I think as a federated alternative to Reddit, it'd make more sense for the platform to treat instances more like "subreddits" rather than "Reddits".
This'd encourage users to look beyond their home instance, spread out the traffic, and also have the individual communities complementing rather than competing with each other. Like for example, [Mander](https://lemmy.ml/post/59300) is an instance dedicated to the natural sciences, so it has a few boards which are related to that. After all, there's no point in federating if everyone is on lemmy.ml.
It seems like this is the devs' intent to an extent, however, I think some tweaks to lemmy.ml could make it more apparent to people. We'd want the average user to discover and begin subbing to communities from across the federation. If each instance is catering to a specific niche, but all interacting with each other, then any instance can be a "default instance". As the closest thing to an "official" instance, I think there's a responsibility on us to ensure that people are checking out other instances.
For the "Communities" browser, I think it'd help to include some communties from those sorts of themed instances, and add tag filters. Also have the default front page be on the "Federated" tab.
Linking with a wider range of instances would help too, especially those which aren't as explicitly political-themed so the default feed has a wider appeal. Currently when I search "science" on the instance, it only shows results from two instances: this one and lemmygrad.ml. There's a lot of instances posted in [!firstname.lastname@example.org](https://lemmy.ml/c/announcements) which'd be great additions.
Including stuff in the documentation about the sort of "instance as a subreddit" approach would help people to design their communities in a more effective way, since the gut reaction is to assume each instance is meant to offer the full Reddit experience.