If you’re and on a small/solo instance, the usual tips to find people to follow won’t help as much. Hashtag searches will yield few or no results, and your local and federated timelines may be empty.

My solution was to stop looking for *people* to follow and look for *instances* hosting communities I’d like to be a part of. Then, I’d follow the admin of that instance, and they consistently signal boost people who interest me. In less than a day, I had a timeline that was active.

@mike federated timeline is also a great way to discover people

@afrangry indeed! But my federated timeline was completely empty for the first few hours I was here, and only started to show signs of life when I followed folks across many instances.

I think it’s unique to people on solo instances.

@mike maybe u configured something wrong, because it shouldn't be like this. anyway as long as u have ur way to find new ppl it's fine :blobcat:

that's good insight, especially since getting started here is tricky

I also made accounts on lots of instances until I gradually got enough interactions across them to make a digital home

@mike I'm so new, I have no idea how to find instances. There's a few on the main mastodon page. But I can't actually figure out how to see anything in them much less figure out their admin. Any advice for finding instances?

@Simplicity Start here:

Then when you pick an instance, visit it's URL and the instance admin will be listed in the lower right. Click that profile. If you like what you see, follow them.

Rinse and repeat.

@mike Aha! I've been on here since November 2019, I wish I'd seen your tip back then!

@mike Good advice. The solo onboading experience is super lonely!

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