A photo of an art exhibit from Hobart's MONA: it is a room that looks like a library, but the books are all blank.

The deep end of the Fediverse, and a blog

From an imploding Twitter to a profusion of federated and self-hosted platforms, including this blog.

A few years ago I started the work to reclaim my digital and online footprint, to bring more of it within my own control using open source software and privacy-minded services. At the time that meant trading Gmail for Fastmail and Drive for Nextcloud.

Twitter being sabotaged by its new oligarch owner has been a useful kick in the butt. It’s lead me to reclaim my social presence.

I was already in the process of setting up shop with Matrix, the communications protocol, so I thought, “Hey, why not Mastodon, too?” Then I set up Mastodon, a microblogging platform that somewhat resembles Twitter.

Of course, then I discovered Pixelfed, a federated replacement for Instagram, and BookWyrm, for replacing Goodreads.

Lastly came the itch for something I’ve been putting off for years: starting this blog, which happens to be running on WordPress with the ActivityPub plug-in.

I’ve been needing a venue for sharing deeper thinking, so here we are. We’ll see how it goes.

Altogether, these new digital homes will be my primary residence online. I’ve already left Twitter, and while I remain active on Facebook and Instagram, I will be treating the open source, federated tools as first class. Everything flows from there.

I’ll note for my friends, family, and colleagues that, as I make this change, I’ve updated my canonical email address as I consolidate domain names. You can find me at josh@josh.tel.

Here’s where you can find me on the Fediverse:

And, of course, my primary website online remains joshsimmons.com.





10 responses to “The deep end of the Fediverse, and a blog”

  1. Josh Simmons Avatar

    Welllll, I did it. Let's see how this goes. I've finally started a blog and have it posting to the Fediverse at @josh@blog.josh.tel.Got wrinkles to iron out, but on the whole: happy with the setup. More at: https://blog.josh.tel/2023/01/02/the-deep-end-of-the-fediverse-and-a-blog/

  2. Jared White Avatar

    @josh Very very cool! I like the idea of blogs becoming first-class citizens in the fediverse. I have a todo item to investigate adding support like that to @bridgetown down the road (a little tricky since it's a static site generator by default). Honestly the functionality I most want is to funnel replies back to the blog in the form of commentsโ€ฆ

    1. Josh Simmons Avatar

      Yes! Replies -> comments is the magic I was after and already loving it in action on this post. No need for people to give me their email address or use Yet Another Disqus-like thing, they can just interact with their existing systems.

  3. Henrik Hemrin Avatar

    @josh ๐Ÿ™‚ Blog, or personal website is nice! I have never really stopped since I started around 1998 although varying activity level and at various places. But now for many years only at my own url. I use Joomla, also open source, not even thought of any auto-connection to Fediverse. Good luck with your writing!

    1. Josh Simmons Avatar

      Thank you! I wish I had the foresight and dedication to really stick to a personal website the way you have! I’m looking forward to sustaining this, with the benefit of hindsight ๐Ÿ˜…

  4. Simon Phipps Avatar

    @josh It looks very clean and fresh, well done! Have you also enabled WebMentions?


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