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You don't need to join mastodon.social or any other big servers on here.

Big servers do not mean big audiences on the Fediverse. Because federated servers talk to each other seamlessly, the number of people you can interact with is similar whether you're on a large or small server. Some people even run their own single user servers where they are literally the only member, yet they are able to interact with just as many people as a user on a megaserver like mastodon.social.

Mastodon and the wider Fediverse were designed so that their users could be spread out across many different servers, specifically so that the network couldn't be taken over by malevolent billionaires. By choosing a smaller server, you help keep the network safe from any takeovers. Smaller servers also tend to be better moderated and have better tech support because they have a lot more staff per user.

@feditips That only partly true.

Big servers DO mean bigger audiences on the Fediverse. Because federated servers don't synchronize hashtags.

@ls

There are definitely nuances I had to leave out for sake of simplicity (federation is complicated! 😁 ) but in my opnion it's still not bigger is better.

For example some servers blanket block large servers, so mastodon.social users will be unable to reach those servers while people on smaller servers aren't blocked.

@feditips Yes, smaller is better. I just wanted to prevent people from being disappointed when the laboriously self-installed server is sometimes very lonely.

I also see a danger for the Fediverse in large instances, actually instances should be limited to a few hundred users.

I hope the software will be improved in such a way that at some point it really doesn't matter which instance you're on.

@ls

Fair enough! Yes, that's true, it is more difficult on a self-installed server especially at the start.

Having said that, it gets a lot easier as you only need one follower from a server for your posts to be visible to all of that server. So even a handful of followers gets you a lot more visibility.

@feditips Yes, a follower from a BIG instance increases your audience dramatically. 😀

However, I'm not sure how it is meant to work with many small instances as toot propagation will become a lot more difficult. You can't have followers on every 1-5 user instance. I guess, a more decentralized traffic relay concept is needed on the long run.

@ls

There are relay servers for smaller instances to help with this, they optionally drive posts to servers which don't have any connections to those posts yet..

And there are follow directories where people can manually add people based on topic, they don't need any connections either.

@ls @feditips yes, and also they remove federated timeline in their official apps, it means less audience

@rohmatsb @ls

The acfual "firehose" Federated timeline on very large instances is quite hard to navigate, am not sure if people do much discovery that way?

@feditips Good point. One of the huge advantages of mastodon and the fediverse is decentralization. If everybody would join mastodon.social this advantage is gone. That's the reason I moved my account from mastodon.social to a smaller instance.

Very easy to do. Here is a good, offical blogpost how to do it: blog.joinmastodon.org/2019/06/

@strapinski @feditips i want to move to a Brazilian one. But there are always close to sign up.

@pbaesse @feditips You could write to one of the admins of the instance of your choice. Maybe they let you in.

@pbaesse @strapinski

If you know someone on the instance, they may be able to invite you?

Sometimes instances close signups but still allow existing members to send signup invitations.

@feditips @strapinski i don't think i know someone there. But i will try to find 😅

@pbaesse @feditips @strapinski an alternative is hosting your own instance. Biggest disadvantage is moderation as maintenance and hosting can be arranged

@feditips There's a nuance though (speaking as owner of a tiny instance). Big servers have a big federated timeline, so it is much easier to discover content and people on a big server.

@webmink

The Federated timeline on mastodon.social is quite difficult to navigate though... 😁

But yes that's a fair point 👍

@feditips Can't the opposite be also true? That a smaller server is more vulnerable because there's less staff and a bigger chance of being left over to the whims of very few people?

@Lucseleventje

Yeah, it's definitely worth seeing if a smaller server has enough of a track record to be reliable.

JoinMastodon.org is good for this as it (AFAIK) only lists servers with at least two staff and committed to giving several months warning if they ever shut down.

@Lucseleventje @feditips Also, if only a few bad apples get noticed on big instances, there's quite a risk the entire instance will be blocked, and you along with it.

@feditips @Mort The upside is that moderators will probably be very motivated to keep their place nice and tidy 😉

@feditips >Because federated servers talk to each other

Not on mastadon they dont

@feditips a handy tip for new users is to start off on a bigger instance to have access to a more active local timeline and build a list of follows and followers. Once that's taken care of, migrate to a smaller instance and bring your follows with you:)

@lps

That sounds like a good plan, you keep your connections but also have the advantages of a small server 👍

@feditips it worked well for me when I moved to my own instance of one;). However the admin is a bit of a jerk..ha ha:)

@feditips but would be nice to select some instance to follow. So we could get their timeline as well.

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