Where do comments land, if they are from the Fediverse?

The comments stay in Mastodon.

Yes, but the comments would immediately be garbage data, because no one can read it. They land in the void… only using space in a database.

What’s the point in commenting something, if no one can see it (not even the author)?

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This is how it was implemented right from the start. I don’t see any documentation that said Fediverse comments would show up as part of the blog post. So, this is just how it works right now.

My guess is that the intention was for conversation to take place in the Fediverse via the built-in comments system, as opposed to taking place as part of the blog post. Depending on who you ask, this is a good thing or a bad thing.


Anybody who reads about the fediverse and wants to try it, would say it is broken, after commenting on a writefreely blog article with another fediverse account.

It is just the intuitive way to use the fediverse. I can comment from a Mastodon account on a post of a Pleroma account or on a video of a peertube account and the owner of the post or video will see it (except I am or the instance I am on is blocked).

I really don’t understand why writefreely just doesn’t do it?

For me it’s definitely a bug or just a not/wrong implemented feature.

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I absolutely want to support comments from the fediverse within Write.as / WriteFreely. You’re right that they shouldn’t just stay within Mastodon, as they do. I just want to be more thoughtful about it, and try to do something more than simple replies.

To answer your question, you can often see replies to your posts by looking up your post within Mastodon.

But I think a better way for replies would be for blog authors to have control over who comments on their posts, and/or determine how those comments are publicized on their own web space, that is their blog. It also needs to be accessible to people who don’t have a fediverse account – because they could just as easily say it’s a “bug” if they can’t reply.

It takes time to design and build with all these concerns in mind, which is why you don’t see it yet. We’ll get there, but especially with me as the sole person contributing any new features, you can’t expect them to appear immediately.

Appreciate your feedback, and you’ll see better support for fediverse replies in the future.


Wow, okay, I didn’t know that. The project looks much bigger than that. You definitely do a lot of good work.

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I am still trying to figure out a good way to manage writefreely comments on blog articles in the fediverse.

Because there isn’t a user interface, I don’t get notifications if new comments come in and can’t comment with my writefreely account.

My current way is to check every now and then every article on Mastodon, like this one (Attention! If you’re not logged in, you will automatically be redirected to the writefreely blog article).

But it looks like this:

The problem with it is, that it will take a lot of time the more articles you publish.

It would be very handy if a little notification in writefreely would show new comments.

I am not a Go programmer, but how long would it take to learn Go and implement a comment section under the blog articles and a small notification system to be informed of new comments and to be able to comment with your writefreely account? (Just curious how much work and time would consume).

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

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There’s a good amount of work involved. There’s accepting fediverse comments and storing them, then allowing some kind of reply functionality within the WriteFreely UI and storing those, sending them out via ActivityPub, and displaying them.

There’s also moderation to think about – since these comments would be displayed publicly on your blog, you’ll want to be able to remove any spam / abusive posts, and let other users do that if you have a multi-user instance. That’ll need an extra moderation interface, and/or rules around whether comments are allowed.

Notifications need to be stored, need an interface (which might conflict with our “minimal” design), and then be connected to a mail system to send out an email when you get a new reply. Though this could leverage the stuff being implemented with email subscriptions.

I’d mention another workaround: when you create a blog post, mention your personal Mastodon account. Then when people reply, they’ll also reply to that account, where you’ll get a notification. For example, I might put this in my WF post:

Reply to this in the fediverse: @matt@writing.exchange

To add to Matt’s post, you can also automate the addition of your Fediverse handle by including it in your Signature. So every post would automatically have your Fediverse handle and you would get notifications when somebody comments on your post.

I would also like to mention another suggestion. Instead of the blog posts showing up under the blog’s Fediverse account, why not simply post it under your own Fediverse account? To do so, you can simply copy paste the url after publishing. Or you can try to streamline it, by adding a button at the bottom of your post to share to the Fediverse, then you simply click that after publishing your post and share. I have a similar one on my sites, but it is for sharing to Facebook. It is only visible when I’m logged in, so readers of the site wouldn’t even see it.

