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· 3 min read

We’re excited to announce the AT Protocol Grants program, aimed at fostering the growth and sustainability of the atproto developer ecosystem.

In the first iteration of this program, we’ll distribute a total of $10,000 in microgrants of $500 to $2,000 per project based on factors like cost, usage, and more.

To apply for a grant, please fill out this form.

Program Details

Over the last few months, we’ve seen independent developers create projects ranging from browser extensions and clients to PDS implementations and atproto tooling. Many of them have become widely adopted in the Bluesky community, too! As we continue on our path toward sustainability, we’re launching this grants program to encourage and support developers building on the AT Protocol.

We will be distributing a total of $10,000, and will publicly announce all grant recipients. We have already distributed $3,000, and the recipients of those grants are detailed below. This is a rolling application, though we will announce when all $10,000 of the initial allocated amount has been distributed.

We’ll evaluate each application based on the submitted project plan and the potential impact. The project should be useful to some user group, whether its fellow developers or Bluesky users. To be eligible for a grant, your project must be open source. We pay out grants via public GitHub Sponsorships.

In addition, we’ve also partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer $5,000 in AWS Activate1 credits to atproto developers as well. These credits are applied to your AWS bill to help cover costs from cloud services, including machine learning, compute, databases, storage, containers, dev tools, and more. Simply check a box in your atproto grant application if you’re interested in receiving these credits as well.

Initial AT Protocol Grant recipients

Ahead of Bluesky’s public launch in February, Bluesky PBC extended grants to three developers as a pilot program. We awarded $1,000 each to the following projects and developers:

AT Protocol Python SDK — Ilya Siamionau

AT Protocol Dart SDK — Shinya Kato

Listed on the homepage of the Bluesky API documentation site, these two SDKs have quickly become popular packages with atproto developers. We’re also especially impressed by their own documentation sites!

SkyFeed — redsolver

SkyFeed has helped bring Bluesky’s vision for custom feeds to life — now, there are more than 40,000 custom feeds that users can subscribe to, and a vast majority of them are built with SkyFeed.

Contact

We’re excited to continue to find ways to help developers make their projects built on atproto sustainable. Again, you can submit an application for an AT Protocol grant here.

Please feel free to leave questions or comments on the GitHub discussion for this announcement here.

Footnotes

  1. AWS Activate Credits are subject to the program's terms and conditions.

· 3 min read

This is a guest blog post by Skygaze, creators of the For You feed. You can check out For You, the custom feed that learns what you like, at https://skygaze.io/feed.

Last Sunday, 70 engineers came together at the YC office in San Francisco for the first Bluesky AI Hackathon. The teams took full advantage of Bluesky’s complete data openness to build 17 pretty spectacular projects, many of which genuinely surprised us. My favorites are below. Thank you to Replicate for donating $50 of LLM and image model credits to each participant and sponsoring a $1000 prize for the winning team!

The 17 projects covered a wide range of categories: location-based feeds, feeds with dynamic author lists, collaborative image generation, text moderation, NSFW image labeling, creator tools, and more. The top three stood out for their creativity, practicality, and completeness (despite having only ~6 hours to build), and we’ll share a bit about them below.

Convo Detox

@paritoshk.bsky.social and team came in first place with Convo Detox–a bot that predicts when a thread is at high risk of becoming toxic and interjects to diffuse tension. We were particularly impressed with the team’s use of a self-hosted model trained on Reddit data specifically to predict conversations that are likely to get heated. As a proof of concept they deployed it as a bot that can be summoned via mention, but in the near future this would make for a great third party moderation label.

SF IRL

This is a bot that detects and promotes tech events happening in SF. In addition to flagging events, it keeps track of the accounts posting about SF tech and serves a feed with all of the posts from those accounts. We think simple approaches to dynamic author lists is a very interesting 90/10 on customized feeds and (if designed reasonably) could be both easier for the feed maintainer and higher quality for the feed consumers.

NSFW Image Detection

On Bluesky, users can set whether they want adult content to show up in their app. Beyond this level of customization, whether or not an image is labeled as NSFW can be customized as well — people have a wide variety of preferences. This team trained a model to classify images into a large number of NSFW categories, which would theoretically fit nicely into the 3rd party moderation labeler interface. It’s neat that their choice of architecture extends naturally to processing text in tandem with images.

