@Temrin e.g. I followed you after you sent your first toot, so by default my feed just shows nothing: https://social.kithop.ca/media/XAHnh1qtpOZpoRE7JsQ
However, if I click your profile picture, it opens a tab with your actual feed as it is on the mastodon.social instance, which shows everything you've made public:
@Temrin There's a special 'Federated timeline' that is 'everything my instance knows about every other instance in a global feed'. I don't use it that much, because on a big server like yours it can be pretty spammy. Think of that kind of like Twitter's 'trending'.
@kithop Hmmm *nods* I just signed up for this one because it was what was shown to me. I had no idea it made a difference because i'm so used to social media being one big thing. Not like discord servers. XD
@Temrin Yeah, you're on basically 'the big server run by the core developers as an example instance', that many many people conflate with the entirety of the system. It's no big deal, but you may not specifically want to stay there.
@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 When posting, you see the little globe icon? That lets you specifically post public/followers only/private toots. 'CW' is 'Content Warning', and lets you tag your stuff with e.g. 'nsfw', which hides it by default unless someone clicks 'more' beside it to open the toot.
@Temrin If you haven't seen it yet, there's some good documentation too:
@kithop Yeah i've read all through those. It's not quite answering my questions.
@kithop I'm not even sure how to view their public feed. Is this the small feed on their join pages?
@Temrin Yup, that's it! All public posts sans replies.
@Temrin I dunno, it'd be almost like saying 'hey I'd like a Twitter feed with *everyone in Canada in one giant mess*', in my mind. It'd get.. really unwieldy fast.
@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 They just seem more like groups than "heres just a thing attached to my name" to me. I'm obviously still going to watch people individually if i want to, but instances feel more like groups to me and thats why i have an interest to see whats in them.
This is Kithop's private, invite-only instance - hosted on FreeBSD in Canada.