WordPress and IndieWeb: Creating Your Dialtone on the Internet

Splash page logo of WordCamp Riverside 2019 with a lightbulb logo covered in spalshes of green and brown paint

Next weekend, I’ll be giving a talk at the third annual WordCamp Riverside on Saturday, November 9th at 11:00 AM Pacific in the Innovation room. If you haven’t registered already, there are still tickets left for purchase.

After having watched the livestream of Tantek Çelik’s invited talk at WordCamp US entitled Take Back Your Web, I’ll note that my intention is to generally pick up from where he left off and get into some of the nuts and bolts of what some of the IndieWeb philosophies and technologies are and how they work with WordPress. (Though don’t worry if you missed his talk, I’ll put all the ideas into their larger context.) I’ll approach it from the perspective of a WordPress beginner, but will have some pointers to lots of in-depth resources for designers and developers. In short, I’ll attempt to provide a crash-course overview of what the IndieWeb looks like from a WordPress perspective.

Below is a brief teaser for the talk:

Welcome to Web 3.0, the internet you always wish you had.

I can have phone service on Verizon and you may choose to use AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, but as long as we’ve got phones we can talk to each other or any other phone number that’s connected to the network. But why can’t Facebook users interact directly with Twitter users or Instagram users or vice versa? Crucially why couldn’t one website built on WordPress talk to another website built with Drupal or Kirby? The internet is an open communication platform after all! I’m going to show how this (and so much more magic) can all be done with some simple plugins in under an hour!
Over the past several years a group of dedicated bloggers, technologists, and designers has been innovating, building, and testing a suite of open W3C web standards to allow their personal websites to recreate the major pieces of interactive functionality that are part of the largest social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, SoundCloud, etc. These larger pieces are now all working together across dozens of content management systems including WordPress, Drupal, WithKnown, ProcessWire, Elgg, Nucleus CMS, Craft, Django, Kirby, static site generators like Hugo and Jekyll and services like Micro.Blog and Mastodon. This means that instead of relying on smaller non-interoperable social media sites that obsessively surveil you and then pollute your stream with obtrusive ads, you can now better own and control your own data and comprehensive identity on your own domain name. In this talk we’ll take a high level look at W3C web specs including Webmention, WebSub, Micropub, and the forthcoming Microsub to see how you can make your own website a first class citizen on the (social) web. Using WordPress and a few simple plugins you can now close the circle of website-to-website intercommunication across the open web. Use your own website to read and consume web content, post your own status updates, bookmarks, likes, and replies while interacting directly with other websites. In many cases you can also do this with social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, GitHub, Mastodon, and Micro.blog.

15 thoughts on “WordPress and IndieWeb: Creating Your Dialtone on the Internet”

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  • WordCamp Riverside - Nov. 8-10 2019
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