Looking For Help With ActivityPub

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One thing about the REST-based Mastodon instance mentioned here, is that I'd like it to eventually be replaced with an ActivityPub implementation, but honestly I don't know much about how to actually integrate with that (yet!). Instead of doing that, I'm going to build a REST based data source specifically for Mastodon, since it suits my personal immediate needs. But, I think it should be possible to basically "follow" an ActivityPub-based account and convert those actions into models. In theory, this would make it possible to import any ActivityPub-based account into whatever platform you're using.

My thinking is that your site could "follow" all of your accounts on the fediverse and import that data on your site automatically. I have the "import that data" step down, what I don't understand is how to interact with ActivityPub to interact with my own "inbox" as described in the spec, and I also don't understand how do the actions needed to follow my accounts.

I would love it if someone who's more knowledgeable about this topic to give me some insight on this:

  1. Is what I'm proposing even possible? If not, how do you think a site could interact with ActivityPub to import data?
  2. The big thing I am having trouble understanding is exactly where need to send the follow action. From what I'm seeing, it seems like I should be able to send a request to follow a specific actor, but I have no clue how to actually do that.
  3. Are there any SDKs that work with PHP that I should know about, that make this process easier?
  4. Is there anything else you think I should keep in mind while considering this option?