[Osmf-talk] Possible Fedi/Masto usage | Re: The use of Free and Open Source Software in the OpenStreetMap Foundation - FOSS...

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Tue Feb 2 20:51:43 UTC 2021

FYI, en.osm.town uses the popular Mastodon software from https://masto.host. For features, you can look into what Mastodon does.

On Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:42, Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> wrote:
> As part of the CWG, we're considering this. The idea of ownership over 
> posts, and easily posting to multiple channels are good, allowing 
> people to read where they are (@openstreetmap has 74.5K followers on 
> Twitter). My questions here are about the experience, reliability and 
> dependencies.

The experience of Mastodon is consideribly better than Twitter (which on masto we refer to as “the hell site”). Masto (unlike Twitter) has many features that help marginalized people. It took insighting an armed amateur invasion of the US government session for Twitter to ban Donald Trump. The American Nazi Party had a twitter account until a few years ago. Masto is split into separate instances, which can have their own moderation rules & standards, and federation standards. Most masto servers are either Queers/LGBTQ* people or some FLOSS/Chaos people (or both! 🙂). Masto has content warnings, and anti-harassment features like no quote boosts (“retweets”), and only searching on hashtags, not plain text.

IME there is often much more, more kinder, interaction with people on Masto/Fedi. It's much more.. social. If you ask questions, people answer. People chat back.

Oh and it's open source, with open protocols, developed in the open by people who care, rather than VC funded.

> How do you set up syndication? Is that built into osm.town, or via another site?

Mastodon is an implementation of the ActivityPub protocol (aka “the fediverse”). Which is how the fediverse does syndication. It's fundamentally a syndication system! That's how status updates (“toots”) are sent to/from other servers & websites. Additionally, mastodon generates RSS feed for every user, which was build for syndicating (e.g. https://en.osm.town/@openstreetmap.rss )

Twitter, naturally, doesn't support federation, or syndication, like this. You need to use third party services, which you could self-host, which will post to/from both, a “cross-poster”. I currently use this https://crossposter.masto.donte.com.br/  (source: https://github.com/renatolond/mastodon-twitter-poster ). There is also https://moa.party/ .

Details on the Mastodon ⇄ Twitter crossposter, which should answer some of your questions: https://github.com/renatolond/mastodon-twitter-poster#features

> Does syndication automatically repost everything, or is another action 
> needed?

For the Mastodon ⇄ Twitter cross posting software above you can configure it to do (i) everything (ii) everything unless a hashtag/word is used, or (iii) only when certain hashtags/words are used

For my mastodon account, it only cross posts to twitter when there's a “#xp” hashtag https://en.osm.town/@rory and it only posts from twitter to mastodon for an #OpenStreetMap hashtag

> Why are some @openstreetmap tweets missing 
> from https://en.osm.town/@openstreetmap?

Because I was using a hacky script on my server that used a third party twitter RSS server that stopped working. 🙂 Probably because twitter doesn't like these things.

> Do tweets posted by syndication from osm.town look identical as if 
> posted directly in Twitter? Can you include photos? 

Twitter & Mastodon have different features. e.g. Twitter doesn't have content warnings, or custom emojis. Most fediverse software (incl. the mastodon on en.osm.town) support toots up to 500 characters. So pedantically, they can never be identical. 😉

Here's an example of a retweet, with a video, cross-posted to Mastodon:

Original tweet: https://twitter.com/lalonde/status/1352550184593600512
How it looks on Mastodon: https://en.osm.town/@rory/105598697175057947

> How do you @- someone on Twitter from osm.town? Retweet or reply to them?

Twitter hasn't implemented support for ActivityPub, or any other type of federated system like this, so you can't send them messages like this. On en.osm.town, you can send @mentions to any other servers on the fediverse.

> Is there a way to share an account on osm.town with a group of people, 
> to spread out responsibility for posting?

Alas, I pretty sure mastodon doesn't have this feature. You have to give everyone the password. I'm the admin of the en.osm.town, so if someone does change the password to do something dodgy, I can always step in and fix it. That should alleviate some concerns.

Does that answer your questions?

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