks tools that can be used.

I should really cut down on pre or during coffe too... posting it seems to be full of spelling and other mistakes.

@AxisMundi @erosdiscordia and what even is an instance? I just went with a popular one, but don’t really get the point of them. It doesn’t limit who you can interact with, so what do they do?

@Calaham Instances have different codes of conduct and moderation. They can be on a theme/topic as well as being generalist. Your local timeline is the other (public) posts on your own instance, it's like your virtual neighborhood in the fediverse.

And it can limit who you interact with. Any responsible instance will block many others; since anyone can set up an instance for whatever reason, many of them are bigoted/harmful.
@AxisMundi @erosdiscordia

@bright_helpings @AxisMundi @erosdiscordia So I am limited to interact with only the people in my instance? I can’t interact with mastodon as a whole? Like Twitter.

@Calaham You can interact with other instances as easily as with your own (you and I are doing this now, notice), the same way you can email anyone from your email account, it doesn't matter if they have Gmail or an ISP email address or their own email setup or what.

The kinds of limits I mentioned as an instance feature just mean that if your instance blocks another one, it limits you seeing each other. @AxisMundi @erosdiscordia

@bright_helpings @AxisMundi @erosdiscordia Thank you for your help, I still don’t really get it… but I’m going to stick around and hopefully I’ll grasp it eventually 😂

@Calaham each instance is it's own community, but they are federated using a standad, which means you can talk to any other community (even things that aren't mastodon!) that uses the same standard. That's how I'm on and talking to you on

There's no big company like twitter; almost all the instances are run by volunteers, and simply agree to cooperate

The people who run an instance can block users or even whole communities if they cause problems; this is a feature, and why you should pick an instance where the rules and policies align with the experience you want

@AxisMundi Same way you did that one! You can pick a username and password on as many instances as you want. @erosdiscordia

@AxisMundi Just go to the signup page and register - you can have as many accounts on as many instances as you like, and you don’t need a different email address for each one

@ghost_bird Wouldn't it be easier to just do it "preferences" or something like that? Have to re-register just because I have a new interest seems draconian.

@AxisMundi Instances are very loose groupings - it’s not like a discord channel, say. More of a vibe than anything

@erosdiscordia So true. We are not in a hurry. There is no social pressure. If you want to drop by every 6 months, that's 100% okay.

@erosdiscordia maybe a silly question but is there a way to move an acct from one instance to another?

@haruspex @erosdiscordia im a little rusty so i might be out of date on this, but there is a transfer account feature which will import your follows/followers and set your old account to point to your new one when people look at it but if people you're following have "request to follow" turned on then your new account wont be following them until they accept.

@haruspex @erosdiscordia so it works pretty well but you can lose a few people in the move or at least itll take a while to get back everyone.

@davemakesgames @haruspex @erosdiscordia I have used this to move from to my current instance. Worked like a charm.

Caveat: posts are not moved over. I was fine with that.

There was also a bug in the Mastodon 3.5.1 that made broke this functionality, not sure if it's already fixed. Unfortunate that it got into the 3.5.1 release, really.

@erosdiscordia Thank you, this makes me feel so much better! I think part of the reason I'm finding Mastodon so overwhelming is that it's so fundamentally different from other SM sites. Which is ultimately good and what I want, just feels frustrating to not have my sea legs yet.

@erosdiscordia I tried to do a migration but since I'm very smart I did it out of order. Now I have no alias for the new account because it errors every time I try. It looks like this is a bug that's gonna be fixed soon, but when it's fixed is the 30 day migration lock gonna reset?

@erosdiscordia oh also it looks like the followers just kinda got launched into the ether, once the alias exists will they be brought safely home?

@erosdiscordia love that. It really seems like this platform is not incentivizing competition of ideas but rather the collaboration of thoughts, which is really cool.

@erosdiscordia thanks, especially the part of picking the "right" instance. Still not sure if "my" instance really fits to me.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.