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Okay, let's do a straw poll. You need to recommend a Mastodon instance to a new user. You know nothing about them except that they're generally left-leaning. What instance do you recommend to them in good faith, and why?

Please note that I am specifically asking about Mastodon instances.

If you see this after January 3, 2022, please don't respond to or boost it; this is meant to be fairly rapid-response. <3

@noelle that's a really hard question... how left leaning?

@thegibson :blobcatgooglyshrug:​ Someone who would read guidetomastodon.com and think it was a good guide?

@noelle I’d say mastodon.lol is good. It’s a bit more general, but it’s what I picked. I saw the “for anti-fascists” and dove right on in.

@HerbSteelbranch @noelle +1 for .lol

The admin does a good enough job of keeping the lights on the fash out. The locals are generally pretty nice; I don't think I have ever had a bad interaction.

Beyond that, it's a pretty chill place to host your account and access the greater fediverse from.

@noelle @nev i mean my own bc im pretty sure we've robustly blocked every shithead on the fediverse, but it's a pretty quiet lil instance as a result and we block a lot of the "big" ones since they have no functional moderation

@noelle If a cooperative or commons approach to running a Mastodon instance interests them... Social.coop; beyond that they can find and follow people on any instance and in that way cultivate their own space...

@noelle weirder.earth is nice. Since I've come here in late august, I haven't really experienced anything really bad, and the mods are cool folk.

If they were interested in tech, I'd say mastodon.technology and icosahedron.website are good exceptions to the usual story with techie instances.

I recently made an alt on types.pl to post more serious tech and academia stuff, and the vibe there is cool indeed, the local timeline is like a uni cafeteria and the mods are p attentive.

@noelle Oh, my "why" part is a bit weak. Basically, these instances have super good rules, a list of suspended, silenced &c instances that are a testimony to these rules, and anecdotally I haven't had any significant negative interactions with folks of these instances.

@noelle It's always a bit tricky, given some instances aren't accepting any new accounts, whilst some will upon request, or via invitations.

Generally, though, there's quite a few that would fit: rage.love, weirder.earth, sunbeam.city, cybre.space, octodon.social..

@noelle I don't, anymore. I know that's not the answer space you're looking for, but I have never, ever invited someone to mastodon and had a good experience with it. For a variety of reasons, and to no one's real fault.

Most of the instances and communities that *are* as friendly and welcoming and not either completely and totally niche or borderline silo's themselves are all invite-only.

@noelle I think one of the points of pain in this is that the current on-boarding process for (completely) new users is much, much worse than what most existing users remember or experience themselves. By-and-large only communities that have meaningful "new folk welcoming" cultures are really able to compensate -- those exist but are the exception not the rule. And instances with out that type of culture are generally just really bad experiences -- regardless of how good the community is at other things. To make that more obnoxious, servers that stay closed too long tend to lose that cultural phenomenon unless there's a really big push by the larger voices.

The really great features of federated social networks are often hidden or completely hamstrung by the increasingly bad new-user-experience.

lol I realize I'm going to get completely skewered for that take. But to love something, you have to be able to be critical of it -- and I love mastodon.

@noelle I’m left leaning and ended up on mas.to if that’s any help?

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Hic quoque abibit.

Just Ellie (and perhaps some of her toys).