How to try out the fediverse and actually keep using it

Posted: 2020-02-11 19:03:56 |
Last update: 2020-02-11 19:08:02

The Fediverse is not twitter.

People who try it out because they are fed up with the bad moderation on twitter will mostly think this is a bad thing, however once you get used to it, you will see how it might actually be better for you.

One of the main differences is that on fedi, the percentage of users with a "locked" account is way higher. This is because you still get to write public posts with a hidden account -in addition to private ones to the followers you allowed. An incredibly useful feature. It also means that you will probably not be able to follow everyone you want out of the box. Try to write an introduction post, add a bio (with pronouns) and profile picture (can be whatever, just don't leave it as the default) and you will see that more people will accept your request and start following back. -Follow back "culture" is a lot more common on fedi than on twitter so you will gain a small amount of followers pretty quickly.

But how do I even find people to follow?

This one thing is, in my opinion, the thing most new users fail at and abandon the platform. You don't get some popup telling you to select your interests and follow random people that talk about them, hashtags aren't used as much and the trending feature on Mastodon.. exists... barely. The thing I would like to tell new users is that they should probably get an instance with like-minded people and hang around the federated timeline a lot. This timeline will display public posts by people others on your instance follow and you can quickly find great new accounts. As soon as you follow a couple (hundred) people, fedi will no longer feel "empty" in comparison to your twitter timeline. -You are still more likely to see everything the timeline has to show you, which is because it is not written in a way that makes you feel like you're missing out every minute you're not spending on social media; something I certainly believe is a good thing.

But I miss my old friends

This was the most painful thing about leaving twitter. I still miss many of my former mutuals and I am always incredibly happy when I see one has made an account on a fediverse instance. But you don't have to do it as I did. There is absolutely no shame in using both fedi and twitter. There are a lot of tools that will actually help you manage your social medias in a way that doesn't force you to spend twice as much time on them:

Crossposting guide

I am not a fan of twitter crossposting. But hear me out. A nice person cross posting their twitter posts to fedi still makes me happier than a nice person I cannot read from at all. I just wish everyone followed a few "guidelines" in their crossposting endeavours. These are

  1. Please do not cross post retweets. It is just not a great experience following someone who mostly posts those.
    • That also includes quote retweets. We don't need to see your take on the latest twitter discourse on fedi. You can leave it on twitter.
  2. Please do not cross posts mentions and replies.
  3. Maybe consider a regex that just drops all posts that contain the word "twitter". Most meta posting will not matter to people on fedi.
  4. Use a cross poster that supports content warnings and use them. CNs are one of the best features of fedi and your usage of them will make your account more accessible
  5. Install a fedi client and look at the notifications from time to time. It's not nice talking to a wall and maybe you'll realise that your mentions on fedi are a lot nicer than the ones you get on twitter and make new friends. (As long as you don't post about tech)

Closing remarks

Just as almost every blogpost, this is just one person giving their opinion on a topic nobody asked them about. I just wish more people could give the fediverse a chance and maybe actually end up leaving the proprietary data silos that pay for billionaire's yachts with the content anticapitalists write for them for free.

Maybe this will inspire you to give the fediverse (another) try and hopefully stick around.

If you've got any questions, you can always reach me on the contact email provided.