- 1 Features
- 2 IndieWeb Examples
- 3 IndieWeb Support
- 4 Issues
- 5 POSSE
- 6 Federating Directly with Mastodon
- 7 Tools
- 8 Criticism
- 9 Downtime
- 10 Articles
- 11 Instances
- 12 See Also
(this section is a stub, please expand!)
- profile - ability to create an account / profile with
- bio (with autolinked URLs)
Specific feature details:
Mastodon profiles show various information:
- following someone's mastodon microformats feed gives a much better result than their atom! - Aaron Parecki
E.g. screenshot when trying to follow:
And display of an item from a Mastodon h-feed:
Mastodon has a notifications page that shows various items such as when others react to your posts:
Federated Reply Interfaces
An interface for prompting the act of posting content from their preferred ActivityPub service of choice.
IndieWeb sites using Mastodon and/or interacting with Mastodon posts on other servers!
(stub section - please add === Yourself === with permalinks to different/interesting examples and dates of when first started interacting in those ways!)
As of 2018-07-23, Aaron Parecki has about 64 followers from various ActivityPub profiles, and has a few posts that have received a mix of replies from Mastodon and other ActivityPub users.
IndieWeb Building Blocks that Mastodon supports:
- h-card on comment markup in this patch
- full h-feed, h-entry, h-card on user profiles and post permalinks in this patch later fixed in this patch. See also #122
- rel-me is now support in this commit and that commit
Mastodon uses rel-me to support "verified" site links in a green box with a green checkmark next to the verified site.
- Limitation with Twitter: https://mastodon.social/@Gargron/100749399047652462
- "Link verification would work with Twitter profiles too since they have rel="me", but Twitter obfuscates links with t.co. I don't know how to deal with that, since resolving every href on the page to check for redirects doesn't seem viable." @Gargron September 18, 2018
- rel-me testimonial: https://mastodon.social/@qubyte/100749428077603231
- "@Gargron Nice. I already had a rel=me link to mastodon in the header of my blog, so this was free!" @qubyte September 18, 2018
- rel-me for verified status advantage over Twitter: https://mastodon.social/@rickscully/100749623830777332
- "@Gargron I added verified links. Thanks. Birdsite would never verify me despite owning my name domain and having been and active Internet user under my own name for decades." @rickscully September 19, 2018
To Be Proposed
These are ideas/suggestions for Mastodon to support more indieweb building blocks. Feel free to file them in https://github.com/Gargron/mastodon/issues and then move them (and their issue link) to the Requests section below.
- WebSub support. Given Mastodon's h-feed support, WebSub support would be great for realtime notifications of updates from Mastodon profiles.
Requested on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lady_Ada_King/status/1062518206345097216 by @Lady_Ada_King November 14, 2018:
"Indie Web Awesomeness: You can use <a rel="me"> to verify you own the sites in your mastodon profile!Also: https://aaronparecki.com/2018/11/13/10/
It would be really cool if you could use mastodon as an authentication provider for https://indieauth.com/"
Since Mastodon already supports OAuth 2, and all users already have a URL, adding IndieAuth to Mastodon would not be a huge leap.
It was also discussed in the following GitHub issue: https://github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/issues/4800
- "@email@example.com @Gargron@mastodon.social I think Micropub in Mastodon is a great idea! It's a simple API (especially for posting) with support from a lot of different tools now." @manton November 13, 2018
- "There are a bunch of great Micropub apps for the Web, iOS and Android so I definitely think it would be helpful to add Micropub support. "
Founder @Gargron noted Micropub support is “A lot simpler than ActivityPub C2S”:
- "@trwnh Micropub is a lot simpler than ActivityPub C2S" @Gargron November 12, 2018
Please consider rejections as opportunities to listen for feedback on how to improve indieweb building blocks, and always respond politely. It's a good thing when people spend their own time to analyze these requests and provide their reasons for rejection.
