The Rogue Scholar science blogging archive joined the fediverse in August of last year. This week I want to report on an updated strategy for Rogue Scholar, and what it means for science blogs participating in Rogue Scholar.
The fediverse is a collection of community-owned, ad-free, decentralised, and privacy-centric social networks.
To the Fediverse!
In August I launched a Mastodon instance at Rogue Scholar Social that accepted Science Blog bots as accounts, (semi-)automatically publishing summaries of blog posts via Rogue Scholar. The idea was to help increase the visibility of participating science blogs and foster a discussion around interesting blog posts.
From the beginning, it was clear that many science blogs or bloggers already had a presence in the fediverse, or preferred a human over a bot. In the following months, the Wordpress ActivityPub Plugin evolved with support in all Wordpress.com plans in October and a version 2.0 released this January. Wordpress is the most common blogging platform on Rogue Scholar with currently 40% of participating blogs using it. Other blogging platforms (e.g. Write.as or micro.blog) also had or improved fediverse support, and I hope other blogging platforms follow, including Ghost used by this blog.
These developments and the overall momentum behind fediverse adoption (Threads, Flipboard) means that going forward federation via the ActivityPub protocol is probably best done by the blogs themselves, rather than Rogue Scholar. For these reasons, I will retire the Rogue Scholar Mastodon server on March 31 and will help migrate accounts to other fediverse instances.
As of today the Mastodon account for the Rogue Scholar service itself can be found at https://wisskomm.social/@rogue_scholar. My personal Mastodon account continues to be at https://mozilla.social/@martin. Also as of today, blogs participating in Rogue Scholar can add their Mastodon (or rather ActivityPub) instance to their account settings
This setting shows up on the public Rogue Scholar page for the blog, making it easy to follow the fediverse accounts for these blogs:
I encourage all blogs participating in Rogue Scholar to add their fediverse accounts to the Rogue Scholar settings. The work done last year on Rogue Scholar fediverse integration also includes automatically generated summaries and link extraction for feature images, plus of course the use of DOIs for persistent identification of blog posts. All this continues to be helpful for generating social media posts going forward.
Fenner, M. (2023). Rogue scholar joins the fediverse. Front Matter. https://doi.org/10.53731/f1mhr-wps22