I'm going to start a thread of quick #MastoTips for new users. Apologies for any hiccoughs, these toots aren't planned, so they may seem a little haphazard.
First of all: Welcome to Mastodon! If you're coming from Twitter you'll find some things very similar. Mastodon is a microblogging platform for sharing thoughts, photos, music, video, etc.
Posts on Mastodon are affectionately called "toots". You can laugh, it's OK. We found it funny too when we first joined.
The biggest difference between Mastodon and Twitter is that Mastodon is decentralized, and federated. This means that no one person or company owns Mastodon; the larger community (called the "Fediverse") is made up of hundreds of smaller servers called "instances" which speak (federate) with each other. That means if you're on Mastodon.ART you can still follow users on Mastodon.Social, and so on! You don't have to be on the same instance as your friends to be able to interact with them.
When you open Mastodon you have the option of viewing different timelines. The main three are: Home, Local, and Federated.
Home: This is where you see the toots of people you follow. It works just like your old feed from Twitter did; except you see *just* their toots, not their faves, no sponsored posts, or random posts Mastodon will *think* you'll like. It'll just show you what you want to see: the posts of the folks you follow, in chronological order.
Local: This timeline shows you all the public toots of your local timeline. If you're on •ART that means you'll see all the public toots of all the other users of Mastodon.ART. Useful to get to know new people!
Federated: This timeline shows you a whole whack of public posts from instances that are connect to yours. They could be from anywhere, and anyone! This timeline often moves very fast, and shows you toots from many different communities.
Make sure you take a look at your Preferences page; that's the cog icon. You can set up your profile page there, and customize your Mastodon experience to your liking. Try out some of the interface settings, see how they work!
Try out the advanced interface; you can have many timelines open at the same time showing you different feeds. You can also make timelines that follow specific hashtags; you could have a feed just for viewing art tags! Find a way to make it work for you.
@Curator oh!! so this hasn't been fully removed? golly! i was missing this so much, actual pog to know i can still have it
Mastodon.ART — Your friendly creative home on the Fediverse! Interact with friends and discover new ones, all on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free. Admin: @Curator. Moderators: @EmergencyBattle, @ScribbleAddict, @TapiocaPearl, @Otherbuttons, @katwylder