- 2018-04-03: Webmention sending support was surveyed (most were for it), but rejected (2018-04-03) for a set of privacy concerns that are worth addressing or at least having answers for. E.g. "It's a privacy violation that people aren't expecting", is no more true for sending Webmentions than sending referrer headers, or allowing search engine indexing — all of which could be gated on the same site/user preference.
- 2017-04-21: Subscribe to Atom feeds directly 
- Update: "I do not plan on supporting Atom feeds that don't have Webfinger and Salmon (i.e. non-interactive, non-user feeds)"
If you want to re-request a rejected feature, please at a minimum:
- document the list of specific reasons for rejection of a feature
- somehow fix or address (via documentation etc.) the reasons for rejection, i.e. here on the wiki, or by updating the spec for the rejected feature.
- wait some amount of time before re-requesting. case-by-case judgment call. i.e. if you're able to quickly address all the problems noted, follow-up with a thank you for the feedback and link to where you have addressed the problems. otherwise consider waiting at least a few months, perhaps even a year before re-requesting. In either case, make it very clear what changes have occurred that make the feature request worthy of reconsideration.
See Mastodon Github Issues:
- Official blog seems to be dependent on Medium: https://miaou.drycat.fr/@rigelk/99744356064225691
Resolved or apparently resolved past issues.
One Primary Instance
Resolution: Apparently resolved as there is a growing number of Mastodon instances (and the "primary" instances is now closed to new signups). See:
One danger, that projects like Mastodon face, is when they are used as a service by more than one user, any downtime will affect multiple users. For instance, on the morning of Nov 11, 2016 the mastodon.social instance was down briefly and displayed a generic server error.
In this regard, promoting "mastodon.social" the site in particular as an alternative to Twitter (e.g. see tweets encouraging "join me on mastodon.social") merely encourage users to go from one silo, to a perhaps more open source-based and more open standards supporting silo, yet still dependent on another central org.
As a contrast, if each user were to run their own Mastodon instance, one instance going down would not affect multiple users in this fashion. Second best would be if users who choose not to run on their own servers were instead encouraged get together with someone that does, which again, would limit the exposure of when one instance goes down. But when such users all join a single server (e.g. the mastodon.social site itself) or any platform with similar architecture, they will suffer from this single point of failure in design.
On the other hand, multi-user instances benefit from shared community oversight, in the form of having admins and moderators who (presumably) actively block known-hostile instances and users.
Update (and one way to resolve this!) As of 2017-04-04 (or earlier?) mastodon.social is no longer accepting sign-ups and directing people to sign-up elsewhere: https://mastodon.social/about
"Due to exceptionally high traffic, registrations on this instance are closed until quality of service can be assured for existing users. Choose one of the various other public instances to sign up!"
- Bridgy Publish supports POSSEing to Mastodon.
- Chris Aldrich uses the WordPress plugin Mastodon Autopost to POSSE posts from his site to Mastodon. (There is also a similar plugin called Mastodon Share that does roughly the same thing.) As of late 2019 he's getting backfeed from Mastodon posts via brid.gy.
- Chris Aldrich also uses Daniel Nix's Known plugin Known Mastodon to syndicate to Mastodon since April 2017.
- Greg McVerry uses the WordPress plugin Mastodon auto share to POSSE posts as toots. Replies to the toots are not syndicated back to the original post given the current misgiving Mastodon developers have towards webmentions.
- Greg McVerry also uses the activity stream plugin,host meta-data plugin, oStatus plugin, salmon plugin, and the webfinger plugin by Matthias Pfefferle to create a fediverse instance of his own domain at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neil Mather also uses the WordPress plugin Mastodon Autopost to POSSE posts from his site to Mastodon.
