ActivityPub ftw

When I started this little blog, I wondered how anyone would find it. In the old days, you would do SEO so your posts show up in search. That involved writing little summaries of each post, making the links attractive to Google’s crawlers, posting a sitemap, linking to other blogs and soliciting linkbacks. Then later on, with Web 2.0, you would market your sites by building a “brand” on social media: setting up a Facebook page, boosting on Twitter, starting fights in the comments of YouTube videos, etc.

But Google search is now a hot mess, and LLM-generated content is about to make it even more useless than it is now, so I’m not even trying to play that game. And building a brand on algorithmic social media seems like a suicide mission. I figured it was more important to do the thing and then worry about finding readers later.

But I did stick it into the fediverse by activating an ActivityPub plugin, and the results have been surprising! I’ve consistently been getting thoughtful comments and boosts on every post, and the blog already has a couple dozen followers on Mastodon.

Huge caveat: I’m writing about very Mastodon-adjacent topics, like coding and LLMs. And at the moment, with only a couple million users on the fediverse, reach is certainly limited. But I’m starting to believe the ActivityPub protocol does indeed have the potential to restructure how people who write and read find each other on the open web, without any algorithmic intermediaries harvesting our attention for profit and fucking with us.

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