Or, How to Use This Community

This is a rough draft! Please feel free to make suggestions!

Being a Good Community Member

  • Be inclusive.
  • We want people to bring their authentic selves, while keeping the signal-to-noise ratio high. You can post just about anything that isn’t explicitly prohibited. We want to see your pet & kid photos!
  • Represent your actual self. (Sorry OpenGovHulk & BreakingGovTech!) No brands or organization accounts, please. Folks should feel free to have other accounts outside of the community.
  • We strongly recommend you make your account publicly findable so folks who want to join the community know who is here already. You can set your profile to visible on the public directory in your settings under Profile > Appearance by turning on “Suggest account to others”
  • This is not Twitter or Facebook or similar. The Community is The Algorithm. You are The Algorithm. Mastodon will not hide or suggest content for you automatically, unlike other social networks. As such, use a lot of hashtags and boosts to elevate relevant content so other folks can find it.

Practicing Good Community Hygiene

  • Please enable two-factor authentication. You can do this under in your settings under Account > Two-factor Auth
  • Images & videos are comparatively expensive to host, so text is preferred. Use accessibility features, such as alt text on all images.
  • Please use tone tags frequently. It’s often hard to tell what a person means without context.
  • Most mastodon servers do not support post threads natively - they just show up as a jumble of disconnected posts. Consider writing a blog post and linking to it instead of post threads. If you are going to use a post thread, indicate it as such in the first post, then make sure that any posts after the first one are set to “Unlisted” in the privacy settings so as not to spam people’s feeds.

Looking Out For Community Safety

  • Governance & moderation get difficult at scale - please notify an Admin if you see behavior that’s inappropriate or unfriendly.
  • Don’t use this for official government business. Know the rules that apply to you about what you can & can’t say outside work.
  • Don’t repost people’s private or local content to public areas without their permission.
  • Mastodon and its derivatives, including Hometown, behave differently from other websites, in that if you “@ mention” someone in a direct message, that person is automatically pulled into the message thread and can see everything you have said about them!