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If you’re at this page that means you’ve already read Mastodon 101 and The Principles of Digital Civic Culture. Now, the only question left is:

Why, of all the Mastodon servers on earth should I join the RealSocial.Life server?

Who is this Community For?

First, I’ve been in marketing long enough to tell you that the worst possible products and services are those that attempt a one-size-fits-all solution. This is a community that is being built with the highest level of intentionality, and at least for the time being, will be admin-invitation only. (So if you’re reading this, please know you’re someone I think will fit nicely in this new space.)

Second, not every space is for every person – and that’s ok. Your decision to join (or not) should be based on whether or not you feel you can be comfortable and enjoy your time in the community, not how it might impact my feelings. There are a million ways to connect online, and we can always find someplace else to be internet friends if this doesn’t work for YOU.

People who will likely enjoy their time on this server are:

  • Able to self-regulate and behave like an adult online and off. I’m not here to be an arbitrator or to beat up people you don’t like. I’m also not here to help you learn to control your impulses. Think of this as an invitation to a dinner party at my house, and act accordingly. If you do run into trouble with someone, however, I’m happy to help you think through your approach on you can solve your conflict.
  • Genuinely interested in other people.
  • In possession of a healthy sense of humor. (No one is above an occasional poop joke.)
  • Willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. This community is made up of real people whom I personally know and have invited to be here. If there is an offense, please do not assume it was intentional. Consider it a teaching moment. Again, I’m happy to help you think through a resolution.
  • Thoughtful and kind.
  • Pluralistic.
  • Creative.
  • Amenable to taking direction from leadership when it comes to the shared space on our server. Admins have to balance a lot of needs and personalities, and have a unique vantage point in the community about what is working and what is not. Be willing to trust my guidance.
  • Clear about the concept of consent. Use Content Warnings on posts that can negatively impact the mental and emotional health of people in the community. This is not a mechanism of censorship or toxic positivity. It’s a way to help regulate and mitigate the mental, emotional, and cognitive load that modern communications imposes on all of us.

People who will likely not want to stick around on this server are:

  • Habitually aggressive or reactive toward others online.
  • Self-promoters. (Sharing your work with the community is always welcome, but this isn’t a platform for anyone to promote a business or market your stuff.)
  • Addicted to politics, celebrity gossip, or any other online drama. Again, that’s not to say these topics can’t be discussed, but this is a community of people with diverse interests, not a place to plant a soap box, or obsess over people who don’t belong to our community.
  • Attention-seekers. This is not a broadcasting platform to set up shop and become an influencer. This isn’t a place to try to influence people by being bigger-than-life. You’ll automatically influence people simply by being awesomely yourself. I promise.
  • Entitled. Everyone in this community is an adult with an entire lifetime of experiences, balancing multiple heavy demands in their personal and professional lives. No one owes you their time or attention. No one is owed an audience. No one is owed a conversation.

Reasons to Join

Still interested? Here are some good reasons to join:

  • It’s free! I’m paying for it and hosting it myself and I’m not charging anyone to join or participate. If, however, you would like to assist me in managing the cost, you’re welcome to donate a little something here.
  • There’s no paid advertising. You’re going to see the content you want to see, and your content will not be deprioritized over someone else’s paid media.
  • There’s no algorithm. You have enormous control over who and what you engage with on this platform. It’s highly configurable was specifically build to be a space for marginalized people to build community, using consent and respect as foundational values.
  • I’m a social media professional with more than two decades’ experience managing online communities, and I’m now creating an intentional space for people I care about. You have my pledge that this space will be run well, attentively moderated, and welcoming.
  • Online community can be so good – SO good – if it prioritizes human interaction and relationship-building. This is not a transactional space for spouting one-liners, or a place to tag everyone you know for some campaign or another. It’s a way to transcend time and space, and build meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime.
  • This isn’t a corporate endeavor. There’s a real person behind every decision in this space, and the decisions that are made are for the greater good, not my bottom line.
  • I am committed to keeping our space free from individuals, communities and content that is racist, sexist, homophobic, or intolerant of the identities of any of our community members.

Your Commitment

When you join the RealSocial.Life server, you’re committing to the following:

  • Learning how to use your profile settings and setting up your profile right away so that you’re ready to engage with other people across The Fediverse. This includes learning how to block, mute, and use hashtags to get the kind of feeds where you can enjoy your experience.
  • Taking other people into consideration. This is a community, not an audience. You don’t get to come into any ‘real life’ shared space and vomit rage, negativity and cruelty, either. Human-centered social media should be no different.
  • Treating Admins and Moderators with respect. We are unpaid, and in fact, most of us are paying for this ourselves and working day jobs. Requests will not be answered instantaneously. Not every decision that needs to be made is black-and-white. Good people can disagree, and sometimes the resolution doesn’t make anyone happy. There’s an enormous amount of emotional labor that goes into managing communities. Put some respeck on it.
  • Behaving in this space the same way your would if you were invited to dinner at my house. (Yes, cussing is absolutely permitted.) That is, be cool.
  • Using Content Warnings, #CamelCaps, and alt-text for images.

Do you have questions? I’ve got answers. Email me at amandaq@idcconline.com.

I hope to see you on RealSocial.Life.

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