We used to have a good blogosphere going. But perhaps people are returning to their blogs? This means that we need to do the things we used to delegate to Facebook, Google and Twitter: networking, curation, discovery.
β€’ write our thoughts onto our own blogs
β€’ link to other bloggers
β€’ pick up on posts elsewhere, comment on our own blog and link back
β€’ if other people pick up on our posts, link to their replies
β€’ make commenting as easy as possible for those without blogs

Please join! πŸ˜„

@kensanata Does Blogger/Blogspot still qualify as "delegating it to Google"?

@rocx I am torn – I don’t like it but most of the RPG blogs I follow are hosted there. What am I going to do?

@kensanata And syndicate your content with Atom or RSS feeds so people can "follow you" without the need of an account at some third party!

@kensanata There has been a little bit of discussion about this kind of thing on the Gemini list lately, especially about whether or not we can implement something similar to web "pingbacks" for reply discovery. I really hope it takes off as a norm in Geminispace.

@solderpunk @kensanata i've been writing some brief posts lately about feeds i follow:

(i'm curious - is there a gemini-space parallel to RSS/Atom? or, i guess, any reason why the usual syndication tech wouldn't work for gemini?)

@brennen @solderpunk there’s moku-pona, I guess? That would simply monitor a resource for changes. Not sure how well it would work, though.

@kensanata @brennen Sloum has written a moku-pona clone for Gemini called "Spacewalk". The code is at and he has a public instance at gemini:// It follows many more sources than CAPCOM does, because authors don't need to generate a feed or do anything else to facilitate being followed.

@brennen @kensanata Because Gemini uses URLs, the existing technology functions just fine! I have been pushing hard for the adoption of Atom in Gemini. I wrote an aggregator ( and a feed generator ( and host a public instance of the aggregator at gemini:// It follows 15 feeds so far (3 are mine).

> make commenting as easy as possible for those without blogs

This is a difficult one.

Of course the easiest (for the commenter) way would be a comment form on the blog, which automatically adds the comment when you press "submit". But that means:

- someone can add spam/illegal/inflammatory comment when you're not looking, and it'll be there on your blog, under your name, until you notice and delete it

- moderating the comments takes effort

- can't use static site generator

I think a more sustainable approach is to have people post comments elsewhere, and only add only pick the best ones and manually add them to your blog.

Now, what should that elsewhere be?
A form that sends emails?
A public mailing list, like Drew Devault's public-inbox[1]?
A thread on fedi?
All of the above?


@wolf480pl these days I have a webmention endpoint that simply posts a comment on my site and I then review it – if I like it, I replace the text with some sort of longer summary; if I don’t like it, I delete it. As there is only one person that ever did this, the workload has been manageable, haha. Thanks, @takeonrules!

@wolf480pl @kensanata Btw, at least in WebKit you can write <form target="mailto:...">.

I think that's a feature for me to imitate!

@alcinnz @kensanata
I think that's a web standard?
I know that an old HTML tutorial I read back in 2005 used it when introducing forms, way before it talked about forms that hit HTTP backend.

@BartG95 @alcinnz @kensanata
tbh. considering that email-sending forms do so through user's MUA, a form that hits an HTTP backend which sends an email to hardcoded recipient may be easier to use

@wolf480pl @BartG95 @alcinnz @kensanata that’s what I am doing for my blog. Moderation traffic is like one per two months or so. Since mail is involved, I get comment spam filtering for freeπŸ˜€
Oh am I’m using pelican as site generator.

@wolf480pl @kensanata Personally I just encourage people to send emails in the site footer. The idea being, my blog is for my content, and hosting random people's content can be troublesome, and opening up a text box to web is dangerous.

I've had some very meaningful interactions over the years.

A nice idea could be to schedule a toot and put its URL, directing people to it for comments.

@cadadr @kensanata
>schedule a toot and put its URL, directing people to it for comments.

It's a kind of POSSE:

I did that with my blog but I didn't post all that often, so it's not like I had any comments...

@wolf480pl @kensanata Indieweb is interesting but back when I read it I found it to be complicated.

I like your blog btw. Nice content, nice theme.

@wolf480pl yeah, my site has a gazillion defenses against spam. 😭


Main issue for me was always "discovery". As a reader there was never a conclusive way to discover new blogs, contentwise, by topics. There was the blogroll you could follow, but that was all to random - you knew that there were thousands of interesting blogs out there that you would never be able to know about. (This is one reason that drives bloggers to platforms like Medium).

