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Hello,

I’m pretty new to mastodon as I’m trying to switch away from twitter so what are your favorite mastodon technology/programming community servers

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    Don’t stress too much about the server choice. You can switch later if you want to.

    Personally, I just don’t care about the local timeline of my server. I only follow people and hashtags. That works fine, too.

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      Likewise. Both local and federated are a firehouse of messages the contents of which I’d only previously before seen the like of in Sims games. It’s fun for a few seconds but then you just find everyone you want to follow and stay on Home.

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        Just switched servers from mstdn.social to hachyderm.io and I can confirm switching is really easy. That said, it doesn’t automatically transfer the accounts you are following, but the data import and export process is a breeze (just download / upload some csv files) so it’s quite easy to reinstate your account elsewhere.

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          It doesn’t transfer accounts you’re following you say. Do you also lose all of your followers?

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            It does transfer your followers, actually. That’s the only thing it transfers by default. I’m not sure how it does this, but it takes a while, so I’m assuming it has to inform your followers’ instances of your new handle / instance.

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        I really like the look of https://hachyderm.io/ - Kris, the lead admin, streams sessions on Twitch about running it where you can see the actual servers for the instance sat behind her in her basement.

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          Fun fact, Kris was on an Oxide and Friends podcast recently and it looks like they’re going to try to get her an Oxide rack to run the server on!

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            Whoa. What’s the friend price on an Oxide rack? I’ll drive Bryan to the airport if it means I get the friend price.

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              Please, let’s not have another hellthread flaming about political topics. (BTW, there is a reason given for the qoto.org entry.)

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            https://fosstodon.org has a focus on FOSS software with a nice and active community.

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              I can second this, I’ve been there for a while. The operators always seemed kind and serious, and they post quite actively and are pretty transparent. (Here’s me, by the way :))

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                Fosstodon has the two largest Japanese mastodon instances permanently blocked. Would avoid.

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                  Are those the instances that half the fediverse has blocked because they tolerate sexualized imagery of children?

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                    I don’t think cultural imperialism is a good excuse, but also the reason appears to be “porn themed follow bots”: https://twitter.com/marcan42/status/1589188383376834560

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                  I used to be part of mastodon.technology but moved to fosstodon when it closed.

                  So far so good, maybe a bit too active for my taste but I’m happy there.

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                  A server should not be treated as a community. The whole fediverse is out there. Treat it like you would email: ideally host on a domain you control, if you can’t then choose a host based on competence and stability and scaling etc. You can follow and interact with anyone on any server after that.

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                    Yeah, istm that blog + email = activity pub. It’s fine to use blog on BlogSpot or Medium if you don’t want the hassle of self-hosting, but if you’re serious about blogging, you should have your own domain name. Ditto email, if you’re serious you should own a host name, even if you outsource the hosting.

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                      No, a server really is a community. I hear what you’re saying, there’s no walls, except where server admins have created them. However, lots of people browse the local feed, a feed of all messages sent by people on that server. That means people will hear you even if they don’t follow you. One of the more frequent comments of newcomers is “wow, posting on mastodon isn’t like shouting into the void”, and this really is the reason. It’s a lot less lonely if you choose a good server.

                      Hachyderm and fosstodon both have dense clusters of top-notch tech people. I’ve occupied both, and posting anything remotely interesting generates immediate chatter that leads to great conversations.

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                      Lots of infosec people recently came to https://infosec.exchange and https://defcon.social

                      I’ve heard good things about https://hackers.town

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                        I quite like It, including the extra features of the glitch-soc friendly fork of mastodon.

                        I’m eyeing that stack (and features) as the basis for a local community – the idea of longer messages and better image support hidden behind a CW may convince some folks that were previously averse to the small character limit, bad threading model for longer posts on Twitter.

