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 https://my.instance.name/@fergee@one.mega.cities though some have slightly different paths. You can manually make this URL in a browser address bar by just concatenating the https://my.instance.name/ 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 @doctorow@mamot.fr https://mamot.fr/@doctorow 5988 83968 Author, journalist, blogger
Eugen Rochko @Gargron@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@Gargron 262050 72812 Mastodon lead developer
Christine Lemmer-Webber @cwebber@octodon.social https://octodon.social/@cwebber 8668 33216 Developer, CTO, co-author of ActivityPub which underpins all of this
Cory Doctorow's linkblog @pluralistic@mamot.fr https://mamot.fr/@pluralistic 27872 31622 This is his link-dump user, it is very very verbose!
Terence Eden @Edent@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@Edent 3304 4192 Unicode, W3C, open standards, cybersecurity
Lesley Carhart @hacks4pancakes@infosec.exchange https://infosec.exchange/@hacks4pancakes 21838 2446 Cyber security expert
David Gerard @davidgerard@circumstances.run https://circumstances.run/@davidgerard 1737 1634 Blockchain skeptic, writer, journalist
Leo Laporte @leo@twit.social https://twit.social/@leo 16163 979 Tech podcaster
Lisa Crispin @lisacrispin@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@lisacrispin 845 634 Agile tester, consultant, author
Timnit Gebru @timnitGebru@dair-community.social https://dair-community.social/@timnitGebru 14164 631 Computer scientist, diversity advocate, AI research
Brian Marick @marick@mstdn.social https://mstdn.social/@marick 723 600 Developer, podcaster, Ruby, Testing, thinking
Scott Hanselman @shanselman@hachyderm.io https://hachyderm.io/@shanselman 22020 599 Tech geek at Microsoft, speaker
Ian Betteridge @ianbetteridge@mastodon.me.uk https://mastodon.me.uk/@ianbetteridge 2896 568 Tech writer, the one named in "Betteridge's Law"
Tim Bray @timbray@mastodon.cloud https://mastodon.cloud/@timbray 8347 533 Dev, activist, XML co-author
Adrian Cockcroft @adrianco@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@adrianco 1290 471 Analyst / Architect / DevOps, ex Netflix and many others
Charlie Stross @cstross@wandering.shop https://wandering.shop/@cstross 9789 349 Sci-fi/Fantasy author
James Gleick @JamesGleick@sciencemastodon.com https://sciencemastodon.com/@JamesGleick 8121 339 Author 'Chaos' and other books
Dr Sarah Hendrica Bickerton @sarahhbickerton@mastodon.nz https://mastodon.nz/@sarahhbickerton 1227 305 Sociology and Public Policy lecturer
Taylor Lorenz @taylorlorenz@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@taylorlorenz 72915 273 Tech columnist at the Washington Post
Matthew Skelton @matthewskelton@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@matthewskelton 1019 270 Team Topologies co-author
Jamie Zawinski @jwz@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@jwz 4836 264 Programmer, blogger, Netscape and Mozilla dev
Mary Robinette Kowal @maryrobinette@wandering.shop https://wandering.shop/@maryrobinette 2881 216 Sci-fi author
Julia Evans @b0rk@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@b0rk 14195 193 Programmer, speaker, tech zine person
Elisabeth Hendrickson @testobsessed@ruby.social https://ruby.social/@testobsessed 1018 187 Tester, author, change maker
J. B. Rainsberger @jbrains@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@jbrains 528 178 TDD person and awesome dev advocate
Molly White @molly0xfff@hachyderm.io https://hachyderm.io/@molly0xfff 31191 171 Wikipedia author, crypto skeptic
Brendan Eich @BrendanEich@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@BrendanEich 1788 163 Creator of Javascript
Neil Gaiman @neilhimself@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@neilhimself 160905 156 Author - Sandman, American Gods and many more
Chad Loder @chadloder@kolektiva.social https://kolektiva.social/@chadloder 18549 135 Activist, cybersecurity expert
Martin Fowler @mfowler@toot.thoughtworks.com https://toot.thoughtworks.com/@mfowler 9578 119 Tech loudmouth at Thoughtworks
