Federate over ActivityPub

There’s a protocol for federating social content over the web. It’s called ActivityPub, based on ActivityStreams 2 vocabulary. Recently, it was accepted a standard at W3C (that’s the guys who basically run the web, so some protocol being a standard is a pretty big deal)
To the full extent, it is described at W3C’s own home here: https://www.w3.org/TR/activitypub/ but that’s not all that human-readable as standards are, you know.
So, here’s rundown on how to implement basic stuff the ActivityPub has to offer, by Mastodon creator:

So, once you put those things in place, you then will be able to:
a) federate Ghost with other Ghost instances (which is, you know, a perk)
b) federate with Mastodon, Pleroma, PeerTube, Plume, Hubzilla, Misskey, PixelFed, etc., because they implement the same ActivityPub protocol. They will see your posts in their feed as if you were in the same social network. That means a Mastodon user will reply to your article as if it was a Mastodon post, so will a Pleroma user, so will Misskey user.

I hope this helped to understand it better.


I get it now. That’s powerful stuff :muscle:

Is it true to say that the post on my blog would appear like a native post on Mastodon?
… and that all comments would appear in the comment section of my blog as well?


Depends on the implementation, but yes, that is the point.
That’s how, for example, PeerTube or Plume or any other ActivityPub social engine federates with Mastodon. Pretty cool, huh.

Revolutionary sh!t right there, pal. So, vote up?


Here is an example of how this can look like https://framatube.org/videos/watch/da2b08d4-a242-4170-b32a-4ec8cbdca701.

This video shows PeerTube, a decentralized and federated video hosting platform and Mastodon and how they can interact with each other. In addition, I linked to the PeerTube instance on framatube but the video is actually hosted on peertube.cpy.re so we have another layer of federation here. :slight_smile:

ActivityPub support in Ghost would basically be RSS/Atom on steroids, offering full interactions with posts. This post on Plume shows how a ActivityPub supporting blog post currently looks like in Mastodon and Pleroma, another microblogging alternative which uses ActivityPub as its internal data structure: https://baptiste.gelez.xyz/~/KaniiniTestBlog/current-status-of-plume-and-pleroma-federation/. So the service you’re using also can become a feed aggregator in which you can follow other blogs and post comments.

Come and join the Fediverse, it’s awesome :tada:


I really like the idea! With this implemented Ghost can finally become a real Medium alternative. Medium gives you the advantages of the big community, but unfortunately locks you in. Federated Ghost would give you the advantages of self-hosted, but also the advantage of a community. Really nice idea, I hope there will be someone who will implement something like that. I would love to help, but my experience with ActivityPub and NodeJS is too small.


Exactly. Looking back, I realise, the Fediverse is everything that I ever wanted regarding publishing on the Internet.

At the time there was a word “Blogosphere”, like “blogging layer of the Earth”, meaning all the blogs and their interconnections combined. Fediverse will see to this vision actually come to life.


I don’t see anything “coming to Life” with the Fediverse, because the big literally Elephand in the Room right now is this Thing called Mastodon. It’s dominating all other Ones in Terms of Public Perceptions, if there is Someone looking for an Alternative to Twitter or Facebook for Example.

Blogosphere, was back in the Day before Twitter and Facebook even was an Idea.

Blogs should be first come to life again, then we should consider something like the so called Fediverse again. Next would be making the Accessibility more easier for non Technical People, so that more can do there own Stuff with Blogging. Right now it’s more or less the same Wine in new Pipes, like they say.

Fediverse = Just a few bigger Silos, called Instance.
Twitter / Facebook = 1 Silo per Company.

But maybe i’m at the wrong Topic…

Another blogging platform I use - micro.blog - recently added ActivityPub - and I was pleasantly surprised when I started getting interaction to it via Mastadon followers. You are right - there is a long way to go to make this more user-friendly, but Manton’s implementation of it on micro.blog is pretty easy for a non technical user to get their head around.

I’m just beginning to see how this is much more than just Mastadon, and could be something interesting.

upvoted :slight_smile:

1 Like

In order to be like Tumblr, I hope that there will be a reblog function to mirror pages, and also a feature to “like” a page

1 Like

I’m highly sceptical of the value of Likes - they tend to generate too much of the sort of negatives attention-seeking behaviour that i causing so many problems…

You do understand that Mastodon is a part of the Fediverse, do you?

Likes are there so that people don’t litter the comment sections with “yeah”, “uh-uh”, “+1”, “cool”, “ok”, etc., or at least do it less. Some platforms, like Misskey even have a little more choice in regards to reactions beside just “likes”. All in all, it’s basically a part of social networking language. You like something - there’s a button for that. You want to say something of substance about it - there are comments/replies. If you agree something so much that you’d sign every word of it - reblog then.

Of course, it all should be optional. If somebody don’t want it, they don’t have to deal with it.

I am well aware of what Likes are for, thank you. I’ve just seen increasing evidence over the past 20 years or so that they create more problems than they solve.


Likes, +1, and so one are the Cancer for Comments in Generall.


I was looking for this since I am hosting my peertube and soon a pixelfed.
I was thinking of federate this way different blogs reviewing video games for example in one instance, then mastodon user can follow the post this way.
It would be like from twitter account having news from kotaku and youtube the same way: that’s just wonderfull in all points.
Maybe it is far from ghost idea, but for me it is an amazing one that could be inside the project.

There is for example write [dot] as that works this way.

Upvoting this idea!

I agree with this. The problem with Medium is, they keep unilaterally making changes that not everybody likes. With Ghost, site owners would be more in control over what changes are made and which ones are implemented.

I currently run a publication on Medium, but I’ve been thinking of moving off onto some other platform. Unfortunately, most are not as “social” in the sense of being able to follow people and have a stream—and if they are, they’re not geared towards a blog or magazine-style website.

I’m thinking Ghost could have something like the Pterotype plugin for WordPress to ActivityPub-enable it—and then perhaps add (optional) features like “share” and “like” and/or a “stream” for following posts. Or, these could be left to other platforms like read.as to handle.

I would be interested too, but I’ve only recently heard of ActivityPub, and have hardly used Node.

But I have been thinking about the more philosophical side, about ActivityPub-based platforms and the details of how they should work. I have a small blog on the topic which @John and other devs may like to check out.

I’m also open to discussing this further, if the occasion arises—if not code, perhaps I can help with ideas :thinking:

1 Like

@badrihippo you should try out Mastodon.social in case you still want a “more social” Network without being locked in.

Yeah, it’s not “plugin integrated” yet but it still works fine manually and better like Twitter.

Thanks for the suggestion—I’m actually using Mastodon for social networking, but I’m looking out for places for my publication. That’s why I’ve been looking into Write.as, which is great for blogs but a bit to minimalistic for publications (by which I mean an online “magazine” a friend and I are editing; we take submissions from other authors and put out an article every week).

WordPress + ActivityPub would work, but I’m thinking it’d be great if Ghost got into this too. (No hurry, I’m still on Medium for now).

1 Like