Darnell (Seize The Day)

👨🏾‍🚀 Darnell.bio 🤳🏾 @darnell:shh.darnell.ooo 👨🏾‍💻 Darnell.tv

Last year the CEO of Automattic promised that Tumblr would embrace ActivityPub & thus join the Fediverse.

Unfortunately it seems as if Tumblr’s embrace is proving to be more challenging than they previously imagined, with Fediverse implementation scheduled sometime this year.

So with no clear timetable of when Tumblr will embrace the Fediverse, others (including myself) were hoping that Medium would embrace the Fediverse.

Sadly Medium declined to join the Fediverse, although they did offer a consolation prize by launching a Mastodon instance for prestigious Medium writers.

Fortunately there is a viable social blogging option available right now who fully embraces ActivityPub (& no, WordPress & MicroBlog do not count).

It’s Time to Misskey

From the outside Misskey appears to be yet another Fediverse Microblogging service who mimics the best of Twitter & while attempting to omit the worst aspects of the blue bird site.

However, what separates the cat obsessed (yes, really!) social network from rivals is it’s powerful customization & content features that would appeal to Tumblr & Medium fans alike.

I will briefly mention a few of these awesome features below, as there are way too many to mention in one post (as I am still discovering more every day if not every week).

Get Down For Markdown

Aside from supporting “@ mentions” & hashtags, Misskey allows rich text formats via Misskey Flavored Markdown (also known as MFM), which include the basics such as bold, linked texted, etcetera.

However, if folks visit their local MFM cheatsheet, they will be amazed to discover that Misskey also supports:

  • Quotes (sometimes called block quotes)
  • Minimizing or maximizing texts
  • Center aligning text
  • In-line syntax (great for programmers highlighting code)
  • Text flipping or even posting upside down
  • Different types of fonts
  • Minimizing or maximizing the size of emojis
  • Blurring out text (great for hiding specific spoilers!)
  • Plus many more!

Misskey allows people to creatively display their text & emojis to the world, which will appeal to content creators & artists alike.

Note: some of these text formats are not supported by Mastodon so followers using those apps will miss out on the fun (or chaos 😂, depending on your view).

Powerful Page Support

Although this might not appeal to everyone in the Socialverse, Tumblr & Medium fans will be excited to know that their Misskey instance will support as many pages as they need.

Misskey Pages are a feature where you can create custom web pages. In them you can include different types of media and formatting. and even run programming scripts. Like with many other areas of Misskey, you can format your content using MFM.

Pages in Misskey are composed of different types of Blocks, and the blocks can be moved around using drag-and-drop. (Via Misskey Hub)

Pages is a feature I wish every social network provided, as sometimes you want to expand on what your instance is about, or list rules or even highlight something outside of a post that people can easily find.

Custom Curated Timelines

One of the things I love about the Fediverse is that there are so many incredible people to follow. Unfortunately you can easily be overwhelmed, & miss out on some great content.

Instead of giving up on finding your content or secretly wishing someone would create an algorithm (something big tech would be willing to do for the price of your privacy), Misskey solves this issue by allowing you to create Antennas.

Antenna is a feature that allows you to freely set conditions for a custom timeline and automatically collect matching notes.

Antenna conditions can include conditions to include/exclude certain keywords and tags in different combinations as well as other options. When a note matching an antenna's conditions is posted, the note will automatically be added to that antenna's timeline.

To create an antenna, click “Add” in the Manage antennas page. Then fill in the options to customize your antenna. (Via Misskey Hub)

This solves a huge problem when it comes to filtering out content that you want to see, & I am already starting to follow Mastodon, Misskey, Pixelfed, Pleroma & Calckey accounts on my solo Misskey instance (@darnell@darnell.moe).

I plan on creating numerous antennas to help follow people posting about the topics I love (ranging from sports, technology, fediverse, culture, geopolitics, humor, space, science, etcetera), & I believe overtime I will be using Misskey more than I use Mastodon.

Optional Ads‽

I know what you are thinking, “Uggghhhh Ads!!!” Yes, I feel the same way too. In fact, I rather pay to avoid seeing any ads, as I feel they distract from the overall experience.

Some publishers on Tumblr & Medium use ads to put food on their table, & if their Misskey instances begins to see millions of views then they will quickly need to figure out a way for an instance to pay for itself.

However, instead of trying to insert a Google Ad Words snippet of code, Misskey admins can simply use ad affiliate links or just use links to corporate sponsors (the latter is how Mastodon pays for servers & software development) to help keep the lights on.

Widgets, & Plug-ins & Custom Themes, Oh My!

There is so much more to Misskey that people will find useful! For example:

One More Thing

What got me hooked on Misskey was the fact that Rin Nakashima, also known as @fruitriin@misskey.io (a phenomenal developer) created an amazing iPhone, iPad & Android app for Misskey called MissRirica.

