Blog entries tagged with "mastodon"

I have been suspended!

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023 at 06:22pm

I hadn’t realised that it has been over six months since I (and many) switched from Twitter over to Mastodon and the Fediverse. Most of the people I followed on Twitter were tech related, either people I had met through conferences or people that were posting interesting things.

A handful of the people I followed (a couple tech but mostly those related to comedy, podcasts or photography) continued to only post to Twitter, so I kept my script running that would use the API to get their tweets. The main benefit was that this isolated me from the locking out of the big third party apps and also the (even more) usability pain of the Twitter website.

At various points there were announcements about having to pay for API access, but then that was postponed multiple times with no useful communications around it. My plan was let my script run and eventually turn it off once it stopped working. That day is today because I could see from the cron output that it was now getting a “Could not authenticate you” message and then after digging back into the developer console I found this:

SUSPENDED This App has violated Twitter Rules and policies. As a result, it can no longer be accessed. For assistance, submit a support ticket.

What policy did I violate? A policy about not paying? A policy about only viewing tweets and never seeing ads? I guess I will never know because I am not opening a support ticket to find out, you would have thought a courtesy email would have been sent…

I hadn’t tweeted since moving to the Fediverse (not that I ever posted often anyway) but I did make a final post saying goodbye to anyone I followed that were not also posting somewhere else. I will make a final pass through those I follow to find accounts on other services, but I think I already have them all…

Tagged with: , ,

Getting on board with Mastodon

Saturday, November 12th, 2022 at 04:55pm

It has now been two weeks since I decided to check out Mastodon again, prompted by the change of ownership of Twitter and a number people I trust talking about it. While I did dig up the details for an account I created years ago, I decided to delete that one and start fresh on While that other account would have worked fine, I felt there would be a better sense of community by being on the same instance as people I knew.

I should say that while I have been on social networks for a long time I am not that “social” on them. I consume things posted by people I know and trust, rarely posting myself with the exception of during conferences or the comedy festival. I am also a creature of habit, so I wanted to be able to consume Mastodon posts in a way that didn’t disrupt my existing workflow.

So what is my existing workflow? I don’t want to have to go to multiple sites to see things, I want them aggregated together and long ago I worked out that my email client is where I wanted them. For over fifteen years this is how I have been consuming RSS feeds and for around twelve years I have posts from who I follow also appear as email messages. I also used to have the same for (until that changed and I stopped using it) and Facebook (until they changed the API and I didn’t bother to update my script).

I also have my personal site and while I haven’t been writing blog posts as much as I should, this still exists and the homepage is another aggregator, but not of what I want to consume, instead it is what I am posting on different services. These blog posts show up there, along with my twitter posts, photos I put up on Flickr and books I add to my LibaryThing catalog.

So after creating my account and spending some time learning how to use Mastodon I started to think about two integrations:

  1. toots from people I follow into my email client
  2. toots I have posted onto my personal site

The second of these was the easiest because I quickly found that by default Mastodon provides an RSS feed for the public posts on a profile, just construct a URL of the form https://[instance]/users/[username].rss. Then in the settings for the wordpress plugin I use I add a new RSS feed, giving it the feed URL and setting a custom icon. I cleared the cache and it was done, my toots were now on the homepage for my personal site.

I expected that it would be harder to get the toots of people I follow, but once I started looking into the Mastodon API I was pleased to find that it was pretty easy:

  1. from the Development section of my Mastodon profile create an Application, this will also generate an access token which I can use to access the API as myself (all I need for this purpose)
  2. call the home timeline API endpoint to get the toots from the people I follow
  3. rework my existing script for Twitter to be for Mastodon

So now from within my email client I can go to a folder and see a combined timeline of Twitter and Mastodon posts. If I want to interact more I can then click through to the relevant site.

I also took the big step of finally pushing this code into the git repository that I had created years ago. So if you want to see some rough but functional perl code, then it is available for all to see.

After this flurry of activity on a rainy Saturday I then resumed my normal position of sitting back and watching what was happening. There are a decent amount of toots talking about how to best use Mastodon, there are mistakes being made but also plenty of lessons being learned.

As Twitter is becoming more of a mess I am seeing more people I knew joining a Mastodon instance. Right now it looks like an even split between people posting on Mastodon vs Twitter, with only a couple simultaneously posting to both.

Something else I am going to look into is I have seen there is an ActivityPub plugin for WordPress, so I could possibly have a more direct interaction between Mastodon (and others) and this site. I will investigate…

Tagged with: , ,