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 identi.ca 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 mastodon.social 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 mastodon.social.
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 treehouse.systems
I still felt awkward being on mastodon.social, but I had yet to find an instance
that appealed to me. Then I read Twitter’s Demise is ActivityPubs
Future and found social.treehouse.systems. 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
mastodon.social account to my treehouse.systems 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 mastodon.social 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.