One of the comments on yesterday's post about Mastodon was someone on LW inviting me to join their instance, and I now have an account: [EDIT: moved to after disappeared]. Right now everything is pretty empty: I don't have a good way to find people I know who are using it and there's no aggressive People You May Know like on FB. So: if you're on Mastodon let me know your username and I'll add you.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on what it's like to use it later when I've actually done things, but so far:

  • Following someone whose account I did know (Harris, was a little clunky. I was able to get it to work by searching for their username on my server (instead of clicking "follow" on their profile). It also wasn't immediate, so I initially thought it didn't work.

  • The local timeline seems uninteresting. Possibly this is being on the wrong server, or possibly this just isn't a feature I'd like.

  • The global timeline is even less interesting, which isn't surprising since "posts on Mastodon" is not a good proxy for "has interests and conversational norms I like".

  • Posts are limited in length, so instead of text-only versions of my posts with a link, like I do on FB (example), I posted a short summary and a link (example).

  • Mostly it feels pretty normal, interface-wise, and things seem to work how I would expect.

I'm planning to start linking my posts there, at least for a while, and see how it goes.

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4 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:06 AM

I am (newly) on Mastodon: I make no claim that that server has anything much to recommend it; I thought to myself "there ought to be a server called mathtodon", did a bit of searching, found that one, and created an account there. There is another one called which seems to have more mathsy people on it and to be less Japanese, but it isn't currently taking new users. I might migrate there at some point since there are people there whom I know.

I share Dagon's view that it would be tragic if it were actually a bad idea for everyone to go to

(I doubt that I will be very active on Mastodon, which means that following me is unlikely to have much in the way of benefits or costs.) seems like a bad choice; that server has been flaky for months and it's not loading today either. (I had my account there but moved to

(But I don't know what to recommend. Looks like isn't accepting new accounts.)

No idea how it is as a server.  I'm moving there because of how beautiful the name is, for this particular coordination problem.

Which server are most of the cool science and rationality folks at ?

Maybe we need LW users to reply here with their favorite servers.