Federate over ActivityPub

:100:

Looking forward to Ghost joining the Fediverse !

I tried blogging multiple times in the past years but always gave it up feeling something was missing, and I realized when discovering Plume that federation is the thing, unfortunately that project is inactive.

Thanks

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I tried some of the RSS-to-Fediverse projects/services but ran into one issue or another. Last month I released a web hook integration that makes Ghost a 1st-class citizen of the Fediverse. I specifically wanted my fediverse address/domain to match my Ghost domain, which the RSS services seemed to struggle with. For example, my blog is https://quigs.blog and my Fediverse address is @quigs_blog@quigs.blog.

If you use Ghost Pro you will need to use a subdomain (Eg: @username@fediverse.example.com) unless you pay for Ghost Pro Enterprise and have access to the same reverse proxy/url rewrite tools as a self-hosted option. More info can be found here:

And here: I wrote a Mastodon/Fediverse/ActivityPub integration for Ghost

Any feedback would be appreciated!

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I am 100% in support of the fediverse, and of Ghost being a key player within it. Wordpress already has a plugin to allow blogs to federate, and we should definitely have the same option, but built directly into Ghost. This has to happen, and I have removed my vote from a less important issue in order to allocate it here. Go get it Ghost!

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WriteFreely/Write.as is lighthouse testing advanced theming capabilities similar to Ghost’s handlebars templates, plus it is written in Go which is a very nice and, importantly, safe language. Since the ActivityPub fediverse support is baked in already, I think competition is heating up (:

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Have we discussed how this would work lately?

The way I see it:

  • Each ghost blog has a (perhaps hidden) activitypub instance and a main account, or an account for each newsletter, or an account for each contributor…
  • and maybe also an account for each member who signs up on the site. People can subscribe by email, or by RSS, or by finding a post on a federated server and following the blog there.
  • People can share to the fediverse and it will either repost the original post or tag the “hidden” account representing the blog / writer
  • Replies to the post on the fediverse can be entered as comments on the blog post.

Is that roughly what we have in mind?

Here’s another option for fediverse integration that doesn’t actually require fedration. Add a field in the social accounts section of the general settings for mastodon, and then, do this:

This effectively verifies ownership of the website for your mastodon profile, also enabling services like https://streetpass.social/ to help you convert visitors on your blog into followers on the fediverse.

WordPress made a big splash with this recent announcement: follow blogs and comment on posts on Fediverse platforms which will be synchronized as post comments. Engage a Wider Audience With ActivityPub on WordPress.com – WordPress.com News

Ghost + ActivityPub could solve a discovery problem that the directory Explore — Browse publications & featured writers presents: the potential audience lives by default on another platform and their timeline.

Unless Ghost expands the directory with an editorial layer (see Bandcamp daily for example) Ghost blogs will remain lone islands.

I really like to know if Ghost does consider ActivityPub as an optional feature in the future or if they rule it out from a strategic point of view.

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There’s another thread on this forum requesting bookmarking support in Ghost.

In the current design, a bookmarking feature Ghost would only work for one blog at a time. But if Ghost were federated over ActivityPub, you could use a single account to bookmark every Ghost blog, Mastodon posts, Peertube videos, Pixelfed photos, Lemmy posts and some WordPress posts and more… all from one account!

  • Replies to the post on the fediverse can be entered as comments on the blog post.

I’ve seen a few people code their own version of this on thier sites, but they aren’t running Ghost and seem to be self-coded. I’d love to see this implimentation be an easy addition to Ghost. It’d be a great way to help spread fediverse adoption, too!

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What I take from the latest development in regards to Recommendations based on Webmentions is that Ghost will encourage setting up individual blogs rather than enabling Ghost blogs to engage with Fediverse platforms as Mastodon on a deeper level - I may be wrong.

The Recommendation feature does solve the discovery problem big time!

I had to read up on Webmention as a web standard protocol:

Webmention enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, referring to, or commenting on their articles. By incorporating such comments from other sites, sites themselves provide federated commenting functionality.

As I see it Recommendations are a subset of the full Webmention feature set or just the first step if you will. So for now the Recommendation list is a fancy Blog roll.

What Ghost could do is build on Webmentions and solve the next problem: identity. Right now blog authors have to set up individual memberships on other (Ghost) blogs to read/comment. Even engaging with their own audience in blog comments Ghost authors have to set up a dedicated Member account. So basically authors could be members somewhere else as one person.

I’m just thinking out loud here. From a strategic / business perspective, I’d love to have a conversation about the Ghost Fediverse roadmap. Mainly because it could definitely help make an informed decision to set up a Ghost blog either as a multi-author news blog or more as individual author blogs building a content network based on their interests and technically on Webmentions.

Blink one time for the former and two times for the latter. :wink:

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I would love this! Having the option to comment with a Fediverse account in general would be amazing.

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I would love to be able to host fediverse instance on the same domain as my Ghost blog so that I can own and interact from something I own!

With Platformer leaving Substack and moving to Ghost (and I bet many more will) it creates a great opportunity to get Ghost on the decentralized social web so that it can help creators own their online presence completely.

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It would be great if Ghost (especially Ghost Pro) would federate with ActivityPub. I like having people being able to follow my Ghost site on Mastodon et al.

Just adding that I would very much like to see this happen as well.

Just a side note: If all you want to do with your ActivityPub request is to be able to followed on Mastodon, you can also do this through some other libraries: GitHub - jehna/mastofeeder: RSS to ActivityPub bridge

But I would suggest to just use RSS. I don’t think it’s a good idea to use Mastodon as an RSS Reader. ActivityPub should not be used as a replacement of RSS. It should be a two-way implementation, like seeing replies as comments under the article or considering activitypub followers as “subscribers” in Ghost, etc. Otherwise I don’t see a value of adding a layer to Ghost a readonly ActivityPub. Instead, I believe pushing bot-like, one-way, non-interactive content to Mastodon and others, kills the potential of it. As I mentioned, RSS already gives that very well.

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I agree. It should be two-way. If I just want to automatically post to Mastodon, there already are ways to do that. But having replies show up as comments would be amazing. It would make the site much more lively and interactive.

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This idea has been at the top of the list for a long time, so this week we’re starting work to look into the possibility of adding ActivityPub support to Ghost.

Because there are lots of different potential ways this could be built, the team is curious to hear more detail about how you imagine this working…

If you have a moment spare, could you fill out this 2-minute, 3 question survey to tell us what you’d like to see?

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