Read The escape from Instagram by Jeremy Felt (jeremyfelt.com)
I’ve been thinking through how to leave Facebook’s Instagram service since June, when I finally deleted my central Facebook account. This should be easy, because I don’t post that much on Instagram, but it always seems hard because it’s the best user experience (IMO) on mobile for writing a ...

An interesting method of leaving Instagram. I still read content there, but I had used dsgnwrks-instagram-importer by Justin Sternberg to rescue all of my Instagram posts back into my WordPress site since it gave me a huge amount of control over porting over the metadata as well. I’m noticing that the repository lists it with a warning “This plugin has been closed as of August 10, 2019 and is not available for download. Reason: Licensing/Trademark Violation.” though I can’t imagine what that would have been for unless Instagram is trying to nudge Justin out. (There’s a copy of the plugin on Github for those who may still want it.) Other than a small issue I’d seen with some emoji in Instagram, the plugin always worked like a charm for me.

Prior to that I’d always been a big fan of Aaron Parecki’s OwnYourGram, though I understand that Instagram was limiting his crawler, so the service may not be taking new accounts.

While I know some of the people behind Pixelfed and generally trust them, I don’t think I would use it as a solution unless I was standing up my own instance of the service. Far too many Mastodon instances have gone down for me to trust a particular sites’ admins. Apparently Mastodon has made it easier to move from one instance to another, but I’m not sure how this may or may not apply to Pixelfed.

Presently, my money is on Matthias Pfefferle’s ActivityPub plugin which adds support to a WordPress site to act as a stand-alone member of the Fediverse. While it’s beta software, it works fairly well and is evolving impressively over the past year or so. I suspect that photo support will improve to put it on par with solutions like Pixelfed, particularly when combined with the ease of use of some of the Micropub photo posting applications that are out there.

I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention that another option for exiting Instagram (or at least backing it up to your own site even if you don’t leave completely) is to try Beau Lebens’ Keyring Social Importers plugin. I know a few who have used and liked it for its Instagram and other social silo support.

I’m sure there are other methods out there as well and many might be found on the IndiwWeb wiki pages for “Instagram” or “photo”.

Bookmarked The Federation - a statistics hub (the-federation.info)
Node list and statistics for The Federation and Fediverse

Some screencaptures from the day I joined the statistics hub. My site dramatically changed some of the statistics:

This graph makes it look like my site has almost doubled the number of local posts for all WordPress nodes.
The addition of my node to the WordPress nodes has dramatically increased the number of local comments!
Of the WordPress nodes currently registered on the Federation, I’m leading for most posts and comments.

👓 PeerTube: retrospective, new features and more to come! | #JoinPeerTube

Read PeerTube: retrospective, new features and more to come! (joinpeertube.org)
Since version 1.0 has been released last November, we went on improving PeerTube, day after day. These improvements on PeerTube go well beyond the objectives fixed during the crowdfunding. They have been funded by the Framasoft non-profit, which develops the software (and lives only through your donations). Here is a small retrospective of the end of 2018/beginning of 2019:

👓 Let’s retake control of our events! | #JoinMobilizon

Read Let’s retake control of our events! #JoinMobilizon (joinmobilizon.org)
A user-friendly, emancipatory and ethical tool for gathering, organising, and mobilising.
Replied to https://twitter.com/davidwbarratt by David Barratt on Twitter David Barratt on Twitter (Twitter)

Sure why not? Don’t you imagine that if multiple millions left Facebook for managed hosting that the cost of $5/month would potentially drop to $1/month or less via competition?

Replied to Joe’s Syndicated Links Considered ‘Spam’ By Some Mastodon Instance by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
I actually kind of understand this—only because I think Mastodon is at odds with the Indieweb.

I don’t think that what Joe is seeing is an anti-IndieWeb thing. It is something we’ve seen before from a handful of instances and will assuredly see again.

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 @chrisaldrich@boffosocko.com, for example, instead of @chrisaldrich@mastodon.social. 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!

