We set the Ferret up as a cooperative because we believe that placing ownership of our publishing platform in the hands of our members was important.
It helps to keep us accountable, independent and means we always work for our subscribers - we don't have advertisers.
The same things that make a co-op a good structure for publishing news - also apply to social media too.
So, as a bit of an experiment we set-up an instance of Mastodon just for our members. You can find it at theferret.social
This means that your membership of The Ferret now gives you the chance to take part in a social network with a sustainable funding model that doesn't rely on mining your personal information to sell it on to advertisers.
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is new kind of social network - it's superficially quite like Twitter - but the more time you spend with it, the more your realise how different it is!
It's also open source, and it's federated between different servers or 'instances.' theferret.social is one instance in a "fediverse" of many other instances. So whilst theferret.social may not have many users at the moment - you can still follow and interact with more than 823,000 other users in the wider fediverse.
Rather than write a lengthy guide about how it all works, here's a link which outlines the best apps to use for your phone and gives you tons of getting started tips. https://github.com/nolanlawson/resources-for-mastodon-newbies/blob/master/README.md
To sign-up, just go to theferret.social and follow the registration process.