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How can I connect my personal instance to others so my federated timeline isn't just the people I follow?

A friend is interested in joining, so I was thinking I better make it easy for them to find people. Thanks.

I know I asked this before and some kind folks answered it, but I am having a brain fart.

I thought there was some bots or surrogate connections one could setup or subscribe to?

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@sikkdays There is a page in the administration settings where you can subscribe to another servers feed so it shows up on your server. Can't remember the name, though.

@sikkdays I definitely remember a bunch of instances using "follow bots" in the early days, to help populate their timelines. If you follow one of these existing bots, I imagine that would help populate your federated timeline, but I'm still kind of fuzzy on how the federated timeline really works.

@sikkdays Relays, I believe, but none of them seem to work (anymore). I was looking to do the same but gave up, also because I guess I’d rather not have every status ever written copied to my server after all.

@sikkdays
Follow as much people as you can, so your instance gets to know as many other instances as possible.
Then your public timeline will come to life.

@sikkdays

One idea would be to create dummy accounts on your instance which follow other accounts on other instances.

These should then show up on the federated timeline.

But as someone else said follow-bots which blindly follow hundreds of accounts could get your instance blocked so best to do it manually and follow interesting accounts.

@sikkdays i think the federated timeline should be populated by users that your follows follow and boost🧐

Go on a Follow spree of users on diverse instances...

@django Yes, the federated timeline on an instance of one, like mine, is a duplicate of my home timeline. While I do follow a diverse group, I was worried that if a friend interested in mastodon wanted to take it for a spin on my instance, they would have trouble discovering people to follow.

@sikkdays gotcha, there was some kind of profile directory where one could find people and be listed by tags, the name escapes me now.

Anyhow, that could be one lateral way of account discovery. Also there is now opt in per instance directories.

@sikkdays oh, again not pre-populating timelines, but a useful tool for new arrivals is search.social/

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