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New people, welcome to Mastodon and the Fediverse!

Here's how to get started:

1. Find some people to follow over on @FediFollows, and through Trunk (communitywiki.org/trunk)

2. Find out your Mastodon/Fediverse address so you can share it with friends (mstdn.social/@feditips/1072482)

3. Invite people to join you on here by telling them to go to joinmastodon.org and click on "Get Started". It doesn't matter if they join a different server because the servers talk to each other (here's a bit more of an explanation mstdn.social/@feditips/1070214)

4. Find out what the Fediverse is (mstdn.social/@feditips/1070440)

5. Find out why Mastodon being on so many different servers/instances is a really good thing (mstdn.social/@feditips/1070837)

6. If you see anything nasty, you can report it to your friendly server admin (mstdn.social/@feditips/1065401)

7. You can (sort of) verify your account if you own a website (mstdn.social/@feditips/1062741)

If you have any questions, @ me or DM me!

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As an alternative to FediTips, you might want to also check out @noelle's "Increasingly Less-Brief Guide to Mastodon":

github.com/joyeusenoelle/Guide

It's got slightly different takes on many issues, but hopefully seeing a different perspective will give you a fuller understanding of how Mastodon works.

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If you want to repost any of these hints in your own language, please feel free!

They are meant to be spread as far as possible 👍

FediTips boosted

By default, Mastodon has a 500 character limit for posts.

However, you may have seen posts with more than 500 characters.

This is possible because Mastodon is just one type of server on the Fediverse. Many of the accounts you interact with on here may be using different server types with different character limits.

For example, there are modified "forked" versions of Mastodon such as Glitch (glitch-soc.github.io/docs/) and Hometown (github.com/hometown-fork/homet) which allow server admins to easily change the character limits.

There are also completely different kinds of servers such as Friendica (friendi.ca) which have much larger default limits.

Because the Fediverse uses a common technical standard for communication, different kinds of servers talk to each other seamlessly, and you won't necessarily notice which server types people use. (I'm on a server running Glitch Mastodon, which is how this post can be so long.)

By default, Mastodon has a 500 character limit for posts.

However, you may have seen posts with more than 500 characters.

This is possible because Mastodon is just one type of server on the Fediverse. Many of the accounts you interact with on here may be using different server types with different character limits.

For example, there are modified "forked" versions of Mastodon such as Glitch (glitch-soc.github.io/docs/) and Hometown (github.com/hometown-fork/homet) which allow server admins to easily change the character limits.

There are also completely different kinds of servers such as Friendica (friendi.ca) which have much larger default limits.

Because the Fediverse uses a common technical standard for communication, different kinds of servers talk to each other seamlessly, and you won't necessarily notice which server types people use. (I'm on a server running Glitch Mastodon, which is how this post can be so long.)

If you have a Mastodon account and follow someone, the follow button will sometimes display a "Follow request sent" message.

Usually this is because the other account has follow approval switched on, which means its owner will manually decide whether to accept your follow request. This kind of account has a padlock 🔒 icon next to it on its profile page.

However... Mastodon also displays this "Follow request sent" message if something has gone wrong with the follow, especially if you're trying to follow someone on a non-Mastodon server.

Partially broken federation often causes Mastodon to display this message, for some reason.

If you see "follow request sent" when you try to follow someone, and they don't have a padlock 🔒 on their profile page, then it's likely that the follow didn't work properly.

If a follow doesn't work properly, try unfollowing them (or cancel the follow request), wait a bit, then click "follow" again.

FediTips boosted

Good afternoon everyone!

We just pushed the first release candidate for version 0.4.0 of GoToSocial!

This version has all the new features we’ve been posting about lately:

  • User panel at https://your-instance-name/user.
  • Lightbox image viewer on frontend.
  • Nice sensitive image blurring on frontend.
  • Markdown formatting improvements.
  • Bugfixes and more

If you’re a GoToSocial server admin, we would really appreciate if you could deploy the release candidate on your instance, so that we can identify any issues or regressions! It’s already running here and it seems stable but who knows what we missed 🤓

We’re also very interested in gathering feedback about accessibility for the new features, particularly the sensitive image blurring, and clickability/readability of the buttons.

