I feel like I've seen a couple of recent conversations here (refactorcamp.org) about how to find people off-instance to follow.
I personally have the opposite problem (I follow a lot more folks off-instance than on-instance), so I thought it might be worth sharing some how I found interesting conversations on other instances.
1. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time on the global timeline. Yes, it's kinda a dumpster fire initially, but it becomes more useful as you build up more off-instance followers. Signal-to-noise is never great, but it's a place to start.
Follow anyone who says a couple of interesting things, or who otherwise looks interesting. You'll probably unfollow a lot of them within a few weeks, but it helps improve the off-instance signal-to-noise.
3. Twitter is a mess, but that doesn't mean you have to throw the baby out with the bath water. Use bridge.joinmastodon.org to find folks you know on Twitter over here. If you see anyone and think "I really miss their tweets", give them a follow.
Don't be surprised if most of the accounts you find this way are dormant. But some won't be, and those tend to be worth it.
(This is how I discovered infosec.exchange, one of my favorite non refactorcamp.org instances.)
4. Finally, look for who boosts/favs/follows you, take a look at their personal timeline, and give them a follow if they look interesting.
This approach probably works best if your a prolific/interesting poster... Which I'm not. But even so, this is how I've found some of my favorite off-instance people.
Remember: Mastodon moves more slowly than Twitter (network-wide conversations seem to have a much longer tail), and there's no algorithm to suggest people/toots to you (overall I think this makes interactions/relationships more stable, but it does raise the barrier to entry).
It took me a few months before I started to find my home timeline consistently interesting. But now that it's there I find the discussions I have/read on Mastodon far more rewarding than what I have on Twitter these days.
@necopinus five or so recommended people to follow? :)
@aRandomCat YMMV, but here's some folks who I think say/do interesting things, or boost interesting things, or are involved in conversations that I find interesting:
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