@bryanalexander most of the folks you know are on scholar.social but you can follow them. From here

@jgmac1106 Hello! Thank you so much for replying.
I have no idea how to find a specific instance, how to join it, and if I can join it and the one (I think) I'm currently on.

@bryanalexander No, you don't just hop from instance to instance. Each one is a separate server.

Each has its own rules.

You can follow anyone from any instance.

@jgmac1106 I'm struggling with the instance concept in practice.
Can I belong to two, or do I have to end my participating in one?

@bryanalexander @jgmac1106 You can be in as many instances as you like, but they are all separate accounts (i.e. posting in one instance will be seen by all your followers on other instances, and to instances that federate with your instance, but not in your home timeline of one of your other accounts, unless you follow yourself - I'm sure I could have explained that better).

@dadegroot @bryanalexander @jgmac1106 Every now and then I read an explanation like this that makes perfect sense to me and yet at the same time know that it'll make no sense to most.

Best advice I have heard is replace the word "instance" with "community" and then join as many as you want/ can manage. (Wish I could remember who shared that bit of sanity.)

@tdorey @dadegroot @bryanalexander @jgmac1106 those of us who joined fairly early tend to be on .social and changing instances means losing whatever you have made on this one. If you decided to change though, there is an 'import the list of people I follow' button/function.

I stay where I am and follow people by noticing who they are linked to - who talks to whom. e.g I don't personally know @sleslie but they seem to be connected to interesting people so I followed them (hi)

@lauraritchie @tdorey @dadegroot @bryanalexander @jgmac1106 @sleslie I joined social very early on. Now I don’t understand how I get over to scholar to see/participate? New account? It’s hard to get my head around instances even though you all have been schooling me for a year about it.

@actualham @lauraritchie @tdorey @dadegroot @bryanalexander @jgmac1106 @sleslie
Me, too, and here I still am, even though I know I want to eventually move to another instance that is more of me. So, heck, you're not alone, Robin.

Follow

This instance architecture is still bugging me.
It seems like users have to pick one as their home, their main base, their primary lens through which they experience Mastodon.
@dogtrax @actualham @lauraritchie @tdorey @dadegroot @jgmac1106 @sleslie

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If that's right, there's a problem with the onboarding process, since that forces you into one w/o the ability to search, and w/o enough information to choose in many cases.
@dogtrax @actualham @lauraritchie @tdorey @dadegroot @jgmac1106 @sleslie

@bryanalexander Have not tried this tool myself, but it was built to address the issue of which you speak: joinmastodon.org/

@tdorey That's really not helpful. It forces users into instances with very low amounts of information.

@bryanalexander the mailserver analogy applies here, I think, although you're right that there is little info on which mailserver / instance you sign up on and who else is using that server. Which is why I decided to run my own, which leaves just the discovery issue (for which I triangulate through the following/follower lists of the people I connect to.

@ton Hello!
The mailserver analogy has a lot of problems, starting with it leaves most people behind.

@bryanalexander I looked it up and found... there's a page that lists all the instances, and yes, you can view the public timelines. You can browse before you join. Here's the scholar one: scholar.social/about Here's the page that lists the different ones: instances.social/list#lang=&al=

You only have to look through that lens on the local timeline, and you don't have to use it at all if you don't want to.
:) @dogtrax @actualham @tdorey @dadegroot @jgmac1106 @sleslie

@lauraritchie Aha! That is progress.
The list is random, but can be read through.
Search... kinda works.

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