@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).
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)
@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.
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: https://scholar.social/about Here's the page that lists the different ones: https://instances.social/list#lang=&allowed=&prohibited=&users=
@lauraritchie Aha! That is progress.
The list is random, but can be read through.
Search... kinda works.
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