We’re getting quite a few new users, so I thought it might be a great time to write some quick-start guide. This post will stay pinned for a week or so, afterwards it will be linked from the sidebar.
Right now you’re on Lemmy, a federated platform for discussion and link aggregation.
What’s the federation thing you’re reading about everywhere?
That’s a fancy name for a protocol that makes it possible for all Lemmy servers to interact with each other - that means you can read content from other servers here on lemmings.world.
Does that mean that I can log in to any server with my account?
Nope, your account is tied to the server you created it on. But that doesn’t restrict you from commenting on posts on different servers, creating posts in communities on different servers, or subscribing to communities on different servers. In fact, that’s the whole point of federated platforms!
Note that each server first needs to know that a community exists before it can fetch its posts. That happens when someone from the server subscribes to the community for the first time. If no one subscribed to a particular community, you won’t see it in the “All” feed. But hey, you can always be the pioneer and be the first to subscribe.
How do I find communities?
You can always use the search at the top. You can also use the various communities for sharing communities:
- !firstname.lastname@example.org - general community for asking where to find a community
- !email@example.com - a community where mods post about a new community they have created
And you can use https://lemmyverse.net/communities - a brilliant service which indexes all known Lemmy communities regardless of what server they’re on.
Tip: Set your home instance (lemmings.world if you’ve registered here) on Lemmyverse.net using the home button in the top right corner - all community links will point correctly to your instance.
How do I link to other communities on Lemmy?
You may have noticed already, but the format is
!community_name@lemmy_server.tld. For example !firstname.lastname@example.org. This is similar to using r/subreddit_name on Reddit. In the same way, you can mention users like this: @email@example.com. Note that this will also notify the user that they have been mentioned.
Some frontends don’t render the user link correctly, sadly that’s the case for the official one. In that case you have to use a little bit of markdown to help:
[@firstname.lastname@example.org](/email@example.com)which will be rendered like this: @firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that if you only want to tag someone, just writing
@email@example.com enough, the markdown thing is only if you want to make sure the user link is clickable for all users.
Frontends? What’s that?
Aside from the official Lemmy frontend at https://lemmings.world there are also alternative frontends written by different people. All those frontends display the same data, they just have different ways to go about it. A sad fact remains that all of them look better than the official one, so I advise you to use a different frontend.
On Lemmings.world you can find these frontends:
- https://a.lemmings.world - a frontend called Alexandrite and my personal favorite
- https://p.lemmings.world - a frontend called Photon, another great and popular option
- https://old.lemmings.world - a frontend inspired by old Reddit
There are many, many apps for your phone, whether you have an Android or an iPhone. There’s even a separate community for them: !firstname.lastname@example.org. My personal favorite is Eternity (!email@example.com) for Android.
If you’re here for that juicy NSFW, there are two Lemmy servers for that (lemmynsfw.com, pornlemmy.com) and pretty much all porn communities are there. Due to the federated nature, you can of course subscribe to their communities from lemmings.world. If, on the other hand, you don’t want to see any NSFW, in your account settings you can check that you don’t want to see any NSFW. If you see any untagged NSFW, please report it.
When you’re at the settings page, you may notice two bot related settings:
Bot Account and
Show Bot Accounts. The first one marks your own account as a bot and the other can be used to disable seeing all bot posts and comments on Lemmy. It’s completely up to you, but there are many useful ones. I run three such bots:
- @ChatGPT@lemmings.world - just mention the bot in a comment and it will reply to it.
- @firstname.lastname@example.org - automatically creates TL;DR for linked articles from supported sites
- @CommunityLinkFixer@lemmings.world - many people use URLs (like https://lemmings.world/c/wwdits) instead of the community name to link them, which doesn’t work for people on different instances - if someone from a different instance clicks the link, they won’t be logged in to their account and can’t comment. This bot replies with the corrected link
While you can disable all bots in the settings, in my opinion it’s better to block them individually - you might for example dislike ChatGPT but find automatic TL;DRs useful, so you can simply just block the ChatGPT bot.
You’ll most likely hear this term sooner or later. It means that one instance’s admin(s) decide that they don’t want to see the content of another instance. The reason might be arbitrary, but on well-meaning instances (like this one) it’s usually because of some serious reasons: hate speech, child sexual abuse material (CSAM), spamming other instances and so on. You can check the code of conduct this instance uses to defederate with other instances. We use Fediseer to manage our blocklist, you may view the reason for each defederation there.
If you don’t see some of the instancse we’ve defederated from on Fediseer, that’s because one of the other instances we trust has marked it as containing CSAM or loli content
You might hear this term around. Lemmy isn’t the only platform that uses the federated protocol (called ActivityPub) for federation with others. There are for example Mastodon (similar to Twitter), Kbin (has sections similar to both Twitter and Reddit), but also Bookwyrm (Goodreads alternative) and so on. These all services are collectively called Fediverse. Some of them can interact with each other (like Lemmy and Kbin), some of them can interact only a little (like Mastodon with Lemmy, but not Lemmy with Mastodon) and some of them not at alll (like Lemmy and Bookwyrm). Over time the integration with other Fediverse services will get better and better.
You might also sometimes see the term Threadiverse for services like Kbin, Lemmy and others similar to Reddit.
That’s all I can think of for now, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!