So you have decided to join Fosstodon, but what now? Your timelines are looking a little bare...hang on, rewind...what is a timeline? What is Mastodon? What is Fosstodon? Are they different?

These are questions we commonly receive from new users, so we decided to put together a list of five things you should do after you join Fosstodon, which should make things a little more clear.

1. Get to know Mastodon

Mastodon, Fosstodon, the Fediverse - what are all these things? We get it, the concept of Mastodon can be a little confusing at first. Lucky for you though, there are some great article out there that can help.

Two members of the Fosstodon team, CodeSections and Kev have put together some really useful articles on getting to know Mastodon and how the whole thing works:

By now you should have a good idea of what Mastodon is and how the Fosstodon instance fits in to that equation. So let's get stuck in to Fosstodon and what you can do there.

2. Fill in your profile

Filling in your profile only takes a couple of minutes, but it contains some crucial information about you and your interests.

If you join Fosstodon and keep a blank profile you're a lot less likely to have people follow you back, or engage with you, if you have a default avatar and no info in your profile.

Having an engaging profile will help you build an audience on Fosstodon, and across the fediverse, so you are more likely to get engagement. Also, you can put links in your profile, so if you have a blog of your own, you may get some new visitors!

3. Post an introduction

We recommend that one of your early toots should be an introduction about yourself, the things you're interested in, and why you have decided to join Fosstodon.

Make sure you include the #introductions hashtag in your post, so people can see your post is an introduction and so that it appears when people search for the #introductions hashtag.

People with larger amounts of followers then tend to boost your introduction so it gets more visibility. Ipso facto, you get more followers too. :)

4. Find interesting people to follow

When you first join Fosstodon, it can be difficult to find interesting people to follow. There are millions of people throughout the fediverse, so how do you even start finding the right people?

A good place to start is the local timeline. We're very proud of the fact that Fosstodon is full of really interesting individuals who have a Linux/FOSS/technical background. So seeing what people are tooting on Fosstodon is a great starting point.

You can also take a look at the #ff hashtag, which is short for Follow Friday. Every Friday people from all over the fediverse recommend a number of interesting people that they follow. There are some great recommendations in the #ff hashtag.

You can also check out the Mastodon Trunk, which is a collaborative website that allows people from the fediverse to be added to user lists for all kinds of topics. This is a great way of discovering new people.

Since you have decided to join Fosstodon, we're willing to bet that you're probably interested in Linux, FOSS and technology in general. So here are some user lists from the Trunk that you may find interesting:

5. Enjoy Fosstodon

The fifth item in this list is probably the most important - enjoy Fosstodon! We're super proud of the community we have built up around Fosstodon, we rarely have any problems with trolls, and the vast majority of people are inclusive, interesting and polite.

We really do hope you enjoy your time on Fosstodon, but if you have any further questions, or need help, feel free to ping one of the team.

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