                        Does anyone have opinions on other fediverse software stacks? I like the architecture and resource footprint of plemora, but have been turned off by some of the political baggage with it and its forks. :(

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                          I really like glitch-soc. If you self-host, you should definitely fork whichever server implementation you use. Even basic stuff like changing character limits and re-theming is hard to really do without forking the code. I also think more people should know about Misskey. It introduces lots of the features you didn’t know you wanted and many you probably still don’t.

                          I share your thoughts about pleroma.

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                          I’m on https://infosec.exchange and it’s been an enjoyable experience. I mostly chose it because a lot of the people I actually bother paying attention to on Twitter moved there and I have to say the admin is awesome. I’ve seen some good discussions bleeding over from ruby.social but haven’t had time to check it out yet.

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                          When I chose a server, I considered their federation policy, because I didn’t want to out-source deciding which accounts I should be allowed to follow.

                          https://fosstodon.org/about and https://hachyderm.io/about/more both have long lists of suspended servers: “No data from these servers will be processed, stored or exchanged, making any interaction or communication with users from these servers impossible”.

                          I prefer the federation policy of https://qoto.org/about/more, which doesn’t suspend any servers. There’s a few others like that.

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                            The unfortunate reality of being on an instance like qoto.org is other, “heavily moderated” instances will suspend/silence you because of the lax moderation policy.

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                              The qoto.org admin notes:

                              Thankfully the servers blocking us are few and far between and are limited to only the most excessive and aggressive block lists. As I said, QOTO has one of the largest federation footprints on the fediverse,

                              https://qoto.org/@freemo/109319817943835261

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                                Anecdotally, every other server I’ve seriously looked at joining has had QOTO completely blocked/suspended/filtered. There are some things about it I found attractive but it seems like I’d be cut off from a lot of the community I’m looking to find on the fediverse based on where my twitter follows/followers have migrated.

                                Alright, should have double checked before posting. It looks like this is correcting, as at least Hachyderm and infosec.exchange do allow it now. (Still appears blocked at Hachyderm but the issue removing it is closed)

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                                It seems to have a lax federation policy, not a lax moderation policy. It doesn’t block other instances, but it moderates its members’ behavior.

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                                I can understand your line of thought, but often times there are good reasons to defederate certain instances. For example pawoo.net (japanese instance) allows content which is illegal in other countries. And since mastodon caches content of remote servers, this makes defederation or at least restrictions almost a must.

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                                  Yes, qoto.org’s policy is:

                                  We do not silence or block other Fediverse instances based on agenda, politics, or opinions held by their staff or users. We only require servers we federate with to follow one simple rule: respect a user’s right to disengage. Offending servers will only be silenced, not blocked, blocks will be reserved for technical assaults only such as DDoS attacks, or legal issues such as sexual abuse and child porn.

                                  qoto.org doesn’t currently block any servers, but is willing to if needed for the above technical/legal reasons.

                                  Other instances blocklists go beyond these technical/DDoS reasons. The advantage of a federated protocol is being able to pick.

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                                    I was on mastodon.technology, but the whole time I just wanted my own instance. Now when it shut down, I finaly have one. Then I can deal with my own policies.

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                                    Wow, I didn’t know Mastodon instances are censoring each other already.

                                    I just tried to send a message from qoto.org to hachyderm.io and it did not arrive.

                                    No error message on the sending side.

                                    Then I sent a message from indiehackers.social to hachyderm.io and it arrived immediately.

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                                      hachyderm.io has recently removed qoto.org from its blocklist: https://github.com/hachyderm/hack/issues/8

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                                        But the direct message never arrived.

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                                          Why is it still listed on their /about/more page?

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                                            Possibly a mistake and/or the lifted ban hasn’t taken effect yet.

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                                          Instances have blocked/silenced other instances for a long time. It’s a core part how the Fediverse views federation.

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                                            One of the core ideas of Mastodon is that instances control who they federate with.

