Creating a tag cloud directory for the Post Kinds Plugin on WordPress

Yesterday after discovering it on Xavier Roy’s site I was reminded that the Post Kinds Plugin is built on a custom taxonomy and, as a result, has the ability to output its taxonomy in typical WordPress Tag Cloud widget. I had previously been maintaining/displaying a separate category structure for Kinds, which I always thought was a bit much in my category area. While it’s personally nice to have the metadata, I didn’t like how it made the categories so overwhelming and somehow disjointed.

For others who haven’t realized the functionality is hiding in the Post Kinds Plugin, here are some quick instructions for enabling the tag cloud widget:

  1. In the administrative UI, go to Appearance » Widgets in the menu structure.
  2. Drag the “Tag Cloud” widget to one of your available sidebars, footers, headers or available widget areas.
  3. Give the widget a title. I chose “Post Kinds”.
  4. Under the “Taxonomy” heading choose Kinds.
  5. If you want to show tag counts for your kinds, then select the checkbox.
  6. If necessary, select visibility if you want to create conditions for which pages, posts, etc. where the widget will appear.
  7. Finally click save.

You’ll end up with something in your widget area that looks something like this (depending on which Kinds you have enabled and which options you chose):

The tag cloud for the Post Kinds plugin data

If you’re interested in changing or modifying the output or display of your tag cloud, you can do so with the documentation for the Function Reference wp tag cloud in the WordPress Codex.

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Reply to Photo Kind not Displaying Information from Response Properties Box

Replied to Photo Kind not Displaying Information from Response Properties Box · Issue #184 · dshanske/indieweb-post-kinds (GitHub)
I am adding in information associated with author and source, however this is not being displayed when published.

@mrkrndvs This is because the photo template doesn’t call these particular details even though they may be provided. I could see an occasional use for including them, particularly to give credit to a photo that was taken by someone else, while in practice most may not use this because they’re posting their own photos.

In the meanwhile, it may not be too tough to cut/paste bits of appropriate code from other templates to get these to display the way you want them when they exist. You can create a custom photo template named kind-photo.php and put it in a folder entitled kind_views in either your theme or (preferably) in your child theme so it isn’t overwritten on plugin update.

I do still wish there were a master template in the set (heavily commented and unused) that used every variation of data that could be displayed (or perhaps even calculated for display) so that non-programmers could attempt to more easily cut/paste templates to get them to do what they wanted.

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Editing comments causes author avatar to disappear

Filed an Issue pfefferle/wordpress-semantic-linkbacks (GitHub)
wordpress-semantic-linkbacks - More meaningfull linkbacks

On the /wp-admin/comment.php admin page when manually editing a comment to change any of the common fields (author, email, the comment itself) and saving, everything saves as expected except for the avatar within the Semantic Linkbacks portion. If the avatar was changed (or one was added) things are saved properly, but when updating other fields and not changing the avatar itself, the avatar field data seems to be deleted on saving, thus making the author images disappear.

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👓 The Billionaire’s Typewriter | Butterick’s Practical Typography

Read The billionaire’s typewriter by Matthew But­t­er­ick (Butterick’s Practical Typography)
A friend pointed me to a story on Medium called “Death to Type­writ­ers,” by Medium de­signer Marcin Wichary. The story is about the in­flu­ence of the type­writer on dig­i­tal type­set­ting. It ref­er­ences my “ex­cel­lent list” of type­writer habits.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Min­i­mal­ism doesn’t fore­close ei­ther ex­pres­sive breadth or con­cep­tual depth. On the con­trary, the min­i­mal­ist pro­gram—as it ini­tially emerged in fine art of the 20th cen­tury—has been about di­vert­ing the viewer’s at­ten­tion from overt signs of au­thor­ship to the deeper pu­rity of the ingredients.  

This also sounds like a great way to cook!

Like all non­sense, it’s in­tended to be easy to swal­low.  

You’re giv­ing up far more than de­sign choice. Mr. Williams de­scribes Medium’s key ben­e­fit as res­cu­ing writ­ers from the “ter­ri­ble dis­trac­tion” of for­mat­ting chores. But con­sider the cost. Though he’s bait­ing the hook with de­sign, he’s also ask­ing you, the writer, to let him con­trol how you of­fer your work to read­ers. Mean­ing, to get the full ben­e­fit of Medium’s de­sign, you have to let your story live on Medium, send all your read­ers to Medium, have your work per­ma­nently en­tan­gled with other sto­ries on Medium, and so on—a sig­nif­i­cant concession.  

You’re definitely not owning your own data.

Boiled down, Medium is sim­ply mar­ket­ing in the ser­vice of more mar­ket­ing. It is not a “place for ideas.” It is a place for ad­ver­tis­ers. It is, there­fore, ut­terly superfluous.  

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A reply to Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s Why Not Blog?

