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Mastodon help required. I've got an account here on mastodon.social. I'm interested in another instance, tabletop.social, which is about RPGs. What's the best way to get a sense of what's going on there, find a place in that community, etc? I can create a second account there, but doesn't Mastodon's nature mean I don't have to? I can browse their timeline (e.g., unmung.com/mastoview?url=table) and follow individuals; is that the way to do it? Bit confused.

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I am not, it seems, the first person to ask this. Or even the ten-thousandth person to ask it, looking at the github issues list. And it looks like there isn't really a good solution. Some instances show their local timeline on their /about page (tabletop.social doesn't; I don't know whether that's admin choice or not); you can't follow a whole timeline from another instance (many bugs requesting this have been closed). The answer is: have two accounts. I am sad about this answer, but OK, fine.

Well, now I have two accounts. So I'm likely to be talking about roleplaying stuff more as tabletop.social/@sil, I imagine, unless I get really annoyed with this two-accounts thing and abandon that.

@sil if you want to switch you should switch, and then import who you follow.

Toot a message on here and let us know on your new account, alt post from new account and boost from here.

The importing follows help to get people to follow you back.

@maloki I could switch, but I don't really want to; I don't want to exclusively be over there. What I want is, basically, the "federated timeline" but for just some instances (this one and that one). Moving over there seems a bit badly thought-out.

@sil or you could just dual wield accounts. 😅

@maloki I could, but I think that'd be hopelessly confusing :( For me and for others ("you're on Mastodon? what's your address?" "well, it's these ten different addresses depending on which things I write that you find interesting.")

@sil @maloki At the moment that's the best solution, until there is some form of common ID between instances.

@sil it's only going to be as complicated as you make it.

Your main will be your main and when they find it they'll probably find you linking alts, and they can choose if they prefer another.

@sil I don't think it will be that bad tbh. How many topics are you interested in that (1) you intend to write more than "from time to time", and (2) have a dedicated Masto instance?

In my case, it's just storytelling/RPGs, and the main one for everything else. As @maloki says, you typically have one that you consider you main account, so you give that one. In the custom fields for the profile you can add links to the other account(s).

@sil Hey!! Mastodon's nature means you can always interact with users from other instances, but you must create an account in those instances to access local features

@sil that’s what I do. In the web app, you can add another timeline, probably in your phone as well. I’m iOS - think you are Android?

@Denderix I can add a timeline for a whole different instance? That'd totally solve my problem; how do I do that? I can't see a way of doing it in the desktop web app. On my phone (Android) I use Pinafore, and I don't think that's got a way to add a timeline from some other instance either (@nolan will doubtless correct me if I'm wrong :))

@sil @nolan hmm...lemme look in a few...mobile atm - using @toot app on iOS

@Denderix @sil I'm not aware of any way to have multiple timelines from multiple instances in the same app at the same time. There might be another app that supports it, but currently Pinafore requires you to switch back and forth between instances.

@sil I think the answer is "yes" -- do what makes sense for you.

You could divide your social network stream. Many clients support multiple accounts.

You could follow folks over there and participate in discussions.

You could use an app that lets you look at other timelines without following anyone.

I think it depends on how you plan on participating more than there being a correct answer. I imagine that in the end people will have a few ActivityPub accounts they use differently.

@ted yeah. I really don't want multiple accounts unless I have to -- for utterly-completely-single-purpose-only instances then fine, maaaaybe, but I don't pigeonhole the stuff I write in that way, and don't really want to either. The app that lets me look at other timelines would be great, except I don't think it exists :)

@sil I believe that Tootdon can do it, but I've not used it: itunes.apple.com/us/app/tootdo

I'm using Tusky which can not though. Seems like a cool feature.

@sil I think that the multi-accounts will come from multiple tools that solve different problems. For instance, your blogging software could appear as an account, Gitlab, your social network, news feed reader, etc.

The result is that you'll be pushing and consuming the messages in different ways, even if they're all AP based.

@sil you can follow everyone on that instance if you wished to... or you can move there and just follow your existing friends once the account is set up. The nature of mastodon allows for you to be anywhere. Your not stuck on your instance alone. Heck, i'm the only person on my instance. I created it for me alone.

@sil I have an account on tabletop.social (tabletop.social/@hardcorenarra) myself. Although obviously you don't need it, I think it's the best:

* It's easier to browse the local timeline.
* You get to use the local features, like the doodling while tooting (you can doodle something in place, and it gets uploaded as an attached image).
* If you have a second account, you can write about RPGs and whatever in that account, and so people who are interested in that follow it, and people who aren't, don't.

@sil It seems really simple in the app I'm testing, but I can't do it in webview either. the github page is github.com/DagAgren/toot perhaps that's a place to check?

@sil I use Mastalab and can recommend it for multi-account tooting :)

@cathal I have just discovered that Pinafore (which I like, 'cos PWA) handles multiple instances (hooray nice one @nolan!) although not simultaneously (you've gotta explicitly "switch" between them), so I'm good for now :-)

@sil @nolan Yea, that's a pain point if your account interests overlap some. At least in Mastalab, you can long-press reply/retoot/follow etc and pick which account to use on-the-fly: I expect most apps eventually adopt similar features, though they're hard to document.

@sil It is the admin's choice as to whether they show the local timeline. It seems a little unwelcoming to hide it for a community instance like the one you're talking about - perhaps message the admin to turn it on?

@sil Unfortunately I don't think you can see the local timeline in its entirety unless you create an account on the server or you visit their timeline (presuming it's public) repeatedly. You can follow individuals there, and you'll see parts of the local timeline (public posts that aren't flagged to be shown on the local server only, and non-private posts the people you're following can see), but that's about it.

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