Sam Merrell Tinkerer. Parent. ADHD. Developer.


My journey with Mastodon (so far)

I joined Mastodon in April of 2022 and now that I’ve had a little over six months of usage, I can say I’m glad I deleted all my other social media accounts. I had heard of Mastodon over the years, and I had even used a federated site back in 2009 when I used for a few months.

Picking an instance

I really struggled picking an instance. Before moving I read several helpful posts about getting started with Mastodon. Most of them ssugested strongly that I avoid and a few of the other large Mastodon instances. I wanted to take that advice to heart, but I found it extremely difficult to find an instance I liked. It made me feel silly that I couldn’t make what seemed like a simple choice, but I’ve always found it very difficult to pick when there are many things to choose from. I spent a few weeks agonizing over each possible server; either they were too specific of a topic, too general, or some other vague reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

After a week, I gave up trying to search for the perfect instance and set up an account on

Starting fresh

Starting a new social account is tough. I wasn’t sure who all I would find and if I’d even find people who I wanted to follow. But just like I had when I was on Twitter, I started browsing the timeline and followed people I found interesting. After a few days, those people started boosting others or having interesting conversations with people and I would follow them as well.

While it was a bit scary at first, I’m glad I started fresh and didn’t try and simply replicate who I followed back on Twitter.

Migrating to

I still felt awkward being on, but I had yet to find an instance that appealed to me. Then I read Twitter’s Demise is ActivityPubs Future and found The instance is small and looks to be both well moderated and well managed and it has a community vibe that I felt I could belong in. This was the first instance I felt good about so I decided it was time to migrate.

Migrating was both easy and not clear

A quick note about migrating. While the process of migrating from my account to my account was easy, there were a few things I found confusing. First, accounts following me get migrated but who I follow does not. It can take a while for an instance migration to complete so I waited about 24 hours before realizing it wasn’t going to happen. You can export your following list and import it, but nothing made it clear that was what I needed to do if I wanted to keep who I was following. Second, none of my account information transfers so I had to copy/paste over everything I had put in my profile from my account. Again, not a huge deal but it could have been made more clear.

I should blog more

Overall, I really enjoy using Mastodon and exploring the wider notion of the Fediverse. One thing I’ve been thinking about recently, is making sure I own my presence online. To me, that means I want to spend more time blogging and building out my own personal corner of the internet. I’m not a prolific blogger or really that vocal on social media of any form, but I plan to keep tinkering on my site and occasionally writing posts about the random things I enjoy.

Feed Favorites August 2022

Articles I’ve liked in the past month (4 to be exact).

Feed Favorites July 2022

Articles I’ve liked in the past month (7 to be exact).

Feed Favorites June 2022

Articles I’ve liked in the past month (6 to be exact).