Mastodon is a decentralized social network that allows the sending of short messages (text, image, video) - similar to Twitter. In contrast to Twitter, the whole thing is not organized centrally and commercially, but there are many individual instances (so-called pods), usually operated by private individuals or associations, which network with each other. Most of these instances have a common “theme. In other words, they bring together specific user groups that are interested in certain topics.
As a user, you can register for free on the mostly public pods and are then assigned an address there in the format @firstname.lastname@example.org. Unlike Twitter, the domain name of the instance is also part of the user name. You can then network with other users across all instances (follow) and send your own messages, so-called “toots”. You have full control over your data - you can also export the account including all data at any time, for example to change the instance. Of course, you can also delete your account completely.
Unlike services like Twitter, Mastodon is ad-free, decentralized and free open-source software. Anyone with a little technical understanding can set up and run an instance themselves.
The instance Mastodon.Radio is dedicated to the topic “Amateur Radio” and there are many Ham Radio Operators from all over the world. The advantage is that the instance timeline is already filled with toots about amateur radio and you can quickly find very interesting radio amateurs to follow.
Mastodon can be used via the web browser (also mobile, the design is responsive), but there are of course also apps for all platforms. A highly recommended client for iOS, for example, is “Toot! Some clients can also handle multiple protocols, so you can have Mastodon and Twitter in one app and post on both platforms in parallel. There are also “crosspost services” that connect your Mastdon account with your Twitter account so that you don’t have to send your messages twice if you want to be active on both platforms.
If you are curious and sign up for Mastodon, feel free to follow me. I can be found at @email@example.com.
The following video explains how Mastodon works.