A Note on WriteFreely

A while back I noted that, though WriteFreely (the backbone of my site's social hub) federates via ActivityPub, the way that it broadcasts short posts limits the usefulness of that feature. By default, posts written with WriteFreely go out to ActivityPub services (e.g. Mastodon) as a title and a link back to the original post. If the post has no title, then the federated message uses the first several words of text instead.

After some searching, I found the reason for that. ActivityPub handles a few different content types. For text, there's the [Article] type and the more abbreviated [Note] type. Microblog services like Mastodon mostly handle [Note] type content, but WriteFreely posts go out as [Article]. Truncated text with a link back to the original is how the federated platforms handle the mismatch.

I brought the issue up on the WriteFreely discussion boards, and then on the development team's GitHub. Lo and behold, they've responded! The next version of WriteFreely (v0.13) will incorporate the ability to tag posts as [Note] rather than [Article], which should allow WriteFreely users to, in effect, post straight to federated platforms, rather that sending out every post as a link back: https://github.com/writeas/writefreely/pull/220#issuecomment-685786603

Much thanks to Matt Baer for being so responsive.