EnglishMobster, (edited )
EnglishMobster avatar

tl;dr: It's Mastodon. You can use Mastodon from Kbin.

The Microblog tab shows posts from Kbin + Mastodon, just like how the Threads tab shows posts from Kbin + Lemmy. So if you have people you like on Mastodon, search for them using the little magnifying glass and then follow them from Kbin. Their posts will appear in the Microblog tab.

Additionally, if people on Mastodon use a for something, it'll automatically be sorted in magazines that care about that hashtag. This means if you follow someone and that person uses a hashtag, their post will be placed in the "Microblog" tab of whatever magazine relates to that hashtag. This allows other people to discover the person you're following through shared interests.

For example, the Internet Archive has a Mastodon account - @internetarchive. The Internet Archive used their Mastodon account to make a toot on Mastodon: https://mastodon.archive.org/@internetarchive/110611348840969515

Because people are following the @internetarchive account from Kbin (which you can do by going here or by searching Kbin for their username, @internetarchive@mastodon.archive.org), that post was federated here to Kbin. Once it showed up, it appeared in the "Microblog" tab and got automatically organized into Kbin's @Futurology magazine because it used the hashtag : https://kbin.social/m/Futurology/p/565801/Exciting-news-Introducing-ARCH-Archives-Research-Compute-Hub-a

Magazine moderators determine what hashtags they want included in their magazine - so @Futurology has said "We would like all posts with to show up in our microblog section". (You can go to @Futurology directly to see what hashtags the mod team thinks are relevant.)

If no hashtags are used on a post (or none of them match any magazines), then it goes to the magazine @random.

Wanna write a tweet/toot from right here on Kbin? Put it in a microblog. Use to organize it into a magazine, or use the dropdown on Kbin to pick a magazine manually.

People can follow your Kbin profile from Mastodon. They'll see microblogs as a Mastodon toot, and "boosts" as basically Mastodon's version of retweets. People on Lemmy don't see boosts, but will see microblogs as a "normal" Lemmy post (since Lemmy doesn't have a "microblog" tab).

For example. I made this post to the Microblog here on Kbin: https://kbin.social/m/Disneyland/p/510705

I made it from the main "microblogs" tab, but it used the hashtag . @Disneyland listens to that hashtag, so Kbin automatically put it there: https://kbin.social/m/Disneyland/p/510705/Went-to-Disneyland-over-the-weekend-and-went-on-RunawayRailway

If you go to Mastodon, you'll see it as a normal toot: https://sunny.garden/@EnglishMobster@kbin.social/110587107756032019

If you go to Lemmy, you'll see that microblog as a Reddit-like post: https://lemmy.world/post/418494?scrollToComments=true

(Note that it seems things which come from Mastodon don't get automatically sent to Lemmy - just microblogs from Kbin itself. That Internet Archive post I mentioned above doesn't seem to exist on Lemmy.world.)

This behavior is one of the main reasons why I chose Kbin over Lemmy; I love that I can post once and have my stuff federated everywhere else super cleanly and easily. Lemmy is a bit more messy when it comes to Lemmy -> Mastodon and the devs aren't interested in changing how it works (I asked before I came over here).

Ernest seems really invested in playing to the strengths of the fediverse, and the Kbin roadmap has him planning to integrate more fediverse services in the future. For example, Mobilizon support is planned, which is like a group calendar on the fediverse.

If @Starwars wanted to have a watch party for a new episode of The Mandalorian, they could (theoretically) schedule an event on Mobilizon and have it federate to their magazine as a normal thread. Then they could (theoretically) pin the Mobilizon thread and use the comment section of the event as a Kbin megathread when the episode airs. See https://demo.mobilizon.org/ and imagine it being part of Kbin, just as Lemmy and Mastodon are "part of Kbin."


Wow, nice write-up.

I've needed something with this level of detail for a couple of weeks or so now to get my head around exactly how this fits together.

I knew the broad strokes but not the details.

I'll be saving this, it's a great primer reference.

buffaloseven avatar

This is a great explanation; I've been a Mastodon user about 6 months now and was having trouble figuring it all out. One question: is there a way on /kbin to see just the users I've clicked "follow" on? Or is it all doled out into magazines based on tags or random?

EnglishMobster, (edited )
EnglishMobster avatar

Yeah - if you go to your profile and click on "following" you can see it. I believe you can also see other's lists who they follow - here's mine: https://kbin.social/u/EnglishMobster/following

Part of who I follow are people I'd normally follow on Mastodon; another part are people who frequently use hashtags that I'm interested in (like #ModelTrains) and I want to see their stuff in magazines like @modeltrains.

Note that if you follow a Kbin user, I believe you'll see posts they make across the fediverse in your "subscriptions" feed, even if you aren't subscribed to that magazine. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of that, but I suppose it makes sense. (People you follow who use Mastodon only seem to pop up in the "microblog" section.)

stochastictrebuchet avatar

This is excellent. Thank you! I genuinely didn’t get it until reading your reply. In fact, I was thinking of posting a meme along the lines of ‘I don’t understand how the microblog feature works and at this point I’m too afraid to ask’. No need anymore.

