I, and seemingly half the internet, have set up a Mastodon account this past week as Twitter’s future is looking increasingly grim. I’ve been vaguely aware of the Fediverse, but never bothered to learn much about it until this mass Twitter exodus presented the opportunity. My account has been active on the bird site since 2007, albeit mostly in lurker mode. If it disappears tomorrow I won’t lose much. Starting up on Mastodon is an opportunity to reset. This may change as the network grows, but for now it feels safer to share more of myself on there. There’s no algorithm to display what I post to anyone who wasn’t looking for it. It’s a much calmer experience.
Some resources I’ve found helpful as I’m learning both the technical and the cultural aspects of it:
- Mastodon.help crash course
- Why the search function works differently than on Twitter
- Mastodon is just blogs (although push vs. pull)
- Mastodon’s Eternal September begins
- Maya’s knowledge base, particularly the advice section. I’ve been toggling boosts (think retweets) to switch between quickly catching up and just exploring.
I’m still sorting out how to:
- Follow threads. It doesn’t seem to be a native function, and I don’t want to reply just to get notified.
- Mute threads. I haven’t participated in any active discussions yet, so it hasn’t been much of a problem.
- Use the keyboard shortcuts without having to first click on a post. They don’t seem to work at all in Firefox on the standard view, but fare better in the advanced one. Even then, the default focus is on the post text field and no matter how much I tab I can’t seem to get the shortcuts to “kick in” unless I click on something first.
Overall I like it! I’m currently @firstname.lastname@example.org , but plan to migrate to my domain soon. Using it as an opportunity to refresh my rusty terraform/ansible skills.