Mastodon (New Twitter?!) 101

It is now prime time “to join a kinder, nicer, decentralized open source version of Twitter.”

What is Mastodon? 


Mastodon is a free, open-source social network, and it’s a decentralized alternative to commercial platforms. Have you ever wished for a social network without ads everywhere? Yeah! Let’s sign up!!

Oh no! Sign-ups are closed!!

What do we do now? Well, if you click on the picture or follow this link you it takes you to a lost of instances which talk to each other.

What do you mean talk to each other? Well, have you ever used hotmail, or gmail?
It’s the same thing! Just in a micro-blogging setting. Even the “micro” is relative. mastodon.social has in particular offers 500 characters, others are unlimited.

Mastodon usernames work kind of like email addresses. There are several hosts (“instances”) available, so it’s completely up to you which you want to be known on!
To explain further, just like how, say, microsoft@outlook.com can send emails to google@gmail.com, so can users send each other messages, and follow each other across different instances!

In my case I’m maloki@mastodon.social.

What’s an instance?  Server instances can go under several names such as, server, domain, node, or instance. It is just another server place offering a home for mastodons to graze on.

So, mastodon.social isn’t the only option?
No! Let me introduce you to a few options:

witches.town
“Witches Town is made to provide a nice place on Mastodon for queer, feminists, anarchists and stuff. We are mostly french people but you are welcome even if you speak another language.”

memetastic.space
It is a social media experiment where the main aim is to share and discuss dank memes and awful jokes. We aim to bring together the meme communities of Twitter and beyond to form one website filled with the latest trends and jokes.

social.targaryen.house
One among the several mastodon instances in the fediverse. It aims to be an alternative choice, and it’ll federate with other instances. Fire and Blood!

social.tchncs.de
This might be one of the best pieces of software for microblogging you can get right now. We here at tchncs.de are proud to be one of the first instances of Mastodon! Quick updates ensured. Mastodon is compatible and connected to the GNUsocial network.

social.bytesexual.net
A Mastodon instance run by the merry men of bytesexual.net. All fun and no SLA since 2012. Managed by @q3k, follow for service updates.

masto.themimitoof.fr
Français: Bienvenue sur l’instance Mastodon appartenant à themimitoof.fr. L’objectif est de faire durer et faire vivre cette instance le plus longtemps possible. L’instance est régulièrement mise à jour pour bénéficier des récents correctifs et améliorations. Rejoignez-nous !
English: Welcome on Mastodon instance owned by themimitoof.fr . The goal is to make this instance to live as long as possible. The instance is updated to get recent patches and improvements. Join us!

fern.surgeplay.com
A Minecraft-focused Mastodon instance run by SurgePlay. You’re free to talk about anything else, as long as it’s not overly offensive or obnoxious. Please put a warning on any content that others may not want to see. TL;DR: Have fun and don’t be a jerk!

pouet.it
Instance anarchostalinienne et allié·e·s membre de la fédération OStatus (GNU social, Mastodon). Tout enfant abandonné sera détruit.

Full list of instances is available here.

(( If you want to be featured on this list (I’ll try to update it when people provide me info) please send me the url and a blurb to this account: @maloki@mastodon.social ))

But if I move I use all my Twitter people?
Yes, but there’s a help. You can try out this rudimentary bridge to help you connect with your friends from Twitter.
Or you can choose to not to connect, and get a fresh start.
Also, check out hashtags like #introduction and #introductions and #welcome on your server, to see what you find, and why not introduce yourself while you’re at it?

I’ve personally posted a few good-to-know posts under #welcome

So what is this thing anyways?
As introduced at the top of the post, decentralized social network. This particular one is using Mastodon, which is “an alternative implementation of the GNU social project. Based on ActivityStreams, Webfinger, PubsubHubbub and Salmon.

Focus of the project on a clean REST API and a good user interface. Ruby on Rails is used for the back-end, while React.js and Redux are used for the dynamic front-end. A static front-end for public resources (profiles and statuses) is also provided.” (github)

So, now what? 

Now we find a home that fits us, introduce our friends to it!
Also we try to talk to bigger communities which we’d want to be able to connect to people on. And ask them to implement this open-source alternative to let their users connect to the rest of the world. This is the way forward.
You want to “email” to other servers, right?

Good links: 
On the github page there’s also a FAQ.
Someone also wrote this useful guide.
List of mastodon instances
Bridge for Twitter-Mastodon.social (as I’m writing it’s being updated to function for all instances)
Great introduction to some functionalities which I have not brought up here.

Android Apps:

Tusky
TootyFruity

iOS Apps:

Amaroq

More apps can be found here


You can help support me via Patreon, as I may end up spending way too much time and spoons on Mastodon in the near future. <3

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