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Cas @cassolotl

I made a flow chart of which Mastodon posts end up in which timelines!

So, you can see how each instance will have a different local timeline, and even a slightly different federated timeline - and you can see why the federated timeline moves so much faster than the local one, too.

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@cassolotl there's also the fact that people you follows replies to people you don't follow doesn't show up in your home timeline, which is kind of annoying imo

@a_breakin_glass Oh yeah, someone else mentioned that, but I think it is probably not very helpful to try and include it in this overview diagram thing - it's complicated enough as it is!

@cassolotl I'm just furiously wishing that that wasn't the case

@a_breakin_glass Ohh, what's your objection to that?

I feel like tenuously-connected toots sneaking into the federated timelines and being seen by people who might otherwise not see them might be good? And if the toot is getting replied to it is probably not the Worst Toot Ever... But I don't really know, there might be reasons I've not yet considered!

@cassolotl I feel like I might miss an interesting conversation or something

Full disclosure, this diagram is not complete. For example:

- If someone followed by someone on your instance replies to a public toot, that public toot will end up in your federated timeline.

- If someone on your instance follows someone who boosted Foo's public toot, Foo's public toot will end up in your federated timeline.

... but I didn't want to make the diagram too ๐Ÿ™ƒ , you know?

It also explains why smaller instances have quieter federated timelines.

People on smaller instances really benefit from the people they follow boosting good posts. It gets new people into their federated timeline, giving them more interesting folks to follow, which gets more people into the federated timeline... and so on!

@cassolotl yep, this is why I usually follow folks from both this account and @guinan to populate Ten Forward's federated timeline

@staticsafe @guinan That's a good idea! I also really like the idea of lots of instances having Ambassador bots that follow each other, that could be very helpful.

@cassolotl This is helpful. I recently joined a new instance but left because it felt highly censored. This makes me understand the scenario better.

What I don't understand is how in that new instance even though I followed FOO and FOO followed me back, I could not see any history of FOO's timeline.

This meant if I spotted a great toot from FOO in then followed them in the new instance (FOO even soon following me back) I could not boost the great toot.

@david_ross Ahhh yeah, that's frustrating! Your instance can only "see" toots from the moment you started following Foo.

The way to get around this is to find the toot on, open the toot in a new tab to get the toot URL, and then enter that toot's URL in the search box of your new instance and press enter.

The toot will appear underneath the search box, and you can click the boost button. :)

It's a bit of a workaround but it *does* work!

@david_ross Oh, the other thing is, if someone on your new instance had been following Foo *before you did*, more of Foo's past toots would be available to you without you having to do the URL search workaround.

@david_ross So it wasn't just that you could only see toots after you started following them - more like, toots are not known to an instance at all until one person from the instance is following them. So the problem was that you were the *first* person from that instance to follow Foo!

Maybe it's because of my preferences, but I love this visual style stuff you have been putting out.
Might not be *perfect* in all respects, as you acknowledge there are complications, but a lot clearer for a quick idea of how things work ๐Ÿ˜€
I could have done with a lot of these things when I first got on here, so I'm sure there'll be loads of appreciative newcomers :blobcheer:

@RunningInCircles Thank you for the feedback! :) I feel like a bit of a simple and visual introduction is probably helpful, and it's no big deal if people work out the more finicky details later on.

@cassolotl This is super helpful! Would you or anyone boost every month? ๐Ÿ˜

@Otterscotter Oh gosh I don't think I would remember! :P

@cassolotl I doubt I will either. It takes a village... ๐Ÿ˜‰

@Otterscotter Hehe, yes - if it's good it'll get boosted around a bit, I'm sure!

Why don't instances swap known-instance-lists? Is it desirable to limit the amount of known instances?

That's actually amazingly helpful!

Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

@cassolotl I'd like to make that more widely known, are you happy to have your mastodon handle associated with it if I post it on the bird site?

@cassolotl This is a helpful thing that you made. Thanks!