- Added a syndication target to allow syndicating to Mastodon when posting via Micropub (https://github.com/ngm/doublepress/blob/master/functions.php#L593)
- All micro.blog hosted blogs or integrated feeds can POSSE to Mastodon by setting up cross-posting in their "Feeds & Cross-Posting" settings: https://micro.blog/account/feeds
- Ton Zijlstra uses Mastodon Autopost since August 2019
Federating Directly with Mastodon
Some in the IndieWeb community are working on bridging the gap between the Fediverse and the IndieWeb efforts, some of these include Advanced plugins/extensions/software which shouldn't require a Mastodon account on an instance as they make your site behave like a standalone instance of Mastodon:
- Ryan Barrett has released Bridgy Fed which allows one to let their own website federate directly into Mastodon and other networks in various ways. Released in October 2017, it's still under development.
- Matthias Pfefferle has a WordPress OStatus plugin which supports a variety of post kinds on Mastodon; it includes a handful of sub-plugins (Webfinger, Salmon, Activity Streams, etc.) to get everything working. Some of the pieces are out of date in October 2017, but are being upgraded over time.
- Aaron Parecki implemented the bare minimum of the ActivityPub spec to be able to comment on Mastodon posts and receive comments, as well as to be able to be followed by Mastodon users. To follow Mastodon users, he follows their profile pages which contain Microformats markup. To receive comments, incoming "Inbox" notifications are discarded and are forwarded on via Webmention instead, which works since Mastodon permalinks contain good Microformats for parsing the reply.
- All micro.blog hosted blogs with a custom domain can set up a Mastodon-compatible ActivityPub feed in their account settings, so that Mastodon users can follow and interact with them: https://micro.blog/account
- https://instances.social/ This tool guides you through finding a Mastodon instance if you're not sure where to start.
- http://www.unmung.com/mastoview Mastoview tool for seeing content from random instance
- http://tooter.today This tool makes it easy to find a Mastodon instance if you're not sure where to start. (seems to not function as of 2018-04-08)
- Choosing a particular instance can not only be difficult, but finding one that will have some longevity and treat its users' data respectfully can be spotty.
- As of 2019-02-23 From the 2017-04-15 Mashable article "Mastodon has an instance for Everyone" only 3 of the 9 Mastodon instances it links to are still up or actually still Mastodon (others are spam, random WordPress, or NSFW squatters)
- 2018-08-17 Criticism: DM/PM lack of privacy/encryption: https://mastodon.social/@thomasfuchs/100565509145298900
- "Just as a heads-up, don’t use PMs/DMs on Mastodon, and if you have to never share any private information.Admins of sending and receiving instances can read those, as there is no end-to-end encryption. Even if you trust the admins, instance ownership could change or hackers or government could get in. Use different tools designed specifically for this." @thomasfuchs August 17, 2018
- 2018-08-16 Criticism: apparent non-priority of losing followers problem: https://edolas.world/objects/97a71361-7ca9-4b93-8c82-ee4efcce921a
- "@frankmeeuwsen @benwerd
It's completely possible, just not with Mastodon's current architecture. There's a long thread about it on the GitHub issue tracker. The gist is it would require a large change and even if the changes were made, it would be difficult to migrate existing instances.
