In our previous post Beyond the Nest, we discussed how to move to Mastodon from Twitter, but one important point we didn’t cover was how to choose the instance you should settle on.
Unlike Twitter where there is only one place to join Twitter there are many many sites you can join to become part of Mastodon. Each site has its own rules and themes and can make a big difference to your Mastodon experience. All of these separate sites all communicate with each other to create the Fediverse, a loose collection of sites that share data so we can all play together. It might sound complicated but it really isn’t.
But as with all groups it is important to find those that share your values and interests so that you start with a positive experience. That being said, joining an instance is not forever. If you find that you haven’t made the best choice for you it is completely possible to pack up and move to a new home.
In a lot of ways this starts you off with a big advantage, you can play in a smaller pool until you get the feel of how people act, and interact on your instance and then expand to find people who you want to follow on other instances and explore without ever leaving the home you have built.
I will share my journey to how I decided on the instance that I chose.
I initially joined mastodon.social frankly because it was the first listed instance and one of the largest. The link embedded will take you to the about page for that instance and that is a fine place to start. I suggest that for any instance you are thinking about, you should also look at the server rules page and scroll the local timeline while you are at it. Remember that all instances have a website since that is how most people access mastodon on their PC.
Research, research, research!
Choosing a instance matters, and while it isn’t a lifelong commitment, you don’t want to be migrating all of the time. I did decide to move from my first instance because it wasn’t the best fit for me (I like a bit more sex and kink in my local timeline) and so I moved to kinkyelephant.com. Will I stay there forever? who knows. But it is a good fit for now.
But where should you start looking? Well, here is a fine place to start Join Mastodon. It is not a complete list of instances because not everyone has chosen to list their instance, but a fine beginning. Many of your friends may have already started a Mastodon account so ask around on your existing social media network for suggestions. I will link a few that you might find interesting
These are just a few suggestion and just the tip of the iceberg. As always Your Mileage May Vary and please, read and follow all the rules of the instance you pick. When in doubt add a content warning, and always Alt Text your images.
I know anything new can be a challenge, even learning twitter was a trial back in the day. But there is nothing to be worried about moving to Mastodon. I know I have found it to be a wonderful and much more interactive place. Most importantly, it is run by people, and often, your people.
Tell us in the comments if you have found your people and where you found them to help others find their way.
Author, Blogger, Photographer, Speaker. Director of Operations for Eroticon