👓 Good evening, I have some thoughts that are kind … | Ruth on glammr.us Mastodon

Read a thread by Ruth Ruth (glammr.us Mastodon)

Good evening, I have some thoughts that are kind of meta to the fediverse and apply into society more broadly. One public toot, then I'll thread
So... I get torn between two principles & I think they're a reason why shared solutions like masto are so important.

Principle 1: own your shit / pay for the shit you use

Principle 2: there should be plenty of low-barrier & "free" spaces for people to congregate in some way.

This is tied to my being a librarian tbh.

Some interesting thoughts that mix some IndieWeb ideas and libraries.

❤️ We Have Officially Joined the fediverse | Stormlight Tech, L.L.C.

Liked We Have Officially Joined the fediverse by Katherine M. MossKatherine M. Moss (Stormlight Tech, L.L.C.)
True to the spirit of an open source community, and one which supports others of like mind, We have joined with the group on the internet called the Fediverse; for those who might not be aware, that is, the group of independent social networks running interoperable software (Mastodon, and others. we...

👓 What Does Gab’s Demise Mean For Federation? | Interdependent Thoughts

Read What Does Gab’s Demise Mean For Federation? by Ton Zijlstra (zylstra.org)
The Twitter-like platform Gab has been forced offline, as their payment providers, hosting provider and domain provider all told them their business was no longer welcome. The platform is home to people with extremist views claiming their freedom of speech is under threat. At issue is of course wher...

👓 Bringing blogging to the fediverse | Matt Baer

Read Bringing blogging to the fediverse by Matt BaerMatt Baer (Matt)
After much trial and error, I've finished basic 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 ...

🔖 Read.as

Bookmarked Read.as by Matt BaerMatt Baer (Read.as)
Long-form reader built on open protocols.

This is a cool looking reader project that’s got some ActivityPub. Would be cool to see integrated microformats h-feeds or even some mixing with Microsub to help bridge the Fediverse and IndieWeb efforts. His write.as project is fantastic looking too.

👓 Trying Mastodon | Gary Pendergast

Replied to Trying Mastodon by Gary PendergastGary Pendergast (Gary Pendergast)
It’s no secret that Twitter is red hot garbage fire, so I’ve signed up for a Mastodon account to give them a try. Because I’m super vain, I decided to create my own Mastodon instance, with a custom domain.

I know of a few folks in the IndieWeb and WordPress communities like Ryan Barrett (with FedBridgy) and Mathias Pfefferle (with OStatus plugin) who are actively working on helping bridge the technology between websites and the Fediverse so that one could use their WordPress install as a stand-alone “instance” of Mastodon.

It already seems somewhat obvious that moving from Twitter to Mastodon is bringing along some of the problems and issues that Twitter users are facing, so being able to use your current WordPress (or other) website to interact with other instances, sounds like a very solid idea. In practice, it’s the way I’ve been using my website with Twitter 1 2 (as well as Google+, Instagram, Facebook and other social silos) for some time, so I can certainly indicate it’s been a better experience for me. Naturally, both of their efforts fall underneath the broader umbrella of the web standards solutions generally pushed by the IndieWeb community, so I’m also already using my WordPress-based site to communicate back and forth in a social media-like way with others on the web already using Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and (soon) Microsub.

These federation efforts have got a way to go to offer a clean user experience without a tremendous amount of set up, but for those technically inclined, they are efforts certainly worth looking at so one needn’t manage multiple sites/social media and they can still own all the data for themselves.

 

References

1.
Aldrich C. @Mentions from Twitter to My Website. BoffoSocko. https://boffosocko.com/2017/04/15/mentions-from-twitter-to-my-website/. Published April 15, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2018.
2.
Aldrich C. Threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter. BoffoSocko. https://boffosocko.com/2018/07/02/threaded-conversations-between-wordpress-and-twitter/. Published July 2, 2018. Accessed September 11, 2018.

🔖 PixelFed

Bookmarked Pixelfed (https://pixelfed.social)
The first post on a new federated photo sharing website.

An interesting new federated service popped up this morning that recreates an Instagram-like photo sharing site. It’s already turned off registrations and the site is generally down because of the large amounts of traffic. Apparently there’s an appetite for the open and federated web again. Who knew?? 😉