Other Projects

Other noteworthy projects included translation bots, deep fake detectors, a friend matchmaker, and an image generator tool that allowed people to build image generated prompts together in reply threads. It was genuinely incredibly impressive and exciting to see what folks with no previous AT Proto experience were able to put together (and often deploy !!!) in only a few hours.

Additional Resources

We prepared some starter templates for the hackathon, and want to share them below for anyone who couldn’t attend the event in person!

And if you’re interested in hosting your own bluesky hackathon but don’t know where to start, please feel free to copy all of our invite copy, starter repos, and datasets.

· 3 min read

Bridgy Fed is a bridge between decentralized social networks that currently supports the IndieWeb and the Fediverse, a portmanteau of “federated” and “universe” that refers to a collection of networks including Mastodon. It's a work-in-progress by Ryan Barrett (@snarfed.org), who has already added initial Bluesky support, and is planning on launching it publicly once Bluesky launches federation early next year.

Bridgy Fed is open source, and Ryan has a guide on how IDs and handles are translated between networks. He welcomes feedback!

Screenshot of Bridgy Fed


Can you share a bit about yourself and your background?

I'm a dad, San Francisco resident, and stereotypical Silicon Valley engineer who's always been interested in owning his presence online.

What is Bridgy Fed?

Bridgy Fed is a bridge between decentralized social networks. It currently supports the IndieWeb and the Fediverse, and I soon plan to add other protocols like Bluesky and Nostr.

It's fully bidirectional; from any supported network, you can follow anyone on any other network, see their posts, reply or like or repost them, and those interactions flow across to their network and vice versa. More details here.

Initial Bluesky support is complete! All interactions are working, in both directions. I'm looking forward to launching it publicly after Bluesky federation itself launches!

What inspired you to build Bridgy Fed?

The very first time I posted on Facebook, back over 20 years ago when it was just for college students, I immediately understood that I didn't control or own that space. I had no guarantees as to whether my profile and posts would stay there, who'd see them, etc. I started posting to my website/blog first, and only afterward copied those posts to social networks like Facebook.

I've been working on this stuff ever since, including tools like Granary and Bridgy classic and the IndieWeb community, historical decentralized social protocols like OpenSocial and OStatus, and most recently ActivityPub and Bluesky’s AT Protocol.

What tech stack is Bridgy Fed built on?

Bridgy Fed runs on Google's App Engine serverless platform. It's written in Python, uses libraries like Granary, and leverages standards like webmention and microformats2 in addition to ActivityPub and atproto. I'd eventually like to migrate it to asyncio, but otherwise its stack is serving it well.

What's in the future for Bridgy Fed?

I can't wait to launch Bluesky support! Nostr too. I'm also looking forward to extending the current IndieWeb support to any web site, using standard metadata like OGP and RSS and Atom feeds.


You can follow Ryan on Bluesky here, find the Bridgy Fed GitHub repo here, and keep an eye out for Bridgy Fed’s launch next year!

Note: Use an App Password when logging in to third-party tools for account security and read our disclaimer for third-party applications.

· 6 min read

SkyFeed is a third-party client built by redsolver. Users can create a dashboard out of their feeds, profiles, and more. Additionally, while custom feeds currently take some developer familiarity to build from scratch, SkyFeed allows Bluesky users to easily build their own custom feeds based off of regexes or lists.

You can try SkyFeed yourself here, and follow SkyFeed’s Bluesky account for updates.

Screenshot of SkyFeed


Can you share a bit about yourself and your background?

Hi, I’m redsolver, a developer from Germany. In the past I tried building a decentralized social network twice, but both times it failed, most recently due to the decentralized storage layer (Skynet) just shutting down completely. So last year I started working on a new content-addressed storage network myself with all features needed for a truly reliable social network. I'm still actively working and building open-source apps like an end-to-end-encrypted cloud storage app on top of it, but instead of building yet another social network from scratch, I decided to focus on building cool stuff for atproto/Bluesky. The AT Protocol shares many ideas with my previous attempts (like decentralized identity) and is already a lot more mature.

What is SkyFeed?

There's the SkyFeed app, which is a third-party web client (cross-platform soon) for using Bluesky. Some users compare the experience to TweetDeck. A unique feature is that it subscribes to a custom minimal version of the Bluesky firehose (all events happening on the network). This makes it possible to have all like/reply/repost counts update in real-time and new posts pop up in near real-time everywhere in the app! Another cool feature is the collapsible thread view which makes following big discussions a lot easier.

