Is anyone in the or space using @tinysubversionsHometown fork of to create small “local only” posting spaces for their classes? Are there any inexpensive hosts that have one click installs/setups for this? Screen capture of paragraph that reads: "In August 2018, Kazemi created his own Mastodon server (an “instance”) called Friend Camp. But he didn’t want it to be a popular instance — he wanted to run a small social network, with under 100 users. The goal was to foster community-related discussion and attain a sense of “group cohesion.” The following year, based on his experience of running Friend Camp, Kazemi forked Mastodon into a new software package he called Hometown. One of its main features is “local only posting,” which gives users the option of not federating their posts." The last line is highlighted in yellow.
@abidnev@mastodon.social I like the look of https://fedipress.com/ and where it’s going. Your tutorial is excellent, but omits one small piece of useful architecture for discovery. You might consider adding the NodeInfo plugin to your WordPress/Fediverse toolbelt.

One of its benefits is to help WordPress sites show up in Fediverse databases like https://the-federation.info/wordpress, which should also give you a broader listing of the (currently 405 nodes with 9273 users) WordPress instances in the Fediverse for advertising on your site.

Good luck!

I’ve been following “Welsh Twitter” off and on, but TIL that there’s a Welsh Mastodon: Tŵt Cymru at https://toot.wales/about.

Bore da. Chris dw i. Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

I’ll have to figure out how to automate POSSE of my Welsh-related posts to my new account: https://toot.wales/@chrisaldrich. Until then it’s manual until it hurts.

But first, figuring out how to work this into my practice…

Replied to Open Educators on Mastodon by Clint LalondeClint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)
It is great to see many people in my network again testing the Mastodon waters in the wake of the news of the sale of Twitter. Discovering and developing a new network can be difficult and is often a big barrier to moving to a new platform so to help get you started, here is a list of peo...
Thanks for this Clint!

I wish that Mastodon’s list functionality was easier to use, but this method works well too. I won’t say anything about the irony of using the OG social network of the blogosphere to spread this useful information. 😉

Call for Interest: IndieWebCamp pop up session on Goodreads replacements and decentralized book projects

Based on some recent discussions with a variety of people I’m helping to organize an IndieWebCamp pop-up session on personal libraries online. If you’ve ever considered how to own all your own Goodreads-like reading data and still interact with others or you’ve got an website, product, or application that attempts to do this, this is sure to be your cup of tea (or maybe we should say “favorite genre”).

If you’re interested, comment or reply to this post, or add your interest and preferred dates to the IndieWeb wiki.

  • Date: Sometime in February 2022
  • Time: TBD (approximately 3 hours in duration)
  • Streaming video/audio platform: Zoom
  • Hashtag for the session:

We’ll focus discussion on personal libraries on one’s site(s) and how they can interact with each other. How can we pool data and resources for the common good? How can we provide Goodreads like functionality in a decentralized manner? What pieces are we missing? How can we add them? Are there any easy ways we can standardize the pieces for better site-to-site interoperability? How can we interoperate with other projects like Mastodon and BookWyrm or data sources like Open Library?

Organizationally, depending on attendees and needs we may break our time up into two or three facilitated sub-sessions to focus on and cover specific topics of interest. If you have an idea for a sub-session topic (we’ll operate Bar-Camp style the day of the event) you’d like to see or facilitate please indicate it below.

If you’d like to help facilitate the session or volunteer in running it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Want to start discussing the topic prior to the session? Feel free to meet up online in the IndieWeb chat.

We’ll try to announce a date around mid-January to provide time for people to reserve the time.

Replied to a tweet by Courtney RobertsonCourtney Robertson (Twitter)
On the IndieWeb front there are some interesting evolving examples and state of the art documented at:

In particular, I quite enjoy the micropub client IndieBookClub for posting reading updates to my WordPress site (it supports other platforms with Micropub support too.) More details: https://indieweb.org/indiebookclub. Here’s an example of how I’m tracking what I read on my own site: https://boffosocko.com/kind/read/ or if you want just the books.

If you’d like a non-WordPress hosted solution, you might take a look at Manton Reece’s excellent Micro.blog platform which has a nice book/reading UI: https://micro.blog/discover/books or https://micro.blog/discover/books/grid. (It uses IndieWeb technologies including micropub, so you can use IndieBookClub with it. You can also syndicate to it from your WordPress site if you prefer to have your own infrastructure and just join the community there for the conversation.)