Unlike prior Misskey apps (or even ones that have showed up afterwards), MissRirica is a fully functional Misskey app that implements nearly all (I suspect all but I am not sure) of the powerful Misskey tools & options featured on the platform.

It is an S-tier third party social networking app that puts most social networking apps (both official & unofficial apps) to shame due to it’s raw power. I would gladly pay $10 USD per month 💵 to use the app, but Nakashima is kind enough to make the app available for free.

In lieu of an in app payment, please support her efforts via patreon or Ko-Fi (note: I suggest the $8 per month tier on Patreon, but hopefully she offers a higher tier in the future).

Also if you can please feel free to support the creator of Misskey, @syuilo@misskey.io who devotes her free time to making Misskey an S-tier social networking site (& I am not saying that lightly).

Addendum: Managed Hosting

If you lack the time or technical skills to create a Misskey instance, then I suggest using a managed hosting service in which a company handles installing the software, upgrades, security, etcetera.

I use @12vpx@social.12vpx.com who offers managed Misskey hosting & they have done a phenomenal job in ensuring my instance is properly updated to the latest version as well as handling any issues that might rise up (no, they did not pay me to type this but they are just that awesome!). A special shoutout to @neil@social.12vpx.com for setting up my Misskey instance & ensuring it is properly upgraded!

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

A long time ago in geek years (real time it was last year in October), @MKBHD@twitter.com declared Youtube as the only S-Tier social network.

@elonmusk@twitter.com noticed this claim & responded by tweeting out two words:

It now seems as if Elon Musk is attempting to compete with Youtube by sharing ad revenue with the Twitterverse—but there is a catch.

As far as ending legacy accounts go, a few celebrities will definitely abandon Twitter, but most will probably pay in order to avoid spammers & trolls impersonating their official accounts.

Elon Musk still has not revealed what the ad split for ad revenue will be, but I assume Twitter will mimic Google & use some mysterious, complex algorithm to determine how many crumbs you receive from the Twitter Tycoon’s bakery.

Although Elon Musk views Mastodon as an emerging threat, his biggest social rival (at least in the news/sports/informational arena) is Youtube, the latter which rolled out @username handles last year.

Youtube ironically can do everything Twitter is doing right now via community posts, although it currently is more cumbersome than creating a tweet.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

So another day, another Misskey app for iDevices has appeared, this time with support for Mac App Store.

Called Kimis, this app was created by @lakr233@twitter.com / @launchctl@social.qaq.wiki (note: I think both accounts belong to the same person but I could be wrong), & to my knowledge is the first Misskey app to embrace the MacBook.

Like it’s predecessors MissCat (by @wada@misskey.io) & Socialhub, Kimis offers a simple display of Misskey’s timeline (as well as trending hash tags) that should be familiar with users of Twitter, Mastodon, etcetera.

While not as powerful as MissRirica (by @fruitriin@misskey.io), Kimis’s sole advantage over it’s more powerful rival is the login process, as MissRirica requires an API (Application Programming Interface) code in order to login while Kimis only requests your login credentials via a web pop up window (Mastodon & other Fediverse apps also use the latter method).

Although I still prefer MissRirica as it utilizes the full power of Misskey, I am glad to see more developers create apps for Misskey, although I do wish they would consider offering premium features (in order to help put food on their table).

Discovered via:

@candinya@nya.one helpful note.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

IFTTT (which stands for “If This, Then That”) is a service that allows you to connect various platforms, websites, social networks, smart devices with each other.

Awhile ago I emailed the IFTTT team to see if they can integrate Fediverse apps like Mastodon, Pixelfed, WriteFreely, Misskey, etcetera, within their service.

Here was their awesome response:

The majority of services you see on IFTTT are built and maintained by the brands themselves. More services are being added all the time but we would also encourage you to reach out to any services such as the ones you listed below that you're interested in directly and let them know they can build on the IFTTT Platform.

Any user with a Pro+ account can create their own IFTTT service, so we'd be happy to have those services on board.

I've also shared this suggestion with IFTTT's partnership team to recommend they reach out the services you listed as well!

Imagine updating your Mastodon profile picture every time you post a selfie to Pixelfed (with the hashtag selfie), or automatically sharing your WriteFreely posts to Misskey.

IFTTT can enable a greater automation between Fediverse platforms, making it easier for them to interact without requiring an in-depth understanding of the code between each platform.

I am going to reach out to these four Fediverse app creators below regarding IFTTT, plus link to their Patreon or Open Collective accounts (as we should always support the platforms we use).

I encourage anyone reading this to reach out to the creators of their favorite Fediverse apps about IFTTT integration as it would be really cool to see all of the Fediverse apps on IFTTT.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

I read an interesting post by @dangillmor@mastodon.social about progressive journalists whining about how Twitter is sending them less traffic nowadays.

