Federate over ActivityPub


#1

With ActivityPub protocol being accepted a W3C standard, I don’t see a reason why a self-hosted blogging platform wouldn’t implement it.
Implementing ActivityPub in Ghost will bring following benefits to its users:

  • it will interconnect all Ghost instances into a cohesive network - self-hosted instances will no more be lonely places!;
  • it will allow Ghost to become a part of a wide social network of free and open-source self-hosted applications (like Mastodon, Pleroma, PeerTube, Plume, Hubzilla, Misskey, soon Pixelfed, Write.as, GetTogether, Aardwolf, GNUSocial and Friendica and a lot of others) known as The Fediverse;
  • Ghost itself will become more popular in consequence of 1 and 2. Mastodon alone brings at least 1000000 (a million) of users with its at least 4801 instances (as seen on https://mnm.social/).

Come join the fun!


#2

A self-hosted Ghost instance should not be a ghost town.

Pun intended. Judge me.


#3

ActivityPub is a potential rout to the future that we have all been waiting for. It has the potential to bring about a truly diverse blogosphere in a way that Medium and Wordpress.com will never have the ability or will to achieve.


#4

As an original Kickstarter backer of Ghost, I fully endorse this Idea…


#5

I created an account on this forum just to +1 the idea of Ghost federating — that would be awesome!


#6

That sound nice but the requirements are not clear to me. I don’t understand the benefit at this point. Thanks for enlightning me :slight_smile:


#7

Agreed! @Hannah and I talked about this in the 5yr podcast, right at the end :slight_smile:

We have a test MVP locally that we’re toying with for an initial non-activitypub prototype to see if it actually feels useful to connect different sites together. We’ll probably roll that out first in a very minimal way to gauge interest, but the long term idea would definitely be to use activitypub properly.


but

I don’t see a reason why a self-hosted blogging platform wouldn’t implement it

Because we literally only have 2 full time product developers serving several hundred thousand installs with several million users, and this is but one of several hundred feature requests, and that’s before even taking into consideration any ideas or plans which the team building Ghost actually have themselves.

Try to be a little charitable when thinking about how and why (or why not) things get implemented. It’s almost never an obvious black/white decision :slight_smile:

That said, Ghost is open source, so whenever people contribute their time and skill to work on the features being requested - there’s a lot more we’re able to do.

Feel free to reach out if you want to chat about it:


#8

The benefit is that even if you are on self-hosted instance, your world is not getting small.

Look, I’ve tried standalone blogging for a good chunk of my life. Before that, I was blogging on centralized platforms like Livejournal, but I wanted to be independent. So I’ve set up a Wordpress on my home server. I wrote large articles about whatever came to my mind. Eventually, over time, I lost interest and gave it up. And now I understand why. This being my own isolated server, I almost had no one to write for. The people who read my posts were few and far between, much fewer who commented - the comment sections were empty except for a wayward spammer once in a while.

Time passed, and in 2016 I tried Mastodon. It was my very first Fediverse experience. I already thought it was something important, as I envisioned that type of network a long time ago, when I was blogging. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if other bloggers could subscribe to me from their own servers and comment, reblog, communicate. That would be awesome.

And now, look at my stats: https://mastodonsocial.ru/@drequivalent

I ain’t nothing special of a person really, but I do have 223 people who are able to read my posts, weigh in on them and propagate them across the Internet.

So, what difference does it make, you ask? How about “all the difference in the world”?


#9

I feel we are mixing two different topics here.

  1. Your home the web (your custom domain name) where no corporation (FB, Google, Linkedin, Insta, etc) can dictate their wishes over your content. That’s the part Ghost play an active role in my life. I don’t post on Medium or Linked but over my personal blog.

  2. Then, there is part of the work that implies sharing your content via prrefered social media channels. I see you enjoy mastodon. I enjoy Twitter and other prefer Insta & FB.

Maybe I don’t understand this whole topic but I feel it’s freaking important to own your home on the web. Then I agree I would like to have an easy way to connect my post with social media easily. Disqus was supposed to do this but it doesn’t work (on mobile it’s too much of a pain to re-connect all the time).

So now, how should we proceed to federate our ‘disconnected homes’ on the web? This is the part I don’t understand. Cheers!


#10

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.


#11

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?


#12

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?


#13

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:


#14

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.


#15

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.