I am looking for a fediverse solution for a blog and I tried it with writefreely, but it has some disadvantages I can’t live with.

The most important one is, that it should be possible to communicate with people within the fediverse. People should be able to comment on every article with a fediverse account, like it is already possible between Mastodon, Pleroma, PeerTube and others. But comments aren’t a thing with writefreely and this is sad.

After using Lemmy for a few days I just thought if it is possible to use it as a blog and ask on lemmys github if it is possible to restrict a group so only one person could post new articles, but all others can comment. And the answer is yes!

But would it be possible to use it as a blog?

Imagine I would have a group called “utopify.org - Research & Development” and would post current progress about a blog series and you can only comment on it. Would it be possible and would it be something you want to see on Lemmy or would this just be an abuse of the software.

If all of this is just a no-go, are there other ways in the fediverse to have a blog article, which can be shared on the fediverse and be commented on?

You could solve this with the same approach as lemmyBB. In other words, program a new frontend for Lemmy instead of the default lemmy-ui, and use it to render your site. It would connect to the Lemmy backend to fetch data, and then render it as HTML. This could be written in any language/framework you like, and display a real blog-like layout. This would allow you to set “Only moderators can post to this community” as default when a new community is created, and use different sort orders by default.

I would love to see a Blog front end for Lemmy.

maxmoon
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I didn’t do front end for a very long time and stuff changed a lot, because I looked at lemmyBB and I have no idea what handlebars or cargos are, I might heard of Rust, but never used it. But at least CSS is still a thing…

Can you recommend a language or framework, which could be even interesting for employers (don’t want to learn too exotic stuff) and it would be useful to work with this technology every day, so I will be faster to make something in my spare time.

I would be very interested in learning new stuff to make a new front end for Lemmy. I really like Lemmy so far :)

Not sure, but Rust is probably not a good idea in your case because it has a quite steep learning curve. You could just make a post in asklemmy or /c/programming to ask for suggestions.

comfy
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You could. The better question is if you should.

Who is your target audience? Would a microblogging platform like Pleroma or Mastodon be more appropriate? They’re pretty popular.

maxmoon
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I am testing Mastodon for a few weeks, now, and I have to say it’s much better to link to a blog and then ask a question and create a poll about it. Many people will react to it. But talking about a topic, using all 500 chars, doesn’t work at all. People don’t want to read a lot there, they just want to quickly get out their opinion on a head line, a picture or a question.

Lemmy seems more like for people who are interested in specific topics and a topic can be found fast, because those are groups (instead of searching through hashtags and even then not all posts have something todo with that tag). On Lemmy a link is shown and the people read the article and start discussions about it. I really want to involve people who are interested in those topics. This is what I am looking for.

I might keep posting the link on Mastodon just to get reactions, but atm I think Lemmy might be better.

comfy
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Yeah, I hesitated to mention Mastodon and Pleroma as I don’t know the policies on character limits (I suspect it can change per site???)

Link aggregators (like Lemmy and reddit) are weird in that they’re literally invented for the purpose of linking to other sites, like you suggested you would do on Mastodon, but it’s become normal in the past 10 years to make text posts and start uploading media directly on the site. It’s an interesting shift. I guess that’s why I wasn’t sure to recommend it for blogging: you totally can and have a connected community available, it just feels like an unintended purpose. But it seems like it would work, I say go for it.

Lenins2ndCat
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I don’t see why not. Several subreddits over on reddit function this way, with one or a group of approved posters while everyone else can only comment. The main features of a blog are a front page feed and posts, this is precisely what you get with these platforms.

You could make an instance that is entirely blogs. Or you could make an instance that is just your blog. Or you could just make a comm on any existing instance and specifically utilise it as your blog, like people do on approved-submitter-only subreddits.

Really the only barrier to succeeding with this is whether or not what is put into the space(whichever method you go for) is legitimately something people find interesting enough to come back to repeatedly.

maxmoon
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You could make an instance that is entirely blogs. Or you could make an instance that is just your blog. Or you could just make a comm on any existing instance and specifically utilise it as your blog, like people do on approved-submitter-only subreddits.

This is a really good idea. You even described what i wanted to do long ago. I wanted to create an old school forum (like bulletin board) to discuss several specific topics, but one board will be for blogs, but which are able to discuss on. It seems an own lemmy instance might be the perfect software for this.

Hotman
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Perhaps petition the devs to be able to lock a community’s sorting to “New” only?

Lenins2ndCat
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It seems an own lemmy instance might be the perfect software for this.

Possibly, the only thing I’m not sure on is whether the community-wide restrictions are possible at an admin level in such a way that you can enforce it sitewide or whether it might require a bit of added work to get that functionality in there. You probably can just get away with it being a site rule that all comms must set themselves up that way but if you get a lot of comms this would become a lot of work to check regularly. I’m not wholly familiar with Lemmy’s admin backend so I don’t know for sure. But even if it doesn’t have it, it’s not far off.

