“All the News That’s Omg Lol”

Online Edition
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Vol. 14 of 37
January 27, 2023 6:40 PM UTC

Making the Statuslog (optionally) a tiny bit more social

This is a longer post, so here’s a TL;DR: If you cross-post your Statuslog entries to Mastodon, they’ll now show a Respond link that takes people to the corresponding post on Mastodon.

Our Statuslog service has been running for a while now, and it’s pretty great. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a simple place where you can drop a quick note about what you’re doing (a status update) and pair it with an emoji (because, as we all know, emoji make everything better). And then you can link people to your own statuslog, embed your most recent status on another web page, or cross-post to Mastodon (via social.lol for now, but soon to any Mastodon instance).

So far, I’ve received two main chunks of feedback from people: some folks can’t wait to see social interaction added (likes! comments! replies! boosts! boops!), and other folks want it to remain a pure and independent way to share content without any social interaction. Obviously these two desires are at odds with one another.

But I think I’ve found something that hits a happy medium, or at least tries to. If you’re cross-posting to social.lol, then you’re probably open to boosts/replies/favourites — so, what if I added a simple Respond link to Statuslog entries with corresponding Mastodon posts? So, I did just that last night. I think it’s a nice way for folks to opt into inviting more social interaction with their status posts in a way that’s consistent with existing setups.

The change isn’t retroactively applied to older entries—so you’ll only see the new Respond link for new cross-posted entries going forward.

On the API side, a new external_url value is now available. You can POST any value you’d like here when creating a new status entry (so, things that start with https:// and mailto: work well, but if you try anything weird you’ll just get weird results), and GET requests will provide the external URL value as well. This means that if you’re doing something awesomely custom, you can fully control where responses are directed when you post to your statuslog via the API.

Anyway, enjoy! Let me know if you have any feedback.

– Adam