phire.place is a social media platform that runs on Hometown software. It's part of the Fediverse, which means it's capable of talking to any other social media platform that speaks the same technical language (ActivityPub). This includes any site that runs Hometown, Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, BookWyrm, etc.
The main thing you need to know is that phire.place by itself works basically like Twitter, but it exists in a world where any random nerd can run a Twitter server and all of our Twitter servers can talk to each other. You can follow anyone in the Fediverse using their full address, which will look something like
@firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, I'm
If you later change your mind about what server you want to be on, it's fairly easy to migrate your network from one server to another, but you can't migrate your post history. People generally move servers if they want to be more discoverable to a specific interest or affinity group, or if they don't like the moderation policies of their server. Otherwise, the server you pick won't really affect your experience of the Fediverse.
The best iOS apps are Metatext or Toot! The best Android app is Tusky. If you want a multi-column Tweetdeck-like interface, you can enable "Advanced Web Interface" in your settings. Your "Mastodon instance" is phire.place.
You can follow anyone from any server I haven't banned (see below) by pasting their full username or profile URL into the search bar of whatever interface you're using. You can also follow other people from their profiles directly, but you'll need to sign-in every time. Copying and pasting is unfortunately the most reliable option. I know that's annoying, sorry.
You can use this Fedifinder tool or Debirdify to find people from Twitter who've put their Mastodon profiles in their Twitter bios. You can also see a list of everyone on this server who's chosen to be listed publicly.
The best way to find new people is to write a brief #introduction (and tag it as such), and include some hashtags of what you're interested in. It's the norm to boost your friends' intros, and it's the quickest way to reach more people.
I'm more than happy to answer any other questions you have - please reach out!
The privacy settings can be a little bit confusing. Here's a good infographic that explains how your posts will or won't show up for other people. If you want to use Hometown like a public Twitter account, you'll want to set your default visibility to "Global". If you want to use Hometown more like Peach, you'll want to set your default visibility to "Followers only", and also restrict people from following you without approval. Not all apps are good at showing you requests, so you may need to check the web interface to approve follows.
Like Livejournal, you can change your visibility settings on a per-post basis. Search engines will not be able to see your public posts, unless you manually turn on search engine indexing. There is no such thing as full-text search in this universe, which is great because you mostly won't get weird drive-by reply-guy-ing. However, that does mean that if you want your posts to be visible to people who don't follow you, you'll need to use hashtags. Please use #PascalCase (capitalize each word) when creating hashtags so they're easier for screen readers.
This server is not a democracy (yet*). I'm trying to make this a nice place for me and my friends and their friends to hang out, which means that I will not be tolerating hate speech of any sort, incitement to violence or harassment, free speech nonsense, alt-right nonsense, or any devil's advocacy. This server is pro trans and disability rights and anti cop, and I am not interested in arguing about it.
If you notice behaviour that contravenes the above on this server, please report or DM me and I will investigate. If you think I've made a mistake in blocking your instance, feel free to reach out by email.
Since I'm paying for server costs out-of-pocket, I'll be fairly restrictive in allowing sign-ups. If you use this server, you can buy me a coffee here!
*I'd be happy to run this space as a jointly owned coop and sharing both governance and costs. If that is something you're interested in exploring, give me a shout.
This server is hosted by Spacebear, a managed hosting service for Fediverse tools. That means that our server shares space and resources with other servers, so there may occasionally be performance hiccups if there's a spike in usage volume. I don't have direct access to either the software or the database, which is good and bad. Bad because I can't make custom modifications to the codebase for just this server and can't personally diagnose problems. Good because I'm not actually a sysadmin and you should always pay someone to sysadmin for you if you can, and I can't read your DMs even if I wanted to (which I really don't).
Hometown generally allows you to view content from and interact with users from any other server in the fediverse. These are the exceptions that have been made on this particular server.
No data from these servers will be processed, stored or exchanged, making any interaction or communication with users from these servers impossible:
|freeatlantis.com||Free speech nonsense|
|freespeech.firedragonstudios.com||Free speech nonsense|
|freespeechextremist.com||Free speech nonsense|
|freewahaextremist.com||Free speech nonsense|
|freezepeach.xyz||Free speech nonsense|
|gleasonator.com||Free speech nonsense|
|justicewarrior.social||Free speech nonsense|
|kiwifarms.cc||Transphobia, harassment, doxxing, just the worst assholes on the internet|
|leafposter.club||Free speech nonsense|
|qoto.org||Free speech nonsense|
|unsafe.space||Free speech nonsense|