For more years than I care to remember, I have been on Twitter. However, Twitter is not the place it used to be, so I started to look at the alternatives, and hence I am now on Mastodon (if you have come here from Mastodon, the rest of my blog is here).
So far, the most difficult thing about getting started on Mastodon was figuring out how to sign-up. As Mastodon is not one place, it is software that runs in many different places, you have to choose which of those places you want to join, but once you have joined one, you can become part of them all.
Yeah, that does sound rather confusing, doesn’t it. OK, here is the thing, the software which runs Mastodon is open-source and anyone who wants to can set up a server to run it on. Each of these servers with Mastodon installed on it is called an instance. All of these instances are part of a network and message can be passed between the instances. Think of it as being like email, it doesn’t matter if you sign up with Hotmail, Google or have your own email severe, you can still send and receive email from all the other services.
There are literally thousands of instances with one to tens of thousands of members, and you can join anyone that will have you (some are fussier than others). You can find help on deciding which instance to join here. Many instances are open to anyone who is happy to sign up to the rules of that instance (yes, there are rules, set by the owner of the instance, read them before joining). With the wave of people coming in from Twitter, some instances are not taking on new members, some you need to request an invitation, some are even charging a small amount (this is usually to cover server costs, or in the case of mastodon.green plant trees).
When it came to it, I chose to go with mastodon.scot simple because I live in Scotland and I didn’t have to think any more about what I was mainly going to “Toot” about.
So, if you want to find me on Mastodon, I am firstname.lastname@example.org, but I am also still on Twitter as @kim_harding. Not sure that I will be on Twitter for much longer, so I downloaded my archive, which can be viewed here.
If you are thinking of doing the same, there are some really useful tips here.