There’s some amazing themes and plugins being developed for WordPress that handle some of the more complex technical requirements for implementing the Indieweb principles, so I want to now be able to focus on helping others through two methods of outreach. First, to help any current WordPress users understand and integrate Indieweb principles into their site. Second, to help anyone who is interested in setting up a site and open to using WordPress get an Indieweb web presence up and running from the ground up.
This will remain the core thrust of my Indieweb exploration from now on, but I want to also deepen my knowledge of what can be done with WordPress. There’s lots of exciting things on the horizon, and I want to give back to both the WordPress and Indieweb communities through sharing my experiences and lessons learned from the last year.
I really appreciate your “Updated Goals and Purpose” section as they’re something I’ve been slowly beginning to crack away at as well. I’ve begun some work on a book geared toward Gen2+ users as well as doing some additional outreach. I’ve even got a domain registered to target that particular market.)
If you think it would help, I’m happy to help spitball with you to create a more cohesive plan that some of us can work on both individually and as a group.
Tonight was the last meetup for HWC in Los Angeles for 2016. We’ve managed to make it through more than a handful of meetups throughout the year as well as an excellent IndieWebCamp experience. We also recently managed to get our first virtual meetup off the ground two weeks ago with participants in LA, NYC, Portland, Florida, and Maryland!
Thanks again to everyone (near and far) who has helped to encourage and get the budding Los Angeles IndieWeb community off the ground this year.
Though I’m not personally ready to go all in on #100DaysOfIndieWeb, I am on the verge of committing to 100 Days of Book Donations to Little Free Libraries (or the potentially easier and just as effective 100 Book Donations) particularly as I managed to do 31 days of donations last January.
I’m also seriously considering 100 days of closing tabs which has always been a real problem for me in the past. 100 days of posts also seems relatively interesting as well as doable. 100 days of deleting email toward inbox zero could be useful too.
Following a productive quiet writing hour, we did a quick round of introductions and a short demo or two. Given our group size/composition, we split up and delved right into some building and helping each other out.
I helped newcomer Jeffrey Stewart begin to build a WordPress site on a temporary host which he can later to a personal domain name he’d bought a while back and had resolved to begin using. He’s been siloing his content primarily on Facebook for a long time now, but wanted more freedom and flexibility than Facebook allows. In particular he’s looking forward to a better platform for longer form content as well as better/richer interactions.
In under two hours, we managed to get a pretty significant start on his site including rel=”me” links to his current social media presences. We also set up and configured several IndieWeb related plugins courtesy of the Indieweb plugin to allow for Webmentions as well as future syndication capabilities. With just a few hours of work, I suspect he’ll not only be able to put together his first post and syndicate it to several silos, but he’ll be receiving his first webmentions and backfeed via Brid.gy.
Meanwhile, Angelo Gladding managed to simultaneously work on not only his own site, but assist Thaine Allison with one of his itches. Several years ago Thaine had built a website in HTML3, but he wanted to update it to deal with the demise of Flash and make it more mobile friendly. Despite some difficulty accessing his site due to issues with hosting, they made some reasonable progress.
No photo (Sorry Tantek…)
We all got so wrapped up in what we were working on and discussing, we completely forgot to take a break to get a group photo. In fact, I sadly didn’t think about it until I was in the car and halfway home. I even forgot to “check in” and POSSE a copy to FourSquare, which is pretty uncommon for me lately.
At least this is an area on which we can improve on for our 2017 resolutions...
An entertaining meeting at Yahoo's Headquarters in LA
In an effort to provide easier commuting access for a broader cross-section of Homebrew members we met last night at Yahoo’s Yahoo’s primary offices at 11995 W. Bluff Creek Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094. We hope to alternate meetings of the Homebrew Website Club between the East and West sides of Los Angeles as we go forward. If anyone has additional potential meeting locations, we’re always open to suggestions as well as assistance.
We had our largest RSVP list to date, though some had last minute issues pop up and one sadly had trouble finding the location (likely due to a Google map glitch).
Angelo and Chris met before the quiet writing hour to discuss some general planning for future meetings as well as the upcoming IndieWebCamp in LA in November. Details and help for arrangements for out of town attendees should be posted shortly.
We sketched out a way to help Srikanth IndieWeb-ify not only his own site, but to potentially help do so for Katie Couric’s Yahoo! based news site along with the pros/cons of workflows for journalists in general. We also considered some potential pathways for potentially bolting on webmentions for websites (like Tumblr/WordPress) which utilize Disqus for their commenting system. We worked through the details of webmentions and a bit of micropub for his benefit.
