Mastodon 201: You Guys, It’s Time

Kyle Ford
2 min readApr 9, 2023

Back in December I posted a brief how-to for those interested in getting started on Mastodon. Since a) things have come so far since then and b) Elon has, against all odds, managed to make Twitter even more horrible, I thought I’d update my recommendations. Here goes!

Step 1:

On iOS? Start with Ivory (from the makers of the now-defunct but beloved Tweetbot). It’ll walk you through choosing a server. Starting with is fine, as you can always move later. A few other great app alternatives include Toot! or Ice Cubes.

On Android? I can’t speak much to available options here, but I’ve heard good things about Tusky. Same recommendation on just keeping things simple and starting with as your server.

On Web? You know the drill. Head to to get your feet wet.

Step 2:

Burn the Twitter boats. Unfortunately you can’t deactivate your account without your username becoming available a month later, so if you care, just leave it open and dormant. Better still, unfollow as many people as possible to help you break your daily routine. Trust me, a week or two later you’ll realize that between Mastodon, newsletters and RSS, you’re not missing anything. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Unfortunately, your window to use any of last year’s great “find your Twitter crew on Mastodon” auto-matching services has now closed (thanks to Elon shutting them down), but that leads us to the final step…

Step 3:

Follow, follow, follow! To paraphrase Punjab from Annie quoting Buddha, a Mastodon feed without people is like a night without stars.

Is the “following” process currently a bit more annoying than it needs to be (given the decentralized nature of Mastodon)? For sure, but I have faith that in the year of our Lord 2023 you can read a line of two of instructional copy and figure things out, especially when the alternative is a sea of hustlebro content, a bunch of click-addicted journalists afraid to abandon their fix and lots of LITERAL NAZIS.

So where to start? Many of the apps recommended above will help you out, but also definitely explore and

In addition, I’m always a big fan of checking out who others are following so that I can poach them for my own list. Feel free to do so with mine, and here are a few of them that I highly recommend:

Hope to see you around, friend!

Originally published at on April 9, 2023.