This entire text is licensed under the WTFPL Version 2 (http://www.wtfpl.net/txt/copying/).
(note: the official docs are not including in the main body of this list. if you want to read them, though, you can find them here: https://docs.joinmastodon.org/)
I keep finding myself needing to link people to the same resources on Mastodon, what it is, and how to use it, over and over again. So, to make that ritual a bit easier, I’ve compiled the list you see here — including the links I tend to share with folks, plus some extras that I’ve picked up and think are useful.
1. “What Is Mastodon? (And Why You, A Leftist, Should Be On It)” | video, 9m19s
To begin, we have an informative video from Shonalika (they/them). In my opinion, this is a good intro for anyone, though it is important to mention that it’s geared toward leftists. This video should help you get a grip on the basic idea of Mastodon, what it is, and how to use it, and why you might want to use it.
2. “What is Mastodon?” | video, 2m16s
In addition to Shonalika’s video, you might want to supplement it by checking out Mastodon’s official intro. Personally, I don’t find it as useful as Shonalika’s video, and it does repeat a lot of the same info, but it still might be worth checking out.
3. elise slop’s FAQ and orientation thread | Mastodon thread, 2–3 minutes to read + video, 1m59s
elise slop (she/they) created this very useful FAQ and orientation thread for her followers who had come over to Mastodon from Instagram, and I definitely recommend it. At the end, there is a short video that explains the organization of your feed on Mastodon and how to find people to follow.
Kolektiva permalink: https://kolektiva.social/@makegodgayagain/105143825681226190
Web Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20201111231541if_/https://kolektiva.social/@makegodgayagain/105143825681226190
4. Franklin López’s “quick and dirty guide on how to use #mastodon” | video, 2m13s
Franklin López made a quick explainer for Mastodon and the Fediverse (or “Dork Web,” as they like to call it). It’s short and pretty good. Definitely recommend if you’re interested.
Kolektiva permalink: https://kolektiva.social/@franklinlopez/104927253184435699
Web Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20201118012453if_/https://kolektiva.social/@franklinlopez/104927253184435699
PeerTube permalink: https://kolektiva.media/videos/watch/f557abe7-2651-4c41-9d4c-c835ff212ca8
5. joyeusenoelle’s “GuideToMastodon” | collaborative Github project, 20–30 minutes to read
“An Increasingly Less-Brief Guide to Mastodon”
A comprehensive and well-laid out guide to most things Mastodon. Definitely recommend if you want something more comprehensive and in-depth than the other items in this list.
Share link: http://guidetomastodon.com/
GitHub page: https://github.com/joyeusenoelle/GuideToMastodon/
Web Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20201118015059/https://github.com/joyeusenoelle/GuideToMastodon/
PDF link: https://github.com/joyeusenoelle/GuideToMastodon/blob/master/Guide%20to%20Mastodon.pdf
Web Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20201118013600/https://raw.githubusercontent.com/joyeusenoelle/GuideToMastodon/master/Guide%20to%20Mastodon.pdf
6. Your instance | any one of so very many Mastodon instances out there, as https://delve-86931.medium.com/delves-mastodon-resource-list-v0-2020-11-19-fe6cadec8a6dmuch time as you like
Finally, at the end of the day, the best way to learn how to use Mastodon is to simply use it. Get out there, make some mistakes, interact with some people on your instance, chat, discuss, argue, debate, meme, whatever, and have fun! Enjoy yourself, and get to know the people on your instance. Start to branch out a little and explore other instances. Find people you like; block or mute people you dislike. Be the best person you can be, and, for the love of all that is good, read your instance’s Terms of Service. Seriously. All of it, at least twice to make sure you understand it. It’ll save you and your instance’s admins and/or mods a lot of headache.