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And Just Like that, I Stumbled Back into the Fediverse

I fell down a Fediverse hole this week, almost by accident. Actually, it all started last week, when I was messing around with Pixelfed. I knew the Pixelfed app was in beta, so I decided to create an account and see if things had improved since the last time I used it. I still wasn’t seeing much that interested me, so after making a quick post I forgot I had even set up an account.

Then yesterday, I found myself wanting to communicate with someone who seemed to only be accessible through Activity Pub. It was frustrating, since in a weird way, a system that was supposed to break through wall gardens, had also become one.

I saw an article discussing WordPress’ purchase of the Activity Pub plugin, and I decided if it was easy enough to install as a plugin, I might as well set up my site so I can communicate a bit easier with folks who’ve walled themselves in.

I created a new account on Fosstodon thinking I would need it to utilize the plugin. I should have done my research. The plugin creates an Activity Pub on it’s own, but I wasn’t happy with how it goes about doing it. The plug takes your default WordPress username, which is not something I would activity share with folks. It’s not inappropriate, it just isn’t relevant to me or my site, and so I didn’t want “stupidusername@brandonwrites.xyz” as my Activity Pub. So, I uninstalled that plugin.

Suddenly, I found myself with a Fosstodon account again and no real reason for it. Since, I had already wasted an hour, messing around with the plugin and setting up accounts, I decided to leave it. At least I could use it for communication purposes as needed. I also managed to get in on the Pixelfed beta, so I’m playing around with the app some, which does seem to offer a slightly better experience than through a browser.

I like the Fediverse, but at times it still overly complicated. I don’t really need the Fediverse, I think is my biggest issue with it. Still, if you have a Mastodon account or a Pixelfed you can find me at the following links. I’d love to have more people to follow and justify my accounts existence.

Pixelfed
Mastodon

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6 Comments

  1. JTR JTR

    I can’t help but feel a bit guilty if I’m the one who dragged you in again…

    I understand not wanting to be on social media. It was the case for me for a long time before I discovered Fosstodon myself (I’m under@jtr there, by the way). I managed to stay just because its advanced UI, which works like Twitterdeck, but better. With filters and lists in place, you can tune down the “noise” and focus on people and topics that interest you.

    There there’s micro.blog, which is where I am today. It works through activityhub and Hugo. They are working on a way to enable Disqus on it as well, I think, but that in itself is a problem because it works by logging into social media which is what I’m avoiding…

    The idea of having a social media account just to comment is actually not a bad one, though I see how this can be weird if there are only a few people who take comments like that.

    In any case, if you have any questions about mastodon or such, now that you’re there, don’t be a stranger… 😀

    • Ha! You are indeed the culprit! Thank you for the encouraging words. I was on Fosstodon a few years ago and have enjoyed it quite a bit. I think I just need to be a bit more open and hopefully can find some folks worth following this time around.

      I tinkered with Micro.blog a few months ago and just couldn’t quite get the hang of it. I’ve seen some amazing works on there and I really need to find a way to incorporate it into my site.

  2. I’m going to have to look more into this fediverse thing. I don’t quite understand it – I clicked on a couple servers, just looks like another twitter style? but I could be horribly wrong…

    • Hey Matt, in a way you are right. Mastodon is definitely a Twitter style app, while Pixelfed is similar to Instagram. There are more elements to the Fediverse, but Mastodon tends to be the most popular. I’d recommend reading Kev’s How Does Mastodon Work? for more information. He runs the instance Fosstodon which I’ve always found to be the best run out there. Mastodon can be a great way to connect, but it also still has the problem all social media has, which is a ton of negativity. Mastodon does give you the tools to customize your experience, so it’s not a total loss like Twitter is.

      • Thanks, the video was very informative. I may try it out, just to see. What I actually miss are the days of forums, it was much easier to converse, find a small community and wasn’t as fast paced as social media was.

        • I agree with you 100 percent. I miss forums tremendously. I prefer the self contained community aspect and really wish there was a way to bring them back.

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