I am new to the Fediverse. I vaguely understand how Lemmy instances broadcast content to each other, but I was surprised to find Lemmy communities on kbin. How does that work? (kbin.social)

And it also seems that mastodon can also be "syndicated" to these other communities, and vice versa? Is that true?

Are there limitations to any of this?

Apologies if this is not the perfect place to ask this question. I'm a lost old man. :-)

mem_somerville_kbin avatar

My favorite thing was when I grasped what "microblog" was. It follows hashtags related to a community. So I want to see what is going on in , but it's too much to have all the random stuff in my feed. But I can check the m/Boston magazine and scroll around what's up on the microblog to catch up when I feel like it.

And I found out how to push my posts out to Mastodon.

I know it's still a work in progress, but I think it's kind of slick, really.

cegueta avatar

How can you push your posts to mastodon?

mem_somerville_kbin avatar

I have no idea if this is "officially" how to do it. But I followed my own kbin account with my Mastodon account. So anything I put here that is a "thread" category (links, photos, etc) get propagated to my Mastodon feed. So from there I could re-toot them. I haven't so far, but it would be easy.

But that also means if someone follows my kbin from Mastodon, they'll see those too. I think?

chuso avatar

Then wait until you find that you can follow Lemmy/kbin communities from Mastodon and comment on Lemmy/kbin posts from your Mastodon account 🤭

dandan avatar
TheTokingTurtle avatar

how do you do this?

jayrhacker avatar

Search for the user/community name you want.


Wait, say what! I’ve been here a week and just discovered. Truly the fediverse.


All fediverse software (lemmy, kin, mastodon, etc) implements their own version of ActivityPub in slightly different ways. There are cases where the overlap is enough to cross over (lemmy communities and kbin magazines), and some where it doesn't work/is wonky (lemmy users can't follow mastodon users).

There's a more in depth write up here if you're curious: https://overengineer.dev/blog/2019/01/13/activitypub-final-thoughts-one-year-later.html


Thank you for great info!

chuso avatar

Oh nice! How are you able to pull up mastodon users on Lemmy? I've never been able to get the search to work

EDIT: I found a mastodon.online user but don't have the option to follow. Someone let me in on the secret!

chuso avatar

I don't know so much about Lemmy. In kbin, you just search for the user address and it will show in the results.

That doesn't seem to be the case for Lemmy though and I don't know if Lemmy has any way to make search work this way, but you can always manually build the user profile URL in Lemmy the way I did: <lemmy_instance>/u/<user address>


It's times like this I wish ChatGPT was more up to date on all this lingo. Because I'm still scratching my brain about how things all interconnect. I'm sensing ActivityPub is like phpBB forum code back in the day with a modern twist.

Either way, I'm glad to find an alternative to reddit and see the system "fediverse?" start to grow.

I myself have blocked reddit at the router level to ensure I don't accidentally visit the site and give them any traffic - I haven't visited the site since the blackout started.


I don't know, but I'm commenting here because I also am still a little confused about how all of this works.

A_Chilean_Cyborg avatar


I'm answering your post from kbin, you can see Lemmy instances and communities from Kbin!


Lemmy, kbin, and Mastodon all speak the same underlying protocol -- ActivityPub. I've found that the best way to think of it is to compare it to email. If I send you an email from my gmail account to your outlook account, it just works (well, mostly, email is a bit of a mess lol) even though the two email clients look vastly different from each other. ActivityPub (and federated protocols in general) are like email, but for twitter/reddit.

There are some different message types (it wouldn't make sense to present twitter-like content in the context of a threaded forum like Reddit), and not all instance types support all the different message types. I'm using kbin (via kbin.social) and I can see Mastodon content, but I'm not sure if Lemmy has that ability.

Not sure if that was helpful, and I hope that others come and fact check me, but that's my understanding of it.

GoodKingElliot avatar

Thank you. That makes a lot of sense. I didn't know they spoke the same underlying protocol.
For fun and experimentation, I'm answering you from my Kbin account. I feel like a kid in a candy store playing with this new technology. Maybe Reddit's suicide-by-greed is not entirely a bad thing.


I agree. I'm sad at the loss of my 12 year account over there and all the information it had built up. I'm sad to lose my niche hobby communities (for now). Even with that, I'm really hopeful that federated social media will eventually take off. Now we just need to make sure that major corporate interests don't dig their gross claws into it (Meta is apparently making plans to do so).

aebrer avatar

I feel like Meta going into the fediverse shows that they can see the tide rising on decentralized social media. My main concern with the Meta instance is more about whether or not they'll support account migration.

To me, the killer feature of the fediverse is the account migration. (it's coming eventually to kbin)

Sure it's nice (actually awesome) to see content from so many diverse communities... But the killer app is being able to move to a new server when you need to and get your followers to automatically follow you at the new location. This prevents enshittification to a large degree, because there's no lock-in network effects.



