Hey, Hi, Hello! Welcome to DMV.Community! The regional Mastodon instance for people in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas.
This wiki is aimed at folks new to DMV.Community, Mastodon, and the Fediverse. Here you will find information on getting started with Mastodon, finding content, people to follow, and apps and tools to use with your account. For more details about Mastodon and how it works, check out our "What Is Mastodon?" page.
Since this wiki is aimed at people who are new to DMV.Community, we assume you have already created an account on our instance. This is not intended as full documentation for Mastodon, but as a supplement to the official Mastodon docs, with some information specific to DMV.Community.
Start by setting up your profile:
You can choose to feature certain hashtags that you use often. Go to Settings > Profile > Featured hashtags to manage which hashtags you are currently featuring. Once featured, a link to the hashtag will be shown on your profile, with the date of the last time it was used in a status, as well as the total number of statuses in which it was used.
Now that you've got your profile set up, it's time to start connecting with people and finding the content you're interested in.
If you're coming from Twitter and haven't deactivated your account there yet, it's a good idea to start with a tool like Movetodon to find your Twitter contacts on Mastodon. Trunk is also a good resource for finding people in certain categories of interest. Followgraph gives you a deep dive into your extended network, by looking up your follows' follows. Follow FediFollows, which is an account that posts interesting accounts to follow.
Searching for content on Mastodon is a bit different than searching on Twitter. Mastodon does not have full-text search (keyword search), but instead heavily relies on hashtags. Mastodon’s basic search allows logged-in users to find posts containing a specific hashtag, or to load a user or status directly if they know the URL or address. Searching for a term will show profiles whose username or display name contains that term, as well as hashtags that match or contain that term.
The best way to introduce yourself to the Fediverse and to your followers is to make an introduction post. This helps people you follow see who it is that followed them, and follow you back. Your introduction post should include a sentence or two about you, and include the #introduction hashtag, as well as any other hashtags relevant to your interests. Many people follow the #introduction hashtag to find newcomers to follow. It is recommended to include hashtags regarding your region, career, hobbies, and interests.
You are also able to “pin” up to 6 posts to the top of your profile, and it is recommended that your introduction post be one of these.
There are three main timelines on Mastodon: The Local Timeline, the Federated Timeline, and the Home Feed.
The Local Timeline is public posts from people on your instance (DMV.Community).
The Federated Timeline is all public posts from all users "known" to your instance. This means the user is either on the same instance as you, or somebody on your instance follows that user.
The Home Feed is posts from users you follow, the posts they boost, and hashtags you follow.
Unlike Twitter, there is no algorithm on Mastodon. This allows for more meaningful, intentional, and genuine engagement.
“Boosts” are the best way to increase engagement. This will reshare the post on your profile for your followers to see and send a notification to the author.
“Likes” or “Favorites” will put the post in your favorites list, and send a notification to the author.
When you “Bookmark” a post it will be privately added to your bookmarks list without generating a notification.
Now that you know your way around, it's best to look at the DMV.Community About page for specific rules, policies, and other general information. In general, we expect you to treat each other with kindness and respect. Mastodon offers several tools to make it easier for you to post what you want while being considerate of others.
Content Warnings (CWs): Content Warnings allow you to hide the content of your post behind a short description of the content. It is recommend to use CWs liberally when posting potentially disturbing or controversial content, e.g. spoilers, NSFW content, disturbing news, or politics. This can also be used to add a summary or subject for your post, to collapse long posts, or to otherwise provide context or setup for the body of the post.
When attaching images to your posts, please use “Mark Media As Sensitive” for sensitive images, e.g. nude photography. This hides the full media behind a blurred thumbnail by default. When adding a CW to a post, attached media is automatically marked as sensitive.
Keep conversations civil, respectful, and in good faith. Avoid escalating and insulting others. Harassment and threats of violence are strictly forbidden and may result in posts being removed and accounts being suspended.
We all want the DMV.Community instance, and Mastodon in general, to be a safe, friendly, and welcoming place for everyone!
Have fun, and happy tooting!