Quick, Year-Late Guide to this Mastodon Shite

What is it?

A way of doing posts in a way that might scratch a similar itch to posting on Twitter, but it's a significantly different beast. Volunteer run, no tracking, kinda weird but you might like it.

Why would I like it?

Because it's volunteer-run and there's no ads or anything, shitty behaviour tends to get short shrift. There's less of the rage-bait dynamics of other social media too. People who like it find it suits their head a bit better than other social media. Harassing people for belonging to a minority gets you kicked you out fast, if you're on a half-decent server. There are toxic servers out there too, so do try one that's been recommended to you or is on the official list as these should be ok. Nice servers have usually blocked known toxic servers, so you won't see their stuff.

I / my friend went on it late last year and nearly got lectured to death about how to post, that still a thing?

It's not as bad as it was, the ones who made things a bit tedious last November seem to have wandered off or calmed down. It was fairly mortifying to be honest, people who seemed sound got bullied away, essentially. It seems to have died off in the new year but you can't blame anyone for saying "no thanks" based on it.

Do I need to put a trigger warning on everything?

No. There's CW's, which is short for content wrapper. People use them for different things, including trigger warning type stuff, but also spoiler warnings for a programme or just "boring stuff I'm into" wrapping of detailed content. Don't panic over it, feel it out. Using them isn't a rule.

Is picking a server a big stress?

No, just try any half normal server for a start, you could use mastodon.ie or any server from this list which are all fairly ok for most people's purposes.

If you decide you don't like a server, you can migrate to a different one (bit of a handling but nothing too serious). There's no handy way to migrate all of your media (photos, images, videos) so if you're big into that, maybe you do need to be fussier at the start.

Am I limited to that server somehow?

No, a server is your vantage point on the whole Mastodon ecosystem. You can see and follow stuff from anywhere.

The only exception is accounts and servers that get blocked by the mods of your home server. You're not going to agree with all such decisions, but the vast majority are a no-brainer, believe me. And if you break the rules of your server badly enough, mods can delete your account, so do read those rules. In that scenario you could still join another server that suits you better, with a new account.

Each server has a "local feed" which is all public posts by people who have it as their home server. How much or how little you even look at that is up to you.

Is mastodon.ie restricted to Irish people?

No. It sort of was very early on, and then in November we limited to people who were posting in Irish or English, but that was just because moderation was very hard to keep on top of. That's not an issue now.

The only restriction now is that people respect each other and follow the few short rules. Current mix ranges from Irish people giving Mastodon a go, to people from all corners who like how the server is run. People find servers they like more sometimes.

Who is running it?

Mastodaoine CLG is a not-for-profit set up to run and legally represent mastodon.ie

Members fund the server costs using Open Collective. As long as there's funds to pay those bills the server will be up, it won't disappear overnight in a rage quit scenario. Right now things are sustainable.

What app should I use?

Not the official one for Android or iPhone, they're confusing for a newbie.

The website is grand on mobile or desktop if you'd rather no app.

If you like an app:

  • Android, try Tusky
  • iPhone, try Icecubes for Mastodon

Once you're well set up you might find you prefer another app, but don't overthink it.

Ok What Else Do I Need to Know?

Try this thread of handy tips I wrote.

This might have been handy to have last November

Yeah. Life stuff. You know yourself.

Take me to mastodon.ie

Take me to the river