Okay, it's time to tell new users a secret about Mastodon.
Mastodon is (whispers) part of a much bigger network 😮
Mastodon servers use an open standard called ActivityPub to talk to each other. That's how you interact with people on other Mastodon servers.
But, dozens of other federated networks also use ActivityPub, so (this is the good bit!) you can follow people on these other networks from your Mastodon account!
Together, Mastodon and these other services form... The Fediverse
(whispers) Click on the link...
The more I learn, the more I feel like I'm starting to realize how vastly more connected and organic the fediverse is, and i'm loving it.
Posts that are mutually accessible between platforms of different specialties. Linked content sharing between servers so data doesn't have to be duplicated again and again. Not just the lack of effort to keep you locked down to just one platform, but actively encouraging new variety and connected communities.
Also, because the Fediverse shares a userbase, it isn't about competition. When one platform's userbase increases, it also increases the audience for all the others.
Even tiny and experimental platforms can work on the Fediverse because their posts can be seen from the larger platforms, they don't need a lot of users in order to have a lot of reach. So, this can encourage experiments and innovation too, in a way that walled gardens don't.
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