@Temrin Typically, think of following someone as more subscribing to all *future* content from that point. The reason being, with no real central server (it's all decentralized/federated), your instance basically sends a request to their instance going 'please send me copies of everything this person makes public so I can include them in my feed'.
@Temrin If you're unsure, there's good resources like https://instances.social/ and https://carlchenet.com/the-importance-of-choosing-the-correct-mastodon-instance/
Basically - the owners of the instance can set their own rules re: harassment, if they will ban people and for what, etc., because it's *their* server, not some corporation's. It could get to the point where certain instances could choose to not federate (i.e. ban/block) an entire other server if they wanted to.
@kithop So, when you said to me before that you had found some instances of content you were interested in, you just watched someone in that instance to get all the instances content? (sorry just confirming. Makes 0 sense to me LOL. I'm usually not this slow at understanding this sort of stuff.) It just feels wrong to watch someone to get access to their entire instance and not to watch their content for THEM.
@Temrin I mean, you can look at who I'm following, but it's the same as with Twitter. People 'boost' (retweet) other posts, I go 'oh hey, that's neat, what else do they talk about, cool, I'll follow them'. So I've ended up seeing tech-inclined furries, music, and stuff like that. I think witches.town and niu.moe have a lot of LGBTQ+ and/or furry-friendly types, for example.
@Temrin If you haven't seen it yet, there's some good documentation too:
@kithop hrrng. Thats rather frustrating and counter intuitive imo. So i have no choice but to sign up with a different instance/(at)Temrin(at)server to actually have access to it one my dash. I still cannot find if you can be logged into multiple accounts/instances at the same time or only one at a time. blurg.
@Temrin Instance feeds are not really indicative of some global conversation beyond 'here's some random stuff people are talking about that happens to be all on this one server, so you can get a feel for if this place is right for you or not'. You still have to follow individual users, regardless of whatever instance they're on (and TBH, that doesn't *really* matter anyhow).
@kithop (and reading that if a server goes down/gets deleted i have to sign up elsewhere under a different instance to get access to mastodon is weird to me. I dunno. It just makes more sense to me to have one name and allow people to join instances. From what i read on instances, they are pretty much like groups or discord servers. Lots of them have topics the group is about.)
@Temrin The threat of a server going down is always a thing, yeah. It's a function of size, money, maintainers. I mean, look at stuff like Yahoo Messenger or MSN or whatever - these things die too, and those are really big corporations.
But yeah, I don't think 'groups or Discord servers' is at all accurate. Think more... 'this instance is like hotmail.com and that one is like gmail.com and that one is yahoo.com'.
@Temrin They're groups in that yeah, you'll get a core set of people being like 'we're going to make our own instance, so-and-so will run the server, we'll all chip in some money for costs, and we set our own rules about how our place is going to be awesome', but I'm not sure people use the server-wide feed as a general chat like you would on Discord.
@Temrin Right. I honestly never look at the federated feed or instance-wide feeds elsewhere, because this is how I think of it - it's just the server their account happens to live on, but it's the people I'm interested in, so I see them from boosts/who my friends are following or interacting with/etc. and then follow them too, just like I've done on Twitter.
@Temrin The only time you should worry about what instance it is is when *you're* signing up, because you're saying 'I'm going to make an account on your server, so I'm going to follow your rules, *and* you're the one responsible for hosting my posts, images, etc.' Otherwise, it's basically Twitter but where people's account names include the server they're on, because there's more than one server, like e-mail.
@Temrin The big instances like mastodon.social are akin to signing up for Gmail. They're big, they're well tested, you have a reasonable expectation that things are going to work fine, and there's enough people interested in it and funding / supporting it that you're pretty good.
Or you can sign up at someone's vanity instance because you want to be different. ;p
Oh, right, there's also https://yiff.fyi/about ... because yes, you could be firstname.lastname@example.org if you wanted. XD
@kithop Lol. Yeah i've seen a few like that and i'm just like no thanks. xD If anything i'd make something with like my website name or something in it just because but i'm not going to bother even looking into what it takes to run a server just for that lol. I'd use it for nothing else but that. XD
@kithop Yeah. Wish the FAQ and stuff i read before joining actually said anything about the importance of picking a server. It was super non-challant "what about this one?" "sure i guess?" XD Oh well. Whatever. I'll poke around some other time. I wont be using it too much until i can cross post to it from Hootsuite or something. I'll forget otherwise. XD