Interesting folks to follow on Mastodon

My highly-idiosyncratic list of interesting people on Mastodon

I've been really enjoying moving from the crumbling mess of Twitter, to the chaotic federated world of Mastodon. Plenty of other people have talked about the reasons, I'm not going over them all here.

However, one complaint I've heard is "I can't find anyone to follow" which I find quite surprising, as I've found too many people to follow! So I thought I'd post a short1, opinionated list, to help lure people in.

This is mostly tech folks - as that's my interest area, and Mastodon is mostly attracting tech folks and activists right now. But there are quite a few random non-tech folks too - sorry, it's a bit of an idiosyncratic list!

Aside - how to follow people

I thought I'd call this out separately, as it's sometimes a bit fiddly, especially for new users.

This assumes you are using a browser. Mobile users can't easily cut and paste URLs, so following someone not on your instance depends a bit on the app you use.

For a user @fergee@one.mega.cities their instance is one.mega.cities and that is where most of their information lives. You can browse their details with the url https://one.mega.cities/@fergee - and there is a Follow button there, but it's not so easy to use if you are not also a one.mega.cities user. (the behaviour seems to differ by instance - or maybe it's mobile vs browser? Some say 'paste this url into search' and some let you re-log in to your home instance)

The easy way to manage this is to find the user's page on your instance. This is usually a URL like though some have slightly different paths. You can manually make this URL in a browser address bar by just concatenating the part with a mastodon handle (starting with a @). Or you can build them using a tool like a spreadsheet, if you want.

Or, you can just paste the user's handle @fergee@one.mega.cities into the search box on your main mastodon page, and search 'accounts', and you should end at the same user page on your own instance.

Once you get to the person's page on your instance, you can just click 'follow' and a follow request is sent. Some people auto-accept follows, some manually check you aren't a bot or a nasty person or whatever first.

Once you are following them, you can also add and remove people from custom user lists from the same page. But that's a different subject.

My list

Some of these people are quite active, some are just lurking for now. Some of these people are also dual posting to Twitter, which seems fair enough if you have a big follower count.

I've sorted by number of updates, which will be biased towards really verbose people and those who've been on Mastodon a long time. But it's easier than other categorisations - what makes someone 'interesting'?? (The count includes posts and 'boosts' which are like re-tweets, so chronic over-sharers will have inflated update values)

I note that there are 5 signatories of the Agile Manifesto in this list!

Name Handle URL Followers Updates Who
Cory Doctorow 5988 83968 Author, journalist, blogger
Eugen Rochko 262050 72812 Mastodon lead developer
Christine Lemmer-Webber 8668 33216 Developer, CTO, co-author of ActivityPub which underpins all of this
Cory Doctorow's linkblog 27872 31622 This is his link-dump user, it is very very verbose!
Terence Eden 3304 4192 Unicode, W3C, open standards, cybersecurity
Lesley Carhart 21838 2446 Cyber security expert
David Gerard 1737 1634 Blockchain skeptic, writer, journalist
Leo Laporte 16163 979 Tech podcaster
Lisa Crispin 845 634 Agile tester, consultant, author
Timnit Gebru 14164 631 Computer scientist, diversity advocate, AI research
Brian Marick 723 600 Developer, podcaster, Ruby, Testing, thinking
Scott Hanselman 22020 599 Tech geek at Microsoft, speaker
Ian Betteridge 2896 568 Tech writer, the one named in "Betteridge's Law"
Tim Bray 8347 533 Dev, activist, XML co-author
Adrian Cockcroft 1290 471 Analyst / Architect / DevOps, ex Netflix and many others
Charlie Stross 9789 349 Sci-fi/Fantasy author
James Gleick 8121 339 Author 'Chaos' and other books
Dr Sarah Hendrica Bickerton 1227 305 Sociology and Public Policy lecturer
Taylor Lorenz 72915 273 Tech columnist at the Washington Post
Matthew Skelton 1019 270 Team Topologies co-author
Jamie Zawinski 4836 264 Programmer, blogger, Netscape and Mozilla dev
Mary Robinette Kowal 2881 216 Sci-fi author
Julia Evans 14195 193 Programmer, speaker, tech zine person
Elisabeth Hendrickson 1018 187 Tester, author, change maker
J. B. Rainsberger 528 178 TDD person and awesome dev advocate
Molly White 31191 171 Wikipedia author, crypto skeptic
Brendan Eich 1788 163 Creator of Javascript
Neil Gaiman 160905 156 Author - Sandman, American Gods and many more
Chad Loder 18549 135 Activist, cybersecurity expert
Martin Fowler 9578 119 Tech loudmouth at Thoughtworks
Kelsey Hightower 8987 114 Google k8s dev, advocate, speaker
Josh Graham 101 96 Semi-retired CTO, speaker
Emily Webber 508 92 ex-GDS agile, Communities of Practice author
George Takei 226312 89 Star Trek Actor, Activist
Kevlin Henney 978 89 Speaker, author, thinker
Pamela Fox 1220 86 Python / Cloud advocate and teacher
Charles Oliver Nutter 1133 83 JRuby / JVM dev
Tom Lyon 1110 78 Old-school Unix coder, computer historian
Stefan Tilkov 1293 74 CEO / Principal Consultant at INNOQ
Brianna Wu 10746 72 Game writer, activist
Karen James 5579 72 Environmental geneticist, social justice advocate
Eric Meyer 3765 66 CSS standards advocate
Jessica Kerr 2637 58 Software developer, speaker, symmathecist
William Gibson 20201 50 Cyberpunk author
Joanne Harris 5865 45 Author of Chocolat, chair of Society of Authors
Paul Irish 3928 42 Chrome, Javascript, CSS developer and advocate
Paul Krugman 25238 41 Economist
Pragmatic Andy 748 40 Author and publisher
Ron Jeffries 1666 38 XP author and inventor
Dave Snowden 566 33 Cynefin author and thinker
Amanda Palmer 2275 31 Musician, writer
Trisha Gee 1312 28 Developer, author, Java advocate
Katie Mack 23469 23 Astrophysicist
Greta Thunberg 71468 20 Climate activist
Martin Kleppmann 1464 19 Author "Designing data-intensive applications"
Kent Beck 2195 17 Extreme Programming author
Michael Brunton-Spall 212 16 Civil servant, ex-GDS thinker, infosec
Antirez 1707 12 Redis creator
Dave Farley 46 11 Continuous Delivery and Software Engineering author
Felienne Hermans 1281 5 Scientist, researcher, SE Radio podcast host
Esther Derby 228 4 Agile author, thinker, change maker
Charity Majors 63 2 Software engineer and CTO of Honeycomb
Daniel Terhorst-North 1553 1 Agile guy, speaker, BDD, CUPID
Rebecca Parsons 111 1 Thoughtworks CTO, dev, speaker
Robert Virding 63 0 Erlang author

  1. It's not that short, I've just dumped a couple of my lists and cleaned up the names - making a really short list would be more work! 

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