@thegibson that's disappointing. My pitch when I am trying to get people to join is "it's social media, but without the Nazis" so it sucks to have to amend that with "except don't join the most popular instance because it has Nazis and is also defederated from everyone else. Oh, 'defederated'? That's when..."
@ajroach42 just mentioned the plain language Vint Cerf uses when talking about things. Phrases like "squirt the data up to the orbiter." We should do more of that. Using plain language, I mean.
Gosh, why don't we just normalize the practice of having each instance list a bunch of other instances they're friendly with on their registration page? We could have a "Why sign up here?" section followed by "Or if that's not your cup of tea, try one of these other fine servers...".
But it's still lamentable that there isn't one, relatively trustworthy provider you can point people to as an entrypoint like with email.
I might just tell someone to get a gmail address to have something; then they can decide if there isn't a better option they are more into. They could even decide to self host if they are a particular type of crazy.
A Mastodon server friendly towards anti-fascists, members of the LGBTQ+ community, hackers, and the like.