John Bull Profile picture
Nov 5 19 tweets 5 min read
Right. As a heavy tweeter/content creator who is now maintaining BOTH a Twitter and Mastodon presence, here is a short guide to what I have set up, how to do it and lessons I've learned, for others.

TLDR: It's been WAY less hassle than I expected thanks to tips from followers /1
Firstly: Why do this?

Y'all may have seen my thread on the Trust Thermocline. Must is PLUMMETING Twitter towards it. As a creator it thus makes sense NOW to start an active presence elsewhere on at least one possible migratory space for existing followers
So how does Mastodon work:

Its not one place. It's 'federated'. You pick a server to be on. That server by default will pull in some 'toots' (a silly word) from other servers it federates with into its timeline, and block some others.

But YOU can follow anyone, on any server.
Think of Mastodon as like a class at school. You can have friends in any class or year group. You CHOOSE to spend time with them.

But you are also in a class, so tend to know a fair bit about ALL your classmates through daily exposure, your year less so, outside that by chance.
This is why it is important to pick a server for yourself that:

1) Has a moderation policy you like
2) Has a list of federated servers it pulls in which looks fun
3) Seems to match your interests and posting style.

Bit like how you'd end up on specific forums.
DON'T WORRY. You can MOVE your account later. Whether to a new space you like more, or if your old server is shutting down for some reason.

I literally did this yesterday to a more UK-focused server. Moving repoints your FOLLOWERS to you. You don't lose them!
So just scout around, find a Mastodon server you like, and join. You can move later without major follower loss.

BUT if you have a big twitter following, it is polite to at least reach out to the admin of that Mastodon instance and warn them you're coming or chip in a few quid.
Okay, let's talk mechanics.

Once you've picked a server (I'm on I recommend mirroring your twitter bio, header and profile pic to it in order to help discoverability. Post a few things.

I'm a big fan of Proof of Cat. A unique photo of your pet.
To reduce effort of maintaining two presences, I'm doing this:

1) Mirroring my non-reply tweets to Mastodon.
2) Posting unique Mastodon comments, when it feels right to say something just there
3) Replying, liking and following periodically on Mastodon seperate to here.
To mirror my tweets to Mastodon, I use this cross-poster. Others are also available. I have it set to mirror all my Tweets except replies.

If I don't feel a Tweet was RIGHT for mastodon, i just pop over quickly and delete it after posting it here. Simples
I also periodically running Debirdify. This find ANY my follows who have added a mastodon tag to their twitter bio and dumps them as a CSV. I can then import them into Mastodon.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you add your OWN Mastodon handle to your twitter bio.
Debirdify also allows you to export CSVs of people you have blocked and muted who have a Mastodon tag in their bio. So you can bring those blocks/mutes over, too.
That's it. Bosh. Done. You have a Mastodon presence you can bet-hedge against Twitter going tits up AND (I'm finding) as a nice community space in its own right.

All you need to do is garden your tweets, comment occasionally and check your mentions there to reply to people.
And by putting your Mastodon tag in your twitter bio, you're allowing your existing followers to find you. I recommend periodically mentioning your presence there on your feed, too.

Did I mention you can find me here: 😉
Does this work? It's working for me. I'm pushing 3k followers on Mastodon after a few days. 5% of my presence here, but all nice people (some existing, some new) and it's about quality not quantity.

Plus taking it slow allows me to learn the norms and be a good community member
Finally, a wonderful tip from a few of my followers there and here was that you can make your Mastodon 'home' look (and function) like Tweetdeck!

It's under preferences, appearance, 'advanced'.

Bloody ace. multi-column layout showing mentions, home, local space etc.
There you go. I'm not here to argue IN FAVOUR of Mastodon. It has flaws. But so does this place.

But, as a creator, I need to think pragmatically about building followers in a new space as early as possible, just in case.

Hopefully this thread helps you do that too. /END
ADDENDUM: Not sure what Mastodon server to start on?


Chances are a bunch of them are on a Mastodon instance already. And you know they share interests you do, because they're following you here!

That was how I ended up here:
Oh and if you find this useful, you can always buy me a thank you coffee here!

Actually that's a lie. I'll spend it on beer.

