Mastodon in Under a Minute

One of the biggest problems for new users on the Fediverse following the whole post-Elon spike was that they had no idea how to select an instance or get started, especially when a bunch of instances were closed for operation.

People have very little patience, and they expect like on Twitter to just visit one site and get signed up without having to get the whole spiel of what an instance/federation is. Having a way to get people with an account in under a minute without having to understand everything is crucial to wider adoption and retention.

Even now, there’s a lot of great niche or interest-focused instances you just won’t know about unless you’re invited.

One of the projects I was planning to work on was essentially a manually curated instance list which was able to account for subjective factors and just exclude anything with excessive spam or poor reliability/moderation.

I have a very very basic mockup I made in plaintext here, but my plan is to redo it in a proper web framework like Angular/Flutter and write it in a way where it’s generic enough that I can open-source it and anyone else can put in their own curated instances list.

If anyone else is interested in working on this together, let me know.


I like the idea.

I’d think that an interactive web interface is the only way to get onboarding <1min. Especially if the Fediverse is experiencing sustained growth now.

To avoid the concept of “instance” as much as possible, we could:

  1. Develop a web app that considers a users interests (e.g. a list of hashtags/topics to select from) to suggest an instance
  2. include account creation in the actual web app (e.g. as an iframe)
  3. include invite- only instances through a special arrangement allowing direct sign-ups for users of the web app.

With something like this, the idea of an instances could be optional to using the fediverse.

I think the Fediverse is in dire need to de-emphasize from Mastodon. This is turning into a huge issue. I appreciate Mastodon’s role wrt to the fedi, but currently they are the Gmail of the fedi, and this is only getting to be reinforced.

A “Fediverse in Under a Minute” would be better, showing how you may end up on non-Mastodon instances and what advantages that can bring in comparison to going the well-trodden path.