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  • aebrer,
    aebrer avatar

    My real hope is that it supports migration from Masto instances, because I have followers there that I'd rather have here since I like the UX better



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  • aebrer,
    aebrer avatar

    I've seen some cool discussions about decentralized identity and how it can be handled, but that's probably still a future goal, not likely in the immediate future

    I'm way over my head at this point though

    Still, it's fun so far even while it's still under such heavy development, so I'm just vibing


    Get really wild. Try answering from Calckey, or Friendica. Or see if you can follow a PeerTube channel.

    mycus avatar

    Wanna try something crazy? Go to a mastodon instance like this one and put @asklemmy@lemmy.ml on the searchbar there.

    or do the inverse, look for someone local to mastodon, like @stux@mstdn.social and search in our searchbar. Result.

    I think this works even for unfederated things, then by doing that you end up federating them to the whole server.

    edit: I say this because sometimes I tried searching for something/someone specific on another domain and nothing came up :S

    VeeSilverball avatar

    To get the initial federation going, some kind of "subscribing" action has to take place, e.g. following a user.

    cegueta avatar

    I heard about it but I don't understand how. When I look for a community of lemmy on mastodon, it appears empty ( no post ), but I can see that there are people following it.

    @ninboy@mastodon.social avatar

    @GoodKingElliot @GoodKingElliot @Badabinski and as well some answers from Mastodon. ActivityPub looking more attractive every day.


    What is really cool is that you can mix and match features, like if you follow a Mastodon user on Misskey and vice versa, the Mastodon user can see the Misskey users full 5000 character post, even though Mastodon is limited to 500 chars.

    @Zamboniman@lemmy.ca avatar

    Yes, that is one of the features of being federated. Kbin and Lemmy and Mastadon (and others) can all federate with each other, so posts and comments are all shared. It doesn't really matter if you're on Kbin or Lemmy, you can see the same communities/magazines and comments for the most part, and interact regardless of which one you are currently logged in to.

    @GoodKingElliot@feddit.uk avatar

    Well, my understanding is that email is federated, and SMS text messages are federated, but it isn't easy to email a phone number, or send a text to someone's email. So I'm surprised that Kbin and Lemmy can talk to each other.

    But I see someone else answered that Lemmy, Kbin, and Mastodon all speak the same underlying protocol, ActivityPub. Now it's starting to make sense.

    Zamboniman avatar

    Glad it's starting to make sense. And notice here that instead of replying on Lemmy, from my lemmy.ca account I am replying from Kbin, on my kbin.social account.


    I think your example of email and SMS messages is a good analogy... Just because they can talk to each other doesn't mean the presentation is always correct. For example I'm on Lemmy, and I have seen replies by people on Mastodon in these threads. However the Mastodon replies have a different formatting so you will see the leading @user1 @user2 types stuff on those replies which really stands out when you're reading from a threaded interface. And I can't imagine how you would navigate through a lemmy/kbin post while using Mastodon.

    So yes, you could get to everything from a single user account, but I find it better to still have different accounts on Lemmy and Mastodon just to make it easier to view things in the intended presentation method. Maybe some day there will be flags embedded in each post so that one interface knows how to properly format what you are reading, we're just not there yet.

    aebrer avatar

    Great take, and honestly I'm so excited to see what the future holds for development of new features, UX, and new paradigms on ActivityPub

    Hard to imagine what this will all look like five years from now, but after seeing how it's grown over the last year alone I'm very excited

    (Also a plug for a growing community: kbin/m/genart for generative art of all kinds at all levels, if you like genart come hang out!)

    GeekFTW avatar

    but it isn't easy to email a phone number,

    Mildly off topic, and showing my age a bit on this one but it 100% is easy, as long as the telco in question supports it.

    I used to be with Koodo up here in Canada (albeit this was years ago) and the ability to send/receive emails via your phone number was trivial. Literally could email 5555555555[AT]msg.koodomobile.com and it would be received, and when you reply the other side gets the email reply.

    Whether companies still do this on the other hand, is the question (that no one asked lol).

    @LinkOpensChest_wav@lemmy.one avatar

    I think text to email is pretty universally supported. I work with clients who text my email address, and as far as I can recall I've always received the messages and been able to reply.


    It's still a thing. At least with Gmail accounts:



    And you need to use the google messaging app on your phone. It probably bypasses texting and goes straight to the internet.

    Rhaedas avatar

    I remember seeing that as well in the US, but I think it was just too early in the internet phase and too odd to catch on. Then once smartphones became a thing it was pointless.


    Yeah, however I think this doesn't mean email and sms share the same protocol like kbin and Lemmy. I am guessing that the service provider (koodo in this case) is serving as a relay, basically people email koodo, and koodo forward that email to your phone.


    This is how I got ringtones I made onto my phone. I'd just attach the .wav file to my email and it would show up as an MMS.

    @Tigwyk@lemmy.vrchat-dev.tech avatar

    It's easier if you imagine that kbin and Lemmy are simply the underlying email servers in this analogy and the email itself (content) is what's happening across the ActivityPub protocol.

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