Testing ActivityPub & WordPress

Update: It worked!

image 3
The toot just showed the link, but did grab 2 pix from the post.

But I messed up a setting because it was supposed to show the post Title, Excerpt, Tags (as hashtags), and then the permalink.

The setting I messed up is Activity-Object-Type. I had set it to Article because that made sense but my adhd brain skipped the description: The presentation of the “Article” might change on different platforms. Mastodon for example shows the “Article” type as a simple link. πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

I changed that setting to Note (default) and things should be fine moving forward.

This post is a test to see if the ActivityPub plugin for WordPress works or not.

ActivityPub is a protocol supported by a bunch of open-source software platforms that allows people on platform to follow folks on another platform even if the software is different.

This protocol negates the need for everyone to be on the same site or use the same software. It would be like following someone on Twitter Dying Hellsite with your Instagram account. (That’ll never happen, since both sites want to own their users, but I digress.)

This is how someone on one Mastodon server can follow someone on another Mastodon server. It is the underpinnings of the Fediverse:

ActivityPub & WordPress
Here’s a random photo of the Texas Rattlesnake to break up the wall of text.

The Fediverse is a network of interconnected servers used for social media, blogging, file hosting, and other modern web activities. The name is a portmanteau from the words “federation” and “universe.”

Consider how a government can be centralized, with power concentrated in a central location, or federated, with power spread out across many states or localities. When designing or using a web service, we’re faced with the same question.

Most popular web services are centralized. Companies like Twitter or Netflix store all of the data on their own servers (or servers they rent from another company, such as Amazon), with exclusive control over that data, who can access it, and how.

The Fediverse is federated. Mastodon, for example, is a Twitter alternative where you can store your account on any number of servers or host your own. Regardless of which server you use, all Mastodon users can interact as though they were all connected to the same one.

What Is the Fediverse and Can It Decentralize the Web?

What’s this about ActivityPub & WordPress?

The plugin provides ActivityPub support in WordPress – meaning people in the Fediverse can follow my site like they follow someone on Mastodon, on any software that supports the ActivityPub protocol.

Elon Musk is a Jerk
Elon Musk is a jerk

The naming convention is just like what’s used on Mastodon, Pixelfed and other federated platforms: @username@domain.com

You can try following this site on Mastodon et al by searching for @Arp

Here’s something important to note about this plugin

Used by itself, the plugin uses your username – the same one that you use to login to the website. If you’re like most people and are the only one who logs into your site, you probably have an administrator account – which means the plugin reveals your admin username to the masses if you use the default name for the fediverse.

My solution was to create an author account (ie without any admin capabilities) with the username Arp, and change the author of all of my posts to the new user. Wannabe hackers already try to guess logins with people’s first names so it’s not revealing anything they don’t already know. In the unlikely event that they guess my ridiculously long password, the worst they can do is create, edit or delete posts, which can be easily fixed with my backups that they can’t access.

Anywho, if this works you’ll hear about it on the Fediverse.

Photo of author


Arp Laszlo

Hi, I’m Arp! I make comics and write about life as an Indian-American with late-diagnosis ADHD. I’m a self-taught and self-employed creator so I write a lot about art, learning, and entrepreneurial stuff that I’ve picked up along the way.

My stories are kinda weird, because that’s just how I am. My formative influences are Indian mythology, Batman, Tintin, 70s Bollywood, Ray Harryhausen, and Monty Python. There’s no way anything normal could come out of that, right?

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