Troubleshooting & How-Tos 📡 🔍

Wrapping Your Head Around Mastodon

I’ve been on Mastodon* for several years now, and it’s completely replaced Twitter (excuse me, “X”) for me.

It is a shift in perspective on how social media works, so here are a few tips to help wrap your head around it:

1. Mastodon isn’t a single company or service. It’s software. It’s a type of service.

Policies, moderation and admin are handled separately by each site. Just like there’s no central Email administration, but Gmail and Outlook have their own policies, spam filters and admins.

2. Picking a site seems challenging because we’re not used to doing that anymore. Each has its own community flavor, but you can still follow and talk with people on other sites, and you can migrate to another one anytime you want. No need to stress out over where to start!

3. Once you’re in, it’s almost a Twitter clone, with some key differences due to:

  • Accounts being spread out.
  • Design choices.
  • Culture.

Dive in, by all means, but read the room!

4. It does take some effort to get started. Twitter throws a lot at you, but on Mastodon you have to look for people. Fortunately there are lists of interesting posters like and curators of recommendations like

5. Think of Mastodon as a type of account (like email), and the server you sign up with as where your account lives (like Gmail or Yahoo). For example: I’m at, so I have a Wandering.Shop account that speaks Mastodon. (Mastodonian?**)

6. Finally, There’s a whole “Fediverse” out there of other software that talks together, some for general purpose social networking, and some specialized like:

Within your Mastodon account you can also follow a Pixelfed account, read a WriteFreely blog, post a link to a Lemmy community or reply to a post, repost a Peertube video, or comment on someone’s BookWyrm book review.