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Mastodon instances to check out

This feels like the time to try Mastodon if I’m going to. It sounds like the instance you choose shapes who’s in the main feed besides who you follow so it contributes to the tenor of your experience and is where you would most likely find new people to follow. So even though it’s apparently not that hard to move (besides leaving behind your content), it seems worthwhile to pick somewhere with an interesting general timeline.

C.im – large & generalist

Social.coop – smaller but over 1k users, focused on collective work

Universeodon.com – encouraging curiosity?

Zirk.us – 1k users, focused on culture and humanities

Masthead.social – large news-focused

Social.seattle.wa.us – small and local

IndieWeb.social – for people into the Indie Web

Added 11/9: Fosstodon.org – large community focused on technology and open source projects (thanks for the tip Michael)

Instance search tool

I remain quite wary of recreating the conditions that made Twitter addictive for me.

I know context collapse is bad but the randomness of Twitter is part of the appeal (and its slot machine random rewards addictiveness).

Also, it’s good there’s a place to have meaningful discussions for those who want them, but I’m not really looking for a place to debate serious things? Conflict upsets me and isn’t what I’m looking to add to my life. I’m more interested in picking people to listen to and learn from.

And while shit posting is fun, I don’t need to give myself a new outlet for it — the small amount of friction to write a blog post is useful for stopping me from dumping an emotionally fueled rant, plus the longer space nudges me to add more nuance.

What I am leaning towards is either installing the activity pub WordPress plugin so others can follow me and using my own site to reply, or turning on Activity Pub support in micro.blog, and following individuals from there. I like the idea of adding people’s mastodon RSS feeds into my feed reader but it might be weird to have shortform content (and probably a lot) mixed in with full blog posts, so following with micro.blog where shorter posts are the norm might be a better fit.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

2 replies on “Mastodon instances to check out”

I have no experience with the WordPress ActivityPub plugin, so it might be equally good, but Micro.blog’s ActivityPub support definitely seems like a good option for someone who just wants to dip their toe into Mastodon/the Fediverse and doesn’t want a whole firehose. You can’t “like” Mastodon posts from Micro.blog (as far as I know), but it doesn’t sound like that would bother you. I know I’ve spent waaaay too much time on Mastodon in recent days and not enough time writing, so if you haven’t already gone down the rabbit hole, it sounds very sensible to hold back 😉

Thanks for the input! Haha, I’ve been worried if I let myself loose I will be totally distracted from writing, so I’m trying to take my time and think things through before I let myself go wild 😂

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