I'm thinking about launching an instance, but would like to get some decent federation going before I open it up to subscribers. Is there a socially acceptable method for this?

Or should I just invite a few people, and ask them to import their follow list first?

there are a few hashtags (*BSD-releated) that I'd want to be semi-populated

I suppose this is the main reason why follow-bots exist :/

@zigg also, federation only follows the people that you and your local instance follows. so, if nobody on newinstance.example follows @AFresh1 then nobody there will see his hash-openbsd toots. :(

@phessler thats the reason I don't like small instances. Finding new people is very tough

@GeekDaddy yea, I want to attempt to address that before starting one

@phessler the only "mass solution" is follow bot. Which kinda annoys

@phessler There is no way of subscribing to a specific tag remotely...

@phessler best way is (i think) that you follow some of those and invite sellected people to progressively load your instance.

@phessler Is really important to bootstrap the federation?

I suppose I don’t use the federated timeline much, which might be why I don’t see the benefit over letting it grow organically.

@phessler back in the day, i ended up with a few early adopters who followed key folks, and then i made a point to follow interesting folks who showed up

as sort of a "push-followbot", i do run @Ambassador to boost highly-favorited posts on my instance, and that account follows other ambassadorbots i learn about. it's not widely adopted by other instances, tho :/

also: i very recommend having a topic, serving a niche, being a cozy home rather than another mastodon.social clone

@phessler ugh, apparently this reply got eaten and never made it off my local instance:

Followbot/account and pre-seed some people. What’s your instance?

@phessler the typical approach I saw was admins following each other to get things going.

@mulander I think a combination of importing following lists, a themed follow-bot, and an ambassador bot, will be the best results.

hopefully, the follow-bot shouldn't be needed after a few weeks

@phessler @mulander I used a follow-bot for the first week or so, but it resulted in a lot of follows on japanese-mastodon for some reason. (Which made my federated timeline mostly in japanese, which didn't really help with content in the end since my users couldn't read it).
So be careful when selecting followers :)

@renatolond @mulander yea, it'll do some curated following, based on some simple heuristics to see if they are "on-topic" for the instance.

hopefully the bot can be deleted after 2 weeks.

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