SciArtSeptember + Crow News + Customizing your social media experience: Project Mushroom's latest

SciArtSeptember + Crow News + Customizing your social media experience: Project Mushroom's latest
"Project Mushroom" in black text on a yellow background next to a yellow-and-black image of a mushroom.

Blending art and science for #SciArtSeptember

All month, our feeds have been blessed with creative responses to the daily prompt for #SciArtSeptember — a chance to break down the barriers between disciplines while having fun and sharing our talents. Go take a scroll through the hashtag to catch up on what you've missed!

Exercises like this are all about embracing our complexity. We contain multitudes, and so does the world around us. Let's celebrate the overlap between printmaking, biology, illustration, chemistry, embroidery, geology, watercolour....

Shout out to Ele Willoughby (, who took it a step further by creating eagle talons out of a discarded aluminum can in this post:

What's crowing on?

Maybe you've never thought much about crows. Maybe you wonder where they sleep at night, or how they interact with other birds, or if they like peanuts. If I've piqued your interest now, you'll want to head over to David's feed ( and catch up with his regular "crow updates" from around his neighbourhood on the island of Shikoku in Western Japan.

Customizing your social media experience

Unlike other social media platforms, we don't use a recommendation algorithm to decide which posts show up in your feed. This gives you more control over what you see, and today we wanted to share some tips to help you customize your news feed and make it easier for others to find your posts.

The search box on Project Mushroom and Spore Social can now search for text anywhere in a public post – previously, it would only search for hashtags. However, if you would like to allow others to include your posts in searches, you need to enable this in your privacy settings:

A checkbox next to "Include public posts in search results". Beneath it reads "Your public posts may appear in search results on Mastodon. People who have interacted with your posts may be able to search them regardless."

Even if you don't allow others to search your posts, you'll still be able to use the full text search on your own posts!

Following and Adding Hashtags

Following hashtags is a great way to discover posts on topics you're interested made by people who you don't yet follow. If you follow a hashtag, then all posts with that hashtag on servers that we're connected with will show up in your timeline alongside the profiles that you follow.

To start following a hashtag, first go to the page for that hashtag. You can do this either by clicking on the hashtag in a post, or by entering the hashtag into the search bar. At the top you should see a button to follow the hashtag – that's it!

A screenshot from Mastodon showing the #ClimateChange hashtag on the left. On the right is a purple button reading "Follow hashtag". Underneath are some statistics: 1.6K posts, 1.1K participants, 182 posts today

Adding hashtags to your own posts will help others discover your posts as well. For hashtags involving multiple words, we recommend writing them in CamelCase, which means capitalizing the first letter of each word. This helps screen readers pronounce the hashtag correctly, and improves accessibility of your post.

Here are some examples of some of the more common hashtags among users over the past three months – consider following these if you want to see more posts on the topic, or add them to your own posts if you are commenting on that topic!

  • This won't come as a surprise for a social network focused on climate justice, but the most popular hashtag is #ClimateCrisis. There are also lots of variations on this hashtag: #ClimateChange, #ClimateAction, #ClimateEmergency, or even just #Climate
  • The most-used non-climate hashtag is #LGBTQ. A related hashtag is #ProtectTransKids, which highlights the increasing assault on the rights of transgender youth across multiple countries.
  • Users will often add hashtags for their country, region, or city to their posts. Follow these hashtags if you're interested in connecting with people in your area!
  • The hashtag #CovidIsNotOver reminds us that we're still in the middle of a public health crisis that requires us to take care of each other and provide aid when needed. Similar hashtags include #LongCovid and simply #Covid.
  • As we are an expressly abolitionist server, the hashtag #AbolishThePolice is also often used.

We're also recommending that people use tags like #MutualAid on #MutualAidRequest,  on relevant posts – while these aren't used as commonly as the ones listed above, when they are used they are very valuable and help others identify situations in which aid is needed.

How to Get Involved in Project Mushroom

Project Mushroom is a Mastodon-based social network focused on climate and social justice. If you're not in the space yet, you can click here for an in-depth guide on how to get started on either our or servers.

Project Mushroom recently became independent of its former parent company, Currently Weather Service, and is now fully led by the community. Paid subscriptions to this newsletter now go 100% to funding Project Mushroom expenses, which are primarily server costs. We've recently added the option to make a one-time contribution as well. If you have the means, please consider joining the 190 other supporters who help us keep the lights on!