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Mastodon: I switched from mastodon.social to graz.social

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On December 28 2019, I received following email from the Mastodon instance I'm using since 2017:

While your account is limited, only people who are already following you will see your toots on this server, and you may be excluded from various public listings. However, others may still manually follow you.

I violated their rule-set which includes a ban of cross-posting retweets to Mastodon.

After some stupid whining, I understood that I had to migrate my active but limited account to a different Mastodon instance. Their instance, their effort, their rules.

While this was not a high-priority task for the longest time, it got some attention after I learned about a brand new local community server that ran a Mastodon instance: Graz.social.

They do not only provide Mastodon service. They also have Mumble, Peertube, Jitsi Meet and other services. I support them financially with a few bucks each month.

Moving to Graz.social

Joining a local Mastodon instance has several advantages. My biggest hope is that the local time-line finally makes any sense at all. At Mastodon.social, the sheer amount of arbitrary content did not provide any substantial difference compared to the global time-line. All kind of topics mixed in one endless flow of toots. If this local instance from Graz is gaining more and more users, I get a nice flow of messages from people living nearby. Serendipity at its best.

Furthermore, I do have a direct connection to the local Mastodon instance administrator. We can share thoughts and ideas on how to maintain and improve local services. This personal relationship is a huge value to me. It further strengthens my relationship with the whole project of Graz.social.

I moved my Mastodon account from Mastodon.social to Graz.social on April 25:

Moving a Mastodon account is really painless. However, being on this fresh instance, I quickly realized that my hashtag-columns are more or less empty except for my own toots: #graz, #orgmode, #emacs, #decentralization, #österreich, #pim. This is because this new instance does not have much connections to peer instances. Therefore, toots I was able to locate using hashtag-searches were out of reach.

Since my old account on my previous instance is in sleep more, I could not access my old hashtag-columns in order to write down some accounts I could follow directly. So I had to create posts like this where I asked other people to recommend accounts to follow.

This was not anticipated by me and this is the only really disadvantage when changing to a brand new instance without a substantial number of people. The admin added some relay connections to other instances. So far, I did not see any difference. Let's observe this over the next months.

I did some advertisement in my bubble to motivate people switching to this Mastodon instance. It's progressing, but at a slow rate.

Using a not so well connected Mastodon instance is a drawback after using one of the biggest instances before. However, my Mastodon motivation is higher than ever thanks to the wonderful service of Graz.social. I'm positive that the instance gets more and more feeds in the future.


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