Mastodon Social Media Instances of Interest

The Mastodon social networks have attracted a lot more attention recently. I posted on concepts behind Mastodon, ActivityPub, and this federated style of social media a few years ago. To help anyone that is thinking of trying out Mastodon, the rest of this post highlights some Mastodon communities (instances) that are worth your while to look into. There is also a very good quick start guide, which although written with humanities scholars in mind, is largely applicable to anyone.

Finally, see this great page of academic Mastodon groups, user lists by discipline, and communities/instances. You can also try this Find Academics on Mastodon site for discovering accounts.

At the moment, there exist a number of Mastodon instances that focus on academic communities. Here are some that I’ve found or used (I may update this list as I discover more – last update October 2023).

  • – for people working in the humanities.
  • – “a community for Digital Humanities aficionados.” (German & English)
  • – pour la communauté scientifique, académique, éducative francophone.
  • – “researchers (including graduate students) and teachers whose work engages with philosophy to network and relax.”
  • – scientists (very broad range)
  • – “people who love maths”
  • – social scientists
  • – “science students, communicators, enthusiasts, and scientists”
  • – “designed primarily for science journalists and scientists.”
  • – “for creative people, especially anyone in SciArt, SciComm, data, visualization, creative coding, and related arts and research”
  • – “for folks interested in galleries, libraries, archives, museums, memory work and records”
  • – digital preservation
  • – “a GLAM-themed Mastodon Instance”
  • – “for programming language theorists and mathematicians”
  • – community of human-computer interaction researchers and practitioners.
  • – for astronomy, astrophysics, etc.
  • c18 – scholars of the 18th century
  • – “for people researching, working with, or just interested in AI”
  • – “for archaeologists, historians and lovers of all things ancient.”
  • – “…open to all Historians, history educators, history practitioners, people working in history-adjacent fields…”
  • OERu (OER Foundation) – “open educators and also supports learners involved in the OERu.”
  • EduMasto – “for people interested in discussing higher education policy, finance, governance and management, student access and outcomes, and related topics.”
  • – “place for everyone who work for and with education.”
  • – “tech workers, academics, students, and others interested in tech who are LGBTQIA+ or Allies”
  • – Science focus
  • – “hosted by the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR) for those invested in independent, community-rooted AI research.”
  • – “for the biological Ecology and Evolution community.”
  • – “for scholars of religion (any tradition, methodology, or period)”
  • – “for GIS, mapping, geospatial and cartography professionals and enthusiasts”
  • – “Economics discussion on the academic side.” (actually a Mastodon instance in spite of having “twitter” in its name.)
  • – “human-centric data science and adjacent topics, like human-centric data/network science, social data science, computational social science.”
  • – “Literature, philosophy, film, music, culture, politics – come and join the circus of the arts and humanities! A place for readers, writers, thinkers, artists, academics, enthusiasts or anyone who just wants to follow the conversation.”
  • – “for artists, researchers, and activists interested in exploring the intersections of technology, culture, and politics.”
  • – “for Legal Academics”
  • – “discussion of all issues related to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.”
  • – “for scientists, scholars, and enthusiasts interested in atmospheric science or adjacent sciences.”
  • H-Net – “humanities and social science scholars committed to civil discourse and academic best practices.” (from the non-profit organization H-Net)
  • – for neuroscience
  • – “for the Drosophila research community.”
  • – academic focus
  • – “for legal professionals and folks in law-adjacent fields”
  • – “Association of Internet Researchers is sponsoring this Mastodon server for its members.”
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) – “…a trustworthy space for computing professionals from around the world…”
  • – for the Genomic Science Community
  • – “Run by The Company of Biologists, this is a space for biologists to discuss science, research, teaching, life, and more.”

I also suggest the following instances, which are different topics but have members working in academic fields (this list is far from comprehensive).