While most of the journalists blamed Elon Musk for ending select Twitter features as the cause for traffic decline, these two paragraphs highlighted the real reason why traffic is dropping off right now.

Twitter referral traffic to a dozen major publishers’ websites declined, on average, by 12% in December 2022 compared to November 2022, according to an analysis by Similarweb, a data analytics company that monitors web traffic. Some publishers — such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, the BBC and Yahoo — each saw referral traffic from Twitter fall between 10% and 18% month over month.

Only two publishers in the sample set — The New York Post and Fox News — saw their traffic increase while People’s website traffic declined by 46%. In most cases, changes were sharper than publishers saw between November and December 2021, when most publishers in the sample set saw traffic increase rather than decrease. (DigiDay, Note: Emphasis mine.)

For those of you unaware, both Fox News & the New York Post are conservative news outlets who both lean right, respectively.

Twitter has been purchased by @elonmusk@twitter.com who often caters towards the conspiracy conservative movement also known as the “alt-right.”

Progressive news outlets, politicians, activists, etcetera, should expect to see their influence dramatically decline on Twitter in 2023, while the opposite will be true for conservative news organizations, politicians, activists, etcetera.

While I expect Twitter’s overall influence will decline this year, I believe the site’s void will eventually be replaced by Instagram (which has become more “news worthy” as of late) as well as Youtube who has already mimicked most of Twitter’s features.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

So I have been spending more time exploring the wonderful world of MissKey by @syuilo@misskey.io & believe it or not I seriously considered using the service last year as my primary Fediverse account due to it’s numerous features (including quote posting).

Thanks to the efforts of @fruitriin@misskey.io we finally have an excellent MissKey app for iPhone, iPad & Android.

Note: The apps are in Japanese, but the developer has promised to add additional languages if the Fediverse displays interest in having the app in their localized language.

Both the MissKey software & the MissRirica apps are currently free, & while this makes them accessible for all, I do have this crazy fear that awesome software like these will disappear due to future financial constraints (this fear is due to an unrelated side affect of Google shutting down Google Reader years ago! Why Google, why‽).

Putting Food On The Fediverse Table

Currently the primary MissKey instance, MissKey.io is supported by the community via Patreon & advertising, although people can opt out the latter by subscribing to the MissKey $5 to $10 Patreon tiers.

However, I think the creator of MissKey should offer another Patreon tier, which would provide a stress free Managed Hosting service for those who desire to run MissKey upon their own domain (but who prefer not to handle the technical details).

This is what BookWyrm offers on Patreon (latter is currently at $40 per month), & MissKey could use the extra funds to help pay for server costs upon Misskey.io, put some extra food on the table & further the development of Misskey’s software.

For comparison I pay Masto Host to $34 per month to host my solo Mastodon account, which also includes Elastic Search (note: I originally started off on their $6 per month plan, but I ended up using Mastodon too much so I had to upgrade 😅).

I believe if the MissKey creator offered a similar service, they would help cover the bandwidth & electricity costs of their main server while expanding MissKey’s influence upon the Fediverse & beyond (a win-win scenario).

MissKey’s Battlemaid MissRirica

So MissRirica is not the first MissKey app to grace the app stores of Apple & Google, but it is probably the best one to appear on both stores.

Created by Rin Nakashima, her apps bring the awesomeness of MissKey to the mobile world (on iPhone, iPad & Android) as well as outclass many (if not most) of the Fediverse apps, especially those built for Mastodon.

I have enjoyed MissRirica apps so much that I am supporting the developer via Patreon (note: if you use any of her apps, then you should too), in order to help further development of the apps, & to help them avoid the fate of several other MissKey apps (MissCat & SocialHub).

Although I advocate that MissRirica allow the initial downloads of the app to be free, I do think she should include some in-app purchases to enhance the experience.

A few in-app paid suggestions include (video shown below as an example):

  • Adding random animal ears, noses & whiskers (cats, rabbits, birds, fish, etcetera) to photo selfies taken within the app
  • Various color filters of pictures (note: avoid using Instagram filter names as they threatened to sue Pixelfed over this)
  • For selfie videos, accompany animated animal features (ears, noses, etcetera) with the corresponding sound of the animal when they talk (make it a optional premium feature)
  • Add a tip jar starting at $10 which will add someone’s name & MissKey handle to the MissRirica support page

Am I Down With MissKey‽

While I do have an account on MissKey at @darnell@misskey.io, I do intend on running a solo MissKey instance in the future (yes, I enjoy running solo instances because, why not‽).

I have already purchased a domain & I am talking to hosts about managed hosting options & so far @12vpx@social.12vpx.com is considering MissKey as an option (they already support Mastodon, Pixelfed & Pleroma.

