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Alright, since general-purpose instances seem to be closed these days, and smaller-focused instances are flourishing, lets make a list of good instances people on mastodon.social can move to! Places with good moderation, relatively good uptime, open (or fill out an application) and nice communities.

Lets try:
What is the instance
Who is it for

(boosts encouraged)

I'll start:

Tabletop.social
Anyone who likes playing tabletop games, roleplaying games, anything like that. Very quite, but a good code of conduct and very friendly admin. I have an account there @Canageek

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(This is to help people who want to leave Mastodon.social for example)

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glaceon.social

Pokemon and furry flavoured, but general. Run by @monorail

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@Canageek @Canageek Thank you (both for the kind words and for getting people out of mastodon.social)

@host
@Canageek @Canageek

Hi. I'm on Mastodon.social. Is there some issue I should be aware of? Thanks.

@Canageek

donphan.social
Pokemon-themed, kind of quiet these days but people are nice. I'm there as @nonbinarygardevoir

@Canageek meow.social is good for furries and furry-adjacent critters!

@Canageek Oh, tech.lgbt is good! We don't have an account there, but we know the admin [@david] and he's nice.

The instance isn't just for queer tech folks, I think it's half furry. :3

@IceWolf @Canageek Thanks for the share! Probably half furry at least :bowie_laugh:

Almost 100% uptime over the past three years, working on more representative mods, regularly updated blocklist, and moderated signup

@Canageek

social.coop is accepting applications; it's an instance for people who work in/around or are interested in cooperatives and solidarity economy projects. the instance itself is run as a member cooperative.

@Canageek my suggestion:

kith.kitchen

Food, cooking, gardening, home crafts, diy, etc but you aren't limited to these topics

@Canageek weirder.earth

Good space for paracausal weirdos, aliens whomst vibin', and much ilk.

@Canageek rage.love is a general instance with strong moderation, a diverse mod team, is about half USA and half international users. Our tl is pretty lively and the community is friendly. We're mostly English speaking but there's a strong French presence too.

@Canageek

over at donphan.social we’re accepting all kinds of contents, but are a Pokémon themed server. It’s still pretty quiet despite being three years old in a few months. I actively moderate it and try to be as reactive as possible.

We welcome all and any Pokémon fans from the fediverse looking for a home!

@Canageek
Is.nota.live
A super lgbt+ friendly general instance that's pretty well moderated. It's featured on joinmastodon.org but it's not very active which is a shame bc of how good it is.

@Canageek hellsite.site
a general queer & leftist space for people to chill out in. (I moderate it)

@Canageek I should add that we're currently invite only, so a prerequisite would be that you know someone who's already on hellsite.

Sorry I forgot to mention that

@Canageek lesbian.solutions

Small explicitly leftist instance that wants to be a safe and comfy space for all wlw (including aces, aros, trans and nonbinary nonbinary folks, and questioning people)

@Canageek lgbt.io.. well, you can probably guess. =:) Allies are also entirely welcome. We're not a furry instance per se, but we're a large minority. ^_^

We've been around since relatively early in the fediverse, and we'll be around for a long time yet. :abunhdhappyhop:

@Canageek social.coop is a democratically owned an operated instance for cooperators :TwinPines: and generally people interested in co-ops as a socialist alternative to capitalist ownership and production models. It's been up and running for over 3 years!

@Canageek
I still have my mastodon.art account, but I've kinda set it to "dormant" and moved back over here. If you're strictly into art, then it's great, but there isn't always a whole lot "going on" if you're used to that. My biggest audience seems to be here, and I'm OK with that.

@flugennock just so you're aware in the very near future a lot of people who aren't on Mastodon that social will no longer be able to see your posts due to the issues with mastodon.socials moderators attacking people

@Canageek @flugennock
I think I've figured out what's caused the uproar, but what do you mean about people not being able to see your posts?

@SlowRain@mastodon.social @Canageek@cybre.space @flugennock@mastodon.social

Try
https://cliq.social

I joined this year and enjoy using it so far. No problems with federation, nice customizations, replies are threaded, alternative deck view for those that like that which I personally don't.

@perfor @SlowRain @Canageek What helped me in the beginning was to not waste too much time trying to understand the "federation" model right away, and just kind of dive in. Finally managed to figure out the whole federation/instance thing after a while.

@flugennock @perfor @Canageek
I understand the concept of federation, I just don't understand why users on Mastodon.social wouldn't be able to see others' posts (if I read that correctly).

@SlowRain @flugennock @perfor Because other instances don't trust it, and are removing the links to it

@Canageek @flugennock @perfor
Does this lack of trust stem from the insults uttered by one of Mastodon.social's moderators I read about earlier, or is there more to it?

