New in Exploring Mastodon:

The usual Twitter convention is to follow the whole person, meaning one Twitter account for a person would tweet on many different subjects. In the Fediverse, we see people having multiple Mastodon (and other) accounts.

@mfowler I was about to question this when I realized that I am such a person myself. Still, I think that multi-account users are still a minority, and those who actively use multiple accounts at the same time are a yet smaller subset. Generally, second (third, etc.) accounts are on different servers as a backup in case their main instance goes offline for a while.


Convention of multiple accounts seems pointless, with exceptions:

- User wants to xfer account to another server (e.g. @mochsner@smallserver being replicated/migrated to @mochsner@bigserver), or hop servers (The old @smallserver account will still exist as breadcrumbs, until deleted... which some are hesitant to do).

- User is squatting on rare usernames for big servers (same as gmail or any service)

- User has a brand that is separated from the individual. For example, my admin @stux has @Stuxhost

@mfowler it is the multiple accounts but that I am struggling with. I would like to set up my own instance but my feeds are going to be limited to just those I follow. Equally trying to keep up with multiple accounts might be a bit much.

@alexhyett @mfowler ActivityPub relays come in handy to populate the global feed of small instances. There is an up to date list available there:

@gilles @mfowler Awesome thank you for this. I will definitely give this a try then.

@mfowler I was just thinking about this, from the direction of being multilingual.

I try and follow the Norwegian conversation discussing Norwegian stuff.

I also want to listen to you and others for work/knowledge stuff.

Lastly I am learning Welsh for fun.

All this works fine until i post, then I will be irrelevant or noise to two of the groups. That isn't ideal for a conversation.

#thoughts #dysguCymraeg #multilingual

@tormodh @mfowler I am part of my employer’s social media team. We have the problem that our target groups would spread over various mastodon servers as well.

@mfowler I'm seeing a bit of that as well. I noticed a friend has a professional account and a 'hobby' themed account.

@mfowler I personally can't cope with having multiple accounts. Thank god for CWs 😁

@mfowler What is super exciting to me, is that you can use different type of fediverse servers for different kind of purposes, but still follow them across service types. For example, I am migrating from Instagram to , but nothing prevents Mastodon users following the feed in a different format and UX.

@mfowler I think I still prefer to have one single entry point, and I enjoy the diversity of the people I follow exposing me to weird topics

@mfowler The assumption that single accounts is the convention is interesting!

I know many people on Twitter, myself included, who had multiple accounts. Those other accounts were often kept private, though, since they were dedicated to things like personal venting, "after dark" (adult) content, and other sensitive or marginalized topics. Here on Mastodon, it's been much easier to find instances where one can let their hair down and drop the "normie" mask.

So it's perhaps less of a convention on Twitter and more like a reflection of how that space forces normative presentation.

@jaycie @mfowler not just AD - i have multiple plain old Twitter accounts to focus topics. My main is my most active, sure, but my strategy game oriented one got a little use!

@mfowler It's interesting (and mortifying) to watch the real-time gentrification of the Fediverse in the other replies: Multiple white men failing to see the need for multiple accounts without realizing that society accommodates nearly all of their "whole person" by default.

Meanwhile, many marginalized people first joined Mastodon as a second account because Twitter accommodated little if any of their whole selves.

Where else are you seeing this gentrification?

@mfowler I am a Twitter multi-account user, as I wanted to differentiate personal stuff from work stuff, and also had a different one for gaming stuff. Now I realize that was a drawback that probably left me without the right number of followers.

However, on Mastodon the instance you choose might have an impact in whether you need multiple accounts or not, as some servers have rules of conduct that disallow people from tooting whatever they like (example, fosstodon toots should be Engilsh only)

@mfowler I too am thinking of separating myself into two presences. Please keep us posted on tricks of the trade if you decide to do it. Thanks.

A problem I see is how do I apportion people I follow among accounts if those people don't have split personalities. Do you know if there's a way to coalesce personalities into a single incoming feed?

@marick I have colleagues who do this, but I'm not inclined to yet.

For following, I'd do what I do now with lists. Put each account into what makes the best broad fit.

Multiple personalities without disorder 

@marick @mfowler Not sure exactly what you're getting at, but if you mean that people have multiple interests, then I think many people younger than us routinely use multiple social media platforms without analysis or angst, connecting with different groups of friends on each and focusing on different intersts on each. It's a question of separating the topics, not necessarily the people. Did you mean something else? What am I missing?

Multiple personalities without disorder 

@davenicolette @mfowler

I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive / High Modernist about not missing tweets/toots. I'll have to try it and see, get outside my comfort zone.

It's a matter of wanting to separate the topics but not the people *while* not wanting to see the same thing twice. Or something like that.

@mfowler I hope the one-account-per-topic mide doesn't catch on. 1. Wildly impractical unless one only comments on a very small number of topics, and 2. Removes an awful lot of scope for serendipitous stumbling over something that turns into xkcd's "hours of fascinated clicking" as you explore something you were previously only vaguely aware even existed, hygvwhjcb turns out yk be really interesting. My 2p anyway...

In my opinion, both approaches are possible (single or multiple accounts). You can choose the one you like and evolve your way of tooting and boosting together with lists. If the fediverse will evolve in both directions it's ok, they can cohesist right?

@mfowler It is pretty common for people to have multiple twitter accounts for different subjects/audiences. (esp separating professional/personal lives) I think you're going to need to back up your claim about "Twitter convention" here.

@mfowler The possibility of 'carrying' multiple persona's - as I call it - should be implemented as a fundamental aspect of the fediverse. It's not that it is strange. If I'm at work I discuss completely different topics, use completely different vocabulary and even act differently socially, then when I work in the community garden. Yet, they're both important and I want to talk about both at mastodon.

@mfowler Interesting that you mention the #BoardGameGeek community as an example - my friend @melissainau has set up three accounts - one for social, one for boardgame play, and one for boardgame academia.

@Korny @mfowler I’m also inspired by having a relatively high traffic Twitter account. I anticipate some crossposts (sorry, boosts) between social and boardgames, and between boardgames and work.

Unlike the days of two Twitter accounts, when the purpose seemed to be to obscure your identity, I list all 3 Mastodon instances in my profiles for people to follow or not, as they choose.

Multiple accounts are not required in ActivityPub, because identity token is URL which contains your public key. notice id/pubkey-property.

For instance Mastodon could allow posting to different servers with single identity.

Your client would sign a message with your ActivityPub private key and send the message as pair (ID, signed message) to instance you want.

It would of course need a way to aggregate one's posts as coherent timeline from multiple servers.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

A Mastodon instance running on Thoughtworks infrastructure for its employees to interact with the Fediverse.