A Quick Guide to WriteFreely for Friend Campers
This is a work in progress draft but I figure it's better than nothing while we kick the tires on the temporary server.
WriteFreely is open source distraction-free blogging software. You compose your posts in Markdown — there's no visual editor.
It's great for:
- public-facing blog posts (my 365 RFCs blog was written on a different server)
- one-off public notes, kind of like a pastebin type thing
You have an account which is tied to your Friend Camp OAuth login. But the account is basically just a container to hold one or more blogs that you can publish to.
If you start your post with an h1 header, aka
# Hosre Blah blah blah this is my post about hosre.
then the post will be assigned the title “Hosre”. I recommend giving titles to your posts.
Privacy is handled on a per-blog basis, and you can make multiple blogs tied to your account. Privacy options for a blog include:
- unlisted: publicly accessible to anyone who has the link. An RSS feed is provided and federation is enabled. This is the default setting.
- public: same as unlisted but it's listed in the feed of public posts made on the server
- private: only you can see your posts while logged in, for like personal journaling. I FOUND A BUG WITH THIS WHERE IT STILL FEDERATES IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, DON'T RELY ON IT FOR NOW
- password-protected: set a password so that people can only view your blog with a password. I FOUND A BUG WITH THIS WHERE IT STILL FEDERATES IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, DON'T RELY ON IT FOR NOW
You can set these by going to https://sites.friend.camp/me/c/ and selecting “Customize” for the blog you want to change.
It's not good for:
- posts you only want Friend Campers to be able to see. I will at some point add an option for you to create a local-only blog.
FEDERATION IS DISABLED FOR THE TEST SERVER
WF supports ActivityPub federation, so Mastodon/Hometown/etc users can subscribe directly to your posts. Hometown users should be able to see your whole blog post in their feed after clicking it. If your blog URL is sites.friend.camp/myblog then your federated ID is @firstname.lastname@example.org
You can set custom CSS for your blog (for example, this blog has a yellow background instead of white). In the settings for a particular blog, there will be a customize box and a link to more info about customization.
Stuff you might want to read
- how to write a post (in markdown): https://writefreely.org/docs/latest/writer/writing
- how to customize CSS on a blog
The UI leaves a lot to be desired. Specifically, the menus seem to change entirely depending on what page you are looking at and I always have to click around a few times to get my bearings.