First news organization to stand up its federated Mastodon server with a trustable domain (e.g. and accounts for its staff for people to follow gets a prize.

Also, proposal for a standardized domain for news orgs, e.g.,, and/or autodiscovery of a mastodon server for a parent domain e.g. a socialnetworks.txt

Hey @jkohlmann and friends, you're already on this, right? :)

@Danhon There already is autodiscovery for mastodon, mind. Standard is returning a 301 on requests to /.well-known/finger or something like that.

@twofirstnames Doh, of course there is! That makes a ton of sense :)

@twofirstnames @Danhon That seems like a very roundabout way to do what DNS SRV records are designed for.

You can add as many SRV records to your domain as you need, each pointing to a server (and port!) that hosts the service.

They also have a mechanism for specifying "priority" and "weight", for load balancing and failover.

@kadin @Danhon sure, though in this case web finger is a standard for asking ‘who is this person and where can I find them’, so keeping it in HTTP makes sense imo.

@Danhon looks like the DNS is not propagated in EU yet 😀

@AngelosArnis It was an example! AFAICT nobody has done this yet.

@Danhon As an occasional reporter I've been pushing for this for ages, I'd LOVE to see local news orgs get on this.

There was one aimed at journos, but it got taken over by anti-vaxxers, the usual.


@Danhon Substack, IMO, needs to implement this ASAP. As more journos retreat to Substack as they flee Birdsite, they're going to be behind a visibility wall.

If Substack just adds this to their offering, then I can still follow Aaron Rupar and Parker Molloy in addition to subscribing to their newsletters.

@vincent @Danhon

Substack and Buttondown can be followed through RSS and if Mastodon would allow follows through RSS, that'd be great.

Facebook, of all places, let you publish an RSS feed, and I think they killed it around the same time Google killed Reader.

@emma @vincent Hell, FB and Twitter used to have cross-posting integration.

@Danhon @emma @vincent

they got rid of it to control their separate herds 🤷‍♀️

@solder_on @Danhon @vincent

Oh definitely it was done with bad intent once they grew their user bases. But it is a good idea, and this isn't Nazi Space Boer or Baby Face No-Legs' site.

@emma @vincent @Danhon Mastodon actually /does/ have RSS. (just stick ".rss" on the end of someone's profile URL.) We actually feel a bit skeeved out that there's no way to turn it off.

@vincent @emma @Danhon Oh no not the /web/ link, the profile link! The one you get by right-clicking on your name or avatar image. That's the one other servers refer to you by, not the link that shows you in the web UI.

@vincent @emma @Danhon so like, take out the /web/ there and you should be good.

It'd've been more obvious with an offsite critter (as the web UI would still be a link).

@vincent @Danhon a lot of news orgs have figured out how to do securedrop, they could handle building a server instance (could likely dispense with hard iron in this case).

@carlmalamud @vincent If I were more enterprising/younger etc I'd have spun up a little company to do this...

@Danhon autodiscovery is already possible using a /.well-known/webfinger redirect I think

@toon I think that works for accounts / how the Mastodon server itself does autodiscovery, but not necessarily from a server to discover the Mastodon server domain itself. Unless I'm reading the docs wrong. I don't see a /.well-known/ redirect for activitypub.

Shorter: I think webfinger is just for users?

@Danhon it’s meant for users but a client could use it to find out the ActivityPub server and redirect to it’s homepage I guess. But you’re right

@Danhon the French media Numerama opened its own instance in 2019-2020, but closed it down because of the high price tag for an independent media. It was hosted on

@Danhon I like this idea... it sounds like a great use case for DNS records to indicate where clients can look for social network services.

@thaddeus Oh right, I forgot you can use DNS records to do this.

@Danhon I don't see the point in that, to be honest. Media companies setting up accounts for their stuff for the fediverse to follow? Don't get it.

@Danhon it's worth noting that Mastodon speaks ActivityPub, which means that news orgs may be able to publish to Mastodon from their existing CMS without running a Mastodon server.

My WordPress blog posts to Mastodon, but it doesn't *run* Mastodon. Not through a 3rd party bot, but by using the ActivityPub plugin to let people follow it in Mastodon.

@george publishing over ActivityPub still requires an account -- on a Mastodon server -- to publish to though, right?

@Danhon kind of. You need an account on *something* but it doesn’t have to be Mastodon.

@georgehotelling is WordPress. If you follow it you get new posts in your feed, that are sent out by the ActivityPub plugin.

You can follow PixelFed and PeerTube accounts on Mastodon, but they are running non-Masto apps and don’t require an extra Masto account for cross-posting

@george @georgehotelling oh duh, it's just Wordpress posting a feed itself. Got it.

@Danhon bingo. That's what excites me about Mastodon, ActivityPub, and the Fediverse. It's open and you can expose a *lot* of things through it.

It reminds me of RSS in the early days, and fills some of the gaps left by Google Reader.

@george @Danhon especially the "sharing a thing I found interesting" piece.

fwiw, there's one-way rss-to-activitypub converters, and @darius wrote one that seems to run as part of (

@rascalking @george @Danhon yeah. I used to let anyone put feeds on it but I ran into massive spam problems. But it's open source so in theory other people could run their own instance of it. (If you have a feed or two you'd like me to put there I'm happy to do so)

@george @Danhon
And if you're feeling nostalgic you can actually get RSS feeds out of the post streams on some #fediverse platforms! (#Mastodon for sure)

@Danhon @george My WP blog is its own ActivityPub instance. With my WP user name as user currently (which is why I don't really use it as it exposes non-obv user names). In practice I crosspost from WP to a separate Mastodon account, but none of that is really needed. WP can be its own instance.

@george @Danhon Hey george, what plugin do you use in wordpress for mastodon postings? I was using a social plugin for a while, but the developer went AWOL.

@Danhon @george When posts are added can you interact with replies? Or does that have to be done via this account?

@Jeff @Danhon I don’t think my replies in the comments show up on the Fediverse

@Danhon in a different world this could have been what The Verge did with its redesign. A feed that lives in their property (but also accessible everywhere as part of that bigger federated thing)

@atrvrs in today's newsletter, in "some reasons to do this"

"It’s your brand! You’re a new media techco and your whole thing is investing in the tech and CMS and so-on that lets you integrate everything together and your name starts with a V and ends in ox Media."

@Danhon we need to have a catch up call. In the mental health affirmation sense, I will admit to feeling a bit hurt/unseen/uncredited by the above thread, but if you're going to pursue this, or advise others to do so, I just spent the past ~4 years trying to do exactly this, so may have some helpful insights? ❤️

@Danhon you missed the rel=me verification built into mastodon - if you link the author's byline page on the website to the mastodon page and back, you get a green tick ✅ in the mastodon profile. This can also verify other non-mastodon urls.

@KevinMarks @Danhon can it be in a <head> element or does it need to be a regular anchor element in the body?

@fahrni yes! Though I'd argue you inherit more trust from an existing societally well-known org domain than bootstrapping from a new TLD.

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