Replied to Why Not Blog? by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)

My friend Alan Jacobs, a key inspiration in my return (such as it is, so far) to blogging and RSS and a generally pre-Twitter/Facebook outlook on the scholarly internet, is pondering the relationship between blogging and other forms of academic writing in thinking about his next project. Perhaps needless to say, this is something I’m considering as well, and I’m right there with him in most regards.

But there are a few spots where I’m not, entirely, and I’m not sure whether it’s a different perspective or a different set of experiences, or perhaps the latter having led to the former.

I really like where you’re coming from on so many fronts here (and on your site in general). Thanks for such a great post on a Friday afternoon. A lot of what you’re saying echos the ideas of many old school bloggers who use their blogs as “thought spaces“. They write, take comments, iterate, hone, and eventually come up with stronger thoughts and theses. Because of the place in which they’re writing, the ideas slowly percolate and grow over a continuum of time rather than spring full-formed seemingly from the head of Zeus the way many books would typically appear to the untrained eye. I’ve not quite seen a finely coalesced version of this idea though I’ve seen many dance around it obliquely. The most common name I’ve seen is that of a “thought space” or sometimes the phrase “thinking out loud”, which I notice you’ve done at least once. In some sense, due to its public nature, it seems like an ever-evolving conversation in a public commons. Your broader idea and blogging experience really make a natural progression for using a website to slowly brew a book.

My favorite incarnation of the idea is that blogs or personal websites are a digital and public shared commonplace book. Commonplaces go back to the 15th century and even certainly earlier, but I like to think of websites as very tech-forward versions of the commonplaces kept by our forebears.

I’ve seen a few educators like Aaron Davis and Ian O’Byrne take to the concept of a commonplace, though both have primary websites for writing and broader synthesis and secondary sites for collecting and annotating the web. I tend to aggregate everything (though not always published publicly) on my primary site after having spent some time trying not to inundate email subscribers as you’ve done.

There’s also a growing movement, primarily in higher education, known as A Domain of One’s Own or in shortened versions as either “Domains” or even #DoOO which is a digital take on the Virgina Woolf quote “Give her a room of her own and five hundred a year, let her speak her mind and leave out half that she now puts in, and she will write a better book one of these days.”

There are a growing number of educators, researchers, and technologists reshaping how the web is used which makes keeping an online commonplace much easier. In particular, we’re all chasing a lot of what you’re after as well:

Part of what I’m after is consolidating my presence online as much as possible, especially onto platforms that I can control.

To me, this sounds like one of the major pillars of the IndieWeb movement which is taking control of the web back from corporate social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et. al. Through odd serendipity, I came across your micro.blog account this morning which led me to your website. A lot of the underpinnings of micro.blog are informed by the IndieWeb movement. In many subtle ways, I might suspect the two had a lot of influence on your particular choice of WordPress theme.

Tonight I’ve also seen your reply to Dan Cohen’s question:

I had previously replied to Dan’s original question, but somehow missed your side thread at the time. I suspect you didn’t see our branch of the conversation either.

Interestingly, your presumption that the replies/notifications stay within their own domains isn’t necessarily fait accompli, at least not any more. There’s a new web specification in the past few years called Webmention that allows notifications and replies to cross website boundaries unlike Twitter @mentions which are permanently stuck within Twitter. Interestingly, because of the way you’ve set up your WordPress website to dovetail with micro.blog you’re almost 90 percent of the way to supporting it easily. If you add and slightly configure the Webmention and Semantic Linkbacks plugins, the asides and other content you’re syndicating into micro.blog will automatically collect the related conversation around them back to your own posts thus allowing you to have a copy of your content on your own website as well as the surrounding conversation, which is no longer as diffuse as you imagined it needed to be. Here’s an example from earlier this evening where I posted to my site and your response (and another) on micro.blog came back to me. (Sadly there’s a Gravatar glitch preventing the avatars from displaying properly, but hopefully I’ll solve that shortly.)

This same sort of thing can be done with Twitter including native threading and @mentions, if done properly, by leveraging the free Brid.gy service to force Twitter to send your site webmentions on your behalf. (Of course this means you might need to syndicate your content to Twitter in a slightly different manner than having micro.blog do on your behalf, but there are multiple ways of doing this.)

I also notice that you’ve taken to posting copies of your tweeted versions at the top of your comments sections. There’s a related IndieWeb plugin called Syndication Links that is made specifically to keep a running list of the places to which you’ve syndicated your content. This plugin may solve a specific need for you in addition to the fact that it dovetails well with Brid.gy to make sure your posts get the appropriate comments back via webmention.

I’m happy to help walk you through setting up some of the additional IndieWeb tech for your WordPress website if you’re interested. I suspect that having the ability to use your website as a true online hub in addition to doing cross website conversations is what you’ve been dreaming about, possibly without knowing it. Pretty soon you’ll be aggregating and owning all of your digital breadcrumbs to compile at a later date into posts and eventually articles, monographs, and books.

