I’m replying to both of these posts from the comments section of the one I posted on the topic of federating comments between WordPress sites. I think Khürt has a point though in that journalists, let alone other people, aren’t going to adopt this unless there’s a pretty UI to go along with it, for all kinds of posts. One of the things silos got really, really right is simple posting interfaces. Ideally they would make it easier to retrieve comment back out, and there would be an easy way to post to multiple accounts/silos at once, or choose on a particular basis, ETC. I use Bridgy on this site because I like the fact that I can essentially type 280 characters into the content edit box in the back end of my WordPress installation, and have the post look like it originated on Twitter when it syndicates there. I also understand that Bridgy was never intended to be a publishing tool, but a tool for retrieving reactions from silos. However, I have two Twitter accounts, and some statuses are appropriate for one and not the other. And yet I’d like to keep a record of the status posts from both accounts on my personal blog along with all their associated reactions. I’ve come to the conclusion that my professional site doesn’t have a place for status messages as a post kind. I tried SNAP Pro, but while I could get it working with Twitter, I couldn’t get it working with Facebook. This was mostly Facebook’s fault, because of their permissions UI being a nightmare if you use screen readers, getting the appropriate permissions, and then going back to SNAP Pro and entering in all the details. One thing I found with SNAP Pro is that you can’t delete accounts without going into the database to delete the tables. This is a problem especially when it comes to Facebook, because if you need to finish the setup, you can’t edit the account, you have to delete it and start over and hope you can get Facebook to authorize. So I’ve switched back to Bridgy and am working on possibly exporting my Twitter archive from my work account, combing it for status posts and not retweets or mentions, and manually posting each status and then collecting each one’s link from Twitter and dropping those into the syndication links section of the edit-post screen in order to retrieve mentions. Same with my Facebook archive.
I, personally, don’t mind doing all this work, because having an archive of my data in a useable format is something I think is worthwhile, and I already have archives from my original Twitter account of arush that still need to be parced into individual status posts. The only reason I have those archives by the way is because, at the time I had the account, I was automatically creating digest posts of all the posts as a longer post on my personal site each day. If it hadn’t been for that, I would have lost those archives when I deleted the original account.
All of this is time-consuming though, and I can see where people would just say “Who cares,” and continue posting to silos and who cares if they lose the content. We either need to figure out how to convince people that owning your content is worth it at almost all costs, (which is something I don’t think we’ll ever be able to do), create an extremely easy way for people to take a downloaded archive from one of the silos and parce that into individual posts, (none exists yet that I’ve been able to find), or create an interface for posting that is not only as good as, but better than, what you get with Facebook, Twitter, and the like, which we can then use to entice people to switch to their own platform.
None of this is saying I’m giving up on the indieweb or that I’m going to quit trying to convince other people to join, of course. I can see the pain points though, and for anyone who’s not a technical person or who doesn’t have a lot of time or patience with this kind of thing, the pain really isn’t worth what you get in the end. Hopefully we can solve this one day.
Wow, that probably should have been its own post and not a comment.