Kelsey Hightower @kelseyhightower@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@kelseyhightower 8987 114 Google k8s dev, advocate, speaker
Josh Graham @delitescere@mas.to https://mas.to/@delitescere 101 96 Semi-retired CTO, speaker
Emily Webber @ewebber@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@ewebber 508 92 ex-GDS agile, Communities of Practice author
George Takei @georgetakei@universeodon.com https://universeodon.com/@georgetakei 226312 89 Star Trek Actor, Activist
Kevlin Henney @kevlin@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@kevlin 978 89 Speaker, author, thinker
Pamela Fox @pamelafox@fosstodon.org https://fosstodon.org/@pamelafox 1220 86 Python / Cloud advocate and teacher
Charles Oliver Nutter @headius@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@headius 1133 83 JRuby / JVM dev
Tom Lyon @aka_pugs@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@aka_pugs 1110 78 Old-school Unix coder, computer historian
Stefan Tilkov @stilkov@innoq.social https://innoq.social/@stilkov 1293 74 CEO / Principal Consultant at INNOQ
Brianna Wu @briannawu@mstdn.social https://mstdn.social/@briannawu 10746 72 Game writer, activist
Karen James @kejames@mastodon.online https://mastodon.online/@kejames 5579 72 Environmental geneticist, social justice advocate
Eric Meyer @Meyerweb@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@Meyerweb 3765 66 CSS standards advocate
Jessica Kerr @jessitron@hachyderm.io https://hachyderm.io/@jessitron 2637 58 Software developer, speaker, symmathecist
William Gibson @GreatDismal@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@GreatDismal 20201 50 Cyberpunk author
Joanne Harris @joannechocolat@mastodon.online https://mastodon.online/@joannechocolat 5865 45 Author of Chocolat, chair of Society of Authors
Paul Irish @paul_irish@toot.cafe https://toot.cafe/@paul_irish 3928 42 Chrome, Javascript, CSS developer and advocate
Paul Krugman @pkrugman@mastodon.online https://mastodon.online/@pkrugman 25238 41 Economist
Pragmatic Andy @PragmaticAndy@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@PragmaticAndy 748 40 Author and publisher
Ron Jeffries @RonJeffries@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@RonJeffries 1666 38 XP author and inventor
Dave Snowden @snowded@mas.to https://mas.to/@snowded 566 33 Cynefin author and thinker
Amanda Palmer @amandapalmer@home.social https://home.social/@amandapalmer 2275 31 Musician, writer
Trisha Gee @trishagee@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@trishagee 1312 28 Developer, author, Java advocate
Katie Mack @AstroKatie@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@AstroKatie 23469 23 Astrophysicist
Greta Thunberg @gretathunberg@mastodon.nu https://mastodon.nu/@gretathunberg 71468 20 Climate activist
Martin Kleppmann @martin@nondeterministic.computer https://nondeterministic.computer/@martin 1464 19 Author "Designing data-intensive applications"
Kent Beck @kentbeck@hachyderm.io https://hachyderm.io/@kentbeck 2195 17 Extreme Programming author
Michael Brunton-Spall @Bruntonspall@octodon.social https://octodon.social/@Bruntonspall 212 16 Civil servant, ex-GDS thinker, infosec
Antirez @antirez@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@antirez 1707 12 Redis creator
Dave Farley @davefarley77@techhub.social https://techhub.social/@davefarley77 46 11 Continuous Delivery and Software Engineering author
Felienne Hermans @Felienne@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@Felienne 1281 5 Scientist, researcher, SE Radio podcast host
Esther Derby @estherderby@mstdn.social https://mstdn.social/@estherderby 228 4 Agile author, thinker, change maker
Charity Majors @mipsytipsy@hachyderm.io https://hachyderm.io/@mipsytipsy 63 2 Software engineer and CTO of Honeycomb
Daniel Terhorst-North @tastapod@mastodon.social https://mastodon.social/@tastapod 1553 1 Agile guy, speaker, BDD, CUPID
Rebecca Parsons @rjparson@toot.thoughtworks.com https://toot.thoughtworks.com/@rjparson 111 1 Thoughtworks CTO, dev, speaker
Robert Virding @rvirding@fosstodon.org https://fosstodon.org/@rvirding 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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