Want to try out Mastodon? Thinking about hosting your own? Or maybe you’re new to the experience and need some help or want tips for better connecting? Our kind friends at Reclaim Hosting and ALT are doing a 90 day Mastodon experiment/class/seminar series where you can sign up for an account on a server that will self-destruct at the end of their trial run. They’re doing three sessions (live with recordings after), have a Discord for discussion and questions, and a Google doc with details and tips.
Session 1: Mission briefing: 19 January 2023 at 16:00 GMT (Watch Live)
Session 2: Verifying your progress: 23 February 2023 at 16:00 GMT (Watch Live)
Session 3: 30 days until self-destruct: 23 March 2023 at 16:00 GMT (Watch Live)
Slowly customizing my site layout enough to get it to validate h-entry info according to this nifty tool: https://indiewebify.me Wow, do I teach myself best by exploring other examples. #blogging#indieWeb
I’ve wanted full RSS feeds for several Mastodon instances for ages.
They can be particularly useful for small instances (aka communities) with slow posting velocity—you know, that instance you wanted to join for the local camaraderie, but having/maintaining/maintaining yet another Mastodon account wasn’t worth it, the hashtag discovery wasn’t going to cut it, and trying to follow all the people in the local community individually is irksome. Well OpenRSS.org might be able to cover you.
Since my personal website works with Mastodon and the Fediverse, this last part of more easily following groups of people in my social reader helps me complete the circle of reading, following, and responding in a more IndieWeb way. (Of course I wish that Mastodon 4.0 had not gone full js;dr, which would have allowed following them using Microformats mark up with much better fidelity. le sigh)
@firstname.lastname@example.org @coachtony @email@example.com @firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for these links! Definitely exciting to see how this is being approached from different angles. I’m excited for this next chapter.
@email@example.com @firstname.lastname@example.org @email@example.com @firstname.lastname@example.org @email@example.com
Another example of longer posts which are folded under a “read more” type link within the Fediverse itself can be seen in the Hometown fork of Mastodon (https://github.com/hometown-fork/hometown), which is running the hcommons.social platform. The admins have upped the character limit to 1000 instead of the usual 500. Ideally those reading in other parts of the network would see the beginning of a post and a “Read more” link to read the remainder of the piece.
I often post to my own WordPress website which has a plugin to make it appear as if it were ActivityPub compatible. If I follow it via a Hometown-based (Mastodon) server, like my hcommons.social account, I see all the full short notes/replies content which are usually 1000 characters or less. For posts over that limit, there’s a “Read More >” which opens up the entirety of the article within the hcommons.social interface where I can read it in its entirety. Naturally there’s a link to the original, so I can also go back to read that if I chose.
I’ve just gone over the 1000 character limit, so I’ll post this on my own site, syndicate a copy to my hcommons.social account, and with any luck it will serve as an example of how all this might work between WordPress, a forked version of Mastodon, and Mastodon itself, as well as for testing it for reading in other parts of the Fediverse if one wished.
Beyond this reading experience, one should also be aware of a separate user interface/interaction problem inherent in how Mastodon and potentially other parts of the Fediverse handle replies and who can see them. I’ll leave this link to explain that issue separately: https://fedi.simonwillison.net/@simon/109559268498004036. (Hopefully your instance will let you see a subsection of some of the replies to it…)
An additional benefit that one gets in bolting on ActivityPub the way it works for my WordPress site is that folks who subscribe to @firstname.lastname@example.org can see linked text natively from within Mastodon despite the fact that Mastodon doesn’t allow one to wrap text with URLs to link out.
@chrisaldrich Another #IndieWeb question for you! I'm syndicating blog posts from kfitz.info to Mastodon, where they appear from @email@example.com, and then I boost from this account. Replies to @firstname.lastname@example.org appear as comments to the blog post, as desired. But if I reply to the comment on the blog, that reply doesn't syndicate here, so the commenter doesn't know. And if I reply to the comment here, the reply comes from this account (and I'm not yet sure whether it appears as a reply on the blog or not). How do you manage this?
Generally, you’d post on your site where it’s seen in the Fediverse via the ActivityPub plugin and/or optionally boosted by your native Mastodon account. Replies to your post (on Mastodon) show up on your site as comments and you reply to them there in your site’s comments section. Then you manually copy/paste the text of your reply from your website into your native Mastodon account and include the comment/reply permalink in that reply. If you’ve got Webmention set up with Brid.gy for Mastodon, replies to your replies on Mastodon should then make their way back to the proper threaded spot in your website’s comments section.
An example of this at work can be seen on my earlier mistake:
Related, I’ve been playing around with mirroring my WP site as an instance with the ActivityPub plugin and have boosted posts with my more broadly followed mastodon.social account the same way you mentioned that you were doing with yours. Somehow I’m anecdotally finding that I get more responses/reactions with native posts that with these boosts. I’m curious what your experience has been with this strategy so far? I’m still just starting my experimentation here, but I do like the fact that I’m able to include richer presentation of wrapped links in my WordPress native posts which are seen in the Fediverse while Mastodon seems to strip them out or not allow them (see an example of this in the post above this reply).
One of these days, I'd like to find a way to post my archive from the other place in some space that I control. I've now got it in a couple of different formats, and some day when I get time. I'll look forward to playing with the possibilities.
One might think that instead of using Hugo (or previously Medium) that Mastodon’s blog would be on an ActivityPub-based platform likeWriteFreely. This seems like a missed opportunity for ActivityPub, but a bigger win for the (more) open web.
Keep in mind that the output of these feeds will be instance specific, and the tag feed will only get mentions from your instance and instances yours can “see” (or gets by follows with federation). So if you use a different instance, you may see more or less in your feeds. Because of its size and depth of federation, this makes mastodon.social a good bet for these sorts of subscriptions, but your experience may vary depending on your needs.