I know that kinda defeats the purpose of the blog itself having an account that auto posts to the Fediverse. But if it is not working for you, gotta try out of the box solutions.

Lastly, with how affordable the Write.as pro plan is, have you considered using a third party comments provider, like Hyvor Talk? I use it on some of my sites and it exists alongside the Remark.as feature that you get from the Write.as pro plan.


It looks like this feature would completely destroy what writefreely stands for. Having a feature like this would make it bloatware somehow (at least it sounds like this).

This sounds promising. Will this still work if the @ address to the mastodon site will be a link in the text? [EDIT: I figured out writefreely is creating a link automatically if the @ notation is used]

I would put the @ address in the signature, like @dino mentioned it.

Will any @ address be recognized and notified? Because if I write a blog article and mention other fediverse accounts, I might shouldn’t use the @ notation to avoid spamming.

Sorry, I didn’t understand what you wrote there. If I understood it, then you mention to replace the user of the writefreely instance with another user of the fediverse (mastodon) to get notifications and be able to comment on other comments. Wouldn’t be the @ notation better?

Not anymore, I once had a third party comments provider (Disqusting or similar name), which I used in my first blog with wordpress. It was really bad, because it was like adding spyware to your website. And spying on your visitors just feels bad.

Thanks a lot for this nice discussion and helping me out. :slight_smile:

If you’re fine with using the “@ notation” approach, then you can disregard that other option.

Glad to be of help.

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me thinking out loud here, but what about a shortlink within Remark.as for just the account holder to see “Fedi replies here” within R.a, and then they, the account holder, could click and open the Masto post itself?

Not sure if this is possible/practical, but I figure there is some way of doing it.

Just my two cents :slight_smile:

I changed the signature of my blog paolo@journal.paoloamoroso.com to include my Mastodon account amoroso@fosstodon.org and published a new post. However, when on Mastodon I reply as amoroso@fosstodon.org to the Fediverse post by paolo@journal.paoloamoroso.com Write.as generated, the only handle included in the reply is paolo@journal.paoloamoroso.com

I expected amoroso@fosstodon.org to be in the reply too: what am I missing?

I forgot to mention that, when the blog post was published, I did get a @mention in my amoroso@fosstodon.org account, but amoroso@fosstodon.org doesn’t show up anywhere in the toot.

I published another blog post and replying from Mastodon to the Fediverse toot by Write.as still doesn’t include amoroso@fosstodon.org even if that account got a notification.

I’ve also found that editing and saving an old post blog publishes another Fediverse toot, again generating a Mastodon notification but without amoroso@fosstodon.org if replying from Mastodon.

I thought that was how it worked before. I have a feeling that since you’re replying using the amoroso@fosstodon.org account, that the handle is no longer getting included in the reply.

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Thanks, makes sense but @amoroso@fosstodon.org is the only Mastodon account I have for testing.

From the Fediverse, can you please try replying to one of the latest couple of posts by @paolo@journal.paoloamoroso.com, so that I can check what happens at @amoroso@fosstodon.com?

I had a friend reply from Mastodon to both accounts, i.e. the defauit, but I received no notifications at @amoroso@fosstodon.org.


Never mind, my friend’s reply did arrive a few hours later. I can fully view, reply to, and interact with the reply toot on Mastodon from @amoroso@fosstodon.com.

I’m posting an update here instead of creating a new post as this Discourse server doesn’t let me publish 3 replies by me in a row.


This is a thought that may have come up already, but how about consulting with the developers of either Peertube or ActivityPub for WordPress as they both may have relevant knowledge to implementing this (or at least, the ActivityPub side of this)?


fwiw, i also see the benefit for comments. i want to make a “news-like” site (think small, single-topic news) that is fediverse-connected. however, i would want the reader/community to have opportunity to comment on articles. otherwise, i would be installing writefreely at this moment. as such, i am looking elsewhere. (most fediverse software seems too noisy and non-article-like. blech.)

i totally feel for you as the main/only developer. (i have similar projects!) but still wanted to put in my (sympathetic) vote for comments. :smile: