Yesterday night, I moved instances on Mastodon...again. This'll be the 4th instance in 3-4 years. For the most part, it's not their fault. For one it is, but I'll get into that in a bit. Let's go thorough each one in turn:
This is the instance I started on. There were already a bunch around but I joined the main one because I didn't know much about the others. Even then, there were about 300k people there! That was over 20% of the network on one instance and it was considered unhealthy for Mastodon as a whole. I got my feet under me, met a bunch of people, and followed a few of them over to... 2. mastodon.sdf.org
This is a smaller instance centered on technology and music. They're the folks behind anonradio as well. They had a serious problem with people creating accounts with ads and links in their profile for SEO purposes and leaving them. They deputized a few people (including me) to take care of the problem, and I got rid of about 500 of them in 2 days.
Unfortunately, drama involving them and a friend caused me to leave the instance. There were some issues between him and anonradio and they banned him and deleted all of his shows. He left and seeing as he was one of the people that caused me to move there in the first place, I followed him to... 3. tilde.zone
This is pretty much like SDF, with their anonradio equivalent called tilderadio. Things seem to be a lot more laid back there, but unfortunately that also appears to be the case with Mastodon server care and feeding. More than a few times, some went sideways with the instance and the instance either stopped updating or I was unable to connect at all. So this morning I moved over to... 4. mstdn.social
It's not mastodon.social big but plenty big (50k users or so). I already know some folks over there and they're good people. The admin's company is actually hosting this site! It's also plenty stable so far. The only downside is he's paying for it out of his own pocket and they're damn near turned out most of the time, so donations and his side businesses are necessary to keep it going. (Don't worry, the site will remain as he's a reseller for a bigger host.)
I hope this'll be the last migration but things can always change. Instances come, go, and change over time but at least there's always somewhere else to go.