Last Week in Fediverse – ep 74More news about Ghosts’

Last Week in Fediverse – ep 74

More news about Ghosts’ work on ActivityPub, statistics of Mastodon show the massive diversity in software ecosystem that happens when you have a fully open API, and much more.

The News

Ghost has published another update on their work on implementing ActivityPub, showcasing their reader app, and how different Ghost publications can now start to follow each other. They also mentioned how their switch to fediverse server framework Fedify has significantly improved their development. Ghost also says that they will make their ActivityPub code open source soon. They also tease a podcast next week between the founders of Ghost (Jonathan Nolan) and Flipboard (Mike McCue).

Mastodon CEO Eugen Rochko shared some statistics about the different tools that people use to publish posts on It shows an very large variety of platforms, with Mastodon’s own native tools (web, iOS and Android together) making up less than a third of the tools people use to post to Mastodon. The statistics are also noteworthy for how incredible diverse the set of tools is, with the most popular third party app Tusky only taking up 3.3%.

NLnet has released their latest grant round, with two fediverse projects getting support: Gancio and COmmunecter. Gancio is a shared agenda for local communities that supports ActivityPub. Part of the grant will be used to improve interoperability with other fediverse event planning tools. COmmunecter is an open source social and societal platform, and the funding will be for COCOLIGHT, a light weight client for COmmunecter.

A blog by Michael Foster from Newsmast on re-centring the fediverse around long-form content. Foster refers to a conversation with me that sparks the blog post, so I think it is worth clarifying my thoughts here: I think that there is a much bigger opportunity for the fediverse by focusing on long-form content and forums, than on recreating a microblogging Twitter-like experience. Selling the same product that people already know, but now with less of their social graph, is always going to be an incredible hard task. Exploring how new products can be build that stimulate thoughtful conversation is a much more interesting direction to me. There is a reason that I’ve put the update of Ghost at the top of the newsletter, after all.

Alquimídia is an association dedicated to promoting the fediverse in Brazil, and they have launched a campaign to encourage the adoption of the fediverse by public institutions in Brazil. The Brazilian government is clearly open to move beyond the world of X, as Brazilian president Lula recently joined Bluesky after a conflict between the Brazilian government and X.

A session on ‘The Fediverse And The Future Of Social Media: What Policymakers Need To Know’, with among others, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick. Video here, transcript here. It’s an interesting conversation that’s worth listening to. One quote I do want to pull out, since it’s a trend I’ve seen happen more now, about the meaning of the term fediverse: “Today, we’re going to use a broader definition of the fediverse, which covers a wide variety of these decentralized platforms and tools that covers Mastodon, which is ActivityPub based, but also things like Bluesky, and also other services like Nostr, which is more of a peer to peer, totally decentralized system, or something like Farcaster, which is based on cryptocurrency.” How language around the meaning of the term fediverse evolves is interesting to me, and this wider usage also seems to be implied by Casey Newton this week.

Stefan Bohacek has been active this week with building fediverse projects: Fediverse Explorations is an overview of studies, papers and polls that explore the fediverse build by Bohacek. Bohacek also wrote two blog posts, exploring Fediverse domain blocks and Lisa Melton as the fediverse’s own algorithm.

The wider network

A fairly technical news item, but I think it is relevant all the same. Posts bridged from the fediverse to Bluesky that are over 300 characters (Bluesky’s character limit) get trunkated. Bridge developer Ryan Barrett has implemented a feature that allows third party clients to work around this limit, and this has now been implemented by Skywalker, a third party client for Bluesky. People talk about federation often in terms of technical interoperability: can servers of different products communicate with each other. But to quote @maegul: “federation happens in the client”, meaning that the interoperability in a manner that users care about happens on a client level, not server level. This news is a clear example of this phenomenon.

Ditto is a new type of server that has been released, made by Alex Gleason. Ditto sits on the boundaries between Nostr and ActivityPub; it functions as a Nostr Relay and Nostr client combined, while also implementing the Mastodon API so that it can be used with Mastodon client apps. It also brings the concept of servers to the Nostr protocol, which so far has been focused on Relays. Personally I’d expect to more projects like this to show up over time, that blur the boundaries between the different social networking protocols.

Directly related to the previous news item, Fediverse Report would also like to explicitly state that trans women are women.

The Links

  • Castopod has introduced a new plugin architecture, which allows anyone to extend and customise Castopod.
  • A first release for FediTest, a Fediverse Test Suite. FediTest also released a first draft report on a large conformance test for a wide variety of fediverse software.
  • Flipboard has federated another set of high-profile publications.
  • A devblog by PieFed on features for growing healthy communities.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a deep dive into Mastodon, Bluesky and Threads, and how these different platforms compare
  • Tedium posts a letter to Meta asking them to finish the work on implementing full federation.
  • Tim Chambers, the admin for the server, shared some notes on how they are using robots.txt to disallow AI scraper bots as a small speedbump.
  • A blog by Jeena on why he switched from Lemmy to PieFed.
  • NodeBB has released their work on ActivityPub as the alpha version, which includes a fully functional ActivityPub server in the forum software.
  • A new newsletter, The Future is Federated, that helps people move towards the fediverse and introduce it to a wider audience.
  • IceShrimp allows you to do some cool stuff with federation.
  • A weekly overview of the fediverse software updates.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading!