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About Mastodon

Mastodon is a social network similar to Twitter. social.lux.blue is an instance of the Mastodon network hosted on a server managed by Nathan. The mission of social.lux.blue is to provide a trusted alternative to corporate social media platforms, serving as a hub for a community of friends to share lives, stories, links, pictures, ideas—without all the bullshit.

This is a private instance of Mastodon, which means that you need an invitation to create an account. Contact Nathan if you have not received an invitation and would like one.

Read the User Guide and FAQ

It is a good idea to read through the brief User Guide (and perhaps the FAQ) to familiarize yourself with Mastodon basics. It might be a bit confusing without a general orientation.

Edit Your Profile

After you have created an account, login to social.lux.blue and click on "edit profile" under your username. Check out the settings you find there:

  • Display Name : Appears next to your username in the Mastodon timelines. Enter your real name or whatever you want, or leave it blank.
  • Bio : A short blurb that will appear on your public profile page. Enter up to 160 characters or leave it blank.
  • Avatar : An image that appears next to your username in the timelines and your profile page. Upload whatever photo or image you want.
  • Header : Appears at the top of your public profile page. You don't have to use one.
  • Check the "lock account" box if you want to approve people before they can follow you. Probably a good idea, otherwise anyone will be able to follow you automatically and see posts that you restrict to followers-only.

Save your changes and then have a look at the other account settings. Refer to the User Guide for more info.

Understand Post Settings and the Timelines

Every post you create will be one of the following, depending on your default settings or manual selection per post:

  • Public : Appears on both local and federated timelines. Anyone can see these posts.
  • Unlisted : Does not appear on public timelines, but will appear on your public profile page (not sure of the use case for this).
  • Followers Only : Only shown to those who follow you.
  • Direct : Only shown to those whose usernames are inserted in the post.

Posts appear in the following timelines/columns in Mastodon:

  • Home : Posts of people you follow.
  • Notifications : Posts in which your username is mentioned.
  • Local Timeline : Public posts from everyone who has an account on social.lux.blue.
  • Federated Timeline : Both local public posts and those of people followed on other instances of Mastodon.

Follow Some Friends

Once you have created your account on social.lux.blue, you should automatically be set up to follow Nathan (@knyfe). To follow other people, look for a post on the timeline, click on the name or avatar of the person you want to follow, then click on the Follow icon in their profile. There won't be many people to follow until we get this thing going, so keep checking the timeline for new users.

Key Things to Remember

  • It's called a "toot" instead of a "tweet".
  • Privacy settings for your account: If the "lock account" box is unchecked in your profile settings, anyone who chooses to follow you will be automatically approved and will see posts you restrict to "followers-only". If the "lock account" box is checked, people can request to follow you but will not see your "followers-only" posts until you approve them as followers.
  • Don't count on privacy: Because of the federated structure of Mastodon, it may not be possible to delete posts from all the linked servers. There is also no guarantee that "followers-only" posts will be respected if you have followers on other instances. The settings are useful for filtering feeds but if you require assurance of privacy, have the conversation off Mastodon. Always assume whatever you post could be seen by others.

Mastodon apps for Android and iPhone

Check the social.lux.blue/about page for recommended Mastodon apps you can install on your phone. Or look at tootsuite/documentation for a full list of available clients and tools.