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Which server should an new #Fediverse user choose?

Eugen, the creator of Mastodon and admin of the biggest Mastodon server,, talks about the challenges new users might face when they want to register a Mastodon account. In fact these problems aren't limited to Mastodon.

Every user planning to create an account somewhere in the #Fediverse has to make several decisions first:

1. Which platform?

Do I want to settle on #Mastodon, #Diaspora, #Friendica, #Hubzilla, #Pleroma, #Socialhome or one of the more specialised choices? Given that m... show more

For me the whole thinking is wrong - it should begin with easy selfhosting and a general purpose AcivityPub Server (disclaimer: I am in the middle of building one for my federated CMS - I guess it falls under "multi-protocol platform" although it is not a platform ;) –
"In fact these problems aren’t limited to Mastodon."
ok, but let's begin with Mastodon because it is running the most promising protocol.
(disclaimer: I was sponsoring a hackathon with one of the inventors and he is an awesome guy ;)
I have never understand why Mastodon requires webfinger which is not part of the ActivityPub spec.
Therefore it does not understand "streams" which is to say where my complementary streams are located and it doesn't seem to support the OAuth endpoint so that you would (for example) see all posts on my (external) page if we follow with ActivityPub. So why not make selfhosting easy and implement such parts of the spec. ?
Personally I want a server which is mine.

@Sebastian Lasse I agree in terms of self hosting. That's why I host my own Friendica instance.

But I'm a geek, not an average user. On the other end of the skill spectrum are loads of former G+ users who don't want to know what hosting means. These people need a simple choice. Many of them are immediately settling with Pluspora, just because it claims to be the successor of G+, not because they even bothered to have a look at any other pod or platform. They want somebody or something to tell them which server to use. And that's OK, their hobbies might differ from ours.

Here another IMO great list of #mastodon instances with description:

As to which platform to choose ... had I not overlooked that #hubzilla can reach #diaspora as well as the #activitypub network I'd have gone for #hubzilla instead of #mastodon ... well, I might move to #hubzilla eventually. Just try Hubzilla and Friendica for a while. They both feature multiple protocols including ActivityPub and Diaspora, but they also differ from Mastodon and Diaspora in terms of user experience and workflow. I don't even see a clear winner here, one just have to make one's mind about essential features and pick the platform that delivers the most of them.

For me, the winner right now is Friendica, but YMMV.

As to easy selfhosting ... I haven't tried it ... but #yunohost with #hubzilla seems promising to me ...

I'm glad to see your post. I went for Pluspora because it is soooo easy to use. But I have an old Mastodon account and I may be interested in Friendica down the line. I've got several friends that set up their own servers and/or pods so I'll be interested to hear what they think after a while. Tagging @Thom

  • Which platform?
For a total beginner I would recommend to try two of them and later decide to drop one or keep both or start a third identity. Except you know exactly what you want, Mastodon is no good blogging-platform, so you'd want Hubzilla (well supported blogs) or Friendika (okay supported blog but easier to use).
Usually a beginner will not know what she wants.
  • Which server?
Well first about self hosting. You are right, not everyone is a geek and not everyone is able or willing to host an own service like this.
But that's no problem, none of these projects is meant to be a p2p-network or to have single-user-instances. So instead of hosting self just build gangs! Find your personal house-nerd and ask her if she feels able to host such a thing. And in the same moment ask if she thinks the project is worth it. And if she thinks her skill is to low, maybe she knows someon... show more

Thx @Beej Cobalt Useful information. I've been enjoying Openbook - not yet part of the Fediverse, but improvements to the user experience is moving pretty fast. It's only mobile app at the moment and in alpha. The alpha testing feels more like beta testing - the app is pretty stable and it is feature rich. Features are being added every other day. Exciting times.