Is it Important, which Instance you are in?

A conversation over the Mastodon network itself, how do Instances differ and which is for you?

Casual Conversation, Interesting Tips.

Once again I had an enjoyable conversation, earlier today. From my laptop, logged into my Qoto acount via Web client, I also browsed via Pinafore, and we started a chat.

Achso was there(, and we kind of continued a conversation from a day or two before. I enjoyed it, said a lot, and thought it would make for a nice blog post.

The full thread is online, and can be seen here. I was posting via Pinafore, and limited to 500 characters, unfortunately - which led to some choppy posts (instance there limited to 500 chars max).

We really should petition Eugen R. and beg for a larger limit for the Maximum_Toot_Size variable. Currently, it's 500 characters, larger in some instances that customized their own limits.

Conversation Follows.

( Achso's Toots are shown in quoted form, mine are in plain text form. )

@achso : Otherwise this will stay a niche thing. And it deserves better than that. I think it is sad that many of my old contacts from abroad - US and other places - refuse to leave their old biotope.

Some people will come and see what is going on here if it keeps growing and getting media reports.

I only joined here in November -- close to 2 months now, but in that short time I went from total newbie to having 3,400 posts or so, Staff position at my main instance, and being part of maybe 10 instances of Mastodon alone.

Plus the wonderful integrated services - love Write.freely!

Insta, I stayed away, always. Dumb people, hashtag binging, bothers me, they are clueless.

Curiously -- I found my curiosity and interest in this Fediverse due to a BBC News report about the Indian Diaspora, from TW to mastodon instances.

Saw it on my rarely visited TW timeline, read the article. Uhm, what is mastodon?

LOL, the rest is #history.... :-P

Having lots of fun, it's keeping me happy and busy thru Winter, depressive in general in our Northern latitudes.

This very article :

@achso : Twitter classified the famous Landmesser-photo as "hateful imagery"? Wow... I think there is no lack of antifascist people on Twitter now, but many of them act like - cough... - fascists. Intolerant, stubborn, uptight... Anyway, Mastodon is different, which is good. ;)

Yes, I like it here, it's very refreshing!

With politics and all, but like on Fidonet, we can make waves, run our own things, and have a voice.

On the algorithm driven major soc media sites, not a chance, they silence you simply by not showing your content.

Hey, if you even want to try a smaller instance, come and visit, it's a nice place, if I may say so.

But does Choosing an Instance Matter ?

@achso: Is it really important which instance some is on? Isn't it the core of the fediverse that it does not? Just asking...

I think that is an excellent question! And I am part of various ones, although lift the flag and sign my blog with my main one.

How does it differ, being in one or another?

  • a very small instance will likely have a very quiet local Feed. This is sad, as the Local feed is where I find most social interaction happens; camaraderie, we see each other, all posts. And sometimes we provide support just to encourage a friend to keep going.

  • at the opposite end, a very large instance will have an extremely busy Local feed; no lack of things to look at, but like Twitter, many will fly by without any reaction, as people don't have the time to relate, read, respond before another barrage of posts land.

I visit and post somethings here in ms.soc, it's the Flagship and sometimes good for exposure. But it wouldn't work for me as a home. I find the Local feed overwhelming indeed.

  • So size is important. Theme also - there are generalist instances, and posts from all kinds; might be good to discover new things, interesting. Less good for more focused posts or interests, which sometimes a more focused instance can better take care of.

  • Language, one's native one is ideal, even if we do fluent English, thankfully, bridging the divide; I still love to write and converse in other languages.

  • Culture : like travel, seeing the instances in other countries, is fun.

I love this discussion and will likely collate all of my posts above and build an article for a blog post on it. I have been enjoying doing that.

Wanted to ask you, remember our chat from yesterday, regarding Fidonet, Front Door? wanted to request if you allow me to quote you on a possible article for the blog?

If you prefer not to, I understand, but I am a learning journalist and respect my sources. Thank you for the nice conversations!

@achso: Sure, no problem.Nothing wrong with a little bit of sentimentality. :)

BTW: As a journalist (desk editor, reporter) for more than 30 years I have to help my young fellow colleagues, no? ;)

Thanks, Achso!

This was a fun conversation, and helped me organize thoughts on why visiting, getting to know different instances is fun and important.

