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net: from Twitter to Mastodon with WordPress auto post and Movetodon.com

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OK, now that the Twitter dumpster fire is pretty clear, it's time to move on to some new techie pastures. So I've been experimenting with Mastodon for the last few weeks. It's a strange environment that feels like the first days of the Web. But, basically, this is about Activity Publishing where there are lots of decentralized servers all talking.

Picking your Mastodon name and server

The first confusing thing is that you can have the same user name of many servers, so @richt@noc.social or https://noc.social/@richt is just one of my identities. Also, note that the namespace is not unique at Mastodon, so you can just camp on anyone's alias, there are zillion @richt accounts for instance. So there is no way to be unique and most of the clients seem to drop the Mastodon server. Isn't that awful?

The thing to do is to first go to the central onboarding area, which seems to be Join Mastodon then browse around looking for a decent server that reflects who you are. You can actually have as many accounts as you like so don't feel bound to anything, but your followers are per account, so there is a decently complicated UI to switch from one server to another and not lose your followers, but I have just 17 followers, so it is easier just to make a big move now. Some good servers and the way to actually figure this out is to use the Mastonaut and then look for servers with a decent number of people. But the main idea is that you have a core social group, then you join that server, so a server is sort of like a user forum or Facebook Group:

  1. mastodon.social. This is the main one, but hard to get into, they have a huge queue for this one, but remember that there is a "local" feed of everyone talking on your server, so you can't just select a cool name, but need to make sure you won't be bored (or horrified by what people are posting locally. In this case, joining some massive server means a massive list of folks that you may have to block.
  2. Indieweb.social. I only joined because https://web3isgoinggreat.com uses it. What a great site that is. Nice design too.
  3. corteximplant.com. OK who doesn't want to be a cyberpunk one, but it only has 200 or so followers
  4. noc.social. This is the one I started with, so I think the way to do this is to try local feeds and then sign up for what you want.
  5. qofo.org. This is an academic site, I was hoping for a bunch of researchers, but that's not really the site, seems like a relatively non-technical site.

Then there are multiple timelines that are local to your server (so pick a spot that is like you like NOC is the Network operations people) and then there is the federated timeline.

Mastodon clients

Well, the simplest one is the web one, but there are a zillion iOS clients and I'm still trying to figure out which is the best one is up for debate I've been using Metatext but the thing is none have the simplicity of TikTok in swiping and replying.

As for the Mac, there is Whalebird and Hyperspace that I have to try, but I think I like Mastonaut the best so far mainly because it has all three major views in a tiled configuration. Whereas Whalebird is more like Slack so you don't see as much on a big screen and it didn't handle multiple accounts well. It does kind of make me wish for a Slack client that was laid out like Mastonaut.

WordPress Autoposting

The big thing that I normally do is to use the JetPack social plugin to post to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Tumbler, but with the Mastodon AutoPost which does the same thing, so I'm pretty happy to get regular posts out from here šŸ™‚

Finding your old Twitter followers Move To don

There are a couple of these applications, but Move to Don works great well, you can see how has a Twitter following that matches. This works when you link your Twitter account to the Mastodon. Sadly, only 110 f the 1,800 people I"m following have done this but it's a start. Hat tip to @tibor@maston.social

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