“The Fediverse is the name given to a group of computer servers that host social networks in a peer-to-peer way. Each of these servers are able to talk with each other to make one gigantic web of social networks. This is similar to if Twitter users could see posts from Facebook users, and Facebook users could see posts from Twitter users. Its name is a combination of the words “federation” and “universe”.
Most instances of the Fediverse make use of free, open source software. … To contribute content to the Fediverse you can either host your own server instance, or join an existing one as a user. …
Many of the Fediverse networks aim to provide a free, open and decentralized alternatives to an existing commercial products.”
Copied from the “Simple English Wikipedia” page on the Fediverse
this is, by far, the most succinct and easy to understand explanation of the fediverse that i have found. it’s a great place to start, so anyone reading this or other guides can understand the basics of what the fediverse is and how large it is.
there are many federated servers in the fediverse: some are micro-blogs like twitter, some are long-form posts like this one (or a blog or medium alternative), some are picture-based like instagram, some are video-based like youtube, some are music-based like soundcloud…
you can join an existing server, or host your own if you have the knowledge and/or the money.
the majority of this guide will be focused on “Mastodon”, which is a micro-blog format similar to the idea of twitter. as i learn more, or as i find other guides, new posts will come out or this will be edited with new links. this includes not only mastodon, but other areas of the fediverse!