New people, welcome to Mastodon and the Fediverse!
Here's how to get started:
2. Find out your Mastodon/Fediverse address so you can share it with friends (https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107248252715651564)
3. Invite people to join you on here by telling them to go to https://joinmastodon.org and click on "Get Started". It doesn't matter if they join a different server because the servers talk to each other (here's a bit more of an explanation https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107021461185874594)
4. Find out what the Fediverse is (https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107044096139091624)
5. Find out why Mastodon being on so many different servers/instances is a really good thing (https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107083735491993183)
6. If you see anything nasty, you can report it to your friendly server admin (https://mstdn.social/@feditips/106540152842368591)
7. You can (sort of) verify your account if you own a website (https://mstdn.social/@feditips/106274105538953001)
If you have any questions, @ me or DM me!
8. If you're blind or partially sighted, there's a guide specifically for screen reader users at https://www.starshipchangeling.net/mastodon
9. There is no overall owner of Mastodon, it's a collection of thousands of independent servers each with their own owner and set of rules.
10. There are no venture capitalists or cryptocurrencies or tokens or coins or web3 or NFTs or anything like that on Mastodon. Servers are entirely owned and paid for by their admins, and they rely on donations to keep going. Please be nice to them, they're doing you a favour by building this lovely corner of the internet.
11. Mastodon instances and Mastodon servers are the same thing. It doesn't matter which word you use.
12. Don't worry too much about which server you choose, you can always move your account later (see here for details https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107939441820299376).
13. You can even set up your own Mastodon server if you like. You don't need any tech skills if you use a managed hosting service like https://masto.host or https://federation.spacebear.ee, who do all of the techy stuff for you.
14. You can find apps to use at https://joinmastodon.org/apps. You do not have to use the official apps, if you don't want to! There are lots of great unofficial apps which actually have more features than the official ones. You can see the unofficial apps on https://joinmastodon.org/apps by scrolling down to the "third party apps" section.
My question is, let's imagine I want to have my own server, right?
I follow the steps and so on.
Now, here it is, having my own server is free, or should I pay for it?
There's a monthly fee, starting from about 6 euros or 6 US dollars for the smallest server. If you split that between a few users (you and some friends or family) and you're down to a dollar or two per person per month. On larger servers the costs are just tens of cents per user per month, it is not a huge amount.
Owning your own server means you control the server, you set the rules and no one is spying on you.
On Facebook, Twitter etc, it's "free" but they cover their own costs by spying on you.
If you're a techy person you can install Mastodon yourself using the official instructions at https://docs.joinmastodon.org/admin/prerequisites
An easier option is to use @yunohost to install it through the Yunohost operating system.
The easiest option though is to use managed hosting services for a fee.
'Free' social network like Facebook isn't free - you pay by giving up your privacy and valuable personal data. That’s expensive. We don’t sell ads, or invade your privacy!