Srikanth discussed some of the history and philosophy behind why Tumblr didn’t have a more “traditional” native commenting system. The point was generally to socially discourage negativity, spamming, and abuse by forcing people to post their comments front and center on their own site (and not just in the “comments” of the receiving site) thereby making the negativity be front and center and redound to their own reputation rather than just the receiving page of the target. Most social media related sites hide (or make hard to search/find) the abusive nature of most users, while allowing them to appear better/nicer on their easier-to-find public facing persona.
Before closing out the meeting officially, we stopped by the front lobby where two wonderful and personable security guards (one a budding photographer) not only helped us with a group photo, but managed to help us escape the parking lot!
I think it’s agreed we all had a great time and look forward to more progress on projects, more good discussion, and more interested folks at the next meeting. Srikanth was so amazed at some of the concepts, it’s possible that all of Yahoo! may be IndieWeb-ified by the end of the week. 🙂
Ever with grand aspirations to do as good a job as the illustrious Kevin Marks, we tried some livetweeting with Noterlive. Alas the discussion quickly became so consuming that the effort was abandoned in lieu of both passion and fun. Hopefully some of the salient points were captured above in better form anyway.
We met at Charlie’s Coffee House, 266 Monterey Road, South Pasadena, CA, where we stayed until closing at 8:00. Deciding that we hadn’t had enough, we moved the party (South Pasadena rolls up their sidewalks early) over to the local Starbucks, 454 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA where we stayed until they closed at 11:00pm.
Quiet Writing Hour
Angelo manned the fort alone with aplomb while building intently. If I’m not mistaken, he did use my h-card to track down my phone number to see what was holding me up, so as they say in IRC: h-card++!
Needing no introductions this week, Angelo launched us off with a relatively thorough demo of his Canopy platform which he’s built from the ground up in python! Starting from an empty folder on a host with a domain name, he downloaded and installed his code directly from Github and spun up a completely new version of his site in under 2 minutes. In under 20 minutes of some simple additional downloads and configuration of a few files, he also had locations, events, people and about modules up and running. Despite the currently facile appearance of his website, there’s really a lot of untapped power in what he’s built so far. It’s all available on Github for those interested in playing around; I’m sure he’d appreciate pull requests.
Along the way, I briefly demoed some of the functionality of Kevin Marks’ deceptively powerful Noterlive web app for not only live tweeting, but also owning those tweets on one’s own site in a simple way after the fact (while also automatically including proper markup and microformats)! I also ran through some of the overall functionality of my Known install with a large number of additional plugins to compare and contrast UX/UI with respect to Canopy.
We also discussed a bit of Angelo’s recent Indieweb Graph network crawling project, and I took the opportunity to fix a bit of the representative h-card on my site. (Angelo, does a new crawl appear properly on lahacker.net now?)
Before leaving Charlie’s we did manage to remember to take a group photo this time around. Not having spent enough time chatting over the past few weeks, we decamped to a local Starbucks and continued our conversation along with some addition brief demos and discussion of other itches for future building.
We also spent a few minutes discussing the upcoming IndieWebCamp LA logistics for November as well as outreach to the broader Los Angeles area dev communities. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP. If you’d like to volunteer or help sponsor the camp, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us. I’m personally hoping to attend DrupalCamp LA this weekend while wearing a stylish IndieWebCamp t-shirt that’s already on its way to me.
In keeping with the schedule of the broader Homebrew movement, so we’re already committed to our next meeting on September 7. It’s tentatively at the same location unless a more suitable one comes along prior to then. Details will be posted to the wiki in the next few days.
Thanks for coming everyone! We’ll see you next time.
Live Tweets Archive
Though not as great as the notes that Kevin Marks manages to put together, we did manage to make good use of noterlive for a few supplementary thoughts:
Angelo showed off some impressive python code which he’s preparing to opensource, but just before the meeting had managed to completely bork his site, so everyone got a stunning example of a “502 Bad Gateway” notice.
At the break, we were so engaged we all completely forgot to either take a break or do the usual group photo. My 1 minute sketch gives a reasonable facsimile of what a photo would have looked like.
Peer-to-Peer Building and Help
With a new group, we spent some time discussing some general Indieweb principles, outlining ideas, and example projects.
Since Michael was very new to the group, we helped him install the WordPress IndieWeb plugin and configure a few of the sub-plugins to get him started. We discussed some basic next steps and pointers to the WordPress documentation to provide him some direction for building until we meet again.
We spent a few minutes discussing the upcoming IndieWebCamp logistics as well as outreach to the broader Los Angeles area community.
For a new group, there’s enough enthusiasm to do at least two meetings a month, in keeping with the broader Homebrew movement, so we’re already committed to our next meeting on August 24. It’s tentatively at the same location unless a more suitable one comes along prior to then.
Thanks for coming everyone! We’ll see you next time.
