Replied to Yes to ActivityPub, but no to Friends by Shelley Powers (Burningbird)
I decided to disable the Friends plug-in when I realized it was inserting every new feed item as a new post in my database. This could easily become unmanageable. Considering you can use a feed reader to read weblogs AND Mastodon accounts, it just didn’t seem worth the database burden.

I’ve also been messing with the Friends and ActivityPub plugins for WordPress on my blog, and I share Shelley’s concerns about the former bloating the database with feed items. You can control this somewhat by setting retention values in days or a number of posts, but you have to go into each friend’s Feeds tab and do it manually–there’s no default setting.

After reading that post, I’m also considering disabling Friends in favor of a feed reader, especially because (as Shelley also noted) there are gaps when with favorites and comment conversations bridging between WordPress and Mastodon servers. Like her, I’m not keen on installing a single-​user Mastodon instance or other fediverse server that requires managing an unfamiliar programming language.

I’m also trying to do this in tandem with a suite of IndieWeb plugins, and I’m running into an issue with my friends feed page not showing any posts when the Post Kinds plugin is activated. I really want to keep this plugin because it lets me interact better with other IndieWeb sites as well as the Bridgy POSSE/​backfeed service connecting me to other social networks.

My ideal is a personal website where I write everything, including long-​form articles, short statuses, and replies like these. Folks can then find me via a single identifiable address and then subscribe/​follow the entire firehose of content or choose subsets according to post types, topics, or tags. They’d then be able to reply or react on my site or their favored platform, which my site would collect regardless of origin, with subsequent replies and reactions getting pushed out to them. Oh, and it should work with both ActivityPub clients and servers, IndieWeb sites, and syndicate/​backfeed to other social networks either with or akin to the Bridgy service I mentioned above.

So far I haven’t seen anything that ticks all these boxes, and I’m getting itchy to write my own. Perl is my favorite programming language, so I’m looking at the Yancy CMS as a base. But I know that it would still be a hell of a project, and one of the reasons I chose WordPress for blogging was that it was well-​established and ‑supported but still easily extensible so that I could concentrate on writing instead of endlessly tweaking the engine. Unfortunately, I’m starting to fall into that trap anyway.

17 thoughts on “WordPress, ActivityPub, and Friends

  1. @mjgardner @burningbird @kmartino I started to fall into that trap of writing my own #ActivityPub server. I first looked at installing my own mastodon server, but that’s heavyweight and I’m not a fan of ruby. Then I installed the ActitityPub plugin for my wordpress blog, but I’m reminded by how fragile wordpress is (I took five years off from using it because of this). Then I started writing my own server, but realized that the ActivityPub protocol is poorly specified in the standards. I’d like to think that ActivityPub has a future, but it feels like it is in its infancy stage and the lack of federated search makes it a non-​starter for most users.
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    • Fine, but as I mentioned one of the things I’m trying to do is POSSE to wherever followers and readers are. If they’re not using the fediverse because it currently lacks searching everything everywhere, I’ll still reach them. But i also want to reach folks via ActivityPub. It’s not a zero-​sum game.

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  2. @marqle @mjgardner @AgileAttorney Blogs get released abbreviated in Mastodon, anyway, with a link to the full blog.In Hometown fork, however, the Article types are displayed inline.Any other long (vertical) post/​note has a break for Read More’ done automatically by Masto.Notes are what Masto uses, but Article is used by WriteFreely and others and is displayed differently by Masto.What you’re seeing are super-​long Notes. Hacking the character limit is fairly easy to do, even with Masto.

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