I enjoy traveling and choosing small cafés or restaurants in the streets of towns and cities abroad. Our mastodon instances are very much like Cafés, and the quality varies, the customer base is a big part of how nice they are, how active specially. Management can also make or break a community.

I am grateful to the administrators and staff team of the various instances which I belong to; with all of them I have learned, observed and thought about different ways things can be done. Fun. Thank you, friends. ;-)

Below I will outline a little about these instances I frequent. No specific recommendations, just notes, maybe help you know what's available and how they can vary?

Some instances I frequent :

In no particular order, just writing from the top of my head in my text editor...

  • - listed in my blog signature, Qoto is my primary instance; one where I spend most of my time, have made many posts and enjoy socializing with local friends which follow my work closely. I have volunteered and been elected as a Moderator there recently.

Instance Theme : STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are the theme here. Not strictly enforced in everyday posting, which can be relaxed (I do contribute a lot of Cat pictures!).

Users number : just over 6,500 now with a recent influx of Spanish Twitter migration. Registrations : open.

  • - A Leftwing instance, Todon has some nice people I had met over the Feeds and enjoyed conversations with. I am also aligned with the local political lean, so it's one of my favourites. Well connected, posts distribute quickly.

Instance Theme : there's a number of activists, and users who enjoy the place, where they won't meet any vociferous politically opposing people.

Users number : just over 5,300. Registrations : are via an application, explain how your personal views align with Todon's. [temporarily Closed atm]

  • - a community of people interested in computing, network and systems administration, security, privacy, and related topics. An interesting place for people interested in learning about those topics, which is my case, because it has experienced users in these various fields.

Instance Theme ; Technology, Computing, Security, CyberPunk.

Users number : about 200, although their total post count is astronomical. Registrations : are controlled, as the front door says "Speak friend and enter."

  • Toot.Cafe - This is an instance frequented by programmers, web designers, etc, and administered by Nolan, the author of the brilliant Pinafore mastodon client. For many knowledgeable users, Pinafore is tops, for it's speed, streamlining and support of multiple instances - and ease of switching between them. See more information at the project's home. Not a general instance, but I enjoy visiting and chatting with Nolan when I have a suggestion for Pinafore.

Instance Theme : Web design, Mastodon, programming, UI design, Clients for Mastodon network. Users number : 2,772 Registrations : Open, via Request an Invite link at front door.

"All friendly creatures are welcome. Be excellent to each other, live humanism, no nazis, no hate speech. Not only for nerds, but the domain is somewhat cool. ;) No bots in general! (only with prior permission)".

E.U. based, so European Privacy and other laws apply - an advantage for me, in any network services choice if available.

Instance Theme : A General instance, based in Germany. Posts in English and German.

Users number : 365 Registrations : Open

  • - The Mothership, this instance is home to Eugene R., who is the lead developer of the Mastodon project.

For many new users, it's the only instance they know of, so it has a large influx of new people and the largest number of users in Fediverse (not counting the Gab instance and peripheral systems, as they are not widely accepted by a lot of other fediverse instances).

A very, very busy local timeline, if you get bored of waiting for some new post at any smaller instances. A good place to see what a very large Mastodon instance would feel like (and to know what kids of hardware it takes for such high numbers of users). Also a good place to boost posts from, if you want some extra spreading for a new thread.

Instance Theme : a General instance, no specific theme.

Users number : 455,000 as I write. Registrations : open.

  • - A fairly large instance, with a Tech theme and actively moderated. The administrator has clearly stated rules and isolates his instance from many others.

Some of the excluded instances (as listed in his git page here) are black balled simply for federating with other instances that Ash Furrow, the local admin, does not want connections with. Sadly this blocks a lot of info from other, more open minded instances (and I mean the ones that are not fascist dominated, but get tarred here in his extensive blocked list).

Instance Theme : Tecnnology. But selectively disconnected, see note above.

Users number : 19,500 Registrations : Open, fill in form ("Why do you want to Join us?") to request an invite.

Mastodon Instances in the World :

Bonus, if you read this far in the page, lol... A nice world Map showing the local concentration of Instances. Click on Image for Large Version. Map of Mastodon instances from Mastodon Network Monitoring Project, August 17, 2017.

From an interesting article At

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