tl;dr: follow me on Mastodon at @CodingItWrong@tdd.social
Mastodon is an open-source social network. It’s a microblogging platform and so most closely modeled after Twitter.
One of the key architectural decisions of Mastodon, and the ActivityPub protocol it’s based on, is decentralization. Rather than a single organization running the servers, there are many different servers, called instances. Each handles terms of service and suspending accounts separately, meaning that no one organization is in control of decisions that, for example, enable terrorism or suppress beneficial speech.
If you’d like to create a Mastodon account, you need to choose an instance. You can follow users on any Mastodon instance, but choosing an instance with a topic that matches your interests will make it easier for you and others who share those interests to find each other.
Here are my suggestions on how to find an instance:
- Check the Mastodon instance list to see if one jumps out at you as interesting.
- If none of them does, mastodon.online is a good default choice. It’s run by the developers of Mastodon itself.
Mastodon has a built-in web client that works well on desktop and mobile. You can ask around for recommendations for native mobile app clients, but for my uses on iOS I’ve found that the web client works best.