  • – “A co-op run social media server for all Canadians.”
  • – unique instance because it is run as a coop, with members participating in decision-making processes for how the community operates.
  • – “community for poets, authors, and every kind of writer”
  • is a Mastodon instance for people interested in thinking creatively and critically about technology, in the broadest sense.
  • – “for discussions around cultural freedom, experimental, new media art, net and computational culture…”
  • – “for those working critically and creatively with experimental digital sound, art and design, especially listening, technology, ecologies, capitalism and living through and beyond all of these.”
  • – “Cette instance a pour but d’acceuillir des personnes souhaitant participer à des discussions sur les cultures de l’imaginaire ou à des créations rentrant dans ces cultures, et les discussions et créations en résultant”
  • – for legal debate
  • – “focused on building or teaching in law, govtech, civic tech, or adjacent fields.”
  • – network of networks for remaking social media
  • – objectif général – la Quadrature du Net (FR)
  • “for those who build, study, promote or are just fascinated by a wide variety of openweb, indieweb, federated and humanetech practices, and technologies.”
  • – interested in technology; particularly free & open source software
  • Hachyderm – “..trying to build a curated network of respectful professionals in the tech industry around the globe.”
  • – focused on all kinds of art, for creators and more general discussion too.
  • Octodon – general purpose
  • – “A community platform for justice and action on an overheating planet.” hosted by Project Mushroom
  • – “…for people who are chronically ill, mentally ill, disabled, and friends/families/allies to come together, meet, share knowledge and random banter, and just about anything else.”
  • – “open to anyone who is interested in personal knowledge management.”
  • – “for those who have a little curiosity. The kind of person who enjoys edutainment, reads books, watches science shows and loves to connect with people who view the universe through wonder.”
  • Elekk – “Games of any type are welcome here – computer games, console games, tabletop games, etc. – as well as game development of any kind.”
  • – objectif général, opérée par FACiL (un organisme sans but lucratif / Québec)
  • – objectif général (FR)
  • – un lieu d’échange pour Québécois et Québécoises
  • – general purpose
  • – general purpose, community within Canada
  • – “gives NGOs, nonprofits, and their communities a safe, trusted home in the fediverse.”
  • – “for animation professionals, freelancers, independents, students, and fans to connect and grow together.”
  • – “Super Dimension Fortress is a networked community of free software authors, teachers, librarians, students, researchers, hobbyists, computer enthusiasts, the aural and visually impaired. It is operated as a recognized non-profit… and is supported by its members… mission is to provide remotely accessible computing facilities for the advancement of public education, cultural enrichment, scientific research and recreation.”
  • – “climate-friendly Mastodon server”
  • – “for climate justice activists.”
  • – “members are working and retired journalists, academics focused on the media, and others who are clearly journalism-related professionals.”
  • – “for journalists, news-people, journalism educators and comms professionals”
  • – “a community around ethical, factual journalism and media literacy”
  • – “dedicated to providing fans of recorded music with a place to socialize and share their musical musings.” — Not a general purpose instance.
  • – “open to any typo and type enthusiastic.”
  • – “for union members, organizations, friends, and allies.”
  • Bookstodon – “for bibliophiles, bookworms, book lovers, and all things bookish”
  • – “Games for purposes beyond profit or entertainment and the communities that support, play, and research them.”

To discover other instances visit,, or this list of instances running as a shared governance model . Connect with me through my Mastodon address:

Because there are so many different Mastodon communities it can take a bit of effort to find the people you want to connect with. Here are a few tips.

  1. Many (though not all) Mastodon instances have a page of profiles. Append /explore to the end of the URL. For example: then you can follow people that are likely to share the interests of that instance.
  2. When you follow a person, look at who they follow, chances are there will be many people there that you’d like to connect with as well. Depending on the instance you use, clicking the “followers” link for a profile may not display inside the Mastodon interface but you can see a link “Browse more on the original profile” to click, which will show you a page on that person’s Mastodon instance of who they follow. Or automate this process! You can now use the FollowGraph tool to discover people followed by people you follow.
  3. Search for hashtags used by people in your community. These maybe regional, topical, or relate in some other way. For example, academics of Communication and Media Studies subjects coalesce around #commodon while historians use #histodon.
  4. Some people have posted questionnaires to sign up username information and display it in a public spreadsheet for others to join. Search for these posts using hashtags with relevant keywords. Or simpler, try this search tool of many of these lists: Find Academics on Mastodon.
  5. If you use(d) Twitter, pay attention to the usernames of people there, many are adding their Mastodon usernames as well (usually in the form: @name@mastodon.instance)
  6. Review this frequently updated page of lists of academic Mastodon usernames.
  7. Follow some of these groups. They boost posts from other members in the group, a bit like a listserv (also useful for getting your own messages out to people interested.
  8. Try searching topics on this fediverse search tool.

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