Now all I DO need is a way to save/bookmark posts for future reference.


I use "Boost" for that purpose, right now. Agreed though, I would love a save feature.

@Kotking@mastodon.social avatar

@EnglishMobster @Hondolor @internetarchive Right now Kbin have some issues so even if you post in Microblog under #Kbin to #Mastodon it won't show up on Mastodon side but #Mastodon toot to #Kbin magazine works as you mentioned. Here Example of my doing #Marknights from Mastodon https://mastodon.social/tags/marknights and from kbin https://kbin.social/search?q=%23marknights . Soo it's great thing but we are early in development so people try to adapt but don't question why it's not working yet.

EnglishMobster avatar

Works fine for me? I even gave a link in my first post to a Kbin link working on Mastodon.

Federation is a little delayed at the moment because of how many new users both Mastodon and Kbin are getting. But if you give it a few hours (usually 4-6) it'll sort itself out.

@Kotking@mastodon.social avatar

@EnglishMobster @Hondolor @internetarchive Yeah You will see this message much later or I can reply from kbin.... meh. What I mean Mastodon won't pick up # something from Kbin, while Kbin will pick-up # something from Mastodon. If you follow the links you will see biiiig difference in search results.


This is a great explanation, thanks. Can I follow certain tags on the microblog side of things so they show up in my microblog feed? Right now, I only have microblogs directly associated with magazines I'm subscribed to.

EnglishMobster avatar

That part I don't think exists yet. Mastodon lets you do that, but I think Kbin's intended use case is that you follow magazines which are a collection of hashtags.


I think I get it but how does one follow only individuals (not microblog of magazines) ?

Unrelated: Am I supposed to reply to everybody like this? The reply box is getting populated automatically.


@modeltrains @random @Hondolor @Disneyland @ModelTrains @internetarchive @Futurology @Starwars

EnglishMobster avatar

You press the follow button on the individual then you go to the "Microblog" section of the homepage, I believe,

Also, you don't need to ping everybody; you can delete it.


Wow this has probably been one of the best write ups on those features I've seen. Thank you.


That is confusing AF tbh. It’s aspects like this of the Fediverse that will continue to hamper adoption. If it’s confusing for tech savvy people, it will only be a barrier to entry. Little to no upfront explanation or tutorial is a problem.

Maybe that’s for the best, but without casual users this place is not gonna get much bigger; even with the Reddit fuck up / migration catalyst.

I might be here for the long-haul, but I see major gaps here. It’s unfortunate because this opportunity is somewhat wasted.

Cyzaine avatar

I've been trying to explain it as...

Imagine if your reddit comments could be read on instagram, twitter, and facebook automatically, and you could read everyone elses comments from reddit too! Not 100% accurate, but definitely a simpler explanation and gets people interested.


Something I want to point out is that kbin does not support authorized fetch yet, meaning there is a chunk of the fediverse (some Mastodon instances, all GoToSocial instances, and probably a few others) that it can't talk to. If you search for a Masto user or post and don't get any results this could be why.

Prouvaire avatar

@EnglishMobster This is an amazing explanation - thank you, I learned a lot.

Question: Magazines can pick up hashtags from toots/microblogs. What about the other way around? Ie can hashtags attached to magazine articles/links be picked up by Mastodon and other twitter-like applications? Ie, if I tag a magazine article with #startrek, will that article appear in the feed of any Mastodon user following #startrek? I thought that's what the purpose of the hashtag field was when creating an article, but it doesn't seem to work, based on some experimenting that I've done.

EnglishMobster avatar

The other way around is supposed to work but is currently broken.

Bear in mind that kbin.social (the first general-purpose English-language Kbin instance) was created in... May 2023. Our Benevolent God Ernest has only been working on Kbin seriously since January 2023.

When I joined in June, it was mostly Ernest talking to himself, with a few other randos from Lemmy who were curious about this not-Lemmy thing. A couple weeks before I joined, Ernest was in here completely alone. Getting 100k people randomly show up a month after he released the first public alpha wasn't exactly in the cards, I don't think - so he's been putting out fires that come with "oh shit my little toy project now has thousands of people using it overnight".

Prouvaire avatar

And here I thought the whole point of being a benevolent god was omnipotence. ;-)

Thanks for clarifying. I wasn't sure if that functionality just isn't working yet (but now I'm confident that it will work down the line) or not an intended feature at all.

EnglishMobster avatar

"Omni" for a certain definition of "omni" after all.

At a certain point you have to expect that he chooses to do it. After all, in Genesis (lmao autocorrect tried to suggest "Genshin Impact") creating the world took God 7 days (well, 6 days + 1 day to rest and admire). Surely someone omnipotent could've done it quicker - so it's either that or he simply chooses to take longer. ;)

RetroHitch avatar

Can you get rid of the microblog section in your own personal kbin? i.e. cookie setting, something. I know will say why and i just dislike it and find it messy. To me I use this as a reddit styled service. I really don't care about the mastadon side.


It’s honestly a complete mess through and through. There is no seamless cohesion of the fediverse. It is cumbersome, especially for mobile users. Maybe it’s a little bit better laid out on desktop, but good luck getting mass adoption through desktop.

