I'm going to crank out a primer on Mastodon in the next few days. My aim is to answer questions and help new users get started. I'd love to hear what you don't understand or what you learned that others could learn from!

@maxeddy I think the whole instances/federation thing is a real obstacle to mass adoption as a lot of new people have no idea what the hell that is about. What is an instance, why are there different instances, why do I need to create a new account for other instances etc

@genoforprez @maxeddy YES this. and that you aren't the same name everywhere, and your name can get taken before you sign up for another instance

@maxeddy Do people follow each other across instances? Or is it easier to just keep everything separate?

@maxeddy Also I'm using Tootdon and I'm like what is even the point of looking at the federated timeline because it updates in real time and it's like dozens of new posts every second... It's barely readable so why would/should I bother?

@maxeddy I figured out how to toggle off real-time updates, but I have another question. Are there any apps that allow you to get notifications for specific users? I'm using Tootdon and my friend has Tusky and neither of them appear to have the option.

@tardybox Hi there! I'm curious if your toggling of real-time updates was in an app or through the web interface? Because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to switch it off on the web!

@tardybox Ah! Ok, I am relieved because I thought I was missing something EXTREMELY obvious!

@tardybox @maxeddy

It can just be difficult as visibility and server lag can vary instance to instance

@maxeddy Links to Mastodon mobile apps (and even better, to some solid comparative reviews) would be wonderful

@maxeddy I figured out the deal with instances pretty quick but I’m totally confused on how to switch instances - make a new account? but somehow you can import followers? help

@maxeddy instances are still pretty baffling to me tbh

@maxeddy The server you sign up on really matters. Don't just run to the main one and make an account, because you can't move it later. Start by checking out the instances list.

@maxeddy I’m still struggling with instances, and whether each one needs a different log in..

@maxeddy I'm using the desktop browser interface, and was wondering if there's a way to make the columns wider or the text smaller like on tweetdeck.

@maxeddy I think a lot of people seem confused by the instances and needing multiple logins.

@maxeddy I understand what instances are, and I have an idea for one or two that I think could be really valuable communities and I would be willing to moderate, but I have no expertise in running a server and no time to learn how. What's your advice for folks in my position?

@maxeddy I reallllly don't understand instances. Please help. lol

@maxeddy Everyone I've seen tempted to join recently has been confused and put off by instances. We're told joining the right one is important but there are over 1,000 and you get very little info to help you choose. And in practice it really *isn't* that important anyway. Addressing this will be key to gaining traction I think, so might be a subject worth touching on in your primer.

@maxeddy The up-front instance-choosing is definitely weird.
It's like choosing a team to be on when you don't even know what the game is or how to play it.

More here, including at least one more just real fabulous analogy: mastodon.social/@tangocharlie/

@maxeddy Like, I would love to help distribute the load away from big ol' dot-social, but while I love and cherish gay French witches, I don't want "gay French witch" to be an integral part of my Mastodon identity.

@maxeddy would love to get refs for the best iOS client. The web client is excellent but would prefer an app.

@maxeddy @Gargron That'll be incredibly helpful! The most confusing thing I found so far is how to choose which instance to set up an account on - more info about how to make an informed choice would be great.

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