Ever since leaving twitter I’ve found myself struggling to find a good replacement. This weekend, I’ve spent some time updating my profiles across the net and even, most surprisingly, not only posted on here but instituted a new theme as well and spent several hours DM’ing midjourney. I even spent several hours combing through tumblr trying to respark the magic I once found there. This all got me thinking of the fediverse, the communist response to closed, walled gardens of instagram and twitter.

My main concern has always been discoverability and simplicity. I doubt I’ll ever get my friends to look into instances and decode the username syntax, and rebuilding a community across the fediverse is confusing and difficult. But one thing I’ve found super exciting about the Fediverse is the ability to self-host my content – and I’ve just found the easiest and unobtrusive way to do that without sacrificing my blog or URL with the following plug ins from Automatiic and Alex Kirk:

Originally, I’d learned of ActivityPub in the same way many did during the initial chaos of the twitter takeover. ctivityPub is standardized protocol for decentralized social networking, allowing individuals to create and manage their own social media platforms, while still being able to communicate and share information with users on other platforms. This helps to create a more open and diverse social networking ecosystem.

One of the most exciting prospects for me was Tumblr’s promise to implement it, though I’ve always had questions about how they’d be able to manage it. But that didn’t stop me from wondering if their parent company’s other famous application, WordPress, had managed to get this yet. And with that, I stumbled on the above by searching plugins for ActivityPub.

With the above plugins, I’m essentially able to run this protocol on my wordpress blog without having to install an instance of, say, mastodon, meaning I can retain my blog and URL intact. The first app, ActivityPub, is admittedly a beta software but so far I’ve had no issues with it. The second plugin, Enable Mastodon Apps, enables what it says on the box. I was able to use my blog to log in to the metatext iOS app to access my federated account, thought at the time of this writing I was unable to do so on my preferred app Ivory. (edit: this has been fixed). Considering I’m running this all live on my own wordpress though, I can handle a few hiccups as we strive for a more open internet.

The ability to use ActivityPub connectivity on my blog brings me back the old days of the early internet, when I was coding themes and decorating various corners of the internet with shoddy CSS and HTML. As these plugins are improved and expanded, I’m excited to see what features can be brought to the table. With these plugins installed, I’m excited to see what other ways I can use to customize my social media experience, and hopefully, begin to find others aiming to do the same. Sure, my less nerdy friends aren’t going to be hosting their own social feeds from wordpress blogs like me, but it does feel like early days for a new way of connecting on the internet as tools like these plugins continue to make it easier.

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