@dannekrose@kilioa.org avatar


I don't know if you've had a chance to see the FAQ in the magazine kbinfaqs@kilioa.org but I recommend checking those out.

Disclosure: I wrote those a few weeks ago during the initial flood to kbin.

steb avatar

Magazine moderators determine what hashtags they want included in their magazine

Great! How?

Prouvaire avatar

@steb Go to the Magazine Panel, click on the Tags tab and enter the hashtags you'd like your magazine to pick up, separated by commas.


steb avatar

Thanks! There are a lot of tabs in the Magazine Panel and I'm still figuring out what they all do.

Otome-chan avatar

The microblog section is essentially just "twitter"-style posts pulled into a magazine. users on other platforms don't necessarily see our magazines. Magazines on kbin can manually select hashtags to pull in. Alternatively you can just check the /m/random microblog to see unsorted/uncategorized microblog posts.

tal, (edited )
tal avatar

I get the kbin users having a microblog, but I'm still confused as to why magazines also have microblogs.

Like, I can't understand a use case where it wouldn't be preferable to just use articles.

I guess that posts to magazines are accessible to Mastodon users and articles to magazines are accessible to Lemmy users, and maybe the idea is to let people interact with Mastodon on topics? I dunno, just seems odd.

Do Twitter or Mastodon have some analogous feature where one can have a named microblog independent of one's personal microblog?

HeartyBeast avatar

To give you an example - I set up the unintentionalASMR magazine here, and configured it to look for and pull any posts into the microblog.

Just a way to automagically aggregate more content. (No - it hasn’t found that hashtag to be in use yet - but you get the idea :) )

Otome-chan avatar

On kbin, everything is sorted by magazine. users don't have a personal "microblog", every time you make a microblog post here on kbin you're forced to pick a magazine (you can pick /m/random if you don't want to pick).

Like, I can't understand a use case where it wouldn't be preferable to just use articles.

That's because you're looking at it from the kbin perspective. You need to understand that the microblog posts came first, and are there because of platforms like mastodon that work to recreate the twitter style experience where you follow users and see their posts, and posts aren't sorted per "subreddit" or "topic" but rather by user, and searchable with hashtags.

Lemmy then came along and created this threadded reddit-style interface, forcing every post into a "community". These are basically the exact same thing as the older microblog posts, but with an added community to categorize it.

Kbin came out after that, adding support for lemmy-style threads, and mastodon-style microblog posts. To handle mastodon stuff, each one is automatically assigned a magazine to help categorize it into the familiar magazine/community setup; even though they aren't sorted like that to mastodon users.

As kbin users we can choose whether we want to create a thread or to create a microblog posts. They have a difference nuance to them. Threads have this expectation of being a part of a magazine/community, like a subreddit, with the expectation that people in that group will see it. microblogs have the expectation that only the people following the person who posted it will see it, not everyone subscribed to a particular topic. this means microblog posts are often a lot more personal, more informal, less "professional", and not directed at a community.

If you create threads like you'd use reddit, and microblog posts like you'd use twitter, then you've got the right gist I think.

Do Twitter or Mastodon have some analogous feature where one can have a named microblog independent of one's personal microblog?

No. To mastodon users they don't see our magazines at all, whatsoever. They just see it as if someone tweeted out the thing without any actual categorization.

tal avatar

users don't have a personal "microblog", every time you make a microblog post here on kbin you're forced to pick a magazine (you can pick /m/random if you don't want to pick).

Ahhh, okay, that's what I was missing. I saw that one could create a post while looking at one's profile, but has never actually done it.

Thank you for the excellent explanation!

Otome-chan avatar

Yup. so while mastodon users do see it like that, we don't see it like that here on kbin. you can follow people here and see their microblog posts on any magazine in your microblogs feed, but kbin forces kbin users to pick a magazine (even if it's the uncategorized /m/random) when posting a microblog post; whereas this isn't a requirement for mastodon users.

originalucifer avatar

reddit = [link aggregate] threaded forum
twitter = user broadcasting/user following nonsense
fediverse = reddit + twitter
microblog button is the twitter side to the fediverse/kbin instance where people can shout into the void, and other can follow.. i guess.


Eh, this isn't going to be technically an exactly correct explanation, but roughly:

Kbin/lemmy, etc, are a distributed forum space, like reddit but more decentralized.

Mastodon, and a couple of others, I think, are a distributed Twitter-like system. So, same principle as Twitter, but distributed over many servers (instances) rather than being owned by one company/instance.

Kbin specifically works on both the forum space and the Twitter-like parts of the Fediverse. So, for interacting with the Mastodon Twitter-like stuff you have Microblogs, for interacting with the forum Reddit-like stuff you have Magazines and threads.

There are some differences between Twitter and Mastodon, but they're effectively going after serving the same need. You can use hashtags and stuff on Mastodon/Microblogs, etc, and have things end up getting listed in relevant places because of it.

If, for example, like me, you never had an interest in Twitter but are here because you want a forum-space, just ignore the Microblogs if you want.

Hondolor avatar

Thank you, this in the above posts clarified quite a bit

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