Session: Diving more into WriteFreely and long-form content in the Fediverse


Convener: Matt Baer (@matt@writing.exchange)

Participants who chose to record their names here:

  • Anca Mosoiu

  • Jeremiah Lee

  • Matthias Pfefferle (@pfefferle@notiz.blog)

  • Andreas Sander (@andi1984@dibbelabb.es)



  • Image hosting doesn’t exist yet for WriteFreely, but you can add links to images hosted elsewhere

  • Images get attached in the ActivityPub posts with the alt text

Multiple Blogs

  • Multiple blogs are possible and there is a setting how many blogs a user can have.

  • Each blog has its own URL (domain.com/blogname/blogpost) so it can be ditinguished. Each would have its own ActivityPub handle

Comments and Replies?

  • Working on this. There are moderation concerns, etc.

  • Looking for feedback from the community about this

  • Jeremiah: I’d like to be able to curate the reply list. I don’t want to show all the replies I get.


  • Is there a way to interface wit this in a headless way? Want to use this in a serverless way, to split up instances when needed so I can serve cached content.

  • API: https://developers.write.as/docs/api/


  • personal spaces for the people

  • Mastodon communities posting “behind the scenes” stories via WriteFreely

Where to give / see feedback:

General discussion:

  • ActivityPub WP Plugin tries to match Post type to ActivityPub object - it tries to do the best it can, but often things get converted to notes for Mastodon

    • Notes show as “tweets”

    • Articles get stripped to headline and link on Mastodon

    • WP plugin can try to map the WP internal model to the ActivityPub model (eg Image posts)

    • Hometown renders articles fully

  • Quote post support is being considered (https://oembed.com/)

  • What HTML tags to allow?

    • Friendica supports almost everything

    • Mastodon very strict

    • WP trying to use same filter mechanism as Mastodon, but frustrating to other platforms that support more

    • Mastodon strips out inline images, so have to add as attachment. Friendica supports the inline images, but causes image duplication in display. Frustrating on differences between 2 platforms.

    • Content doesn’t appear the same way in different platforms. While this is an expectation for some developers, this is frustrating for users.

      • Interopability

      • Need a space to start documenting these sort of interoperability problems

      • (Talk to Johannes about the interoperability test suite)

      • Don’t want to have to send unique post types to people depending on what server the follower is using

        • ActivityPub is push, so you’d have to know before sending to them

        • Jeremiah: User agent sniffing might be a resonable interim solution

  • Anca: WordPress support excerpts. Might be a good UX to have that published as a Note for the full Article since Mastodon does unusual things with Articles. https://howto.write.as/show-an-excerpt

  • Pixelfed just ignores all notes/posts that don’t contain an image. This allows their service to be focused on visual content.


  • Jeremiah is working on this, others are very interested. Session tomorrow?

Do we want users to read full articles on their preferred platform or on the publisher’s dedicated page?

  • reading wherever user wants is probably increasing interactivity


Jeremiah says: Join us at https://fedidevs.org/ and the Matrix channel, where discuss both the tech aspect and the UX. https://matrix.to/#/#fediverse-developer-network:matrix.org