In reply to Who do I know in …? by Lloyd Davis

There’s a static part here (who is usually in which city) and a more dynamic part (I and someone else are both in a city we’re not usually in). For the latter, me and others being both outside our usual movements, Dopplr was great. It gave me a conversation or two per year that otherwise would not have happened. I’ve been playing with sharing travel plans and location in my blog, for those moments I think it might be useful. And I’ve been trying to get that same info in an ActivityPub stream (travel and arrival/leave are activities supported by AP), so that others might follow it in a way other than in plain sight on my site. Such AP streams can be semi-private in the sense of curating its followers. I see such a stream not as a complete thing or providing all my movements, but just enough traces for others to stumble across and in that way slightly increase the probability of generating conversations that otherwise would not have happened.

I don’t want a fully-automated system that only builds the value of my network at the expense of my friends. So for now, it will all have to be “manual” and slow, and rooted in conversation, and talking to people directly, making introductions the way we always have done, even if that doesn’t scale as quickly as we’d like. … Maybe it will always have to be like that, in order to maintain the trust, or maybe, by paying close attention to what we’re doing we might find a way of doing it in partnership and for mutual benefit.

Lloyd Davis

The WordPress ActivityPub plugin by Matthias Pfefferle has been updated. It now allows you to @mention ActivityPub users and they will be notified of the mention in your blogpost, through ActivityPub.

This is useful. Yet, I’m holding out on using the plugin myself until three things are possible:

  • Set the user name of the ActivityPub account: Now the username is the login name of the user doing the posting. I recognise using WP user names is a straightforward way of turning WP into an ActivityPub client, and prevents having to add addditional stuff to the database. As I use non-obvious user names for additional website security, having those exposed as ActivityPub users is undesirable however.
  • Refuse follow requests: currently the plugin allows follows, and defaults to accepting all follows. As on my separate AP account I want to decide personally on follow requests.
  • Determine flexibly which postings get shared through ActivityPub, and through which ActivityPub user account. The current set-up is that all postings get shared through ActivityPub. I’d rather be able to determine not just on a post by post basis what gets shared but also to have specific categories of postings to be shared through a specific account.

I want to actively use the affordances ActivityPub allows on top of those WordPress as blogging tool provides. For me that is the ability to use the different activity types that AP can support, and to use dealing with followers and follows to selectively disclose content to different groups of people.

My current usecase for this is to have a separate AP account that shares my travel plans (posted in an unlisted category on my site) with accepted followers. The first part requires selectively sharing a category of postings, the second part doing so to a group of accepted followers on an AP account that is meant for just this type of postings and not my general AP account.

The plugin will develop in this direction, but is not there yet. I am slowly going through the code of the plugin myself to understand its architecture and choices. Perhaps it will give me an idea either on how to build on its core to create the functionality locally I want for myself, or maybe (though my coding skills are likely not adequate for it) add to the plugin itself.