Here are the links:

Release link: https://github.com/superseriousbusiness/gotosocial/releases/tag/v0.4.0-rc1

Docker image tag: superseriousbusiness/gotosocial:0.4.0-rc1

What is GoToSocial?

GoToSocial is an open-source, ActivityPub compatible, federated social media server. It’s easy to install, lightweight, and perfect for small servers 🦥

Just had several people this week mix up my accounts, so to be clear, here's how they work:

@FediFollows - Suggests interesting accounts to follow on here and maintains a directory at mastodon.online/@FediFollows/1

@feditips - Posts hints about using the Fediverse once a day

@FediVideos - Boosts interesting Fediverse videos and livestreams, usually from PeerTube and OwnCast servers

@homegrown - Advice for non-technical people and orgs on setting up their own online services, based around a website at growyourown.services

(I also have a personal account at @FediThing but that's just random fun stuff, nothing serious or useful!)

For Mastodon server admins, a bit more about the "authorized fetch" feature.

It makes it more difficult for blocked accounts to interact with public posts on your server. It's not fool-proof as public posts can always be scraped by outsiders, but it makes life harder for trolls etc so it might be a good idea to switch it on.

It isn't controlled from the graphical interface, it can only be activated by editing a file on the server manually. There are technical details here:

docs.joinmastodon.org/admin/co

If you're on a managed hosting service, don't worry about the technical details. You can ask the service itself to make the necessary changes.

As it says in the documentation, "authorized fetch" isn't on by default. According to the developers this is due to the additional resources it consumes and the possibility of breaking compatibility with instances running older software.

It's up to the admin of each instance to decide what the best balance is.

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You can block nasty people on Mastodon at a personal level, by clicking the "..." below their post or on their profile and selecting "Block". You can also block their entire server by selecting "Block domain".

However, personal blocks will not stop them from communicating with other people on your server.

Your server's admin can create server level blocks, which are much more powerful than personal blocks. Server level blocks completely prevent the blocked person communicating with anyone on your server.

If you see someone being a bully or doing other anti-social and nasty stuff, the best option might be to report them to your server's admin, by clicking "Report..." instead of "Block...". Reports can also be optionally forwarded anonymously to the nasty person's home server, where the admin can delete the nasty account if needed.

Server-level blocks can be made even more effective if your admin activates "Authorized fetch" (also known as "Secure mode"). Ask them about it.

You don't need to use other people's servers on Mastodon or the Fediverse. Anyone can set up their own server, even non-technical people. It's much easier than you think, and much cheaper too.

I run a website helping non-technical people create their own servers at growyourown.services and you can follow its account at @homegrown

There are many Fediverse server types you can set up without tech knowledge:

growyourown.services/grow-your

There's also an in-depth tutorial about making your own Mastodon server without tech knowledge, and most of it applies to any kind of Fediverse server:

growyourown.services/making-yo

p.s. Just to make clear, Mastodon only does this if the accounts are both mentioned in the same post.

If they're mentioned in different posts, it reverts to just showing the first part of the address.

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Usually, Mastodon only shows the first part (or "handle") of a Fediverse address in posts.

However, if there are two accounts with the same first part, Mastodon shows the accounts' full addresses including their server names.

This is deliberate, it's to avoid confusion when two different accounts with identical handles are being discussed in the same post.

For example the libre gardening organisation Open Source Gardens has a main account at @opensourcegardens@chaos.social and a video account at @opensourcegardens@tube.tchncs.de which both have the same handle. As you can see, Mastodon automatically displays their full Fediverse addresses.

FediTips boosted

Work is happening to give #Owncast a face-lift as well as enable us to build features requiring web user interfaces easier and faster in the future.

