If I understand correctly, users of other fediverse things like Mastodon can follow lemmy communities (and users?) but the reverse is not currently possible. Would it not make sense for lemmy users to be able to subscribe to a hashtag or user on a mastodon instance?

comfy
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I’d like to suggest editing this post title to match the post, about subscribing to Mastodon hashtags or instances.

There is already some “interop with other fediverse platforms” possible, such as Friendica conversations and post rating and what appears to be an early work-in-progress channel viewing/subscription for PeerTube.

I think this idea makes sense for a link aggregator site such as Lemmy and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were already a future goal for the project.

It takes time because, even though the ActivityPub standard is just one standard, every platform adds their own spin on it and the data doesn’t match up exactly. It’s unfortunate but the flexibility of AP allows us to have youtube and instagram equivalents on the fedi.

@nutomic
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There is no previous work on Peertube compatibility, it just happens to use Groups for its channels, which Lemmy also uses for communities. Lemmy cant handle videos, but i might look into that.

Arthur Besse
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…and less than a month later, the new lemmy release allows following peertube channels!

thanks, @nutomic@lemmy.ml et al!

@nutomic
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Subscribing to hashtags doesnt really make sense. Activitypub groups (which Lemmy uses for communities) work by following an actor, and it then sends all new items to the follower. On the contrary, hashtags are displayed simply by taking all locally known posts which contain that hashtag. There is no way to follow anyone to get all new items for that hashtag, and no way to have moderators or a description for the hashtag, like we have for communities. Its just a very simple and primitive implementation that doesnt work with the data structures that Lemmy uses.

Liwott
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To put some context, all I’m saying is just from a user perspective, I have no idea about the difficulty to implement any of the ideas I am mentioning.

Note that Friendica allows to follow hashtags, so I’m wondering whether a similar thing can be done in Lemmy.

no way to have moderators or a description for the hashtag

This is true, and makes a hashtag more of a “de facto community”, different from the existing communities that are AP groups.

Maybe, rather than (or in addition to) their separate thing, it would make sense to have hashtags as a way to provide content to a given communities. Meaning that a community could subscribe to hashtags and automatically reshare the known posts carrying them.

@nutomic
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Sure, following hashtags can be done locally on an instance, but its not possible over the activitypub protocol. So it only makes sense if you follow users, and then show their posts with a hashtag as a kind of local search.

Liwott
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The extra comment in that FAQ

For technical reasons, your answers to such posts won’t appear on the “personal” tab in the network page and the whole thread isn’t accessible via the API.

seems to indicate that it is indeed not an actual follow in the AP sense. Note however that it does bring into my timeline posts from people which I don’t follow and which are on other instances.

So in Lemmy terms it seems that it is like searching the “All” timeline for the hashtag and including the resulting posts in the “subscribed” one. But of course the feature asked about by OP would involve that operation on a bigger “All” timeline that also includes toots.

Liwott
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Would it not make sense for lemmy users to be able to subscribe to a hashtag […] on a mastodon instance?

This would make sense, hashtags being a kind of community that goes beyond the boundaries of a single instance. This immadiately made me think about this thread from last year, maybe there’s still some fuel for thought there.

Would it not make sense for lemmy users to be able to subscribe to a […] user on a mastodon instance?

I think this is pretty much excluded by Lemmy’s design : people should engage in communities rather than following each other like VIPs.

Now, aside from following, it may be interesting to be able to treat a top-level toot like a post and participate in the thread (basically the way we see toot threads in Friendica).

This would also be interesting in principle with platforms like Peertube were top-level posts are artistic creations. Lemmy users would contribute to the actual comment section instead of having their discussions in their corners.

And now this raises the question of how to treat crossposts. More specifically, how would Peertube treat a crosspost in a Lemmy community. It may be interesting to have a drop-down option to “display comments from the … community” at the end of the regular comments.

Would it not make sense for lemmy users to be able to subscribe to a […] on a mastodon instance?

Let me mention a third kind of object : the groups that Mastodon is soon going to include. Similarly, Friendica has forums. Given the proximity in spirit with Lemmy communities, the interest of Lemmy users becoming able to follow them is quite obvious.

Personally I’d prefer a focus on growing the lemmy ecosystem, not diluting it.

@jackalope
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This grows the lemmy ecosystem by providing more content which is lacking.

I read this as a lemmy user being able to load mastodon based content into their feed which I don’t see as adding more public content. If importing masto content this could be managed via a bot perhaps.

Joe Bidet
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why?

Arthur Besse
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so that i could see posts from those places on my lemmy front page, the same way i see lemmy posts from other instances. i guess there would need to be some mapping of reblogs+favourites to upvotes for the algorithms here, but that seems straightforward enough.

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