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More from @garius

Nov 18
My one-tweet Mastodon starter advice:

1. Pick a server where people are likely to post generally about stuff you're most interested in.
2. Follow interesting people on other servers, who will boost interesting stuff into your home feed. THEY are your algorithm.

1. Don't panic. Follow the advice above when picking your server, Read their rules on what content is allowed.
2. Don't let decision paralysis kick in. You can move your account to a different Mastodon server later, your followers will stay followed.
Also, I did this thread a while ago which will help you.

Think of Mastodon as halfway between Twitter and Forums in how it feels. It's different, but in good ways as well as ones that can feel strange.

You can follow me there as:
Read 10 tweets
Nov 17
Fun* fact:

James Earl Jones was the original choice to play Dr Quincy in the TV show "Quincy ME"

The network refused to accept the casting as they felt showing a black man doing autopsies on white girls wasn't good for the channel.

*Not fun
This is one reason why the character is so dynamic and a lothario. Was meant to be a much younger man than Jack Klugman.

The writers actually rewrote the pilot to make Quincy more sedate, but sent the original script to Klugman by mistake.

He loved it, so they ran with it.
Given how much of a pain in the arse to the studio Klugman became in that role once the show exploded (he realised it gave him the biggest social justice platform on television, and the studio couldn't fire him), their racism kinda screwed the studio overall. Which is nice.
Read 8 tweets
Nov 16
BTW one of my favourite things in fantasy art is that if you want to make a dragon look menacing or powerful, you draw it in poses used by cats.

If you want to make a dragon stupid but loveable, you draw it in poses used by dogs.

Once you see it, you can't unsee it.
This is also why cats in stupid poses are just so intrinsically funny. It feels so non-predator. And the fact we model dragons on cats, I think probably has a reverse reinforcement effect as well.

We need more pictures of dragons in stupid snoozy cat poses.
Honestly: If we're going to paint dragons based on cats all the time, where are my pictures of sparked-out dragons on their comfiest hoard of gold.

Belly up. Doing bunny paws, but still with the most menacing grin you've ever seen.

Classic cat pose. Would work for snoozy dragon
Read 7 tweets
Nov 7
To add a serious point to this great tweet:

The traditional drift rightwards as people age is really a drift towards maintaining the status quo once you feel part of it.

But if you can't buy a house, see a GP, afford childcare or get a stable job you never become the status quo
Which is actually one reason why Springsteen's back catalogue suddenly becomes more relevant.

Because a lot of it is about the frustrated dreams of people for whom the social contract has failed, normally through no fault of their own.

And people trying their best to survive.
I mean, seriously.

The Ghost of Tom Joad is arguably MORE relevant now as an album than it was when Springsteen wrote it.

If you've never listened to it, please do and you'll see what I mean.

Here's the title track:

Read 4 tweets
Nov 4
Mastodon, I have discovered/learned so far, is a bit like email.

It doesn't matter what server you join, as you can follow anyone on any Mastodon instance.

So pick one that matches your interests and/or moderating needs as your home, then follow peeps anywhere from there.
There is a good, basic guide to the whole 'Federalized' thing at the link below.

And, in the short term, I'm cross posting most of my tweets to Mastodon using a tool to make things easier, but then checking my replies both here and there
The other thing I have discovered is that you can set up a new account on a different Mastodon instance and, in most cases, set your old account to FORWARD to that new account.

Which some of you may find handy.
Read 7 tweets
Nov 3
Okay, so a few people have asked how you spot the where your Trust Thermocline is, and how to avoid hitting it. I'll give you the same answer I give senior execs:

I don't know.

But the people working on the ground level in the customer-facing sections of your company do. /1
Because it's those people that will be picking up on the general vibe of your userbase and their 'grumbles' - i.e. the complaints that the user shoulders internally (mostly) rather than makes directly in feedback.

So its your creators, your community managers, junior sales etc.
But the BIGGEST sign you are at risk of hitting your Truth Thermocline, if you are a relatively large company, is this:

Do you have a customer retention process? Do you have a sales retention TEAM? Do you have a customer retention DEPARTMENT?

Alarm bells.
Read 8 tweets

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