A big welcome to folks that are just joining Mastodon.
I have been on Mastodon about 2 years I think and I really love it. Although I have a twitter account I may have only logged in 5 times in the past year or so, and that's just to check my messages, which I could have set to automatically send to my email.
Why do I love Mastodon? There's no ads. There's no celebrities. There's no constant news churn. There's no 'algorithm,' just a chronological list of toots. I also really like that I've found all these little communities of interest based on topics. I can have real conversations and meet folks from around the world with my interests. On Twitter it used to feel like this occasionally but more often it felt like people constantly 'reacting'. People don't tend to do that on Mastodon, at least in my friend group. It's more like they give update on their life and projects, ask questions, get feedback. It's like a non-shitty slack or twitter. I also like I can use my choice of clients, from graphical to web to command line (try tut or toot tui ). I can turn off 'retoots' so that means I only see when people post their own content, not others. While it's still addictive social media, I can run out of content to see, and that's a good thing, so I'm not checking it constantly.
A couple recommendations for folks new to Mastodon:
1. Fill out your profile and add a photo/image asap! Include links to another home of yours on the internet, such as your music, website, etc. Many folks don't like to be followed by anonymous accounts.
2. Create a post introducing yourself and maybe add the #introduction tag, and then pin it to the top of your profile.
3. When you post media like photos or videos, add an alt text description. This is done in your mastodon client software or website.
4. If you joined one of the smaller server of peers, great! Click on "Local" to see what folks from your server are posting. It's a good way to "meet" lots of folks right away and get a feel for the community.
5. More so than on birdsite, folks here tend to like to give Content Warnings (also known as "CW") for certain topics. You'll see examples of this modeled and learn how to do it. It's a great idea to follow this.
6. Support your server(s) financially if you can. Hosting infrastructure does cost money.
I'm sure I'm leaving out other important stuff.
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