Mastodon is now our social network of choice. Here's why we've done it, the benefits to you, and how to join us there

What’s happening?

That seemed an appropriate heading to start this post given the subject matter.

Today, we are announcing that Mastodon will now be Mushroom FM’s primary social media platform. We’re not abandoning Twitter, at least at this stage, but it will all be automated. We will continue to tweet announcements from our blog, as well as show reminders half an hour before they start. But for live, interactive events, mastodon will now be our social network of choice. Change can be unsettling, and we want to make sure that our loyal listeners understand why we’ve decided to do this, the benefits for you of this decision, and how you can join us on Mastodon if you are not already there.

Our proud social media history

Since we launched Mushroom FM in 2010, Twitter has played a major role in the way we communicate with our listeners, the Mushroom crowd, around the world. In fact, even before our launch, the build-up to Mushroom Fm took place via Twitter. Over the years, we’ve held numerous special events including virtual concerts, cruises, murder mystery weekends, train journeys, benefit concerts and holiday countdowns. We harnessed Twitter in a way that set the bar.

You can understand then why scaling back our Twitter presence took considerable soul searching, but in light of recent changes and the existential threat the platform faces, it is time. Mushroom FM has a history of making these calls at the right moment. We want to make this change at a stage where we are not being rushed due to events at Twitter over which we have no control. Being forced into a panic response is never good.

The golden age has long past

While Twitter’s survival has been the primary motivator for us making this decision now, in recent years, Twitter has not served us as well as it once did, particularly for the majority of users who choose to use Twitter’s own official offerings, such as its mobile apps or its website. Once, Twitter was a chronological timeline where each tweet had equal value. You can still get that experience if you use a third-party app, although at this stage it is unclear how much longer such apps will be permitted on Twitter if Twitter survives at all. But now, for most people, Twitter is a curated timeline based on an algorithm that promotes certain content. This disadvantages services like us.

This week alone, we are starting to see some large companies, like Tumblr, adopting ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon and a wide range of other services. There is a growing realisation that social media should be interconnected and not owned by one corporate or individual. Social media should be more like email. If you’re on Gmail, you can email someone with an iCloud address. That’s how social media should be too, and together, we can make it happen. It is starting to happen, with a clear course correction underway.

Mushroom FM wants to be a part of that future, because it is fundamentally good for blind people. The more open something is, the more accessible options can be developed that meet everyone’s needs. As blind people, it is in our interests to help Mastodon succeed, particularly given that Twitter’s new owner has fired every single member of Twitter’s Accessibility team and there is no guarantee that future features will be accessible.

We hope that other blindness Internet radio projects will also make it to Mastodon.

So, let’s not be sad that the past has passed, let’s now look to the future, our new Mastodon presence and why it’s a great thing for Mushroom FM’s engagement with you.

What is Mastodon?

In case you’ve not heard of it yet, Mastodon is a social network made up of independently-operated servers, or instances, around the world. Some who have only heard a bit about Mastodon think that you can only talk to people on the same instance as you, making it too fragmented. While the full answer is complex, the basic answer is that that’s simply incorrect. I can follow you if you use a different Mastodon instance from me, just as I can email you if you use a different email provider from me.

No one can buy Mastodon for billions and billions of dollars and destroy it recklessly, because the software is out there and open source for anyone to use.

If you're worried about the complexity of learning something new, I promise you that while everything unfamiliar seems a bit odd at first, if you can use Twitter, you can definitely use Mastodon. There are differences, but many similarities, like your Home Timeline, and a place to go for mentions and other notifications.

Mastodon is a perfect companion for Mushroom FM’s culture and reasons for existing. We call ourselves the fun guys, but we’re also the little guys. The really little guys. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we offer you something different from the massive radio conglomerates out there, and the streaming services. We’re volunteers who love the music we play, and take pride in providing you with entertainment and companionship. Similarly, Mastodon volunteers take pride in doing social media better, wrestling it off the corporations who exploit our data for commercial purposes and amplify those posts that will cause division and therefore more engagement. In short, Mushroom Fm and mastodon are a perfect match.

Introducing Mushtodon

Mushroom FM has set up its own Mastodon instance at, which we are affectionately calling Mushtodon. This means that you can engage with us differently and better than you ever could on Twitter.

Only the fun guys have accounts on Mushtodon, so when you see someone posting from there, you know it’s a genuine Mushroom Fm account. We expect you will see more and more of this branding as collective entities of all kinds become part of the social media spring.

First, we are replicating the existing functionality you are used to on Twitter if you follow If you follow this account, you will receive blog posts and a reminder 30 minutes before a show starts.

Now things get interesting, because any fun guy who wishes to can set up their own Mastodon account for their show so they can interact with you and perhaps post items that interest them between shows. If they have elected to do this, the account will be the fun guy’s first name at our Mastodon instance. For example, to follow Sara Hillis for Mushroom Fm related things, you would follow This makes is super easy, because our mastodon addresses are consistent with our email addresses.

With Mushroom FM specific accounts, it is my hope that the fun guys will interact even more with you about things pertaining to their shows. Many of us know that, sad though it makes us, not everyone who follows us on our main accounts wants to hear us on Mushroom FM, so I think that tends to temper the amount of Mushroom FM-related content we post. But with a dedicated account for such things, we can toot our heart out! Yes, a toot really is the name given to a Mastodon post, which by the way is by default almost double the length of a tweet. On the Mastodon instance we will recommend to you shortly, toots can be even longer.

You can also use the #MushroomFM hashtag on Mastodon. Mastodon has rolled out a new feature where rather than just searching on hashtags, you can follow them so they appear on your main timeline. Not all clients support this yet, but more and more will over time. And this is where all the fun will be happening for our 2022 countdown. We know many people love the spirit of our countdown and Christmas party, so we wanted to give you ample notice of this change so you can be on Mastodon in time to participate.

OK, so how do I get on Mastodon? I heard it’s complicated?

Mate! It’s as easy as falling off a log. If you are not on mastodon already, here is a set if simple instructions. Note, there are many, many other ways of getting on Mastodon, and others may have different recommendations, but we want to keep this simple.

  • 1. Sign up for a mastodon account. You can find a well-run Mastodon instance where many blind people are hanging out, at The sign-up process is simple and accessible.
  • 2. If you want to use Mastodon via the web, you can use the website, but you can find an even simpler web interface at Just log in with your credentials from
  • 3. If you’d like to use an accessible app on your PC or mac, download Tweesecake, which has been designed for and by blind people.
  • 4. If you want to use mastodon on your iPhone, search the App Store for an app called metatext. If you are familiar with apps like Twitterrific, this is very similar.
  • 5. Got an Android device? Search the Google Play store for Tusky.

Where can I go for more info?

For more information on Mastodon, check out the audio or transcript of Mosen at Large 206.

We’re sure you’ll love it

Those of us who have already adopted Mastodon have found it to be reminiscent of the golden age of Twitter. We think you’ll love it too. We look forward to seeing you there and bringing the same kind of innovation to our mastodon presence that we did on Twitter all those years ago.