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  • Doug Belshaw 7:27 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mastodon, theme, Twitter   

    Halcyon makes Mastodon look and feel like Twitter 

    For the last seven weeks or so, I’ve been off Twitter and instead been using Mastodon, an open source, decentralised social network. One of the great things about this is that, like the Linux laptop I’m typing this on, it can be configured to my heart’s content.

    While there’s a ‘default’ way that Mastodon looks (which depends on which instance you’ve signed up to), you can a plethora of apps and web views to customise your experience. In this way, it’s like Twitter was in the early days. The difference being there’s no company in the middle looking for an IPO and therefore shutting down ‘competition’.

    I’m signed up to social.coop, an instance of Mastodon for those interesting in co-operatives, and which practices what it preaches; members pay to co-own the instance and have voting rights. You can find me at social.coop/@dajbelshaw. Here’s what it looks like for me normally:

    Default social.coop layout

    Today I discovered Halcyon, which allows you to login with your federated Mastodon credentials. You’re then presented with an interface that closely resembles Twitter’s web interface:


    This is familiar, but I’m in two minds whether it’s a ‘good thing’ or not. On the one hand, it’s great to have things that are easy to use and don’t have a steep learning curve. On the other, it’s so close to Twitter that it might be difficult for people to understand the difference. They might just write off Mastodon as a Twitter clone where less of the their network are. That would be as shame.

  • Doug Belshaw 1:12 pm on May 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , IFTTT, Mastodon   

    HOWTO: Send 'boosted' toots from Mastodon to Pinboard 

    IFTTT recipes

    One of the wonderful things about the web is being able to automate certain actions. Something I find particularly useful with Twitter is being able to use IFTTT to automatically send anything I favourite that contains a link to my Pinboard bookmarks.

    I’m experimenting with Mastodon this month, and so wanted something similar. I think I’ve found an imperfect, but usable, solution. The equivalent of ‘retweeting’ in Mastodon is ‘boosting’. When you boost something, this shows up on your timeline for other people to see — that’s the whole point of it.

    As each user profile in Mastodon has its own Atom feed (like RSS) then you can use this to automatically run your Mastodon updates through IFTTT, and pull out any boosted toots. You can search for a particular string. In this case it’s ‘shared a status’. I’ve put together a three-step process on how to do this below.

    A) Find your Atom feed

    The location of the feed you require is in the format: instance/users/username.atom. That means mine is https://mastodon.cloud/users/dajbelshaw.atom.

    B) Create an IFTTT applet

    A straightforward process, if you follow these steps:

    1. Go to IFTTT, click on your username and in the drop-down select New Applet
    2. Click on this in the sentence that pops up (‘if this then that’)
    3. Search for RSS and select that option
    4. Select New feed item matches
    5. In the ‘Keyword or simple phrase (required)’ box enter shared a status and then in the ‘Feed URL (required)’ enter your Atom feed from Step A.
    6. Press Create trigger
    7. Click on that in the sentence that pops up (‘if this then that’)
    8. Search for Pinboard and select that option
    9. Select Add a public bookmark (if that’s what you want to do – your choice!)
    10. Leave the ‘URL (required)’ box alone, add/remove any tags you want in the ‘Tags’ box, and then delete everything in the ‘Description’ box and click ‘Add ingredient’. Select EntryContent and then press the Create action button.

    C) Check it’s working

    Go to Mastodon and boost someone’s toot, preferably containing a link. If you wait a while (these things are never instantaneous) you should see in your Pinboard bookmarks the details of the toot you just boosted!

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