Eugen is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
Eugen @Gargron

Idea for (those are dropdowns).

I thought about the wizard and a lot. And I couldn't come up with any options better than interest and language. I don't think new people know what size of community they prefer, nor do they want to choose things like "untagged NSFW"

· Web · 6 · 22

The contrast and spacing on this sucks a little. I need to do something about that.

@Gargron moderation policies would be a strong #3. some people want a CoC, some people want anything goes

@trwnh I'm not sure I want to promote anything goes instances?

@Gargron that's fair, but is there currently any filtering for the instances list based on this? for example, asks this question

@Gargron any way to calculate interactions? like ratio of posts ignored.

@Xyc0 Nooo, that's way out there

@Gargron I figured. anything I'd want to know would be way too taxing on the DB.

@Gargron I don't think this is a good idea.

To me, it feels like you're trying to promote other instances but by doing this, you're simply curating for instances that you like.

I personally think that this may result in less decentralization.

@Gargron Well, if you curate the list, you end up with people who have effectively less options.

Also, if people don't agree with the label given (example : artist), then they will simply go for the main instance.

That's without saying how much of a chore it would be to both have all those labels and choose one label.

We should stick to filtering instances by how moderation is done / what the rules are because it's much more varied and less opinionated.

If you want to let users choose based on interest, you should let instances set tags instead of curating them and giving them labels.

@Lionirdeadman this is about getting *new people* who are looking up "how to join mastodon" into instances they're happy with.

this doesn't change anything for people who know what kind of instance they want to join, or who want to start their own. it's purely about guiding people who aren't sure about what they want to do.

@nightpool But it's guiding them to a curated list with labels on them, I'm not sure how this promotes decentralization.

It makes it easier to find something if you fit in one of those labels, but no it doesn't encourage decentralization and it may actually alienate certain users who don't fit in those labels.

I wonder if this looks better

@Gargron y'know I love that you're, like, looking at things and going "hmm" and playing with them until they look right, rather than holding a meeting to see what you can A/B test along key demographic lines to utilitize your core paradigms on a go-forward basis or what the hell ever

@Gargron Oh and to actually answer the question that looks lovely but the "and here is where I can sign up" kinda makes it sound like other instances are totally off-limits - maybe something like "and these places would be happiest to see me" or something like that

@Gargron I think the line running through the left is a bit distracting. Otherwise, it looks good.

@Gargron That's better. One of the issues i noticed about Mastodon when signing up was that it uses computer science tech jargon to describe its features (fediverse, instance, decentralized, etc.). Social Networking and products/services in general are more effective when they use less difficult, easy to understand words to explain complex things.


Try to pick aggressively poor combinations and see what you get

@Gargron Not sure if its politically correct but i wish y'all named "instances" to "tribes".

"Here, you can pick which Mastodon website you want to be in. Unlike other social networks, Mastodon works much like tribes. Each tribe (Mastodon website) has it's own set of interests & rules about what you can say within its tribe. Once you pick a tribe you can not only talk to other people within that tribe, but you can also talk to people from other tribes within the Mastodon social network."

Neighborhoods is what I would like instances to be called. Then your local timeline makes sense as a metaphor 😊

@eliasg @Gargron

Yes, that would be much better and would avoid any drama from PC issues. Also, the federated timeline should just be called the "Global timeline". It's less scary for users (federated sounds like federal, aka FBI), is more accurate from an end user point of view. Not only that, but the icon for the federated timeline is already a globe.

Local timeline = Neighborhood timeline
Federated timeline = Global timeline


I'm an [artist] and I speak [English] and this is where I can sign up:

I think that would be better placement/wording for the dropdown menus.

Here is a video demo, with bad data:

Actually getting the categorization data from somewhere is gonna be a challenge.

@Gargron /api/v1/instance/languages or /api/v1/instance/topics are planned?

@kasaikumin languages is simple and makes sense, yes (would add it to /instance, no need for new endpoint), but I don't know how topics would work. For meaningful categorization we need consensus on terms, which means no freeform text input. But then we'd need to come up with a comprehensive list of categories to hardcode...

@kasaikumin But in both cases waiting until a new release is out and installed on most servers AND the server admins took the time to enter those details, that would take forever.

@Gargron I do not know whether I welcome this innovation. What about the people who don't want to associate themselves with a particular interest group?

Most users are logged on to generalist instances, aren't they?

It can also be interesting to take a look at communities you are not yet bound to.

@Gargron Maybe add "you can follow anyone, no matter what instance you pick" (or something like that) to the bottom text box?

@Gargron You could add a moderation level chooser, like what @CobaltVelvet did here:

@Gargron I wish I could select an instance based on what percentage of its local posts are about the nominal interest topic versus the percentage that is the “default Mastodon content” about video games, anime, and oc’s.

@Gargron This is good. joinmastodon's "here's a huge list of websites, good luck" is an *insanely* intimidating first step to getting newbies on board, to the extent that I pointedly didn't direct people to it and instead suggested specific instances to them. Emphasizing human interests over tech-y attributes (and using less jargon-y language in the process) helps lower that barrier.

@alahmnat @Gargron I know for me it took a few weeks on my first instance just to learn the ropes. Only after that did I grok why my instance mattered, along with size, content rules, etc.

@Gargron for their first instance, they maybe don't know the size of the community but if they move, they will maybe want to know. I would and some friends of mine too.

Maybe add a dropdown:
"I like to"
1- "lurk"
2- "take part in community"
3- "feel close to others"

(1 is for big communities, 2 medium sized and 3 for little ones)

@Gargron search bar so I can search name/description/about blurb

@Gargron also having option to just see the whole list would be cool too (I like browsing for interesting instances)

@Gargron Interest and language are good, but geographical region might be worth it, too. Using everyday language (e.g. avoiding 'fediverse' and the like) would also help make Masto more accessible to newbies. Just a thought.