The real importance of mastodon is that unlike a centralised corporate like Facebook or Twitter there is no one organisation that controls what you see ( OR not see) ... but once the number of users go up, i wonder what algorithm will be used to determine what shows up on my timeline. Question is does each instance sets its own algorithm? That will be the key differentiator between mastodon and the others ..
It's my understanding that the algorithm of each feed is not complex or ML driven at all, and all feeds are chronological; Rob G basically has the gist of it, with the home feed being your toots and everyone you follow, the local being your toots and everyone on your instance, but the federated feed is a bit trickier, in that I understand it's your toots, everyone you follow, and then everyone *they* follow. It can be inflated as well, if your instance uses a relay, which is what I do with my personal instance on lost-angles.im
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@yantrajaal That is a good question, I was thinking about it this morning, being a new user here as well. My thoughts were:
- the "Local" feed tab shows all new locally made posts, including any replies for existing posts. This will show to all users in that server or instance.
The local feed might be very quiet, in a small server, so one with a bit more users could be nicer, to see more and discover things you did not expect.
- The "Home" feed is different for everyone, as it shows any new posts from people you follow, including replies and any posts they decided to boost (retweet).
The boosting by someone you follow could lead you to discover someone else interesting, so I would suggest folowing those in turn, so you add more interesting content to the Home feed.
- And finally, the "Federated" feed is everything coming down the wire, a very fast moving stream of content and posts. It's even hard to read, but you can grab the scroll button on the side to hold it steady and be able to peruse with more time. Like something you see?
I would visit that post, maybe the poster's home page, and if I like what I se, maybe follow them. Their future posts would now show in the Home feed and I have a better chance of not missing it.
'Boosting' is important, specially for content discovery and to establish a new user in a community. When an administrator or user with a large following likes your post, and 'boosts' it, that post will now show in his follower's Home feeds, and they might discover you, follow you, and you get a notification and maybe decide to follow them too. 😃
That builds community, and it's easier here than in a larger site like twitter or FB.