But most users are using the app because of the integrated SkyFeed Builder, a tool to make building feeds easier for both developers and non-developers. It's really exciting watching a very diverse set of users build the over 6,000 feeds that are already published using the builder! The SkyFeed web app is available at https://skyfeed.app/.

Screenshot of SkyFeed Builder

What inspired you to build SkyFeed?

As mentioned earlier, I've been really interested in decentralized social networks for a while. After getting a Bluesky invite and reading the atproto docs, the tech really caught my interest.

There were already quite a few third-party clients, but none of them were written in Flutter (my favorite framework). So I started working on a new one, both for getting a better feel of the Bluesky internals and because I wanted a desktop client that I personally enjoy using daily. Even though the first release was missing quite a lot of important features (like notifications), the positive feedback motivated me to continue building.

When the Bluesky team published the custom feed spec and the feed generator starter kit, things really took off. I made some feeds and added experimental support for using them to the SkyFeed app. They are an awesome concept and in my opinion really give Bluesky the edge over competing networks. It makes content discovery so much easier, because no algorithm or AI has more relevant suggestions than highly engaged users building elaborate feeds for any and all niche interests they have. So the reason I made the SkyFeed Builder was to give this power to as many people as possible. And what inspires me to continue building and improving SkyFeed is all the positive feedback and happy users :)

What tech stack is SkyFeed built on?

The SkyFeed app is built using the Flutter framework and the Dart programming language. I'm using the excellent Dart atproto/Bluesky packages, created by Shinya Kato. Most of the backend is written in Dart and running on some Hetzner servers, the feed generator proxy and cache were recently moved to fly.io for better scalability. I'm running multiple open-source indexers which listen to the entire network firehose and store everything in an instance of SurrealDB. SurrealDB is still in beta, but it's fun to work with! And apart from some performance issues, it has been pretty reliable. The query engine for the SkyFeed Builder feeds is written in Rust and open-source too. It keeps all posts from the last 7 days and their metadata in memory and then executes all of the SkyFeed Builder steps/blocks. Additional metadata (like the full post history for a single user) are fetched on demand from SurrealDB.

What's in the future for SkyFeed?

  • New "Remix" feature to edit, improve and re-publish any SkyFeed Builder feed (as long as it has an open license)
  • Make it easier to self-host the SkyFeed Builder infrastructure and get some third-party providers online. This will give users more choice and make the whole feed ecosystem more reliable and robust
  • Add support for personalized feeds and SurrealQL queries to the builder, but they are very resource-intensive so will likely be invite-only (but self-hosting always works of course!)
  • Improve the SkyFeed app, get a nice new logo, fully open-source it and release cross-platform (Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS)
  • Support for videos, audio and other media content with a new custom lexicon in a backwards-compatible way. They will use the storage network I'm working on, but with an atproto-compatible blob format. The main difference is that it uses the BLAKE3 hash function instead of SHA256 and has no file size limit
  • A self-hosted proxy which bridges other social networks (Mastodon, Nostr, RSS, Hacker News) and makes them available in any Bluesky client. Reddit and "X" might be supported too, but with a bring-your-own-API-key requirement. The proxy also adds more features like advanced (word) muting, an audit log to see exactly which changes third-party apps made to your account and the option to use a self-hosted "App View" (basically the SkyFeed Indexer with SurrealDB)
  • A new List Builder (based on profile, name, follower count and more) as soon as lists other than Mute Lists are supported

In summary: Make SkyFeed (apps, builder and more) the ultimate power user experience, while open-sourcing everything and keeping the option to self-host all components.


You can follow redsolver on Bluesky here, SkyFeed for project updates here, and be sure to try out SkyFeed yourself here.

Note: Use an App Password when logging in to third-party tools for account security and read our disclaimer for third-party applications.

· One min read

Bluesky is an open social network built on the AT Protocol, a flexible technology that will never lock developers out of the ecosystems that they help build. With atproto, third-party can be as seamless as first-party through custom feeds, federated services, clients, and more.

If you're a developer interested in building on atproto, we'd love to email you an invite code. Simply share your GitHub (or similar) profile with us via this form.

Read more about the AT Protocol here and check out some third-party developer projects here.