Bookmarked Twitter Has Stopped Working in NetNewsWire (by NetNewsWire)

By the end of the month the free tier of the Twitter API will disappear. Some apps using the API will stop doing so because of too high costs to continue, such as Others are being kicked out by Twitter itself even before the deadline at the end of April, such as Netnewswire. These steps have one thing in common: they disable the ability of reading Twitter without using Twitter directly. Tightening the walls of the silo, in short. The Web is much better off with at least semi-permeable boundaries between services, so that one can interact and read from their own preferred perch. That of course clashes with various business models, although at this point I’m not sure Twitter knows what its businessmodel is supposed to be.

Twitter suspended NetNewsWire today. …. Twitter has stopped working a little sooner than expected. We’ll have updates to NetNewsWire soon that stop trying to connect to Twitter

Bookmarked So long, Twitter API, and thanks for all the fish (by Ryan Barrett)

The Twitter API is moving to paid tiers for anything but the tiniest use cases by the end of the month. I’ve been using to get back webmention notifications about interactions on Twitter with my blogposts here. depends on the Twitter API obviously, and the scale of their needs puts them above the free and affordable tier, even if well below the more expensive tier above it. Therefore will stop supporting Twitter. Silo’s gonna silo I suppose.
It does help remove an action from my backlog: changing the way I show such backfeed on my blog without going counter to Twitter users’ common expectations of where their interaction and avatar might end up.
Unless Musk changes his mind once again, or can’t find an employee capable of implementing the changes.

…assuming it sticks, Bridgy Twitter will stop working on April 29, if not before.

Ryan Barrett

For some time I have been able to directly post things to this blog from my feed reader. My feed reading client is connected to a simple feed server, the Yarns WordPress plugin. Now I have connected my feed reading client to the API of the FreshRSS instance I use for feedreading daily.

The Yarns feeds server works, but it requires a WordPress install to run in and is somewhat limited. I could run it in this here WordPress, but then the many feeds I follow would pollute my blogs database. So until now I ran it in a separate WordPress install. All a bit hacky, and more proof of concept than really a smooth fit for my daily routines.

I do however daily use FreshRSS, which I run as a self-hosted instance on a VPS. FreshRSS has an API, or rather it has two API’s, meaning that I could run my feed reading client on top of FreshRSS by talking to its API.

FreshRSS has two APIs, one is the Fever API, the other is the Google Reader API of old. Both aren’t very well documentend w.r.t. their implementation in FreshRSS, because they assume you’d use it for a mobile client using a local database. I don’t want to replicate the database, I want to only directly talk to the API to fetch the things I need. After some experimentation in Postman I could talk to the Fever API, but haven’t worked out how to talk to the Google Reader API of FreshRSS.
The Fever API doesn’t support calling items by feeds and feeds by groups, the way I actually read in my ‘reading by social distance set-up‘. It can give me groups, feeds and items, but not cross-referenced. In terms of content it can basically only give me a bunch of feed items, at most limited by the item number of the oldest unread item. But it works. The previous post was created directly from my feed reading client, while fetching the item itself from FreshRSS.

Now, I need to figure out how to use the other API, so I can do more of the things that I want from my ideal RSS reader.

In reply to highlight.js, an extension to highlight text on web pages by James G.

Nice project, James! I’m not sure I get the distinction you make between this and an annotation extension, as highlighting is annotation too and the pop up box even calls the highlights annotations. One question: do you apply the W3C Web Annotation Data Model recommendation? That would make highlighting with this potentially interoperable with e.g. Or allow interaction with the API further down the line.

I don’t presently have plans to expand this into an annotation extension, as I believe that purpose is served by Hypothesis. For now, I see this extension as a useful way for me to save highlights, share specific pieces of information on my website, and enable other people to do the same.

James G.

In reply to How can my posts integrate better with ActivityPub? by Chris Aldrich

I’m trying to add AP to my site here to be able to provide streams to approved followers of otherwise unlisted content in my site. E.g. travel plans like Dopplr did, or Swarm style check-ins (normally posted to WP with micropub, e.g. here). Both those activities exist in ActivityStreams and thus in AP. That would be possible to follow with various existing AP clients. If more people do it, it might be useful to create a client surface to combine the various travel plan streams of others I follow and show crossing paths etc.

Peter has experimented for a while with Mastodon (and the ActivityPub protocol behind it) and decided that it’s not for him.

Well, this has been fun, but it turns out that the effort-vs-reward for the fediverse doesn’t balance for me; I need fewer reasons to be tethered, not more. @mastohost, recommended by @ton, was an excellent playground. In 24 hours this account will self-destruct. But, now and forever, is where you’ll find me.

I very much recognise his point. The disbalance he mentions I felt strongly in the past month, where it was absent in the five and a half years before it. The enormous influx of people, positive in itself, and the resulting growth in the number of people I followed made my timeline too busy. In response I started following topics more and am evaluating rss feeds from ActivityPub servers. The disbalance expresses itself in spending too much time in the home timeline, without that resulting in notable things. (I mean literally notable, as in taking notes) Unlike my feedreader. It does result in some interesting conversations. However such interactions usually start from a blogpost that I share. Because of the newness of AP and Mastodon to the large wave of people joining, many posts including mine are of the ‘Using Mastodon to talk about Mastodon’ type. This is of course common for newly adopted tools, and I still have a category on this blog for metablogging, as blogging about blogging has been a 20 year long pattern here. Yet it is also tiring because it is mostly noise, including the whole kindergarten level discussions between petty admins defederating each other. There’s a very serious discussion to be had about moderation, blocks and defederation, to turn it into a tool that provides agency to individual users and the groups they are part of. These tools are important, and I’m glad I have them at my disposal. Ironically such serious discussion about Mastodon isn’t easy to conduct in a Tweetdeck and Twitter style interface, such as Mastodon provides. I moved the home timeline over to the right in my Mastodon web interface, so I don’t see it as the first thing when I open it up. I’ve concluded I need to step away from timeline overwhelm. Much as I did on Twitter years ago.

A tired purple mastodont lies on the ground sleeping while groups of people are talking in the background, sketchbook style. Dall-E generated image.

There are however two distinct aspects about AP and the recent incoming wave of people that I am more interested to be engaged with than I was before this started.

First, to experiment personally with AP itself, and if possible with the less known Activities that AP could support, e.g. travel and check-ins. This as an extension of my personal site in areas that WordPress, OPML and RSS currently can’t provide to me. This increases my own agency, by adding affordances to my site. This in time may mean I won’t be hosting or self-hosting my personal Mastodon instance. (See my current fediverse activities)

Second, to volunteer for governance related topics in the wider Dutch user group of Mastodon. Regardless of my own use of Mastodon, it is an environment in which many more people than before have new choices to make w.r.t. taking their online presence and tools in their own hands. A step from a global silo such as Twitter to e.g. a larger Dutch instance, while not the same as running one’s own, can be a significant step to more personal agency and networked agency. I’m involved in a group discussing how to establish governance structures that can provide continuity to the Dutch instance, lets people on the instance have an active voice and role in its internal governance, and raises awareness of the variety of tools and possibilites out there while purposefully avoiding becoming a new silo (through e.g. providing pathways away from the instance). Such governance is not part of the Mastodon instance, but structured around it. Such involvement is an expression of my experience and role in using tech for the past 33 years online as being inherently political.

A purple mastodont is conversing with a crowd of people, sketchbook style. Dall-E generated image.