Since you have other Fediverse accounts you’re using, you might be able to follow the same general pattern I’d documented with Twitter for threading comments between my site and Twitter: https://boffosocko.com/2018/07/02/threaded-conversations-between-wordpress-and-twitter/
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:
- The original post on my site;
- My own reply on my site;
- My manually copied reply on Mastodon;
- My Mastodon reply shows up on my site via Brid.gy;
- A like of that Mastodon reply shows up on my site (also courtesy of Brid.gy via Webmention).
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).
Scott (@schopie1), you are not alone! There are lots of us out here doing these things, not only with WordPress but a huge variety of other platforms. There are many ways to syndicate your content depending on where it starts its life.
In addition to Jim Groom and a huge group of others’ work within A Domain of One’s Own, there’s also a broader coalition of designers, developers, professionals, hobbyists, and people of all stripes working on these problems under the name of IndieWeb.
For some of their specific work you might appreciate the following:
Incidentally, I wrote this for our friend Kathleen Fitzpatrick last week and I can’t wait to see what she’s come up with over the weekend and in the coming weeks. Within the IndieWeb community you’ll find people like Ben Werdmuller who founded both WithKnown (aka Known) and Elgg and Aram Zucker-Scharff who helped to create PressForward.
I’m thrilled to see the work and huge strides that Humanities Commons is making to ensure some of these practices come to fruition.
If you have questions or need any help in these areas, I’m around, but so are hundreds of friends in the IndieWeb chat: https://chat.indieweb.org.
I hope we can bring more of these technologies to the masses in better and easier-to-use manners to lower the technical hurdles.
There are some well built and not overly complicated pathways that allow syndicating from your WordPress website to a Mastodon instance and getting responses back from them, just as I think you’ve done with Twitter in the past. Most of these can be done with plugins like Syndication Links or Mastodon Autopost or a handful of other similar plugins in conjunction with Brid.gy (which does the work for bringing back responses). Personally, I prefer Syndication Links for this and it particularly dovetails well with other IndieWeb infrastructure like Micropub clients.
There are a small handful of methods for “mirroring” your WordPress site so that it will look like its own (single or multi-user depending on your configuration) instance within the Fediverse running ActivityPub, meaning that those on Mastodon or other related platforms could follow your site directly. Most of them are configured as publishing only, so you won’t have a built in reader interface and would have to rely on other (available) infrastructure for those portions.
(More technical, and with a few less features) Brid.gyFed, which has options to do the syndication to a separate instance mentioned above, as well as making it look like your website appear to support ActivityPub.
More details on this here: https://indieweb.org/Bridgy_Fed
Our friend Matthias Pfefferle, a genius engineer and longtime opensource advocate and WordPress developer who has also written significant pieces of other IndieWeb code you’re already using on WordPress, has written a handful of plugins which will make it appear as if your WordPress site supports ActivityPub out of the box. You’ll broadly want the following plugins: ActivityPub plugin, WebFinger plugin, NodeInfo(2) plugin.
They don’t have very many configurable options though some may be hiding a bit, so try:
/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=activitypubwill give you options for how your posts appear;
/wp-admin/users.php?page=activitypub-followers-listwill show you who is following your site so you can more easily subscribe back via a reader if you like;
/wp-admin/profile.phpand look under “Fediverse” where your profile identifier will be found. It is based on your username within WordPress.
The documentation for these plugins are scant and I’ve got the intention to write up something explaining the subtleties and a few quirks, but it will have to wait until the holidays I’m afraid. In the interim, they’re not as complete as they could be, but the following two blogposts have some useful details and hints, though its obvious to me that they’re much newer in the space:
There are one or two quirks still pending for how things display if you’re using the IndieWeb-based Post Kinds Plugin, but the developers are generally aware of most of them and will hopefully get them ironed our shortly.
As a result, mostly of these plugins, WordPress is already the fifth largest number of instances in the Fediverse with an (under-)estimated 878 as of this morning.
I’m practicing both the POSSE option as well as Option 2 above on my own site, which can be followed at @email@example.com, as an example. Matthias’s example can be found at @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help & Questions
This is a lot to consume and potentially implement, so, as ever, I’m happy to help guide and lay out the sub-branching options or even hop on a call to walk through bits with folks who have questions. David Shanske and I have been thinking about doing some group sessions and some training videos to walk people through some of this within the next few weeks. There’s also the IndieWeb chat which welcomes questions and conversation which is sure to give you some additional perspective: https://chat.indieweb.org/wordpress/.
For the social reader portions I briefly mentioned, I outline some of those options last year at OERxDomains in A Twitter of Our Own.
Separately, congratulations to HCommons having stood up a Mastodon server so quickly!
It looks like it’s running Hometown, which has local only (unfederated) posting, though I’m not sure how many are aware of that useful feature (hiding on the link in the posting interface) which is sadly missing from most Mastodon instances, particularly for smaller communities. It might be something useful to add to the welcome email? I think this could be a great feature for Universities to allow more private class-based social networking while providing some safer spaces that don’t reach the broader internet and which might comply with FERPA. Obviously it would need some testing and some of the barriers for standing up and maintaining these servers to come down a bit.
There’s a lot of messaging and potential education to be had to roll it out well, but it could be interesting to see the WordPress offerings from hcommons.org include some of these IndieWeb and Fediverse tools as well.
If you really want native ActivityPub mirroring of your site on Mastodon, you might try @pfefferle’s ActivityPub plugin (along with his NodeInfo and Webfinger plugins). I still need to tinker with my own set up for better formatting, but you could follow my WordPress site @email@example.com
A while back I did set up a system that uses IFTTT to target my micropub endpoint for syndicating some content from silos that don’t have good/easy APIs or methods into my website. Generally I do this as private posts so I have the data and selectively post it as necessary. These days I primarily do this with my Hypothes.is annotations to my site, though only a tiny fraction of the 12,000+ is publicly available: https://boffosocko.com/kind/annotation/. Currently only about 1/3 of my 45,000+ posts are publicly viewable on my site.
Eventually someone might build Micropub as a Service so you can sign up and give it social silo accounts to have the service PESOS copies of your content to your website.
I’m always curious to see other implementations.
If everything works, this should show up as a toot on mastodon, and then also as a tweet on twitter, and any responses to the tweet or toot will show up as comments below this post. I use webmention.app to send webmentions to brid.gy, and then brid.gy sends toots, and then crossposter.masto.donte.co...
I’ve been reading about sketchnotes for a bit this past week. As a first experiment I created some sketchnotes for a short talk on syndication in social media I prepared a while back. Here’s to hoping that no one ends up taking the actual spiral down to POOSNOW with their own social media presence.
After the Webmention session last weekend, I was inspired to revisit a quirk of Micro.blog’s Webmention implementation. Bridgy is an IndieWeb-friendly service commonly used to forward tweet replies via Webmention. If you were using Bridgy to connect your blog to Twitter, Micro.blog had been essent...
A Metacrap Problem
It’s metacrap–I know, I know–but I’ve been thinking about easy ways to use Open Graph Protocol meta data to add contextual Twitter cards to some of my content when syndicating posts to Twitter. My goal is to leverage the speed and ease-of-use of Micropub clients while doing as little as possible manually, but achieving as much parity between posts on multiple sites.
I’m particularly keen to do this to syndicate/share more of the articles I read and post about on my site without adding additional manual work on my own part.
Outline of Some Resources
The Post Kinds plugin for WordPress parses URLs for me and pulls in data to create reply contexts for a variety of posts like bookmarks, reads, watches, listens, etc. Since Post Kinds doesn’t display featured images (yet), I’ve also been using the External Featured Image plugin to display the featured images from the original to add to the reply context of my posts as well.
In addition to all these I’ve been using the All in One SEO plugin to easily add an SEO layer to posts without having to do much thinking about it. AIOSEO recently upgraded their UI and features in the last year, and yesterday I upgraded to the newest v4.0+. One of the new features it’s got is the ability to add default fields or pull in pre-existing custom fields to output OGP meta data.
Start of a Solution
So I got the idea that since Post Kinds and External Featured Image plugins are pulling in and displaying the sort of data I’d like to show in Twitter cards, I figured why not use them? While metacrap is a DRY violation, the fact that it’s automated for me and is based on data I’m actually showing visually on my website makes it feel much less dirty. It also has the benefit that it helps make some of my syndicated content look and feel on Twitter, more like it does on my website. This is also a problem since Twitter hampers how much data I can syndicate in a single post.
I’ve still got some issues about how to deal with the Post Kinds data, but after a bit of digging around, I discovered the image URL for External Featured Image plugin is hiding in the
_dcms_eufi_img field. So I can make the default Twitter settings in AIOSEO pull the external image by setting
Default Post Image Source to
Image from Custom Field and set the
Post Custom Field Name to
Since a lot of my posts are reads, bookmarks, etc., this works well, but I can easily override the settings for articles or other custom posts which I make less frequently.
Hopefully I can figure out the settings for Post Kinds to get the rest of the default fields to map across. I’m happy to hear ideas on what field names I’d need to use to get the Post Kinds
Summary/Quote fields to map over for the
og:description respectively. Ideally I can manage to get it done without needing to get a subscription to the pro version of AIOSEO which also has support for custom taxonomies which is how Post Kinds works.
Since my theme has relatively solid microformats support, and I have plugin infrastructure to allow easy syndication from my website to Twitter through micropub clients, this last bit for creating Twitter reply contexts helps close some of the loop for me in my syndication workflow while keeping as much context across platforms.
Here’s a visual example of a native post on my site and the corresponding syndicated copy on Twitter. There are some differences, mostly because I don’t have as much control of the appearance on Twitter as I do on my own site, but they’re about as close as I can get them with minimal work.
Italic Type is the simplest way to track your books, get trusted recommendations, and share the joy of reading with friends.
I’ll have to look into the ease/value of starting into yet-another book silo though. I’d only really use it if I can get it to dovetail with posting to my own website as a syndication target (POSSE), or if I can use it to syndicate to my own site (PESOS).
It’s hard to be nuanced in 280 characters. The Twitter character limit is a major factor of what can make it so much fun to use: you can read, publish, and interact, in extremely short, digestible chunks. But, it doesn’t fit every topic, ever time. Sometimes you want to talk about complex topics...
I’m hoping that future versions of this provide the Twitter permalinks for the syndicated copies there to be returned to my WordPress site for storage. In my case, I’m using the simple Syndication Links plugin which has storage and/or finds the storage location in WordPress to allow for the display of those permalinks in my post to indicate where I’ve syndicated the copies. This does two things: it’s a reminder of where my content lives elsewhere on the web (especially if I later want to go back and delete them, or to delete them if I’m deleting or making the original post private/unpublished) and it allows services like Brid.gy to find my original post and backfeed replies to the Twitter versions back into the comments section of my post using the Webmention spec (via the Webmention plugin and the Semantic Linkbacks plugin).