Lemmy has a 10k character limit per post, something to keep in mind.

maxmoon
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ohhhhh… 10k characters are not much and I have some articles with around 20k characters. But the good thing is, blog articles can be split very good. So I could do part 1 and part 2 of a topic.

Yep! Just pointing it out as I wrote some 12k characters yesterday and had to trim.

maxmoon
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Can you show me the blog article, I am just curious how it will look like if it’s trimmed.

So it’s just a post on our instance, but it was written like a blog article. https://beehaw.org/post/107014

maxmoon
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It’s really nice! I like it.

It can be read without distractions. Not much going on on the left or right and the comment section of Lemmy is in order and clean.

I would say it can be used as a blog pretty well or do you miss something, which other blog systems have?

A bit less ability to format than I’m used to (although I suppose if you’re hosting the instance you can format it however you want, to an extent), but I agree it can work fairly well

maxmoon
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Which format abilities do you miss? I really like it that it supports Markdown so you can format text while writing, without even move your hand to your mouse.

Markdown gives you some control over size, but not by much. I like being able to play with font and sizing to get the look of sections just right. To be honest it’s not that much of a difference and I suspect some of my feelings are just because it’s the first time I’ve tried doing it this way. I think the biggest concern is the 10,000 character limit.

@holyfedi@lemmy.ml
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removed by mod

SudoDnfDashY
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Yeah. I would personally recommend using a website that you own, and then linking to in on Lemmy, but it is entirely possible to use Lemmy as a blog.

maxmoon
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What if I own the Lemmy instance?

I am still undecided about what the solution will be.

On the one hand a clean minimalistic and static blog is really good to read and on the other side, on Lemmy a discussion will start really fast and as an author of those “embedded blog articles on lemmy”, I can see discussions and can even react to them.

The only problem might be the design, which we already discussed here with nutomic.

There might be much more advantages to have a blog inside Lemmy, if it’s optimized for long reading…

I’ve wanted to make a mini-blog myself, seems like mastodon has a word limit that becomes a problem, so I looked into pleroma, and most pleroma instances have a 5000 character limit, which can be used for a blog-like page and has all the interactivity related features you desire, since its supposed to be like mastodon.

Hotman
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The word limit is a setting in the config files, admins can set it to whatever. Glitch-soc is a fork of Mastodon that even has an interface to set the character limit. I think I just put in 50.000 IIRC.

some mastodon servers have a higher character limit!

maxmoon
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Can you show me your Pleroma blog? After I saw a few Pleroma sites I just found it weird and inconvenient and then I read about the war about Alex Gleason (creator of the Pleroma fronted soapbox) and the Pleroma community, which I found really absurd. That’s why I went to Mastodon first.

I dont have a pleroma blog, I’m just saying that it does have a higher character limit, a much higher limit that may suit the needs for a mini blog. And its federated so mastodon users can also follow your account.

maxmoon
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oh, ok, so you stick with Mastodon and didn’t do a mini-blog at another place?

I didnt say that… All I said was that I was just recently looking for something exactly like you wanted and found that pleroma does that. That’s all I said dude

maxmoon
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oh, okay, thanks a lot.

@kujaw@lemmy.ml
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Maybe try Hubzilla.

@octt@feddit.it
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comments aren’t a thing with writefreely

What do you mean? You can look up any profile in the form of @blogname@writefreelyinstance.domain from apps like Mastodon, Friendica, etc…, see all posts, and comment regularly.
Is the fact that there’s no link or embed of the comment section at the bottom of the WriteFreely page that is bothering you, or am I not understanding?


On a side note: if you are really choosing how to build a blog (like it seems you are), and are not taking the first free managed hosting provider you come across…
I would think twice before using any server software instead of keeping your site static. Having a server software that’s more complex than simply serving static files will do more harm than good in the long run: more security flaws, you have to always keep the thing updated, higher resource usage, and hard to make your content survive the test of time (backing these things up is hard and when you do, you have a database file, not some plaintext ones)

maxmoon
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Please try to comment this blog article with any account (Mastodon, Pleroma, Friendica, etc). It will not be possible that I - as an author - can see those comments anywhere.

But maybe you’re right and those comments do exist, but I just don’t see them, because they just don’t appear under the blog article. But if they exist somewhere, can you tell me where they are and how to build them in to show them?

if you are really choosing how to build a blog (like it seems you are), and are not taking the first free managed hosting provider you come across…

I have values! The next best free hosting is just a no-go, because they are not free at all.

more security flaws, you have to always keep the thing updated

An update script as a cron job will solve this problem.

and hard to make your content survive the test of time (backing these things up is hard and when you do, you have a database file, not some plaintext ones)

Every root or v-server comes with a backup system, which works pretty good. The only thing what could get lost are some posts/comments, which were written between the last backup and now and breaking stuff is pretty rare too. I’ve never broke something on a server, except of a testing server, where I did Linux stuff and wrote a script, which accidentally deleted important stuff (but backup restored it within a few minutes).

