What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is a social media platform owned by the community. There is no tracking or advertising. Any person can start their own Mastodon community (called instances), and employ their own rules. Here's a great introduction to the concept: https://youtu.be/IPSbNdBmWKE
How do I use Mastodon?
You can learn about the Mastodon interface here: https://blog.joinmastodon.org/2018/08/mastodon-quick-start-guide/
The two big differences between Twitter/FB and Mastodon are:
There are three timelines:
Home is all the toots in chronological order of the people you’re specifically following.
Local timeline is the live feed of all the toots of people on your server (ohno.club in this case). On many servers, particularly smaller ones and ones focused on a particular topic, this is where the magic happens. It feels like a town square or Slack chatroom. You can reply to people from there and it’s a great place to meet people.
- The federated timeline is a view of all the public toots your servers knows about from across the whole network (including local ones). The most common reason that something appears in the federated timeline is that someone from your server follows the author of that toot. This column moves fast, and can often be pretty wild. I enjoy setting that column to show only toots with media, hiding boosts, then seeing a constant stream of daft selfies, hot memes, and funky art.
There is no single Mastodon home.
- Facebook is one massive server where everyone exists. So is Twitter. Mastodon is local and by default smaller. This makes it a little harder for people to get involved if they don't have a home community to sign up with, and a little harder to find each other if you're in different communities. It's still possible and easy enough, just not as simple.
Mastodon on Mobile
For android, I recommend Tusky. It keeps it very simple, showing only what you need. Link to Tusky in the Google Play store.
For iphone, there are also a few options. Mast is a highly recommended paid option. Link to Mast in the Apple store.