Here’s how you can start enjoying Mastodon RIGHT NOW so we can all ditch Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter ain't no good

Facebook and Twitter ain’t no good

If you’re a leftist, or even a liberal, you probably know you shouldn’t be using corporate social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The Faustian trading of our personal information in exchange for a fun environment to swap cat memes stopped being comfortable a long time ago, and we are learning more every day about how these companies are manipulating us, selling us out to evil corporate political mercenaries, and pulling our puppet strings in ways that are profoundly disturbing. These sites even record your camera and microphone feeds whenever they’re active, for cryin’ out loud!

I’ve already written about my suggested platvform for leftist engagement: Mastodon. I suggest you read that one first before continuing… You can read it by clicking this very link!

Once you’ve chosen your Instance and set up your account, there’s a good chance you won’t know what to do next. It took me a couple of weeks to really get a groove on Mastodon and, to be honest, I’m still acclimating to it. But I have picked up some tips and tricks along the way that should hopefully make for a more engaging experience for new Mastodon users.

The key to enjoying Mastodon, like any social media platform, is finding folks to get social with. So here are my five tips to kickstarting your Mastodon experience:

  1. Make an #introductions post

Your very first post should start with the hashtag #introductions. This will flag you so that other people will be able to find you and connect with you if you share some common interests. It doesn’t have to be too fancy, just write a couple of sentences describing yourself and what you like to talk about, then tack on a list of hashtags that are related to your interests.

  1. Look for the "pin" button under the settings for a hashtag search results panel in your news feed.

    Look for the “pin” button under the settings for a hashtag search results panel in your news feed.

    Pin hashtags

This is currently easiest to do in the desktop interface. When you run a search for a hashtag, the results will open up in a new panel to the right of your home panel. Click the settings button on the top right corner of the search results panel for that hashtag and you can “pin” the hashtag to your news feed. If there are topics that interest you, you can follow those topics by pinning them to your feed.

  1. Follow Newsbots

Newsbots post constantly and they can be a great starting place for kicking off discussions or finding interesting news you might not find anywhere else. Here are some newsbots I follow:

Anarchism News: @[email protected]
BBC News (World): @[email protected]
Vox Twitter Relay: @[email protected]

  1. UPDATE: Use Mastodon Bridge to find your Twitter friends

I’ve recently discovered this cool new tool that helps you find all your Twitter followers on Mastodon:

  1. Be active!

Try to post at least twice a day, and make sure you use #hashtags to flag over other people to your corner of Mastodon. Over time, as your follower count grows, I think you’ll find that Mastodon is a much more engaging and interesting place to hang out than Twitter and most of Facebook.

BONUS TIP: Language Filtering

You can filter languages quickly and easily in your user settings.I wanted to add one more tip to improving your Mastodon experience “out of the box.” Because Mastodon isn’t using a nefarious algorithm to filter the posts you see, and because it’s a truly international platform, you’re likely to see see a lot of different languages you probably don’t speak cropping up on your news feed. You can filter out languages you don’t speak in the settings if that bothers you… or you can get a browser plugin to automatically translate what you’re seeing if you want a more GLOBAL フ無臆 experience!

Is it a perfect experience? Not yet! But it sure beats having your identity bought and sold and your mind toyed with by corporate oligarchs, doesn’t it? In addition, Mastodon is an open-source, user-developed, federated system, so if you have ideas for improvements you can jump into the development discussions and start pitching in!

Looking for more tips for going online as a leftist? Check out my video: The Cyber-Comrade’s Guide to the Internet… and be sure to follow me on Mastodon: @[email protected]

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