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WordPress and ActivityPub

I’m pretty excited about Automattic’s acquisition of Matthias Pfefferle’s ActivityPub plugin. I believe it will remain open source, but by acquiring the copyright to the code and hiring its developer to work on open web projects, Automattic is sending a signal about what it considers to be important.

The federated social web - here I’m talking about the idea, not specific protocols - has the potential to replace the building blocks of version one blogging. It covers subscriptions, comments / replies, notifications, and other interactivity in a way that pure website comments and trackbacks could not. ActivityStreams is potentially also an iteration on RSS, albeit not one that makes RSS obsolete. Making these technologies easily available to over a third of the web is a big deal.

These are ideas that federated social web communities, the indieweb, and others have been working on for a very long time. There are a plurality of solutions right now - and more importantly, a plurality of communities who are excited about the prospects. While startupland is going through some turbulence at the hands of mass layoffs and bank implosions, I’d go so far as to say that we might be heading into a new golden age for the web.

Check out the ActivityPub WordPress plugin - and while you’re at it, check out other plugins Matthias has worked on, including IndieWeb, Webmention, and WebSub.

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