Can’t believe it, but it has been nearly 4 years since we added ActivityPub support to Micro.blog. In that time, we’ve made some tweaks and bug fixes to it, but it has remained largely unchanged until today. If you were using a custom domain name for your blog, anyone on Mastodon could follow you, and you could follow anyone on other Mastodon servers.
Back then I blogged about why using custom domain names was important:
Sometimes in the Mastodon world your identity can get fragmented across multiple instances. You might start on mastodon.social but then move to another instance, effectively breaking the link between your readers and your posts each time you move, with no way to migrate posts between instances. By supporting Mastodon and ActivityPub in Micro.blog, you can consolidate your identity and posts back to your own blog at your own domain name.
There is a downside to this approach, though, and it has become more clear over the years. Because not everyone on Micro.blog has ActivityPub enabled, following users and replying often felt incomplete. To fix this, we are moving to enable ActivityPub by default for new Micro.blog users, and allowing it even if you aren’t using your own custom domain. We’re also improving conversations so they aren’t so disjointed, with Micro.blog now pulling in additional replies from Mastodon if needed.
If there’s no custom domain, what does the Mastodon-compatible username look like? @firstname.lastname@example.org of course! In this way, Micro.blog looks a lot more like another Mastodon instance, but an instance that also has a full suite of blogging features, IndieWeb protocols, and everything else we’ve been building for years.
It’s now easier to reset your Mastodon-compatible username too, for example when changing your domain name, or when moving from @email@example.com to @firstname.lastname@example.org. Mastodon itself has also added features to ease migration, and that’s something we’ll be looking at supporting.
In the future, we may do more to encourage everyone to enable ActivityPub on their Micro.blog account. For now, if you’d like to enable it, just head over to the Account page and click the “Set Mastodon-compatible Username” button.