I still believe that something in the style of web catalogs would be the right entry point. (This will bring up my old argument that google search got it all wrong: typing search terms into search slots prevents you from making discoveries - as you already have to know what you are looking for.)

@es0mhi this is very true. If you can find a Planet for the topic you’re interested in, then at least you get a bunch of blogs that are on topic (at least the feeds to the tags or categories the person running the Planet added), you see who is actively posting, and you can get a feel for whether the topic is even active.

@es0mhi but there are still drawbacks: the implied pressure for single-topic blogs, for example (as people are often not tech-savvy enough to just subscribe to particular categories of a blog).

@kensanata Cool I'll check it out.

my blog is here:
posts are coming again real soon. I am aiming for one a week in June.

@tj I was confused because I couldn't open the site using two text browsers and had to resort to Firefox πŸ˜† but now that I have Firefox open I see it looks very nice. πŸ˜ƒ

@kensanata oh really which ones? It looks great in w3m, I haven't tested others.

Trying now and w3m isn't happy without the -4 flag. I think there is something up with v6 and digital ocean

@tj Ah, that could be it. My system uses IPv6 by default and maybe Firefox has its own magic. I tried eww in Emacs and w3m. πŸ˜„

@kensanata Kinds sounds like what trackbacks (and later pingbacks) did back in the day

@normandy Absolutely! And to be honest, on my own blog, referrer tracking still works best, I think. As long as people keep using the referrer heading...

@kensanata Now I want to see a fediverse webring using mastodon custom profile fields.

@kensanata commenting was always the Achilles hill of traditional blogging: no single blog has enough reach to facilitate discussion as do centralized platforms.

I believe modern blogs should integrate with centralized discussion platforms, instead of (or in addition to) running each their own. Like, a technical blog post could link to a discussion of this particular post on HN, Reddit,, etc.

@isagalaev I don't know. I never really participated in "global" discussion. My Twitter experience when commenting on popular posts? Ugh. It only ever worked if the audience was limited. My experience on Google+ and Facebook groups was pretty good. But these were smallish communities. Or look at Charlie Stross' blog:
2383 comments! 😱 Is this a centralized discussion? Perhaps… Skimming it has me think: so many intelligent comments, amazing! But also: not for me.

@isagalaev @kensanata The thing @solene 's done with her @solenepercent account with toots which can be replied to for each of her blog posts is worthy of further contemplation.

I'm not at all comfortable with comments directly on a blog (mine or, to a lesser extent, other people's) - there's a definite conflict of interest there.

@edavies A long time ago I had my blog on Darius' RSS-to-activitypub server but I just tried to install and was scared away. Yikes! @isagalaev @solene @solenepercent

@kensanata Yeah, I used that too and was sorry when it went away, though not entirely surprised. Scared away by dependency hell I take it?

Solene's solution is simpler though: AIUI her blog software just uses the API to post one toot, everything else is handled by Mastodon (on in her case).


@edavies Interesting. I threw some Python together to use the Mastodon client protocol and it was in fact easy to do. Now available at @alexschroeder πŸ˜ƒ
All I have to do is set up a cron job, I guess.

@kensanata Well done, that was quick. Next job would be to add the toot link in the blog post, I suppose.

Oddly, viewing @alexschroeder in the right-hand Octodon column says 10 Oots at the top but doesn't actually show the toots whereas opening it in a separate tab does.


@edavies I'm suspecting some caching issues? I have no idea. Also, I use the single column layout. πŸ˜ƒ As for replies: I don't know. I think the current system is pretty neat: above all the comment forms it says "Add your comment here or contact me on Octodon Social" (or Tabletop Social, if it's a post tagged RPG). Hardly anybody picks me up on these, though. I guess there just isn't much to comment on.

@kensanata Yeah, this fedi solution is really for people who don't want to have to own the comments at all. If you're happy to curate them then fine.

@kensanata back in the day, I used RSS feed readers to keep up with blogs I liked. What do people do these days? Are there still good RSS feed readers out there?

@emmadavidson @kensanata I use I installed it on a small Linode instance. Works well. If I only had time to read all the content I have. :peace:

@emmadavidson @pla I try to avoid feed readers that generate something like an inbox with an unread count and all that. My solution is the River of News model: (it links to my own implementation and to a browser extension)

@kensanata is there a project of a blogging platform based on activitypub ? That would be fantastic.

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