Diving into the fediverse
The fediverse is vast. It's made up of thousands of communities with millions of people like you and me, wanting to connect and share.
Here's a few resources that will help you get a better idea of how things work, how to find a community that's right for you, and explore tools you can use to make your experience even better.
Q: What is an "instance"? How do I pick one?
A: Each fediverse network is made up of "instances", or "servers". For example, if you want to join Mastodon, you can sign up for an account on mastodon.social or mas.to, or any other Mastodon server.
You can even run your own server.
Moving between different instances is easy, and you'll be able to carry your friends and followers with you, so don't worry about picking the right instance from the start. Just sign up, feel things out, and you can move to another instance, or another network altogether, if you find a better fit.
A: Remember when Elon Musk bought Twitter and started changing things that drew a lot of people away? This is a lot less likely to happen with social media sites that run across many servers, because you'd have to buy all of them to control the whole network. And people can keep creating new ones.
Q: Is the fediverse free to join? Who pays for these servers?
A: Yes, joining any of the servers is typically free. Communities are maintained and moderated by volunteers, often paying for hosting from their own pocket. If you can afford it, and there is an option to do so, consider supporting them with a donation.
Q: What rules do I have to follow?
A: That depends on the community. Each server can set their own rules, but generally it's important to treat other members of the community with kindness and respect. A few things to remember:
- caption your images, so that those who can't see them still get to enjoy them
- use hashtags generously, this is how others can find your posts
- if your server has this feature, use content warnings as appropriate
- if you see something wrong, report it to the admins
- The summer of decentralized social: everything you want to know about decentralized social networks and the protocols that power them
- joinfediverse.wiki: an encyclopedia dedicated to all things fediverse
- fediverse.info: learn about fediverse, browse trending topics and communities, and more
- fediverse.observer: find communities and dive deeper into the data about the fediverse
- fediverse.party: a quick look into fediverse networks
- fedi.tips + @email@example.com: non-technical guide to using Mastodon and the wider fediverse
- The Fediverse report + @firstname.lastname@example.org: hints and tips about Mastodon and the fediverse
- A netizen's guide to Mastodon and the fediverse