Hi Terry, yes I agree the steps still seem too high a threshold for most. It’s part of the reason I was trying it: to figure out how difficult it would be for average computer users. Currently it seems that Pleroma might be easier to run on a R Pi. Haven’t tried it yet though. Meanwhile ActivityPub (AP), the protocol that Mastodon also uses, is getting adopted into more things. NextCloud has announced it is supporting AP now, so that means it can federate with Mastodon and others. Nextcloud I have succeeded in installing on a R Pi some time ago. Also WordPress plugins that support AP are appearing.
Another avenue, one I want to explore but haven’t taken the time to yet, is Freedombone (https://freedombone.net), which aims to provide a SD card image for single board computing devices, such as R Pi, with a range of FOSS tools on them. It’s still somewhat alpha, or at least not fully beta, but sounds intriguing.

For my current set-up, a hosted Mastodon instance on my own domain, I’m ok for now. I mean it’s not much different from what I do for this blog, after all.