Activity Stream Documentation

Authors:Justin Quick <>, Aaron Williamson, Jordan Reiter, Manuel Aristaran, Darrell Hoy, Josh Ourisman, Trever Shick, Sandip Agrawal
pip install django-activity-stream==0.3.5

Django Activity Stream is a way of creating activities generated by the actions on your site. Action events are categorized by four main components.

  • Actor. The object that performed the action.
  • Verb. The verb phrase of the action performed.
  • Action Object. (Optional) The object linked to the action itself.
  • Target. (Optional) The object that the verb is enacted on.

Actor, Action Object and Target are GenericForeignKeys to any arbitrary Django object. An action is a description of an action that was performed (Verb) at some instant in time by some Actor, with some optional Target that results in some Action Object getting created/updated/deleted.

For example: <justquick> (actor) <closed> (verb) <issue 1> (object) on <activity-stream> (target) 12 hours ago

Nomenclature of this specification is based on the Atom Activity Extension

Example Project

Download the most recent sourcecode and start up the development server. Make sure you have the most recent version of Django:

git clone git://
cd django-activity-stream
python install # sudo this
pip install django # and this
cd example_project
python runserver

If all goes well it will be available at Use the demo login already filled in and try tinkering with the site and following users/groups. Some sample data is provided.

To test the activity-stream app, stop the server and run this:

python test actstream


Add actstream to your INSTALLED_APPS:


Add the activity urls:

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    ('^activity/', include('actstream.urls')),

Generating Actions

Generating actions is probably best done in a separate signal:

from django.db.models.signals import post_save
from actstream import action
from myapp.models import MyModel

def my_handler(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):
    action.send(instance, verb='was saved')

post_save.connect(my_handler, sender=MyModel)

To generate an action anywhere in your code, simply import the action signal and send it with your actor, verb, and target:

from actstream import action

action.send(request.user, verb='reached level 10')
action.send(request.user, verb='joined', target=group)
action.send(request.user, verb='created comment', action_object=comment, target=group)

Following Actors

Generating the link between a User and any particular Actor is as easy as calling a function:

from actstream.models import follow, unfollow

follow(request.user, group)

You can also just make a GET request to the actstream_follow view:

GET /activity/follow/<content_type_id>/<object_id>/?next=/blog/

Then the current logged in user will follow the actor defined by content_type_id & object_id. Optional next parameter is URL to redirect to.

There is also a function actstream.unfollow which removes the link and takes the same arguments as actstream.follow

Action Feeds

Listings of actions are available for several points of view. All return a QuerySet of Action items sorted by -timestamp:

from actstream.models import actor_stream, user_stream, model_stream

Actions by a given actor:


Actions by any given Django Model:


Actions from actors that a particular user is folowing: