the Wordpress ActivityPub plugin page

Adding my site to the Fediverse

Thanks to the renewed interest in actual social media, rather than an algorithm-driven advertisement space, I find myself having interesting online conversations again.

I really wanted to use my own website and domain for further engagement.

But… experience with earlier attempts at federating networks made me cautious. Setting up and maintaining my own Jabber/XMPP and Diaspora servers was a lot of effort for little result. An excursion into the current field of microformats and protocols again suggested a lot to choose from, with very little guidance.

So after reading about Ton Zijlstra’s vision on “an operating system for the Open Social Web” (presented at the Dutch WordCamp 2022), we had a good conversation about experiences and the state of things (thanks Ton!).

I started playing with several WordPress plugins. And this morning, I came across Erik Visser’s experiences in putting all the pieces in place. Very helpful (dank, Erik!) to streamline a day of work to have my first version running as well.

Next steps I see:

  • Write up my own technical experiences on getting it working.
  • Figure out how my Fediverse handle @rolf@drostan.org can be a link.
  • How to connect my site with my Mastodon account?
  • Figure out lots more about the dynamics of interactions in the Fediverse.
  • Start organising my stream of content in useful WordPress tags, post types, and categories.

You can follow my updates and react via @rolf@drostan.org in Mastodon!

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comment 5 comments
  • @rolf I started reading this super interesting post and then I had the moment of…. HEY!! I know him!!!N00b question: What is the secret to posting such a long thing on Mastodon? Mine caps at 500 characters. Is the limit different on different servers or am I missing some secret?

    • Technically, there is an underlying protocol called ActivityPub, which caters for all kinds of “activities” to be exchanged.

      Mastodon is one interface on top of it: it is Twitter-like, and limits post sizes. But it accepts longer activity posts — as I now know as well 😉

      I basically spent the day making my WordPress site an interface on top of ActivityPub as well. So the site now posts whole articles (not sure if that is what I want, but it’s the default setting).

      There are more interfaces, I think PeerTube is an interface that more mimics Youtube for video sharing.

  • Aha! That’s very helpful. So I guess when I see stuff that’s longer, it’s probably something that came in via ActivityPub and then got boosted or something in a way that shows up in my feed.

    I want to federate my own WordPress site, too. I don’t even bother to post my newsletter/Medium posts on my own WP site anymore but maybe I will start!

  • Hé Rolf! Nice to know that my post helped. And I hope that the really technical people will expand on this protocol and what it can do. So many possibilities and I’m getting greedy for more. 🙂

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