WebMentions, Privacy, and DDoS - Oh My!


Crappy line drawing explaining the above.

Mastodon - the distributed social network - has two interesting challenges when it comes to how users share links. I'd like to discuss those issues and suggest a possible way forward. When you click on a link on my website which takes you to another website, your browser sends a Referer1. This says to the […]

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Getting Started with Mastodon's Conversations API


A threaded conversation. You can see the order in which people have replied to each other - and what posts they are referencing.

The social network service "Mastodon" allows people to publish posts. People can reply to those posts. Other people can reply to those replies - and so on. What does that look like in the API? Here's a quick guide to the concepts you need to know - and some code to help you visualise conversations. […]

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Twitter's archive doesn't have alt text - but Mastodon's does!


The Twitter logo drawn in circles.

Because I don't trust Alan, the Hyperprat who now runs Twitter, I decided to download my Twitter archive before setting my account to dormant. About a decade ago, I wrote about how the Twitter archive works and where it is deficient. Things have got better, but there are still annoying limitations. For example, Hannah Kolbeck […]

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How to search Mastodon by date & time


The Mastodon logo. It sort of looks like a smiling elephant.

Two years ago to the day, I built Twistory - a service for seeing what you posted on Twitter on this day in previous years. If you've ever used Facebook, you'll know how it is supposed to work. You see posts which show that exactly 5 years ago you were starting a new job, 6 […]

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Better sharing of WordPress posts to Mastodon


The Mastodon logo. It sort of looks like a smiling elephant.

WordPress's Jetpack plugin allows you to easily syndicate your blog to Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Email, and a few other services. But there's no native way to publish directly to your Mastodon feed. This is a guide to how I got my blog to publish every new post to Mastodon with a nicely formatted preview. This […]

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Create a "Share To Mastodon" Button for WordPress


A WordPress Popup.

Everyone1 is decamping from Twitter to Mastodon! The great thing about the Federated Internet (hereafter the "Fediverse") is that it is distributed. The bad thing is… it is distributed! What do I mean by that? Here's an example of the problems with decentralised systems. If I want to create a link on a website which […]

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Easy guide to building Mastodon bots


API keys.

Twitter is dead! Long live Mastodon! I've written lots of 'bots for Twitter - and been part of their developer outreach programme. Lots of us have politely requested improvements to the bot experience on Twitter, but to no avail. So, today I'm going to show you how to quickly and easily write your first Mastodon-bot. […]

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