I run across notices on the web like this regularly and it used to aggravate me to no end:
Infuriatingly it usually involved having just spent 5 minutes reading something and then spending 10 minutes to hours writing a reasoned and thoughtful response. (Because every troll knows that’s what the internet was designed to encourage, right?)
After pressing the reply button (even scarier than hitting the “Publish” button because you don’t have the ability to edit it after-the-fact and someone else now “owns” your content), you see the dreaded notice that your comment is “AWAITING MODERATION…”
Will they approve it? Will they delete it? Is it gone forever? Did they really get it, or did it disappear into the ether? Oh #%@$!, I wish I’d made a back up copy because that took a bit of work, and I might like to refer to it again later. Are they going to censor my thoughts? Silence my voice?
On a daily basis, I’m spammed by sites desperate to sell or promote FIFA coins, Ray Bans, Christian Louboutin shoes, or even worse types of hateful blather, so I too gently moderate. I try to save my own readers from having to see such drivel, and don’t want to provide a platform or audience for them to shout from or at, respectively.
I won’t be silenced anymore
No longer can I be silenced by random moderators that I often don’t know.
Why, you ask?
I now post everything I write online onto a site I own first.
Because now, thanks to philosophies from the Indieweb movement and technologies like webmention, which growing numbers of websites are beginning to support, I now post everything I write online onto a site I own first. There it can be read in perpetuity by anyone who chooses to come read it, or from where I can syndicate it out to the myriad of social media sites for others to read en masse. (And maybe my voice has more reach than the site I’m posting to?)
Functionality like webmention (a more modern version of pingback or trackback) then allows my content to be sent to the website I was replying to in an elegant way for (eventual?) display. Or I can copy and paste it directly if they don’t support modern protocols.
Sure, they can choose to moderate me or choose not to feature my viewpoint on their own site if they wish, but at least I still own the work I put into those thoughts. I don’t have to worry about where they went or how I might be able to find them in the future. They will always be mine, and that is empowering.
A hearty band of six gathered to work on their own websites
Tonight was the beginning of a new group of indiewebbers meeting up on the East side of the Los Angeles Area, in what we hope to be an ongoing in-person effort, particularly as we get nearer to IndieWeb Camp Los Angeles in November.
We met at Starbucks, 575 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA.
Quiet Writing Hour
The quiet writing hour started off pretty well with three people which quickly grew to 6 at the official start of the meeting including what may be the youngest participants ever (at 6months and 5 1/2 years old).
#indieweb@ChrisAldrich: Quiet writing hours for the first Homebrew Website Club in Pasadena, CA are in full swing. 4 people already here.
Jervey Tervalon, a writer, and his 6 month old daughter
Evie (5 years old, private site)
Following introductions, I did a quick demo of the simple workflow I’ve been slowly perfecting for liking/retweeting posts from Twitter via mobile so that they post on my own site while simultaneously POSSEing to Twitter. Angelo showed a bit of his code and set-up for his custom-built site based on a Python framework and inspired by Aaron Schwartz’s early efforts. (He also has an interesting script for scraping other’s sites searching for microformats data with a mf2 parser that I’d personally like to see more of and hope he’ll open source it. It found a few issues with some redundant/malformed rel=”me” links in the header of my own site that I’ll need to sort out shortly).
Bryan showed some recent work he’s done on his photography blog, which he’s slowly but surely been managing to cobble together from a self-hosted version of WordPress with help from friends and the local WordPress Meetup. (Big kudos to him for his sheer tenacity in building his site up!) Jervey described some of what he’d like to build as it relates to a WordPress based site he’s putting together for a literary journal, while his daughter slept peacefully until someone mentioned a silo named Facebook. 5 year old Evie showed off some coding work she’d done during the quiet writing hour on the Scratch Platform on iOS that she hopes to post to her own blog shortly, so she can share with her grandparents.
At the break, we managed to squeeze everyone in for a group selfie.
Peer-to-Peer Building and Help
Since many in the group were building with WordPress, we did a demo build on Evie’s (private) site by installing the IndieWeb Plugin and activating and configuring a few of the basic sub-plugins. We then built a small social links menu to demonstrate the ease of adding rel-me to an Instagram link as an example. We also showed a quick example of IndieAuth, followed by a quick build for doing PESOS from Instagram with proper microformats2 markup. Bryan had a few questions about his site from the first half of the meeting, so we wrapped up by working our way through a portion of those so he can proceed with some additional work before our next meeting.
Summary & Next Meeting
In all, not a bad showing for what I expected to be a group of 5 less people than what we ultimately got! I can’t wait until the next meetup on either 8/10 or 8/24 (at the very worst) pending some scheduling. I hope to do every two weeks, but we’ll definitely commit to do at least once a month going forward.