I haven’t looked deeply into Lemmy’s internals yet. It looks like it has a similar community/aggregation hub functionality that Lobsters and Reddit has. It also looks like it functions like news.indieweb.org or indieweb.xyz. One thing I’d be curious to know is if Maya and gang has any plans for Lemmy to allow users to receive webmentions to comments on their posts on Lemmy. Lobsters implemented this in 2018. Or, with a bit more work, they might allow people to post to Lemmy using Webmention as a syndication mechanism the way indieweb.xyz or news.indieweb.org do.
Of course it looks like they might also benefit from IndieAuth login so that other accounts in the Fediverse might allow them to log in without needing yet another account. I recall Aaron Parecki doing a video about IndieAuth and ActivityPub at the ActivityPub conference recently. This would make implementation easier.
I can’t wait to dig into Lemmy a bit more. It would be cool to have another IndieWeb friendly community hub (and particularly one in the Fediverse) for discovery, discussion, and interaction in the world. We need more projects like these to give people healthier alternatives to Facebook and Twitter.
Looking back at the decade of 2010 and developments in the internet, in Social Media, and inside alternative Social Media projects.
It feels a lot like the reason we are unable to offer real alternative social networks is not that we cannot do so. It is because most people with the abilities to do so spend their time working on things that only work for the tiny audience that is the tech sector, while happily ignoring the needs of all those billions of non-technical humans out there. This is something that frustrates me more than I want to admit. ❧
Annotated on May 06, 2020 at 08:17AM
He’s definitely got some interesting and insightful ideas here on why alternative social media efforts may not have the desired effect. I’ve also heard some of his technical issues with Activity Pub by other developers (and implementers). Many find it not only difficult to implement, but find it difficult to actually federate properly.
Social reading and reviewing, decentralized with ActivityPub - mouse-reeve/fedireads
I love seeing more activity in the reading space for IndieWeb!
Chris and Serge are back from FOSDEM and CopyleftConf. Chris has a grant to work on an exciting new ActivityPub application and the dynamic duo talk about recursive compilation and Lisp without parentheis.
I’ll circle back around shortly to watch the video of the event that they recorded. I’m curious what else they’ve got hiding in there.
Interestingly, I’ll note that it appears that my site will at least somewhat federate with the Internet Archive’s as they support pingback. (Great to see technology from almost 20 years ago works just as well as some of these new methods…)
Graber helped us understand the broad categories of what’s out there: federated protocols such as ActivityPub and Matrix; peer-to-peer protocols such as Scuttlebutt, and social media apps that utilize blockchain in some way for monetization, provenance or storage. ❧
Missing from this list is a lot of interop work done by the IndieWeb over the past decade.
Annotated on February 03, 2020 at 06:48PM
Thought leader and tech executive, John Ryan, provided valuable historical context both onstage and in his recent blog. He compared today’s social media platforms to telephone services in 1900. Back then, a Bell Telephone user couldn’t talk to an AT&T customer; businesses had to have multiple phone lines just to converse with their clients. It’s not that different today, Ryan asserts, when Facebook members can’t share their photos with Renren’s 150 million account holders. All of these walled gardens, he said, need a “trusted intermediary” layer to become fully interconnected. ❧
An apt analogy which I’ve used multiple times in the past.
Annotated on February 03, 2020 at 06:50PM
You can follow me at @firstname.lastname@example.org and apparently read my 8,000+ posts via Mastodon and other platforms.
While the plugin doesn’t support everything (yet) and doesn’t compete with Mastodon, Friendi.ca, or GNU.social, it extends WordPress with some reasonably solid fediverse features. I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow and add additional functionality.
I had previously considered adding this type of functionality myself to make syndicating posts (via POSSE) from my own website to sites like Twitter or Mastodon easier. There are a small handful of plugins in the WordPress repository that will add that type of functionality already, but I had eschewed them generally, not wanting yet-another-plugin.
I spent some time trying to track down the plugin that was effecting this change. I couldn’t remember having installed something that would have done this sort of functionality, and I had noticed it only by complete happenstance. I eventually gave up my search halfway through only to later get a message from Matthias Pfefferle that his ActivityPub plugin was the likely culprit. I probably should have guessed as I had literally spent part of that very day looking at the code in his IndieWeb News plugin on GitHub which had code that essentially did the exact same thing, but for a narrower set of results.
The upside of the entire process is that the functionality is now built into a plugin which I’d be using otherwise. As of today’s update, there’s now also a setting for the plugin that will allow one to turn the functionality on or off–I, for one, am definitely keeping it. Of course if you’re looking for the functionality without the extra overhead of the ActivityPub code, I believe you can use Matthias’ WordPress hashtags plugin which does only this.
