Gathering Requirements for Native Crossposting in Tanzawa

Ru made a feature request for Tanzawa to be able to syndicate / cross post from Tanzawa to other sites natively. I think it's a great idea and spent some time to collect my thoughts about what that could look like.

My thoughts were posted on GitHub, but I'm copying them here so I always have a copy and in case people who read my blog but don't followΒ  the Tanzawa GitHub have any input.


Agreed – being able to syndicate content directly from Tanzawa would be ideal. All syndication is currently manual (it doesn't hurt enough to automate it, yet).

Base ThoughtsΒ 

If we can figure out what the workflow would look like, I think we can define some base requirements for the feature. A couple of general thoughts about syndication:

  • I don't think posting should be syndicated automatically on publish. There's a couple of reasons for this:Β 
    • Tanzawa doesn't support any kind of background tasks. Posts that have a bunch of links take a while to complete it tries to send webmentions. Adding more external requests could increase the response time to longer than the request timeout allows quite easily. This is especially true because webmentions require 2 requests per save (before content update and after content update). We could probably process webmentions concurrently to speed this up, but that feels like a bit much at this point? It may be easy with asyncio, but I'd need to research it.
    • When I was posting with Wordpress there was a syndication checkbox (via and found it you'd get errors if you saved twice as the post had already been syndicated. Because there also wasn't a preview, it was always a bit of a gamble for how it would post.
  • Syndication is a separate concern from authoring posts themselves. And as such warrants dedicated screens to make it _right_.Β  Initially I had thought it might work well to handle syndication via a modal on the edit post page, but the more I think about it, it would box us in.
  • is still super handy for backfeeding likes/replies as webmentions. I still think is useful / "required" unless we were to build in some kind of polling mechanism, which is difficult without support for cron/background tasks. ( It could be done "easily" with a django management command, I'm hesitant to introduce undue complexity).
  • "Syndication" feels a bit jargony to me. Is "Cross post" (or something similar)Β  a better term to use in the interface?
  • Each syndication destination is going to require some kind of settings (API keys, mostly). These can / should be managed via the Django admin?


Create ofΒ  Syndication/Cross Posts

This is assuming that all syndication can be handled with the same form.

  • Creating a new syndication would happen from the edit post button. The button should be on the meta menu (on the right), below the publishΒ  buttons and only display once the post is published (you can't syndicate a draft).
  • Clicking this button would take you to dedicated syndication page.
  • The top of the page would be a form. The form would display the syndication text and up to 4 photos (with the caption).

    The syndication text is free text and pre-filled with either the post title + link or the first 280 chars of the note. Above the text field itself would be a segmented control (tabs? radio button?) that when clicked would let you toggle between the different presets.

    You may not want to syndicate each photo, so perhaps a checkbox is warranted to let you select which photos will be sent.
  • Finally at the bottom there's some checkboxes for which networks to syndicate to. As you can only syndicate a post once per network, posts that have already been syndicated to would be disabled with text explaining that you've already syndicated to that network for this post.
  • Once syndicated they'd store the url of the syndication and create a TSyndication record.

Syndication List

I think we'd want a separate section for syndication, like we do with "Posts / Files" on the left for syndications / cross posts.Β 

Clicking that would show you a list of your most recent syndication activity ( syndication destination (link to twitter etc..), syndicated text, link to the related post).Β 

Selecting a crosspost would show you a (readonly?) version of the syndication Create form.


Does that sound about right? Anything you'd change or we should consider (especially regards to Mastodon,Β  I don't have an account/haven't used it before).