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 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
Nov 3
One of the things I occasionally get paid to do by companies/execs is to tell them why everything seemed to SUDDENLY go wrong, and subs/readers dropped like a stone.

So, with everything going on at Twitter rn, time for a thread about the Trust Thermocline /1
So: what's a thermocline?

Well large bodies of water are made of layers of differing temperatures. Like a layer cake. The top bit is where all the the waves happen and has a gradually decreasing temperature. Then SUDDENLY there's a point where it gets super-cold.
That suddenly is important. There's reasons for it (Science!) but it's just a good metaphor. Indeed you may also be interested in the "Thermocline of Truth" which a project management term for how things on a RAG board all suddenly go from amber to red.

But I digress.
Read 21 tweets
Nov 1
Nothing in that is worth $8 a month to me as a 'creator' on here.

Indeed priority in replies from the randos and brands who do it is going to make my general experience actively worse.

Congrats to Elon for monetising Sealioning/reply guys. Very on-brand Cartoon about Sealioning, w...
This is a classic case of seeing a revenue stream that, on creation, slowly destroys the thing the thing you're monetising.

In Victoria 3 terms, Elon just taxed grain.
I've seen this a lot over the years in tech bro company leaders who cannot grasp that there is a difference between revenue that generates short term value (to lead to a sale or new funding round) and that which creates sustainable profits.

They always think they're the same.
Read 7 tweets
Nov 1
Twitter refuge spaces I'm on:

Counter Social:

Not super-active on them at the moment (but cross-post to Mastodon. I'm applying the 'Gaiman Test'. I'll move where people I like move.
But follow now to avoid disappointment later.

I generally set up my userID on most new (non-Fash) social media platforms as you never know what's going to be popular and reserving early avoids regret, plus gives me a chance to play.
You can generally tell whether a 'garius' on a different social media platform is me or not, because these days I always post a unique picture of Napoleon or (currently) Little Foster Kitty.

"Proof of Cat" is the best form of verification.
Read 4 tweets
Nov 1
I'm old enough to remember when TV light entertainment was mostly squirrels doing assault courses.

Seriously. Was for a good year or so. Whole programmes full of it. And significant chunks of others dedicated to it.

Then it just... Stopped.
Always wondered why. I suspect wage inflation and a growing appreciation of performer value.

When it first started the squirrels were clearly fine with a few basic nuts. But as the assault courses got more complex they probably demanded more.

And rather than pay, TV moved on.
We think of Netflix' "two seasons then stop" thing as a modern shitty phenomena. But I don't think it is. I think the signs were there in how TV treated those squirrels.

Exploit their talent for audience share, then move on. Didn't matter we all loved their antics.
Read 4 tweets

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