I’ve never quite liked that Twitter uses @names highlighted within posts. All the additional cruft in Twitter like the “@” and “#” prefixes, while adding useful functionality, have always dramatically decreased the readability and enjoyment of their interface for me. So why not just get rid of them?!
Of course I also remember myself railing against the addition of the symbols @ and # in general text not too long ago, so I’m also now brainstorming and contemplating how one might more quickly (and even in a DRY manner) do this sort of tagging using some other (probably easily accessed, but infrequently used) symbol which could be hidden visually, but which would allow one to add these sorts of tags and the appropriate microformats markup. I suspect there may be some sort of clever CSS I may be able to use too, though it would be better not so that it works easily via syndication and in feed readers with different styling. The goal should be that it would work as plain text from a Micropub client too. With any good luck someone may have thought of it already, otherwise I may be able to hack something simple together to do roughly what I want. The upside would be that simply by writing your post, you could simultaneously be tagging it as well and not need to bother going in and separately adding additional tags!
I’m still working out some bugs, but it’s not as horrible as I would have thought.
The other example of this behavior I’ve seen was when Greg McVerry, a college professor and member of the IndieWeb community, tried to join a Mastodon instance that was specific to researchers and professors in higher education. Sadly he found out, like Joe, that syndicating content from other locations was not acceptable there. As I recall, they also required an automatic content warning on almost everything posted to that particular instance which seemed an additional travesty to me. I think he ultimately joined mastodon.social and found he didn’t have any similar issues there and anyone who wanted to follow him from any other instances still could. I’m sure he can provide some additional details and may have posted about it sometime in the summer of 2018 when it happened.
The tough part is that each instance, though federated among many others, can have its own terms of service and set up. Some instances can be and certainly are run by their own tyrannical administrators, and I suppose that it’s their right since they’re paying for the server and the overhead. The solution is to do some research into some instances and find one that isn’t going to ban you for what would otherwise seem like average use to most. I’ve found mastodon.social to be relatively simple in its terms and its massive size also tends to cover up a lot of edge cases, so you’re unlikely to run into the same problems there. (It is also run by the creator of Mastodon, who has generally been IndieWeb friendly.)
The issue Joe has run into also points out a flaw of the overall Fediverse in that just like each real-world country can have its own laws and there is a broader general international law, the international laws aren’t as well codified or respected by each individual country. When you’re operating in someone else’s country, you’re bound to follow their local laws and even customs. Fortunately if you don’t like them there are lots of other places to live. And this is one of the bigger, mostly unseen, benefits of the IndieWeb: if you have your own website, you can create your own rules/laws and do as you please without necessarily relying as heavily on the rules of others.
I’ll note that some in the IndieWeb (Aaron Parecki, Ryan Barrett, Mathias Pfefferle, Jacky Alcine, et al.) have been playing around with or thinking about adding the ActivityPub protocols so that their own websites act as stand-alone members of the Fediverse. Since I know Joe has recently moved to WordPress, I’ll mention that there are two separate projects to help WordPress sites federate:
* ActivityPub plugin for WordPress from Mathias Pfefferle
* Bridgy Fed from Ryan Barrett
Naturally neither of these (yet) supports all of the protocols so some functionality one would find on Mastodon won’t necessarily work, but I suspect that over time that they eventually will. It’s been a while since I tried out BridgyFed, but I’ve had the ActivityPub plugin set up for a bit and have noticed a lot of recent work by Mathias Pfefferle to use it for himself. I still have to tweak around with some of my settings, but so far it provides some relatively useful results. The best part is that I don’t need to syndicate content to Mastodon, but users there can subscribe to me at @email@example.com, for example, instead of @firstname.lastname@example.org. The results and functionality aren’t perfect yet, but with some work we’ll get there I think.
Good luck finding (or creating) an instance that works for you!
2018 war ein durchwachsenes Jahr!
Mein privates „Ich“ hat letztes Jahr sehr viel Raum eingenommen und auch beruflich hat sich viel verändert.
Das heißt ich hatte generell wenig Zeit für mein online „Ich“ und wenn ich doch etwas Zeit hatte, war das Ergebnis meistens eher frustrierend.
I’ll have to revisit some of his work on OStatus and ActivityPub with respect to WordPress. It would be nice to be able to follow @email@example.com on Mastodon wouldn’t it?
Thanks, as always Pfefferle, for keeping the web open!
After much trial and error, I've finished basic #ActivityPub support on Write.as! (Though it's not live yet. Create a federated blog here, or enable federation by going to your blog's settings > Enable federation.) I'm very, very excited about reaching this point so I can try out some new ideas. So ...