I am hoping @joinmisskey@misskey.io also considers launching a managed hosting service, as it will allow non-technical normies (as well as some businesses) to enter the Fediverse via their own domain without having to mess with the technical details.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

There is no clear communication to what is going on right now, but @gruber@mastodon.social posted about third party Twitter apps being unceremoniously cut off from Twitter’s API (API means Application Programming Interface for you non-geeks out there).

Last night around 11pm ET, Tweetbot and Twitterrific stopped working, with authentication errors. They’re still down, as are other popular clients. Twitter has said nothing, either publicly or in communications to the affected developers, so your guess is as good as mine whether this is an unintended outage from Twitter’s skeleton crew staff or a strategic decision to pull the plug on third-party clients. Last night I’d have bet — a small amount — that it was an unintentional outage. Today I’d bet the other way, that this is the end. (Daring Fireball)

With Elon Musk declining to pay rent, shutting down critical servers, & even refusing to honor license agreements, Twitter cutting off API access in hindsight should not be a surprise (but to me it is a surprise!).

Creating apps dependent upon the Twitter API was a way many developers provided food on the table. But maybe they could replace some of the lost revenue by looking elsewhere.

Should Twitterverse Developers Embrace The Fediverse‽

It may not replace the money lost due to Elon Musk’s negligence, but maybe Twitterverse developers could create premium iPhone, iPad & Android apps for the Fediverse, as there is a great need for quality apps.

Obvious options include Mastodon, Pixelfed & MissKey (latter has great iPhone & iPad app now), but a few other suggestions include:

The Fediverse Party has a lengthy list of numerous Fediverse apps developers could create apps for.

Developers could also create apps for Matrix as the platform now boasts over 80 million users.

Discovered via:

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

So Medium has launched an official Mastodon instance/site at me.dm which thus far is invite only.

With so many Mastodon instances to choose from, we plan for me.dm to have a few important benefits out of the gate: reliable infrastructure and moderation, a short domain name to make sharing your username easier, better onboarding for new users, and an interesting local feed. (Medium Blog)

I signed up for the instance out of curiosity, however I was wondering if/when Medium itself would embrace ActivityPub.

@coachtony@me.dm (Medium’s CEO) provided a weird, diplomatic response across two posts. Both posts seemed to indicate that Medium would not embrace ActivityPub due to Medium writers treating the Fediverse as a broadcasting outpost...

Mastodon represents a short form corner of the fediverse. To participate in this corner via a medium-length tool would mean participation from people who are blindly syndicating at worst, and having a disconnected experience at best. It'd be disrespectful to the community here.

...as well as conflicting with Medium’s current and future goals.

Now, separately, there is an emerging fediverse of longer form content and that would be a reason for Medium to add ActivityPub. But that's a separate goal than what we are doing here.

Although Medium will probably not embrace ActivityPub, it would be great if they could setup an auto posting to Mastodon feature, similar to what they have with Twitter.

So for now the only blogging platforms embracing the Fediverse are:

Tumblr is also promising to enter the Fediverse (Tumblr would become a dominate player if they did join), but I am having doubts we will see Tumblr entering anytime soon.

Note: I do have an account on Medium which is Darnell.Africa, which I am semi-active upon.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

So one of the Fediverse platforms I kept looking at is MissKey which is a fancier, flashier microblogging service who was created in Japan 🇯🇵.

The app called “MissRirica” was created by @fruitriin@misskey.io & is actually a really well designed iOS / iPadOS app. After creating an Access Token (that way the app never has your password), I was able to login & begin posting.

Unfortunately due to Apple’s auto correct blunders, searching for Misskey apps usually brings up Mickey Mouse instead, so you have to click on the tiny link underneath the search bar to locate this app (or search for “MissRirica” instead).

Overall this app by Rin Nakashima is really good & if you have the extra funds, be sure to support Nakashima on Patreon in order to help keep development of this app alive (such as additional features & additional language support).

Update: Added iTunes link.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)

This will sound crazy as YouTube is known for video content creation, but I am seeing many people posting polls, pictures, texts posts (with links) on YouTube now.

This at first was annoying me, but now I think it’s because people are seeking a reliable alternative to Twitter, & YouTube has (for better or worse) copied most of Twitter’s features now (polls, pictures, text posts with links, etcetera), including the user handle. (note: I am @Darnell on Youtube for what it is worth)

YouTube’s already dominates virtually every demographic compared to Twitter (latter barely dominates in the 25 to 34 year old range).

I still hope Mastodon will replace Twitter (it’s as superior product!), but I can easily see Google positioning YouTube to fill the pending void.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛 @darnell@darnell.day

🕺🏾 Follow my adventures upon: 👉🏾 @darnell@one.darnell.one 🐘 (Mastodon) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.app 📸 (Pixelfed) 👉🏾 @darnell@darnell.moe 🦁 (Misskey)