You are absolutely right, that stuff can break and I just can’t upload my static website if something goes wrong. But currently I have a static website and it is pretty hard to reach out to people. I tried to post it on Mastodon, but it’s not the same. Interaction on Lemmy works much better and here are more deep and constructive discussions.

And the goal of my blog is to reach out to humans, to help them define and reach their goals and have a mindful way of thinking. The only utopify.org community is on Habitica, it has thousands of people, but no clue of them outside of Habitica. I could change it pretty fast.

vxnxnt
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if it is possible to restrict a group so only one person could post new articles

IIRC there’s a setting when creating a community for only mods to be able to post.

It would also be possible to write blog entries elsewhere and just post links to them on Lemmy.

maxmoon
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I forgot that cross-posting is possible this way too. But would it make sense this way or wouldn’t it be better to have all blog articles in one group and cross-posting outside the blog instance?

It somehow feels wrong to fragment a blog like this, but maybe I have still a 90s mentality in my head.

Hubzilla?

maxmoon
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Hubzilla

I tried to figure out what this is, but it was really hard. Okay on this page it was somehow explained in a good way.

But it feels really strange, because just looking for an instance (here or here) made me uncomfortable, because most of them just start with a login/register mask (example 1, example 2, example 3). Figuring out how to actually see content is inconvenient. You have to click on the small icon in the top right and choose “directories” (why?) and even this didn’t work in the beginning and I was just confused on how to actually read content.

Couldn’t they find a more complex way to provide content?

After I found an instance with actual content I felt even more inconvenient. Everything looks very clumsy, like a very old website. It’s hard to just read the head lines, because it shows a lot of every blog article, which makes it really hard to figure out what the blog is about. And I somehow can’t focus on one topic, I can only see all articles and may only expand the one I want to read more, but I couldn’t figure out how to open one article in one page and how do I even share a blog article if I can’t copy a direct link to it? Okay, there is a button “link to source” hidden in the options. But why so complex and why making the life of the user so hard?

I just don’t understand it :(

I really dont know much about it, but I use it for a wiki. Hubzilla seems a powerful machine, but apparentlycan be complex and cumbersome?. For me it was really easy to install through softaculous in my shared hosting. It has some neat concepts and architecture though

maxmoon
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I am really annoyed that it isn’t user friendly at all and I would say that’s why not many people would like to use it to read blog articles. It’s just too cumbersome.

Could be. I dont know. For me this far its been easy but havent used it much.

Mwalimu
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If that would be possible, how would you moderate comments, seeing how random things can get? Federating with only approved finstances (federated instance)? What if you keep your blog, then push every post you make there to your solo-community on a finstance? You can engineer your comment section on the blog to pint here or fetch the comments content from fediverse to your blog…

maxmoon
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If that would be possible, how would you moderate comments, seeing how random things can get?

I don’t know what you mean? If I am the admin of an instance or the moderator of a group, I could delete comments or is this just not possible?

Federating with only approved finstances (federated instance)?

Why doing this? Wouldn’t it be enough to block the illegal instances and those who are explicitly against your topics?

What if you keep your blog, then push every post you make there to your solo-community on a finstance? You can engineer your comment section on the blog to pint here or fetch the comments content from fediverse to your blog…

I am trying to be as green as possible. Having a blog on one server and the comments on another sounds like an inefficient way of using resources. Why not just put the articles where the comments are?

With Mastodon I had the same idea, that I will publish an article, post a link with short description on Mastodon and then use the Mastodon post as the comment section, then edit the blog article and put the link to Mastodon on the end of the article with a simple text link like “Comment section”.

But even this idea felt a bit odd and more unprofessional.

Lemmy looks like a really good solution to this atm.

Mwalimu
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I don’t know what you mean? If I am the admin of an instance or the moderator of a group, I could delete comments or is this just not possible? Some of the darkest side of the internet can rear its head and the gap between their posting and your deletion can be catastrophic.

Why doing this? Wouldn’t it be enough to block the illegal instances and those who are explicitly against your topics? You depend on the effectivness of admin rules of those other instances. Using an allow list or a block list has significant implication on spam.

please go ahead and test it, happy to help with testing if you ping me. It is a great idea which I also contemplated quite a lot.

Jakob
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I think, lemmy has good basics for such a blog.

Maybe someone will write a blog-specific frontend for lrmmy, as @nutomic (i think) adapted phpBBs design-frontend for lemmy to demonstrate how to build classical webforums with lemmy.

maxmoon
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Funny coincident: nutomic even wrote something about it here in this thread.

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