Dear WordPress folx, If you’re considering leaving Twitter for Mastodon, you should know that you can set your site up like a pseudo-Mastodon instance using @pfefferle‘s excellent plugins: ActivityPub and NodeInfo.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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  1. @chrisaldrich Thanks Chris! I’m going to give the ActivityPub plugin a try on a test WP install. The question was as much whether there were any interesting and compatible CMS/blog engines I’d missed. So far it sounds like WP + plugins is the most complete, so I’ll probably be sticking with that if nothing else comes up

    1. There are a few ways that WordPress can interact with Mastodon: either directly using ActivityPub as a protocol or indirectly by either copy/pasting content from your site or syndicating by way of API to a separate Mastodon account.

      The easiest is the one I recommended using ActivityPub and Nodeinfo. ActivityPub will make your WordPress user account look to others like a standalone Mastodon instance (that is, on par with other federate-able instances like mastodon.social, gnusocial.net, peertube.live, etc.) In your case your instance will likely only have one user (or perhaps a few based on how many accounts are on your WordPress install). The plugins shouldn’t require any set up or configuration beyond what name you give your own WordPress user profile(s). The ActivityPub plugin should cause a “Fediverse” heading to appear in your WordPress admin dashboard at https://example.com/wp-admin/profile.php, though you should replace example.com with your own website. Mine indicates that I have a profile identifier of @chrisaldrich@boffosocko.com, which when put into a Mastodon search will show you my account which you can follow. People who reply to your site/posts by ActivityPub protocols using Mastodon or similar software will cause the messages to appear on your site in the comments section. The downside of the process is that there isn’t an ActivityPub reader for you to easily follow and read others’ posts yet (at least to my knowledge), though most Mastodon sources support RSS and thus feed readers, otherwise you might try out one of the IndieWeb social readers. After you’ve been using it, you’ll notice that on your site at /wp-admin/users.php?page=activitypub-followers-list, you’ll find a list of the people following you. The NodeInfo plugin adds some additional metadata to your site to help it show up in the Fediverse properly. Some of this is generally invisible to the average user, but you can test if it’s working properly by looking for your data on a service like https://the-federation.info/wordpress which should show your website and its statistics.

      I would suspect that in your case that if you set the two plugins up, you should be able to search for and find your WordPress site on Mastodon by searching for @danicotillas@comunicacionabierta.net.

      The other way to interact is to use a plugin (like Mastodon Autopost, Mastodon Auto Share, or possibly others?) that is tied to a separate Mastodon account and which uses their API to physically cross post your content. This means you have to have and maintain a separate Mastodon (or similar) account and duplicate copies of your content. If you want replies and notifications back from that account you’ll need to have Webmention support and set up your Mastodon account with Brid.gy and do some additional configuration there.

      I saw your error notice on Twitter (https://twitter.com/danicotillas/status/1518977229048406022). It may have occurred because you have the Webmention plugin installed and had already sent me a webmention or potentially because you don’t have a properly set up h-card for your site and the parser on my end isn’t finding any data for your username, homepage url, or your avatar. In any case, you’ll notice at the bottom of the error message it says that your webmention was successful and indeed I did receive it.

      1. Thanks! I guess maybe I have few things mixed or I don’t understand something.
        I have look for @danicotillas@comunicacionabierta.net on Mastodon but I can’t find it. I have ActivityPub activate for sure.
        For the WebMention I see now my mistake but I feel that the way it’s explained it’s not very clear (or maybe my english).

        Now the thing is, how do you make it to get your very same post on WordPress to be replicate on Mastodon and Twitter and then get the answers from there to be shown here?
        I mean, what are the exact plugins you have active just for that? Is there any need to code something inside any php file?

        Thanks for your help!
        As soon as I understand everything right I might be doing some user manuals in Spanish as well.

        1. When I search @danicotillas@comunicacionabierta.net on Mastodon I get a 503 remote SSL certificate error. Maybe something wrong related to your hosting there?

          For the first method I mentioned, it’s just the two plugins ActivityPub and NodeInfo and your posts show up in the fediverse and the replies come back automatically.

          If you use the second method, then it’s one of those plugins and appropriately setting up your Brid.gy account.

          You can find additional help at chat.indieweb.org if you need it. Perhaps someone there can help in your native language as well?

          Neither of these methods should require any .php coding. I’ll mention that each method is completely separate from the other, but you can do both methods at the same time if you wish. Do check the documentation on all the plugins (or on Github) if you run into issues as that can often help.

  2. @econproph @jasongreen @dajbelshaw @katebowles @fncll @Downes @bonstewart @mahabali This set up doesn’t include a built in feed reader for reading others’ content, but for that I still rely on a social feed reader (using RSS, Atom, h-feeds) to subscribe to websites, social media streams, and even Mastodon (yes, Mastodon has RSS and h-feed mark up for subscribing to feeds!) The nice part is that I don’t need to spend time managing multiple accounts.

  3. @econproph @jasongreen @dajbelshaw @katebowles @fncll @Downes @bonstewart @mahabali As I think about it more, I remember there’s an up to date Mastodon fork from @darius called Hometown which conveniently has a “local only” posting mode. Some here might be interested in it for potential classroom use as local posts don’t federate with the outside and could be used to protect students’ content. https://github.com/hometown-fork/hometown/wiki/Local-only-posting
    Local only posting · hometown-fork/hometown Wiki

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