I’m happy to help if you’d like further tips/pointers for any of the above.

On the Mastodon front, you might take a look at Mouse Reeve‘s Bookwyrm (GitHub) which is one of the best custom set ups in the ActivityPub space.

Replied to Webmentions + Eleventy Talk by Sia KaramalegosSia Karamalegos (sia.codes)
Slides and resources from my talk at JamStack Toronto.
First there’s the details of her post in particular that are cool, but I like how Sia is leveraging Twitter as part of the commenting system on her blog using Webmention and Brid.gy. This way for people who aren’t replying or interacting with their own websites (yet!), they can still take part in the conversation, but she can own it all in one centralized place.

In particular take a look at the great, and intuitive UI she’s got at the bottom of her post:

Join the conversation on Twitter. Or, if you liked this article and think others should read it, please retweet it.

Just click on the link, reply and go. It would  be nice to see other social platforms allow this sort of interaction. Setting it up for Mastodon should also be pretty simple too.

Crediting your own website when syndicating to Mastodon with WordPress plugins

I’ve been tinkering around with methods to automatically syndicate (POSSE) content from my personal website to Mastodon. I’ve been working at making a custom plugin which is far from finished. But a test post I made the other day, caught a few people’s attention[1][2]

I was trying to syndicate from my website so that the post on Mastodon would credit my website for the post and link back to my homepage as the application that made the post. You’ll notice at the bottom of the post there’s the post date and a globe icon, which indicates the post is public, followed by my website name ‘BoffoSocko.com’ and details about replies, reposts, and favorites.

screen capture of a Mastodon post which gives credit to Boffosocko.com at the bottom of the post.

I assuredly won’t release a public plugin for WordPress that does this. But since some have asked how I did it, I thought I’d share some of the internals of a few WordPress plugins that one can quickly modify to achieve the same thing.

That I can currently see, there are three plugins in the repository that will allow one to syndicate content to a variety of Mastodon instances. They are Mastodon Autopost, Mastodon Auto Share, and Share on Mastodon. The first two are closely related and essentially replicate the same codebase.

Similar to using Twitter’s API to crosspost, Mastodon is looking for two bits of information when an application is registered: a client name and a website URL. 

Mastodon Autopost and Mastodon Auto Share, both have a file called client.php which define these two variables. 

public function register_app($redirect_uri) {
  $response = $this->_post('/api/v1/apps', array(
    'client_name' => 'Mastodon Share for WordPress',
    'redirect_uris' => $redirect_uri,
    'scopes' => 'write:statuses write:media read:accounts',
    'website' => $this->instance_url
  ));

You can edit this file with a text editor to change the 'client_name' from 'Mastodon Share for WordPress' to 'Anything You Want'. If you’re in a joking mood, maybe change it to 'Twitter'?

To change the URL so that the link on the client_name directs to your website, you’ll want to change the line 'website' => $this->instance_url.

In particular change $this->instance_url to 'https://example.com' where example.com would be your website. I’ll note that $this->instance_url on this line in the original plugin is a bug. If left alone, it points the URL to your home Mastodon instance instead of to the more logical https://wordpress.org/plugins/autopost-to-mastodon/ where the plugin lives. 

If you prefer using Jan Boddez‘ excellent plugin, you’ll want to do something similar, except in that case you’ll want to change a file named class-options-handler.php in the includes folder.

Here you’ll want something like:

'client_name'   => __( 'Example.com' ),

But note that Boddez doesn’t have a similar bug, so the website line

'website' => home_url(),

is already correctly defined so that your website will automatically be linked without any changes to it.

If you’re already using one of these plugins and manually modify them, note that you’ll probably need to re-authorize the plugin so that the changes propagate.

Read The 2010s and alternative Social Media: A decade full of work, hope, and disappointment by Dennis Schubert (schub.wtf)
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. 

Replied to Social Menu & Social Media Icons: Add Mastodon Support · Issue #10338 · Automattic/jetpack by transmothratransmothra (GitHub)
Please add support for Mastodon, a distributed, decentralized, federated micro-blogging platform popular among people abandoning Twitter and Free software/Free culture enthusiasts (many nodes exist)
I’ve noticed that @janboddez has a plugin that will do this for a variety of Fediverse instances including Mastodon:
https://github.com/janboddez/add-fediverse-icons-to-jetpack

There’s also an approved version in the repository named Add Fediverse Icons to Jetpack