If you're a person with passion for web development and want to be involved, say hello!

If you're screening your follow requests, it's probably not a good idea to reject or block someone just because their profile picture is empty.

There are many blind people on the Fediverse who don't use profile pictures. For example, the writer Robert Kingett at @blindscribe doesn't use one.

The most reliable way to screen accounts on here is just to read what they have posted, as this better reflects what kind of account they are.

p.p.s. Little update, the link bug has been fixed! 🥳 You can now follow @dev by just clicking on it and selecting the follow button.

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p.s. Forgot to mention, Inventaire is free open source software :)

Also, both Inventaire and BookWyrm have book catalogues based on WikiData so you don't need to enter titles manually. I believe Inventaire did the initial work on this and BookWyrm built upon it for their own platform.

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As it's "Book Lovers Day", you might want to check out some book-related server types on the Fediverse:

@inventaire is a book cataloguing platform which lets people and organisations keep track of their own collection or run a private lending library. You can follow many different parts of Inventaire from Mastodon etc, including users, authors, series, publishers and more. The official site is at inventaire.io

@bookwyrm is a federated open alternative to Amazon's GoodReads, and you can import your GoodReads data into BookWyrm. It's part of the Fediverse and you can follow BookWyrm users from Mastodon etc. You can find out more including servers to sign up on at joinbookwyrm.com

p.s. There's a bug which is causing the @dev account link to appear in a new tab instead of as a profile page. This can complicate the following process.

You can work around this by pasting @ dev @ microblog.pub (but without the spaces) into the search box on Mastodon etc and then opening the profile in the search results, where you can click follow.

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Microblog.pub is a lightweight self-hosted single user Fediverse server which can be followed from Mastodon etc.

You can find out more info at:

docs.microblog.pub

The official account disappeared for a while but it's now back at:

@dev

As the account notes, it's just been rewritten with version 2.0 of the software, so you may need to unfollow and then refollow.

(Having said that, I haven't been able to actually follow the account, it seems to work at first but then gives a "follow request" message? Have you managed to get this to work?)

FediTips boosted

The official account for microblog.pub is back!

:goose_honk:

You may have to unfollow/follow again as it is running the v2, which is a full rewrite.

Just had a question about this, thought it might be useful to answer as a post:

There are lots of different server types on the Fediverse, but they talk to each other using a common standard called ActivityPub.

This means you don't need to be on the same server type to interact.

For example, if you're on a Mastodon server you can have a conversation with someone on a Friendica server.

This works even when the server types are very different. People on Mastodon etc can like, comment and share videos from @peertube or follow livestreaming accounts on @owncast. (To see examples, take a look at @FediVideos)

This process is so seamless that you may not even be aware you're interacting with people from other server types. If you're a Mastodon user, try clicking on @bobfisherphoto and it will look like a Masto account, but it's actually a @pixelfed account. To see what an account "really" looks like, click on the avatar on its profile page.

If you want features added or fixed on the Fediverse, the best thing is to get in touch with the people who make the server type you're on. Most Fediverse server types have an official site which includes instructions on how to let them know about bugs, request features, contribute translations etc.

Here are some official Fediverse sites' contribution guides. Most welcome contributions from all kinds of people, including non-techies:

BookWyrm
joinbookwyrm.com/get-involved

Friendica
friendi.ca/resources/contribut

Funkwhale
funkwhale.audio/en_GB/communit

GoToSocial
github.com/superseriousbusines

Mastodon
github.com/mastodon/mastodon/b

Mobilizon
docs.joinmobilizon.org/contrib

PeerTube
docs.joinpeertube.org/contribu

PixelFed
github.com/pixelfed/pixelfed/b

WriteFreely
writefreely.org/contribute

The Fediverse is made collaboratively by volunteers, which means it's easy to directly communicate with the people who make it. This is a huge advantage over bigger networks, it makes it easier to stay human and humane.

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Mastodon 🐘

A general-purpose Mastodon server with a 1000 character limit.

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