I haven’t been on Twitter in a few years, and was even surprised to find that I’d made 298 tweets over the years. That’s about 200 more than I’d expected. Anyway, with Twitter imploding it seems everyone’s migrating to Mastodon and I thought I’d give it a go.

Mastodon is decentralised, or federated, meaning the servers are not owned and data not served from any one location or company. It’s made up by thousands of servers, or ‘instances’ around the globe being run independently.

For me, choosing the right server was the biggest hurdle because you can choose from those that cater to your interests. I went for mastodon.london because that’s where I was born, but you could just as easily choose mastodon.art or veganism.social; it really doesn’t matter and you can easily change servers at a later time.

Fast forward a week or two later and I found myself wanting to have my own server, partly because I wanted control over things and partly mainly because I wanted to see if I could. Very me. I eventually decided to use a managed instance and went with masto.host which has proved to be excellent in all ways; price, speed and support. There were a few hiccups to begin with but not through any fault of masto.host but the domain name registrar.

Now that I have it up and running I’m truly discovering how federation works, and have to admit it’s a little lonely to start with! Finding others with similar interests is harder and takes a little more work, and also there aren’t that many photographers, artists and people I’m interested in following on Mastodon yet. I’m hoping things will become better but in the meantime, if you’re interested, I can be found at @thedarkprints@safelight.social. It’s open to other photographers and artists, especially those working with (but not limited to) film and/or the alternative processes. Feel free to email me with questions.