Join the Federation! The Mastodon Federation! (Non-Fiction)

Freethought Blogs just joined the Mastodon migration! (HJ Hornbeck explains Mastodon in two posts Post 1. Post 2.) Our instance is Freethought.Online and HJ has the details.

I hesitated to join Mastodon because I wasn’t sure which instance to join. Once I had an account on FO, I found the interface easy to navigate. While it’s like Twitter, it feels more like a micro-blog site. It’s possible to express an idea without breaking it up into 20+ posts. I’ve started slow, but I plan on posting more content as I get used to it.

Even if you don’t join, HJ has a list of decent Mastodon users, including Jennifer Ouellette and Neil Gaiman.

Freethought.Online is open to bloggers and FTB commenters in good standing. If you want to join, here’s the process.

This of course creates a problem of verification. The bloggers side is easy enough, but what about all you commenters? Mastodon does have a verification system in place, but it’s easily thwarted by a comment section that allows linking. No, instead we’re going to take advantage of the fact that, in order to comment here, you’ve got to supply an email address. That email address will be your key to the magical world of Narnia our Mastodon instance.

You, though, may not want your FtB handle to be your Mastodon handle, and for that matter you may not care about Mastodon at all. No problem, we can take advantage of my comment section to make the process opt-in. Post a comment there with the following info:

  • Your desired Mastodon username.
  • A link to a comment from at least a year ago, on one of FtB’s blogs.
  • A link to a comment on that same blog from within the last week.

DO NOT POST YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. You don’t want the ensuing spam, and I can read your account’s email off my administration panel. It’s not the one you want to associate with Mastodon? WordPress allows you to change your address. Once I get around to it, an email will arrive at that address with further instructions on what to do. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t pop up, there’s a good chance it went in to the spam folder. I’ll know to be on the lookout.

There is a bit of a wrinkle: all the blogs on FtB are semi-autonomous. I’m not convinced that the username on one links up to the same username on another, so impersonation might be possible. Just to be safe, let’s add one more step: after your request, you’ll need to make a comment on your “home” blog verifying you’re the real McCoy. The simplest way to verify is something like “hey guess what, I have a Mastodon account at [a link to]!” in less than two days, but that’s uncomfortably similar to advertising. We’re not fans of that around here. Since I have to write a comment back when I fire off the email anyway, to help you detect if it got lost in a spam filter, I can give you a few randomly chosen words. Slip those into your most recent comments within 48 hours, and you’re in. Slip up, and you’ll be bumped to the bottom of the queue.

I hope to see some of you there, or from another instance. The Federation has room for all descent beings. 🙂

Leave a Reply