@SlowRain @flugennock @perfor I think that was the final straw. They attacked a user and posted mod reports, which is a problem

@Canageek
On my case the final straw was being banned for no reason and without any prior warning! Mastodon dot social is a dictatorship claiming to stand for righteousness and fairness.
@SlowRain @flugennock @perfor

@joaopinheiro
I agree with that, the problem is that I don't want to jump from one overly sensitive instance to another. Twitter has its own issues, but at least entire sections don't get banned.

@perfor @Canageek @flugennock

@SlowRain
That's why I'm enjoying this Friendica instance quite a lot. So far I haven't noticed anyone complaining about being banned for absolutely no reason! I haven't even noticed any complaint at all! And I've reported some problems and he has done his best and solved them.
The admin of Libra.net and venera.social is a nice guy, not a young dictator who hasn't even the decency of trying to justify some silly mistake that he or someone in his team made, let alone admitting the mistake!
@perfor @Canageek @flugennock
@SlowRain
And, here, you can speak your mind without thinking that you must only use 500 characters! 500 characters can barely be useful if you have something important to share with someone! I think you should give it a try. What do you have to lose? If you don't like it, you can delete your account easily.
@perfor @Canageek @flugennock
@SlowRain
I'm replying from my Pleroma account. The same applies here! No problem whatsoever. Not like in Mastodon.social, from where I truly believe I was banned not because I defended hate speech (that was and is completely impossible) but because I stood for a longer toot character limit and started to use and make people aware that Pleroma and Friendica already had that feature. That, I'm sure, made me a persona non grata to their admins.
@perfor @Canageek @flugennock

@Canageek@cybre.space @SlowRain@mastodon.social @flugennock@mastodon.social @perfor@cliq.social this is actually sad for mastodon.social because it is the original instance ran by the developer :/

@kronos @Canageek @perfor @flugennock
I don't think it's sad for Mastodon.social so much as it's sad for Mastodon as a whole. It shows that people can't overcome personality issues in decentralized communities any more than they could on a centralized network like Twitter. At least on Twitter you would just block the offender. Here they can ban an entire instance full of innocent users.

@perfor @SlowRain @Canageek

I used to run 3 accounts — here on .social and on todon.nl and mastodon.art — but that got to be kind of a pain. The other 2 are still active, but "dormant".

Still thinking about kolektiva.social a lot lately; a lot of activist media folks I know from Birdland are there, I have a fistful of followers from over there, and it looks like a good place to be for dissident activist media stuff.

@Canageek vulpine.club

it's a nice instance, not just for foxes and other furries

also it has good local moderation (meaning it doesn't really get instance blocked) and relatively open federation (only blocks the worst instances), so it's one of the instances with the highest degree of federation, if you're into the "big fedi" experience, like me.

@Canageek I would like to recommend scholar.social to academics 🎓

@jorge @Canageek I would like to recommend fediscience.org for publishing scientists.

There is also mathstodon.xyz for people interested in mathematics.

And scicomm.xyz for people into science communication.

There is already a list of communities at joinmastodon.org/communities but many instances are missing because of their rather high technical standards.

@Canageek I see weirder.earth and kith.kitchen have already been mentioned, so I'll suggest:

toot.cat
a smallish general instance with open registration. i had a side account there for a while and they seem very chill and nice.

@Canageek hackers.town - for people interested in hacking, cybersecurity, and coding.

mstdn.social - still kind of a general purpose instance, but full of cat lovers and meme lovers.

@Canageek I've not been there for a while, but I remember queer.party being good as a small, queer-oriented instance

I can't say much about it atm but the admin was personally really nice to me so I always feel like I should probably recommend it, you know?

@Canageek Hmmm, my instance nerdculture.de is a general purpose instance and is open... Why do you have the impressions that general purpose instances are closed?

@ij all the ones that I was recommended when I asked for suggestions had closed registrations, it appears there aren't many left because they get full very quickly

@Canageek Well, I try to moderate my instance like removing spammers and bots. Bots are even suspended automatically by script. Otherwise the instance would have thousands of bots as well, I guess... ;)

@Canageek for people working in, being affiliated with or interest in #GLAMs/memory institutions/digital preservation there's a whole bunch of small, open instances: digipres.club glammr.us code4lib.social openbiblio.social ausglam.space

@Canageek I'm not an expert and these things can be very subjective but activism.openworlds is like an ancient and venerable gentleman's club sort of like the junior ganymede but what with the downturn in gentlemen's gentlemen now having very few active members. A nice place to sit and fall asleep drooling on a large cigar till some chap finds you. A lot of technical white noise in the background helps with the nodding off.

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