New to Mastodon? These 10 minutes are very important.

I’ve been on the fediverse/Mastodon since 2019 and have made some amazing friends.

At the moment, I run SmallCamp, and help moderate Fosstodon along with a fantastic team and over 250 300 350 600 800 950 patrons.

Part 1: looking like an actual person.

  1. Please fill out your bio and make an #introduction post with that hashtag, yes. Look at what other people are posting about to get an idea.
  2. Put up a nice avatar that you like (whether of yourself or your hobbies).

People are much more welcoming when they can see who you are.

Trust me β€” these two things really help when people have locked their profiles and you’re trying to add them.

With these two steps, we are trying to tackle the problem of: “Yes, you know you’re a safe person, but how do I know that?”

People have no qualms about hitting reject… none of them are chasing a high follower count.

So, anyway, once these two steps help you follow more people, your timeline looks more lively. And you want to stay. And you follow more people. And it’s a cycle, see? πŸ™‚

Remind yourself that people on the fediverse/Mastodon have been cultivating a safe space for themselves for months (and for most of us, it is more likely to be years).

Anytime a lot of people join at once and in a short amount of time, like right now, their guard tends to be more up than usual.

The culture on the fediverse is a bit different. And remember, any new social network is always hard at first. It gets better.

Part 2: make a few posts.

two slices of sandwich on brown container

Keep posting about your day and thoughts like it’s 2007 and Twitter hasn’t yet taken off. Just vibe. We’re all here to chill. Mostly.

Find your community, not an audience.

Post about what you had for lunch.

Send a photo out into the internet β€” as long as it’s safe for you to do so β€” about the beach you’re sipping beer at.

Introduce your dog with a selfie or a regular photo.

Psst! Monetisation… that kind of stuff doesn’t work very well here. We’re not Twitter v2.0. We’re just trying to bring the good old, open, social web back.

Part 3: learn the culture.

tilt shift lens photography of street lights

It’s like Twitter, but it’s not Twitter.

You’ll notice a few things that we care about:

  1. Adding a “content warning” to your posts. This is especially true for politics, or any kind of content that might trigger someone. Remember safe space? Yup.
  2. Writing alt text for images… we’re big on this. A lot of disabled people use Mastodon regularly, and in any case, it helps everyone. I know I’ve used alt text before to make sense of some images sometimes.

You’re ready. Go have fun? Say hi.


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