Posting another reminder on the public bits. ...for new #mastodon people:
My go to article to start with is here:
WRT following people, just poke around and put hastags in your profile and maybe your #introduction post.
There is a project out there called #trunk that also helps get people started on following others:
Definitely browse the local and federated timelines and don't be afraid to look at other instances pulicly available areas.