Mastodon For Dummies

Mastodon For Dummies

Mastodon For Dummies

Mastodon For Dummies


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A little birdy told us you needed to know more about Mastodon

Ready to escape the drama of existing social media platforms and try something new and awesome in the world of social media? In Mastodon For Dummies, experienced tech trainers Chris Minnick and Mike McCallister show you exactly how to use Mastodon, the hot decentralized social media offering on the web and destination for thousands of social media migrants. Learn how to sign up for the service on your choice of server and get familiar with the rules of what’s sure to become your new favorite app. You’ll discover how to connect with other people, attract your own followers, and make yourself right at home in the Mastodon community.

In the book, you’ll find:

  • Easy-to-follow instructions on how to choose the Mastodon server that suits you best
  • Instructions for establishing new connections on a new social platform and learning the rules of the road
  • Tips for conducting business on Mastodon and making a home for your home-based business or brand on the social media service
  • Step-by-step guides on launching your very own server

If you’re ready to leave old social platforms in the rear-view and try something new, grab a copy of Mastodon For Dummies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781394193363
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/01/2023
Series: For Dummies Books
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 1,073,457
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Chris Minnick is an experienced tech educator and writer. He is the author of JavaScript All-in-One For Dummies.

Michael McCallister has over twenty years’ experience as a technical writer. He is passionate about simplifying complex tech topics for novices.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 4

Where to Go from Here 4

Chapter 1: Exploring Mastodon 5

A Brief Definition of Mastodon 6

A Brief History of Mastodon 7

Comparing Mastodon to Twitter 8

On Mastodon, conversation is the focus 9

Mastodon is a home, not a site 9

Mastodon is built to serve its community 10

Algorithms aren’t allowed on Mastodon 10

Users aren’t tracked on Mastodon 11

Ads aren’t acceptable (yet) on Mastodon 11

Welcome to the Fediverse! 12

Understanding Federation 13

Chapter 2: Digging into Mastodon 15

Choosing a Server 15

Browsing your options 17

Understanding sign-up speed 18

Reading the rules 19

Previewing a server 19

Meeting the admin 19

Seeing why smaller is better 20

Signing Up 20

Choosing your username 21

Choosing a display name 21

Choosing a password 22

Following the suggested people 23

Customizing Your Profile 24

Starting with the basics 24

Setting options and metadata 26

Viewing and tweaking your profile 28

Choosing featured hashtags 29

Setting Your Preferences 30

Choosing your preferred language 30

Checking out the themes 31

Trying out the advanced web interface 31

Looking at animations and accessibility preferences 32

Glancing at the other options 32

Getting Verified 32

Getting your verification link 33

Linking back to Mastodon 34

But can I have a blue check mark? 34

Securing Your Account 35

Getting an authenticator app 35

Setting up two-factor authentication 36

Understanding Mastodon’s Three Timelines 37

The home timeline 37

The local timeline 38

The federated timeline 39

Signing in Using the Mobile App 39

Chapter 3: Finding and Following Friends and Strangers 45

Searching for Users and Hashtags 46

Searching for users 46

Searching for hashtags 47

Following Other Users 48

Follow freely 48

Finding recommendation lists 49

Following accounts boosted by friends 50

Exploring 50

Following Hashtags 51

Viewing Trending Topics 52

Viewing top hashtags 52

Learning from history 53

Blocking and Filtering 53

Filtering content 53

Finding out who’s blocked 55

Blocking and muting users and servers 56

Unmuting and unblocking 57

Reporting users 58

Chapter 4: Developing a Following 59

Finding Your Friends on Mastodon 59

Searching for fellow Twitter refugees 59

Inviting friends and family 64

Boosting and Favoriting 66

Joining in the Conversation 68

Introducing yourself 69

Asking for advice 69

Asking big questions 69

Being funny 70

Being respectful of others 70

Posting about Mastodon 70

Using Direct Messages 70

Writing and sending direct messages 71

Remembering that direct is not private 72

Chapter 5: Toot, Toot: Writing Effective Posts 73

Knowing the Lingo 73

Instances, nodes, and servers 73

Toots and posts 74

Avoid using birdsite terms 75

Content warnings (CW) 75

Minding Your Manners: Mastodon Etiquette 76

Review the code of conduct 76

Be conversational 76

Build community 77

Using Hashtags 78

Enhancing Your Posts 79

Illustrating your posts with videos and images 81

Creating a poll 83

Setting post privacy 85

Adding a content warning 86

Changing your language 87

Chapter 6: Mastodon for Business 89

Doing Business in the Fediverse 89

Taking it slow 90

Monitoring what other businesses are doing 91

Knowing the Policies of a Server 92

Find out whether business users are allowed 92

Find out whether marketing is allowed 93

Adjusting to Mastodon 94

Make it personal 94

Don’t repeat yourself 94

Ask for guidance 94

Making Positive Contributions 95

Contributing money 95

Contributing expertise 97

Contributing equipment 98

Contributing space 98

Running Your Own Server 98

Chapter 7: Running Your Own Mastodon Instance 99

Building an Instance 99

Hosting your own instance versus using a hosted instance 100

Understanding 101

Getting started with 101

Opening Your Instance to the World 107

Adding (and limiting) users 107

Defining rules and policies 112

Keeping your instance staffed 115

Funding your instance 116

Keeping Your Instance Running: System Administration 117

Making backups 117

Fighting spam with scripts 118

Supporting user’s discoveries 118

Enforcing the Rules: Moderators 119

Reading reports 119

Fighting spam 122

Disciplining other sites 122

Contributing to the Mastodon Project 123

Reporting bugs and making suggestions 123

Preparing documentation 123

Getting involved with your instance 124

Chapter 8: Ten Tools that Integrate with Mastodon 125

Metatext 126

tooot 127

Whalebird 128

Subway Tooter 128

Tusky 129

TheDesk 130

Toot! 131

Tootle 132

Halcyon 133

Hyperspace 134

Chapter 9: Exploring Other Fediverse Platforms 135

PeerTube 135

Discourse 136

Pixelfed 137

Friendica 138

Funkwhale 139

BookWyrm 140

Inventaire 140

Lemmy 141

Owncast 142

Pubcast 142

Index 143

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