                                            So you are free to create an account on any instance you like and post anything that stays within the instance’s rules. You just aren’t guaranteed an audience – other people may block you, or other instances my choose not to federate with the instance you’re posting on. This is freedom of speech in its purest form: you can say what you like, and other people can ignore you if they like. Or if they dislike their instance’s policies, they can move to another one or set up their own. But you can never, ever, a million billion times never, force another instance to federate with you or show your posts, or force another user to listen to you.

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                                          I saw a post on HN about an instance (Oulipo.social) that disallows the use of “e” in posts. Its a schtick, but an interesting way to force people to think about what they are trying to say, and it probably helps limit hateful interactions.

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                                            And don’t forget dolphin.town where you can only use the letter “e”.

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                                              Get one account on each for the full alphabet experience

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                                                That’s incredibly funny. Oulipo and it’s legacy are well-represented by tech nerds. I wouldn’t join that instance though, lest it ends with me joining instances in order to find the instance I meant to join initially.

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                                                I’m on https://types.pl. There’s also https://functional.cafe.

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                                                  functional.cafe fits me just right.

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                                                    For Emacs enthusiasts, https://emacs.ch is wonderful. It’s got a growing level of Emacs engagement I hadn’t seen for some time.

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                                                        Does it not block any servers or does it just not list the ones it blocks?

                                                        Looking at https://bsd.network/about/more

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                                                          The latter. I just moved off it because it blocked journa.host and I wanted to follow some journalists.

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                                                        Never really having socialized online within my own country in my own language i chose the largest one tied to my country. Lots of odd but normal people and i love it. Have already covered my techy needs on matrix, so i go to mastodon for something outside my usual online echo chamber. Loving it

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                                                          I’m following a number of game developers from https://mastodon.gamedev.place/ in case anyone is in that line of work.

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                                                            Host yourself! It is really easy to do that. The link shows how you can (1) get a free subdomain from freemyip.com, allocate a free letusencrypt certificate to the subdomain, and use oracle cloud free tier to host your instance. I use ktistec for mine, which is a single user activity pub server which can federate with any mastodon instance. It is very lightweight (written in Crystal, uses sqlite and filesystem as a backend etc.) and easy to setup.

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                                                              Interesting! Hadn’t heard of ktistec before. I’m hosting the excellent honk with some tweaks of my own. Good to see there’s more work in the ActivityPub space catering to small-time hosters like us.

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                                                              Your own! Self-hosting mastodon can be done (giving one has enough knowledge of Docker), and you can just follow people from other servers. Power of federation!

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                                                                I am currently not sold on local timelines (tried it several times), but I’m happy hosting my own instance for the moment. It’s not Mastodon, because I tried to self-host that a few years ago (maybe 2018?) and kinda hated it as a single-user instance.

                                                                I guess as long as you can’t subscribe to local timelines as an external user you’re bound to make an account there, kinda in bad faith as only a reader, to then follow from your external main account. Or don’t and miss out. Not a fan of this dynamic and I don’t plan to do it, even if it’s the technically correct way.

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                                                                  mtl.rocks is a fediverse node for the Montreal community, which in practice means it’s just me and a few friends.

                                                                  I can also vouch for Fosstodon.

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                                                                    I joined https://scicomm.xyz/, “A science community for science communication”, mainly because it’s hosting Daniel Fischer, a great space/astronomy commentator.

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                                                                      Those that only have a single user :)

                                                                      It’s really cheap and easy to self-host, especially if you choose something besides Mastodon (like Misskey, Pleroma, GoToSocial, Honk, etc.). It’s a very doable weekend project to put up your own little single user instance, and I’d highly recommend it.

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                                                                        In my latest newsletter I mentioned some of the servers that I think worth considering, take a look:

                                                                        https://notes.softinio.com/i/82821344/what-are-your-options-for-joining-mastodon

                                                                        You also have the option to host your own instance if you have the time!

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                                                                          Server doesn’t matter that much. The admin does.

                                                                          I’m @tomekw@functional.cafe and Marco, our admin, is great and super friendly! He runs the instance like a champ (consider donating! :) )

                                                                          As the name implies, FC focuses on functional programming mostly.