iNaturalist on Mastodon seems to be fine to me - lot of users already in, scientifically focused and not requiring publishing and IRL names from you if you like to have few flatworms in your feed

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uh oh… it’s called - I think it’s just one of the general ones not needing approval, but scrolling through the “local” feed there indeed is a lot of questionable stuff and lots of cat pictures… so once/if there’s a more official inaturalist server I’ll definitely move to that!

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I’m – nice to meet you all! I’m now following a bunch of you on Mastodon (those of you who’ve posted your usernames here).

Do you (or does anyone else) know how cross-platform integrations work? I know Pleroma is similarly for Twitter-like microblogging like Mastodon so they basically seem interchangeable, but how does a photo sharing thing like pixelfed federate with Mastodon?

Also perfectly interchangeable. I’m not sure how text-only posts would display on Pixelfed (never used it), but Pixelfed posts will appear in your Mastodon feed as posts with photos.

There are many other compatible platforms that use the same underlying protocol, e. g. Peertube (like YouTube), WriteFreely (like Medium), Bookwyrm (like Goodreads), etc. It is a bit like if you could subscribe to a YouTube channel or follow someone on Instagram from your Twitter account.

I am

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I don’t think that there’s anything stopping someone from making their own iNat focused Mastodon server (if I understand correctly, which I may not), just like there’s an unofficial iNat Discord. Running a Mastodon server does take a non-trivial amount of work and some time/resources, so it might not be something a smaller organization wants to take on in perpetuity or prioritize over other projects (I’m not speaking for iNat staff here, just my own thoughts).

Here’s mine!


Ahh, that explains a lot! And it’s a good reason to join one of the “connected” servers. Like, if there’s 10 servers with all the important inat people, you can expected at least someone form each server to follow everyone interesting from the other 9 servers. And so joining any of those 10 servers is fine, searching for #inaturalist will give you all posts from those 10 servers.

I naively chose a random outside server, where nobody follows anyone on for example yet, and so the #inaturalist posts from there are not in my federated timeline and I can’t find them in the hashtag search (until I, or anyone else on my server, starts following those posters).

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I’m just not sure how it displays. Is it just like a picture post with no words, or is it like “Joe Schmoe posted a new photo.” followed by the picture, or what?

inb4 becomes the unofficial official iNat Mastodon instance and @arachnoto’s web gets overrun with ants (metaphorically)

As of right now I’m not entirely sure whether it actually searches the posts of those servers or just the posts of those people who have been followed (or maybe followed and/or searched for) on those servers.

Found this diagram here:


i was just thinking the same thing xD

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If you put into the search bar, my profile ought to come up and you can follow me; and I boost most of the posts people make.

This works for any server, unless one server has blocked the other (which is something to ask your admin about).

FYI, we just stopped removing the rel="me" attribute from links in your iNat profile, so you can add a link to your Mastodon profile there as a way to verify the link to your iNat profile on Mastodon.


I think I’ll start here too. The rule about flagging images as sensitive if they’re bugs, snakes, etc feels odd.

In general, finding servers could be better. Like not showing up in searches until you type the full name. This will take some effort to settle in.

I do appreciate it a lot myself for spider pictures - and for all I know other people react the same way to other things, so better err on the side of marking too many pictures than missing one and ruining someone’s lunch break!

Yeah, I can’t envision mastodon ever getting very many users if they don’t improve that. I think the main issue to solve is adding a way to move servers after the fact (without losing posts). And also adding more information about servers in the server list, like which version do they run on, how many other servers do they block, how many are they blocked by, etc. Right now it just shows you a name but nothing else.

My experience over the past two weeks was:

  1. saw this thread, learned about mastodon
  2. tried to sign up, couldn’t understand servers, gave up
  3. tried again the next day, picked a server which allowed immediate approval, made a few posts
  4. learned more about how servers work, changed to another server
  5. realized changing servers loses all your previous posts, was disappointed, but stuck around, making new posts
  6. learned the new server runs on an inofficial mastodon version, was disappointed missing out on all the new 4.0 features, but stuck around so I don’t lose the posts again

I just kept messaging nev for help :P it worked, i prettymuch get it now
i have no idea if has 4.0 features or not but since i finally understand what i’m doing i’m not leaving. I also like it way better than facebook.


Just a note for anyone who finds this thread: since it’s just me running things right now, and there’s a good number of people signed up (~60), I’ve closed registrations at It’s important to keep Mastodon servers small, as they can get out of control (both socially and technologically) if you take on more people than you can handle.

However there are new instances springing up all the time; one that people on here might like is!


There is a way to move servers, and to download your archive, but I’m not sure whether it moves your old toots to the new server (probably not?). I haven’t used it myself yet. Here’s a page about it though:

As for finding servers, here’s a list of resources for browsing lists of servers. - a sort of flagship list of instances (a.k.a. servers), including many big ones - more general list of servers organized around particular topic themes - instances centered around a particular geographic area - instances centered around particular interests - smaller servers that are ready for new users - a big list with some filtering options - another big list with some filtering options - science-related servers - big filterable list (can filter for Mastodon instances)

Lesser-known servers probably won’t be there but you can look around on other people’s addresses to see what servers they’re using and check out those domain names yourself to see if they’re servers willing to accept new folks.


Thanks for mentioning this; I’ve now done self-verification!

Y’all can see it here:

Now that I’ve figured it out I can (probably) help anyone who has questions with this.

Ok i am trying to do this and failing spectaculary.
I was even trying to copy how Nev’s looks since I see theirs is confirmed on mastodon. But I can’t seem to get it to work. is my iNat, and it won’t highlight my entire @@, nor will it link to my profile. I’ve also tried the url link in my iNat profile so it looks like and that doesn’t work either.