There’s more to the Fediverse than trying to rejig your foregone twitter experience into Mastodon, indeed it is a party of distributed platforms. Given my love of photos, I’ve been casually exploring Pixelfed, the platform for photo sharing.

Not that I will ever tear away from my firm flickr love, but I was curious to see the connections and possibilities. While my main Fediverse channel is Mastodon, tooting along there as @cogdog or via the web address (a key fediverse skill is ping-ponging from @handle to URL and back).

I’d heard of Pixelfed while back, but was not seeing much to try there, until I read somewhere (in Mastodon), that one could create a Pixelfed account and login using a Mastodon account. That seemed easy to try, so I started at the main Pixelfed instance though like Mastodon, you have different instances to plant your photos in.

Indeed I created an account on the main ship, and tossed a few pictures in.

So I am on board as

A single post is a photo, with a caption, comments, like activity, and a handy overlay of a Creative Commons license (if selected to use). Nothing exotic, but also clean (and hover shows support for alt-text). One can also make collections of your own photos (example) and there is also a new portfolio feature to highlight your best stuff.

You can make a “post “with a single photo or up to 10 together (instagram-like), and stories that vanish (ditto). It seems to aim to be more IG like than flickr. Like Mastodon, you can follow accounts on different instances, follow a local timeline of photos, or a global one. There’s nice options to choose a default license, require alt-text, and more.

So that’s all fine and easy.

Where it gets interesting, is seeing the interfediversisness in action. In Mastodon, a Pixelfed account can be followed, as I have done by searching there for

So I will see all my photos posted to my new pixelfed account in Mastodon, see how the URLs get routed as

And any replies made in Mastodon, e.g.

show up in the pixelfed post for this photo. Everything is intertwingly, connected. And it works the other way too- in Pixelfed, I can search for and follow a Mastodon account, like @judell, where I can see a representation of just Mastodon posts where Jon has uploaded an image

Perhaps this just makes your brain spin and so something like Googling recursion but I found it rather beautifully connected.

Embedding Pixelfed Posts in WordPress

Last year I added to this WordPress site some custom code to enable the auto embedding of Mastodon posts just by pasting a url on a blank line. I wanted to see if I can do this for Pixelfed URLs, so let’s see if this works for the public share link for a photo say if I enter into a blank block (or embed block) this URL

Will it work?

Yes, it does! I wanted to make this so the pattern to match a pixelfed site need not be specified by a instance, so the pattern of an embeddable pixelfed URL is https://blah.instance/p/username/idstring

This is the basic code, but tweaking might be needed for CSS fit of the iframe:

If it is not too flawed, I can add this to my plugin that has a few more extra autoembed goodies.

This is just a first bit of play with pixelfed… I won’t be making it a primary photo home (especially with storage limits). I also am not quite as thrilled that pixelfed strips out all photo EXIF data (done to protect location info I understand, but it could be a bit more flexible to make that a choice).

I’d also like some ability to say automatically post to pixelfed, maybe through IFTTT, say flickr photos tagged with a marker tag –I made a few feeble attempts following the approach I use to post tagged pinboard posts to mastodon but could not get pixelfed to accept the incoming request.

If anything, this has been fun to tinker with.

Featured Image: Photo by @cogdog licensed under Public Domain (CC0) — that attribution was a direct copy/paste from pixelfed, woot!

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


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