Pleroma – Finding the Good Instances, part 1
I was pleasantly surprised by the interest generated by my Discover Pleroma. An alternative to Mastodon page. Various people contacted me, interested in trying out Pleroma, and asking for some recommended instances.
So this page is intended to provide :
- some thoughts on why it is important, which instance you are in.
- general tips on looking up information for any Pleroma node you might be considering.
- and a small, selected list of Pleroma instances for your consideration.
In a Hurry ?
Unlike this page (rich in Search and screening tips), Part 2 provides direct recommendations, based on criteria that make them a good place.
Or continue below for general tips on searching, evaluating good ones.
Is it important, which instance you are in ?
Yes, I believe so. And wrote a blog page about that which is currently my most popular one — Is it Important, which Instance you are in?
To summarize that page, here's some pointers :
- size is important; a very small instance might be quiet and have a not so active Local feed.
- the Local feed is where me meet other system users, we see all their public posts, as they see ours.
- and this can be a way to get to know people more closely. If the instance is too small, there might not be much activity here.
On the opposing end of the scale, a very large instance can be too busy and not have the personal touch we aim for; there's just too much going on. A flood of content in extreme cases.
In the Pleroma world, we will find a lot more small instances, than in the mastodon side. This is a good thing, and it comes from the lower hardware requirements and easier installation and maintenance Pleroma offers. Mastodon is a Beast, requires a lot more resources, and seems like a ball of spaghetti to my outsider look.
Having more small instances will mean a lot more choices. I chatted with people at a nice one, and it was pleased to hear the story of how that instance was kind of an incubator for many newer ones, formed by its users going out and setting their own.
The Mothership, I suppose — a role similar to what Eugen's mastodon.social plays in the mastodon network.
Content and some General Criteria :
There are some controversial or even 'shady' instances out there, including some in the Pleroma world. I will not recommend (and would stay away from) any that have too much content which is controversial.
- Adult material, NSFW tagged or not.
- Depiction of children in sexualized images, commonly known as 'loli', which is illegal in many countries.
- Possession of such images in a personal computer, even in a computer browser's cache (Internet History) could be reason for prosecution under local laws.
- Some other instance admins block any media files from such instances, as they could be liable for having them cached on their own servers as well.
I will also not list any instance intended for “shit posting”. Or a strongly Free Speech orientation (here a personal choice, as I believe it to be a right and not necessarily a flag).
Looking up any Fediverse Instance :
Thanks to some excellent information stored in two different sites, it's easy for us to find a lot about any particular Fediverse server; this includes Mastodon, Pleroma, Misskey and all the other services (for music, photos, file storage, etc)
One of the sites carrying this is Fediverse.Network. We see listings for Pleroma instances here, sorted by size – largest ones at the top. This could be a start for a search, keeping in mind the criteria mentioned in the last paragraphs.
A sort by Size, Biggest first, and a snapshot of the top 5 listed.
Screening Possibilities :
With that sorted list on the screen, we can start looking at each. Sadly, at this point, all 5 of those would be off my screening because :
- They might contain Adult material (#1) or also have new registrations NOT allowed (“Signup: false”). So #1 on list is off.
- Although I am not a member or know the community (some say there are good people there), #2 is off for the “instance name”.
- The Current version of the instance software is important — Pleroma 2.0.50 is the latest at this time. This takes #3 and #4 off the list.
- #5 is an instance where I have met some great people, but as stated previously, I prefer to avoid “free speech” flag instances; #5 is off too.
- In some cases, instances like that are badly perceived, probably unjustly, and subject to Blocking by others. So, the choice to avoid these.
And that means all 5 on the beginning of the sorted list are now off the map.
We could continue scanning, once you focus on criteria you value, you will find many interesting ones. I did recently, exactly this procedure and those criteria. And scored the first Pass at #10 on the list — Kawen.space
Looking up Details
If you have a name from a search, or someone's mention, you can open a detailed info page for that particular one at :
So let's see what there is for kawen.space.
I went thru and highlighted in green a lot of good things about it.
- It has Open Registrations, essential unless you have an invitation to join.
- Number of users is 456, a good size for a Pleroma node, as they tend to be smaller.
- Number of Peers at 5,952 is good – that indicates how many systems the instance is connected to. The more the better.
- Server is running Pleroma version 2.0.0, which is very close to the latest (2.0.50).
- Location, the server is hosted in FI, Finland. I strongly prefer an European Union location, since it has better personal privacy and information laws.
So, all things are good and they deserve a Visit.
Checking out, Curbside :
Before you jump in and start filling a registration, it's a good idea to check Terms of Service to see what any particular instance offers and it's rules. Always a good thing to do, sometimes it's easier if they have a short rules and conditions page, but in other cases it might take moe work. Scan thru it at least. Kawen.space's is short and easy read!
There's a list of instances which have some restrictions below that, but the whole page is short and light readign as those things go. So it looks good, and we found a possible signup location.
This whole process is exactly what I did about 10 days or so ago, when I was scouting for a new Pleroma account. Kawen.space is cool and deserves a recommendation!
Time to Wrap Up!
This post is already getting long, so I will close it here and open a new editor into the next part — A detailed list of Cool and Recommended Instances, next.
Unlike this page (rich in Search and screening tips), Part 2 will provide direct Recommendations, based on criteria that make them a good place.
Stay tuned, thank you for reading.
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