I promise I won't be making every upcoming post about Mastodon, but as I realized I was pretty much limiting my Twitter use to posting about my new blogs, I figured why not automate that so I don't have to even open Twitter? And I'm automating the post to Twitter, why not do the same for Mastodon? As always, I look to Pipedream first when building integrations like this, and not surprisingly, the entire automation took roughly ten minutes. Here's how I built it.

Step One - the Trigger #

For the trigger, Pipedream has built in a "New Item in Feed" action. I selected that and entered my RSS feed (https://www.raymondcamden.com/feed.xml). I then tested it to confirm it got my feed items. So to be clear, the entire "run this crap when a new item is posted" logic was done in about sixty seconds.

Screenshot of configured new item in feed trigger

Step Two - Format the Post #

So, for this step, I wanted to create the text that would be used for both Mastodon and Twitter. I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to format this. In the past, I've sometimes done this for Twitter: "Blog Post: 'TItle of Post' link". I'll sometimes add a quick comment or shoutout to a product/service described in the post. I decided to make it even simpler for this workflow - the title in quotes, a line break, and a link.

I created a Python code step for this:

def handler(pd: "pipedream"):

  # My goal is to create the text used to tweet/toot the new post
  # For my needs, I thought nice and simple would be best:
  # "Title of post"
  # (blank line)
  # URL

  text = f"""


  # Return data for use in future steps
  return {"text": text}

Step Three - Post to Mastodon #

As I mentioned a few days ago, my first time working with Mastodon on Pipedream required me to use Node as the Python library wouldn't work well. The issue I ran into was fixed pretty quickly, so my assumption was that I was going to use Mastodon.py. However, along with Pipedream fixing that particular issue, they also added support for Mastodon as a defined account, which means you can set up your authentication (in this case, just the access token) system-wide and use it in multiple workflows.

They also added a basic Mastodon action for hitting the API. So for example, here's what you get when adding the action:

New Mastodon action

Once you've defined a Mastodon account, you can select it and then the code will be able to pick up on the authentication. Make note of the code - it's hitting the Mastodon API to verify credentials - a default call. But when I saw this, I was curious how difficult it would be to change this to posting a new toot.

I checked the docs and found this for publishing a new status

POST https://mastodon.example/api/v1/statuses HTTP/1.1

Looking at that, I modified the default Python code a bit:

import requests

def handler(pd: "pipedream"):
  token = f'{pd.inputs["mastodon"]["$auth"]["access_token"]}'
  authorization = f'Bearer {token}'
  headers = {"Authorization": authorization}

  toot = { "status": pd.steps["generateText"]["$return_value"]["text"]}

  r = requests.post(f'https://{pd.inputs["mastodon"]["$auth"]["site_domain"]}/api/v1/statuses', data=toot, headers=headers)

  # Export the data for use in future steps
  return r.json()

As you can see, I'm posting the text of my new blog post, and that's it. No need for Mastodon.py at all. Although I would use it if I were doing anything more complex.

Step Four - Post to Twitter #

Guess what? Posting simple text to Twitter has been supported in Pipedream for a decade or so. (Ok, maybe not quite that long.) I literally just added the action, selected my account, and used the same text I used for Mastodon.

Configured Tweet action

Conclusion #

I mentioned earlier that all of the above took roughly ten minutes, and that's absolutely true. I think most of that was googling for the Mastodon docs and as I had not used them before, it took me a minute or two to find what I needed. If you want to try this out yourself, you can create a copy of my workflow here:


Note - if you like this, but don't want to post to Twitter (or Mastodon), you can simply delete, or disable, the relevant step. Enjoy!

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash