OK question: If instance A and instance B do NOT federate, can a user from instance A follow a user from instance B?

@TheKinrar wait, what do you mean "they will federate"? The two users? For clarity, I think we should reserve the word "federate" for something that instances do...

@schlink What do you understand as "federate"? In my definition it is the act of A following B. Do you mean when domain blocks are used by the admin of one of these? (Domain blocks are a last-resort tool of dealing with troublesome instances)

@Gargron oh hm ok.

Yes, I thought "federation" was the act of "instances" playing well with each other. For example, I would have said "awoo.space only federates with the mastodon.social instance". But it sounds like you think of federation as something individual users can and do do?

cc @TheKinrar

@schlink @TheKinrar awoo.space, in that description, says that they manually block all domains that aren't mastodon.social (a super insulated policy). However the main act of federation is subscriptions between users

@Gargron @TheKinrar ok, I'm getting there.

1. Sounds like "federation" is more the technical ability for users to subscribe across instances.

2. It seems the biggest thing that a makes an instance unique is specifically the local timeline. Clearly this lends itself to establishing a culture, so I'm not discounting it. Just trying to understand

3. Do you encourage users to maintain different accounts on different instances?

@schlink @TheKinrar Yes I think that's apt. For 3., no, not really. But I recommend doing so if they say they want to have an alt account. It's more interesting that way.

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