• Now, though, we may be at the beginning of a new era. Instead of a half-dozen platforms competing to own your entire life, apps like Mastodon, Bluesky, Pixelfed, Lemmy, and others are building a more interconnected social ecosystem. If this ActivityPub-fueled change takes off, it will break every social network into a thousand pieces. All posts, of all types, will be separated from their platforms. We’ll get new tools for creating those posts, new tools for reading them, new tools for organizing them, and new tools for moderating them and sharing them and remixing them and everything else besides. (View Highlight)
  • It’s called POSSE: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere. (Sometimes the P is also “Post,” and the E can be “Elsewhere.” The idea is the same either way.) The idea is that you, the poster, should post on a website that you own. Not an app that can go away and take all your posts with it, not a platform with ever-shifting rules and algorithms. Your website. But people who want to read or watch or listen to or look at your posts can do that almost anywhere because your content is syndicated to all those platforms. (View Highlight)

New highlights added January 9, 2024 at 9:52 AM

  • In a POSSE world, everybody owns a domain name, and everybody has a blog (View Highlight)
  • When you want to post something, you do it to your blog. Then, your long blog post might be broken into chunks and posted as a thread on X and Mastodon and Threads. The whole thing might go to your Medium page and your Tumblr and your LinkedIn profile, too. If you post a photo, it might go straight to Instagram, and a vertical video would whoosh straight to TikTok, Reels, and Shorts. Your post appears natively on all of those platforms, typically with some kind of link back to your blog. And your blog becomes the hub for everything, your main home on the internet. (View Highlight)
  • So why are you making me choose which network it goes to? I should post it once, ideally to my domain, and then it goes to X and Threads and Tumblr and all the other networks that can have all their own interfaces and network effects and everything like that. But my thoughts should go to all those places.” (View Highlight)
  • POSSE makes sense, both philosophically — of course you should own your content and have a centralized home on the web — and logistically. Managing a half-dozen identities on a half-dozen platforms is too much work! (View Highlight)
  • Doctorow estimates that, for a long time, he spent less time writing his posts than he did figuring out where they’d go. “And I made a lot of mistakes.” Now, he has a more automated system, but it still involves a lot of Python scripting, dozens of browser tabs, and far more manual work than most people will do to get their thoughts out to the world. (View Highlight)
  • Manton Reece, the creator of, says he thinks of POSSE as “a pragmatic approach” to the way social networks work. “Instead of waiting for the perfect world,” he says, “where every social network can communicate and talk to each other and you can follow someone from Threads to Mastodon to Twitter to Facebook to whatever, let’s just accept the reality, and focus on posting to your own site that you control — and then send it out to friends on other networks. Don’t be so principled that you cut your content off from the rest of the world!” (View Highlight)
  • Reece mentions a tool called Bridgy, which both allows cross-posting and aggregates social media reactions and attaches them to posts on your site. This will forever be a fight with the existing platforms, which largely have no incentive or tools for getting engagement data out into the broader web. But some folks think they can solve it. (View Highlight)
  • When it comes to maintaining many different networks, Mullenweg thinks, ultimately, POSSE is a user interface problem. And a solvable one. “I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s the right UI for this,” he says. “I think there might be something like, the first step is posting to my blog, and the second step is I get some opportunities to customize it for each network.” Where POSSE has gone wrong so far, he says, is by trying to automate everything. “I’m really into this two- or three-step publishing process to get around this.” (View Highlight)

New highlights added May 23, 2024 at 2:31 AM

  • Even those willing and able to do the technical work can struggle to make POSSE work. “When I started,” says Cory Doctorow, an activist and author who has been blogging for decades and recently set up a new POSSE-ified blog called Pluralistic, “I literally had an HTML template in the default Linux editor. I’ve got Emacs key bindings on and I just literally would open that file and resave it with a different file name, append the day’s date to it, and then write a bunch of blog posts in this template. And then I would copy and paste those into Twitter’s threading tool, and Mastodon, and Tumblr, and Medium, one at a time, individually editing as I went, doing a lot of whatever, and then I would turn it into a text file that I would paste into an email that I would send to a Mailman instance where I was hosting a newsletter. And then I had full-text RSS as well, and Discourse for comments, which has its own syndication for people to follow you on discourse.” (View Highlight)