The main problems of modern social networks are the collection of personal data, the inability to take your information and incomprehensible moderation. At such a moment, you just want to take and make your Facebook or Twitter. What if it's easier than it sounds?
Mastodon is a free in all respects social network, an analogue of Twitter, where anyone can set up their server and manage it as they want.
Mastodon from the point of view of an ordinary user
The social network is divided into two main parts: the front-end and the back-end. In this block, we will talk about the front side of Mastodon.
To start using the service, on the main page of the project, you need to click the Get started button and select the community that suits you best.
At this point, it is important to understand the following:
- A community is someone's server that is controlled by an independent organization or people;
- You can join other communities and communicate with their members independently of your community;
- You can go to another community at any time;
- The Mastodon website does not display all the communities that exist in the system;
- Some communities require confirmation from the owner to join.
Before joining the community, you can look at the authors and publications that it contains.
Join the community
Registration in the community is the same as on any familiar site. You choose a username in the community domain, enter your mail, password and register.
The username for each community must be selected separately, as well as the password. But you can always specify one email to link your accounts in communities.
After registering and confirming your email, you will receive a short tutorial on what is happening in Mastodon and in the community itself.
Then you find yourself in the Twitter counterpart. Moreover, this is such an analogue of Twitter that I will not even talk about its capabilities. Everything is the same, but the name is slightly different.
The only obvious disadvantage is that the Mastodon feed has nothing to do with Twitter. Consequently, there are their users, their authors and their own feed. You will have to collect subscriptions according to your interests from scratch.
Mastodon has an official iOS app, but Android users are left out.
With it, you can join communities, read your feed and receive alerts. Unfortunately, this is a Progressive Web application, so you sort of sit through a browser.
Due to the fact that the sources of the social network are open, everyone can create their own application. Therefore, unofficial applications are available for Android, iOS, web, Mac, Windows, Linux and even SailfishOS.
Mastodon from the server owner's point of view
It will not work to create your own community, although this does not prevent you from being an author and attracting subscribers to your account. In this case, you will again depend on the owner of the service.
To take life into your own hands, you need to create your own community, for which you need to raise your Mastodon server. On your server, you set the rules of communication yourself, select the allowed topics, and at the same time you can still communicate with members of other communities.
For Mastodon server, as well as for most similar projects, you will need to acquire a domain name, VPS server, mail provider. Additionally, you need a file server.
All this can be found and assembled on your own, or you can use one of the providers who will do everything for you: Masto.host, Hostdon or Spacebear. There is also an option to deploy a fully prepared Mastodon image to DigitalOcean.
And there really isn't much more to say about Mastodon. The whole point of the venture is just how important it is for you to have complete control over your data.
Or how underground your community is. From a technical point of view, on Mastodon, you can raise a server for the community on the most unpopular topics, while no one can do anything to you.