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A couple of people from various instances have mentioned that is confusing at first. So I decided to write a comprehensive guide on how to get started with Mastodon.

Hopefully this helps new users to Mastodon. Please do Boost if you feel it could be useful to others.

kevq.uk/how-does-mastodon-work

@kev Great guide! I'd already read a few guides, and this is one of the clearer ones. I didn't realize that federation was driven by user follows—I thought it was something admins had to opt into. Very interesting!

Minor nit: The links to instances in your unordered list aren't displaying correctly (they show the Markdown source instead of the link)

@kev A really useful guide Kev, thanks. Reminds me I should POSSE more to my Mastodon and less direct tweets to T******! #indieweb

@kev @Gargron
Nice report. Congrats! I've seen similar ones but in Spanish (anyway faithfully your initial disclaimer is true about English).

Only a bit of disagree: I use favs as bookmarks, not really "likes".

@kev huh, apparently cloudflare doesn't allow me to see "email addresses" (instances in your blog) because javascript is disabled by default

@kev Very good work! Two tweaks I'd be tempted to make:

- in "The Fediverse", it might be worth noting that you don't have to remember everyone's full @name@instance; folks unfamiliar with Masto might inadvertently see that as a point of friction. Perhaps a screenshot showing the usual autocomplete once you start entering someone's username?

- in "Moderation Tools", perhaps note (AFAIK) that reports are sent to /your/ instance's admin, and /if you choose/, to the remote admin as well.

@kev Great article! I have some quibbles though. I believe the federated timeline is the sum of all the toots from accounts followed by users on your instance. Also federation is not unique to Mastodon. Federation is a property of ActivityPub, which Mastodon is built on. I know it is easy to overwhelm users with seemingly minor details but if users see Mastodon as equal to ActivityPub and no one uses Pleroma, or Pixelfed or other networks than we really haven't made progress.

@kev Thanks your great article !
Just a question : if I created a new instance without knowing any user on another instance, does this mean that my instance would stay isolated from the fediverse for ever ? If yes, can we conclude that there can be several separated fediverses ?

@kev Nice and simple, except trying to explain federation discovery, which cannot be simply explained.

Perhaps make mention when talking about the timelines that these are only the *public* toots; that unlisted, private, and reply toots aren't shown there?

Maybe it's outside your scope, but mention that the Fediverse isn't just Mastodon, that other services can use the same underlying tech in a compatible way?

@kev Also possibly outside the scope: You're not stuck with the first instance you pick, you can move if you find one you like better, and you can have multiple accounts if you like (and many do)

@kev great work!! I was thinking about make something like that but in spanish, so, I ask you, Can I translate your document with your credit and permission?

@kev

That is a terrific article!

The only thing I thought could use clarification is which h instance admins get notified when you report a user. I believe it is the reporting user's instance only... correct?

@kev It looks fine to me, and Im playing with for less than 5 mins. I just need 2 find where I can turn on and Im good

@kev Just got here (again) from that post via HN. Cleared a few things for me. Thanks!

@kev what is the license of this publication? I'd like to translate it on my website, are you OK with this? :)

@kev found your article on hackernews and joined mastodon for the first time. Thanks for sharing!

@kev many thanks, great overview.
As you mention instances are often based on interest - I would like to see groups of interests within an instance. E.g. if there's an instace for a region, it would be useful for me to join a group about a specific interest of people living in that region. I wouldn't like to open separate instances for each group of interest.

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Fosstodon

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.