When you first sign up on an alternative social network like Mastodon, it can seem a bit lonely as it works very differently to algorithm-driven networks like Facebook or Twitter.
There are lots of ways you can make friends and find interesting posts to read and comment on:
– If you want people to see your post, make sure the visibility of this post is set to “public”. You can also set visibility to just friends, or even just people you’ve tagged.
– If you want people to find your post, make sure you include relevant hashtags. Searches on Mastodon happen entirely through hashtags, so it’s important to use them if you want people to discover what you write.
– When you first sign up, post a little bit about yourself along with the hashtag #Introductions. Many existing users are on the lookout for these hashtags and will welcome you, perhaps offering to answer any questions you have.
– Don’t be shy about following others. On federated social media, your posts become more visible if you follow more people.
– You can find people to follow through the Trunk opt-in directory. It’s a community-run site that lists people who are looking for followers and is organised by topic.
– If you’re on a themed instance, you might like to click on the “Local” button to see all public posts on your instance. (There’s also a “Federated” button which shows all public posts on all instances, but that’s a bit of a fire hose and difficult to use.)