Mastodon: A New Hope for Social Networking

I’m curious what you mean by this, and what you were expecting? I’m not a big social media user, but after following some interesting people, there’s always something to read.

Just ++ what David wrote. You can just go to your account settings on the existing account and make a few changes. I think the missing piece is that you need to export a list of whom you follow to import on your new account, which is just a few clicks to export on the old and import on the new.

It’s not a big deal to migrate, though you might lose some people who follow you. So it’s best to post some warning and potentially get the new account set up before discontinuing the old one. We’ll likely see continued improvement, too: pain points will keep getting sanded down as development proceeds.

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If you don’t make fresh posts, your older ones are rarely discovered and replied to (is maybe what Doug means, but also worth pointing out separately). Twitter, sometimes people find a thread or post from years before. Mastodon is much more timely and ephemeral because of the lack of ways to find old messages or have them surface through an algorithm or your own choice!

For most people, going to one of the main, free general instances is straightforward and you can just use the web app. The overhead of finding an instance is likely not important for most folks unless you are strictly trying to find a community, in which case a Discord server connected to a group, topic, podcast, fandom, is probably better.

Actually, in that sense, it’s not that much different from Twitter. So my semi-complaint is more about that kind of social media rather than Mastodon in particular. If anything, Mastodon is friendlier. Even though I’ve been a member of Twitter since 2009 I was never addicted to it and would go months without using it. Perhaps just sharing a link to an article sometimes.

Yes, if I go in and search #tags then I do find things to read and reply to. And just this morning I got another follow!

Well, Glenn, you finally made me do it! I am a long-time user of Twitteriffic app and loved it. When it was unceremoniously blocked from Twitter, that was the last straw. I have been using off and on since 2018, or so, and like many of the users there. But I was looking for something with a broader reach to still be able to see the folks I have been following on Twitter. And, this Mastodon looks like it does the trick. I do not have much to learn on the UI as I have been using CoSo for so long, so I am settling in for the long run.
Thanks for the article and tips!

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If you liked the experience of Twitterific (like TweetBot) then watch Tapbots as they made a client for Mastodon, Ivory, which I just found is in the App Store.

Better move quickly if you want to find your Twitter friends on Mastodon:

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I finally signed up for Mastodon yesterday ( I initially used the two still active apps mentioned in the article to populate my following list. Still, I found it easy to search in Mastodon for the other folks I follow on Twitter and quickly add the ones I really want to follow.

The process took about 10 minutes.

I just moved ti a different server this morning (after discovering that the admin of my server has not responded to any communication for over a month) and followed the instructions here:

So, yes, your old server had a redirect in case your followers’ accounts have not yet seen the notification of the move of your account. You have to create separate CSV files of muted accounts, lists, accounts that you are following that you can then upload to the account on your new server. It was pretty easy for me.


Really? Huh, I guess I never thought of Twitter as being any sort of historical record other than what was linked externally.

Your posts on Twitter are:

  • Searchable from Twitter across your entire timeline
  • Ingested by other companies and used in various kinds of database and searching products
  • Available in Google searches (to some extent, not all tweets)

I’ve gotten likes and replies to tweets I sent years ago. Not many, but then I don’t tweet much either.


If they are searchable, then that makes perfect sense.

My personal blog has several years-old articles that continue to get hits every week. I assume this is because search engines deliver it up to new readers all the time.

I just read these articles outlining the woes of selecting a bad server:

h/t Michael Tsai blog

@glennf alerted me to this excellent graphic explaining how things get into your timeline.


Here’s the flowchart’s information in text (and list) form:

What makes up each timeline?

Where public Mastodon posts appear in each timeline on the instance you use.

  • Home timeline
    • Published by an account I’m following
    • Boosted by someone I’m following
  • Local timeline
    • Published by an account on my instance
  • Federated timeline
    • Published by an account followed by anyone on my instance
    • Boosted by anyone on my instance
    • Searched for using its URL by anyone on my instance

When you publish a post, it will be in your instance’s Local timeline. Your post will be in the Federated timeline of any instanced used by someone who follows you or who boosts that post.


To scale and be sustainable the fediverse needs a business model. Also I wonder about the storage inflation as more and more messages get pushed and stored on non-local servers?

There needs to be a way for instances to set up payment (voluntary or membership) that isn’t PayPal or Patreon links. The folks at Mastodon are working to build a sustainable model for their development. I don’t know if a business model is needed as that implies a return on investment.

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