I think it would be straightforward to design/implement this transition, especially since it's basically a solved problem. But the lead dev is more interested in his other ideas than this feature. :blobcry:" @0x1C3B00DA August 16, 2018
- "@frankmeeuwsen @benwerd
- Criticism: 2018-06-04 I left Mastodon yesterday / Or, the Unfortunately Long Story of Another Badly-Managed Open Source Project that Pushes People Away
- Follow-up: 2018-06-30 I left Mastodon 27 days ago / A follow-up to “I left Mastodon yesterday”
- 2018-08-16 Criticisms (tweetstorm): https://twitter.com/adrienneleigh/status/1030213888850030592
- "THREAD: In light of so many folks moving to Mastodon/the Fediverse, i want to re-up a couple of threads i did last year about safety and other issues. None of these have gone away, and the increased volume is gonna make them worse, not better." @adrienneleigh August 16, 2018
- Criticism: https://twitter.com/retornam/status/1150852938786467840
- "Mastodon etc don’t work because the network isn’t there. For example I love Signal but all my friends prefer WhatsApp so I’m forced to stay there." @retornam July 15, 2019
- Criticism: unclear homepage https://twitter.com/imdsm/status/1204795646080892928
- Criticism: “sign up on this stranger's server” is not really decentralized: https://twitter.com/lightcoin/status/1214293923922874369
- "not a big fan of Mastodon. imo if a decentralized digital media app's first step is "sign up on this stranger's server" it's not good enough, and over time will probably look like email at best." @lightcoin January 6, 2020
- ^^^ additionally: https://twitter.com/lightcoin/status/1214300933200515073
- "indeed email has survived but if you run your own server people might never get your emails. it's already getting like that with Mastodon (as your suggestion to avoid http://madtodon.social shows). that's simply not an architecture I can invest energy into/ converting others to." @lightcoin January 6, 2020
- Thread: https://twitter.com/rahaeli/status/1036304096280621063
- "This is why I believe federated social networks are never going to work out long term. Someone who starts an instance doesn't know they're signing up for thousands of hours a year wading through the cloaca of the internet. That shit is *terrible* for you." @rahaeli September 2, 2018
- "Mastodon and the challenges of abuse in a federated system https://nolanlawson.com/2018/08/31/mastodon-and-the-challenges-of-abuse-in-a-federated-system/" @andrewducker September 2, 2018
- 2017-08-01 M for Mastodon: A new logo and v1.5
- 2020-05-22 Fediverse, or a double-edged sword
- indieweb.me - an Instance for French-speaking IndieWeb users
- IndieWeb.social an Instance for IndieWeb interested users (see also https://jeannie.digital/62/)
- https://mnm.social (Redirects to unrelated site as of 2020-02-03)
- GNU social
- ActivityPub plugin for WordPress from Matthias Pfefferle
- 2018-03-25 Privacy, centralization, trust, and: https://twitter.com/SarahJamieLewis/status/978057959686078464
- "Twitter, let's talk about decentralization and federation and trust and why movements towards federated systems like Mastadon are maybe not where we want to be throwing effort and adoption drives behind if the end goal is privacy-preserving infrastructure." @SarahJamieLewis March 25, 2018
- "Letting go of what doesn’t give you what you want and upgrading are core principles of Discardia.
There are many things I like about Twitter, but I find that all those things are available without the stuff I dislike on Mastodon.
I’l keep a Twitter presence on both, for now." @Discardia August 12, 2018
- "Letting go of what doesn’t give you what you want and upgrading are core principles of Discardia.
- Kevin Marks 2017-04-24 Mastodon, Twitter and publics 2017-04-24
- Thread: https://twitter.com/mattl/status/1031418374872616960
- "Please don’t leave for Mastodon." @mattl August 20, 2018
- And IndieWeb: Thread: https://twitter.com/qubyte/status/1031552393375371265
- "While I'm on Mastodon (and I do enjoy it), I'd much rather we lowered the friction to getting people using their own blogs." @qubyte August 20, 2018
- To expand a page full of content warning blocks you can run the following in your browser’s console (or turn it into a bookmarklet):
for(let a of document.querySelectorAll('.status__content__spoiler-link'))a.click()
- "Geniune Mastodon Software" (what? separate article maybe?) https://pleroma.site/notice/7439338
- "Operators are standing by to help you determine if your instance is running genuine Mastodon software or not. Don't live in doubt, find out today. Choose instances running genuine Mastodon software." @mastodongenuineadvantage October 31, 2018
- reasons https://todon.nl/@Galdrakinn/101234887962339702
- "Reasons to join mastodon:- No ‘influencers’- Chronological timeline- New mates- Accessibility features - CW etiquette - Without the pressure of trying to please an audience via an algorithm to go viral, your shit-posting skills blossom into beautiful levels, shapes and colours that you didn’t know that you had in you.- Horny on main" @Galdrakinn December 13, 2018
- Darius Kazemi 2019-07-08 Run your own social: A guide on how to run a small social network site for your friends