Feedback needed: Connecting Totentanz with the Fediverse

Hello everyone,

We’ve been dropping hints here and there about our plans to connect this board with the Fediverse. Now, we’re at a point where we can make it happen, but before we take the leap, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Currently, this feature is in its testing phase and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you might find on platforms like Lemmy or Kbin. What this means is that our posts can be visible in the Fediverse, but users from the Fediverse won’t be able to interact with us just yet. This limitation stems from the fact that the feature is set up as a “group,” and only users within the group can engage with it. And, of course, that group includes all of you who are currently logged in here.

So, what do you think? Would you like us to go ahead with this integration, even in its current state, or would you prefer we wait until it’s more polished and feature-rich?

Your feedback matters, so please share your thoughts!

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Can you explain “won’t be able to interact” a bit more? Why connect our posts if no one can interact with them? If a post we make here leads to an interesting and deep discussion somewhere else, do we have no way of knowing?

I feel like the entire reason for connecting with the Fediverse is to have the interaction. Otherwise, why not just use an RSS feed instead?

There is currently a plugin which is in a test phase for the system here. This can only send posts that we write here to a Fediverse group.

I am not 100% sure if replies from “strangers” are already displayed. We could try it with a test category.

I was wondering if this was gonna happen.

TL;DR - sure, let’s try it. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen? :smile:

My understanding is that the way that this would work at present would be that someone would make a post, and that would get federated to a Totentanz group that we could follow on our fedi client of choice. So whenever someone makes a post or comment here, it goes to that group and we see it wherever we’re interacting with the group. However, if someone posts back to that fedi group, say to comment on a story, that interaction doesn’t get pushed back here and applied to the post thread (yet). Do I have this right?

So if we implement this now as-is, I can see a Totentanz post having two separate comment threads that aren’t related: one here and one in the fedi group. That seems a little disjointed to me and means that now instead of just monitoring one space, I will need to monitor two in order to make sure I don’t miss anything.

If this helps clarify my thoughts, here’s my personal use-case for a Totentanz federation feature:

  • Create longer-form posts and replies on Totentanz
  • Primarily use the Totentanz web UI whenever I’m on a laptop or desktop
  • Use the fedi group via Mastodon or IceShrimp to receive notifications of new posts, comments, etc. while on mobile
  • Use mastodon for short replies to existing posts while on mobile

I don’t think I’d create posts from a fedi source unless it supported categories (and whatever I was posting about was short because I don’t like typing out long missives on my phone). But I would want to see any interactions from the fedi eventually make it back into the reply chain for a Totentanz post to keep it all in one place.

And there’s something to be said for having a closed, separated community that isn’t federated. Requiring someone to be a registered user of Totentanz in order to interact with content might make the admin/mod job easier if they’re not constantly having to deal with fedi randos, and allows us to keep the community aligned with our values, themes, aesthetics, etc. Of course, that also limits the reach and interaction with posts here, which may not be what the majority of users want, and also borders on the realm of gatekeeping by exclusion, which none of us really want (I don’t think).

ANYHOO… with all that in mind, I’d say let’s give it a try as-is and see how it works or doesn’t work as the case may be. If it doesn’t work very well and people aren’t happy with it, we can always turn it off until 2-way interaction is supported. And having Totentanz federated would be an easier way to expose it to the masses and encourage people to sign in to post (membership has its privileges). I like the idea of seeing something from Totentanz showing up in the fedi and being able to retoot or boost it so that others see it as well that are outside the current Totentanz user base. It’s essentially implementing @brokenarc’s suggestion of an RSS feed in a fedi frame of mind.

There’s my 4 cents - you got 2 extra cents in there because I’m feeling especially chatty today.

@SynAck articulated my biggest concern: I might have to follow two disjoint threads of the same conversation, one on Tontentanz and one on Mastodon.

What is the desired outcome of adding this functionality? That would allow us to give more meaningful feedback.


I don’t think it’ll impact me either was so I’ll stand aside on this one.

I get ocassional (weekly?) emails about new posts, and then I switch to a browser to see what’s happening, which works well for me. So I won’t see any comments from the fediverse until the software has bidirectional support.

The only thing I’d like to request is that it be clear to the fediverse users that the author will not see their replies. I get very disappointed when I take the time to respond to someone only to later find out that it was a cross posting and they never see anyone’s responses.


I feel like there isn’t much point if they can’t interact with us here from there, but there’s also no harm in doing it. I don’t think it’ll split up the conversation too badly, and people who are interested might even come here!

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Wow, I really appreciate all the feedback, everyone! :blush:

Just to clarify, we’re patiently awaiting the plugin’s completion and its transition out of the alpha phase, correct? :smile:

It might still be a little while before it’s fully ready.

By the way, my main concern is that as admins/mods, we currently don’t seem to have the ability to moderate external comments. I hope this can be addressed in the future! :sweat_smile:

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