Perhaps more importantly, there’s a growing group of us in the education/research fields that are continually experimenting and building new functionalities for online (and specifically academic) communication. I and a plethora of others would welcome you to join us on the wiki, in chat, or even at upcoming online or in-person events.

In any case, thanks for sharing your work and your thoughts with the world. I wish more academics were doing what you are doing online–we’d all be so much richer for it. I know this has been long and is a potential rabbithole you may disappear into, so thank you for the generosity of your attention.

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Following Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Followed Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)

Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. Prior to assuming this role in 2017, she served as Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association, where she was Managing Editor of PMLA and other MLA publications. During that time, she also held appointments as Visiting Research Professor of English at NYU and Visiting Professor of Media at Coventry University. Before joining the MLA staff in 2011, she was Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, where she had been a member of the faculty since 1998.

Fitzpatrick is author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, which was published by NYU Press in November 2011; Planned Obsolescence was released in draft form for open peer review in fall 2009. She is also the author of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television, published in 2006 by Vanderbilt University Press (and of course available in print). She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 13,000 scholars and practitioners in the humanities. She is also co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, where she led a number of experiments in open peer review and other innovations in scholarly publishing. She serves on the editorial or advisory boards of publications and projects including the Open Library of the Humanities, Luminos, the Open Annotation Collaboration, PressForward, and thresholds. She currently serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

For further information, please see my CV.

I notice that Kathleen is practicing a lot of web principles similar to those in the IndieWeb community including syndication and adding syndication links, but she’s missing out on some of the additional goodies like Webmention support. Some pieces I suspect she’s come by very naturally, while others have a very micro.blog centric feel to them.

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🎧 Episode 335: Kind Of A Challenge For Newcomers | Core Intuition

Listened to Episode 335: Kind Of A Challenge For Newcomers by Daniel Jalkut, Manton Reece from Core Intuition
Daniel and Manton catch up after traveling to Chicago and Portland, respectively. Manton reflects on the IndieWeb Summit and the inspiration he took away from that event. They talk about learning to balance “business emergencies” with other obligations, and other indie business skills. Finally, they respond to Apple’s new Maps announcements, and whether Apple’s stance on privacy is an excuse for poor user experiences. Links:
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🎧 Episode 336: Bringing Webrings Back | Core Intuition

Listened to Episode 336: Bringing Webrings Back by Daniel Jalkut, Manton Reece from Core Intiution
Manton and Daniel talk about migrating Manton.org to run on Micro.blog. They reflect on the nostalgia and inspiration of old web conventions like webrings and blogrolls. Finally, they talk about macOS Mojave’s forthcoming AppleEvent sandboxing and the effect it has on a wide variety of apps.

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Reply to Brad Enslen about Blogrolls in WordPress

Replied to No Good WordPress Blogroll Plugins by Brad EnslenBrad Enslen (Brad Enslen)

Feh. Apparently there are no good blogroll plugins for WordPress.   I did look extensively through the WP plugins directory but didn’t find anything interesting. Most plugins were way out of date for my version of WP.

Might be an opportunity there for the Indieweb movement to aid discovery.

Apologies Brad. I just saw your follow up post and had meant to reply to your earlier one when I saw it last week, I just didn’t have the time to write a quick response. I had hoped you might have found something even better than what I’ve put together previously or perhaps started building a newer and shinier edifice.

There is actually an excellent and solid “plugin” for creating a blogroll, but it’s actually been hiding in WordPress core for ages: the original Link Manager. Use of it declined so much it was programatically “removed”, but all the code is still in core, it still works wonderfully, and it only requires a single line of code (or the simplest plugin ever written) to re-enable it.

It was very solid and didn’t need much iteration, so it should work fine with current versions of WordPress–it certainly does on mine.

I’ve written up a bunch of details on how and what I did (as well as why), so hopefully it’ll give you a solid start including some custom code snippets and reasonably explicit directions to make some small improvements for those that may be a bit code-averse. Hint: I changed it from being a sidebar widget to making it a full page. Let us know if you need help making some of the small code related changes to get yourself sorted.

Even if you just want a plug and play plugin, there are details for that in the post as well, you’ll just be stuck with putting the blogroll into a traditional sidebar position. (With conditional statements in the sidebar widget, you  could restrict the blogroll widget to only displaying on a “Following” page, for example.)

I do think there is still a more IndieWeb way of doing this, potentially by making follow posts with mark up that could be parsed by microsub readers perhaps? Certainly dovetailing something with microsub seems to be a laudable goal. I would like to eventually dive into the Link Manager code and add some additional microformats as well as update the OPML to v2, but there’s enough back compatibility that the older version is fine for most use cases I’ve run across. I know David Shanske has some ideas about some changes he’d like to see in the future as well. You could always also go super low tech the way Greg did and have a blogroll post that you update over time, though perhaps a page is a better way to go? Updating things to be more automated is certainly a reasonable goal though.

Give it a spin and see what you think. Here’s my Following page (aka blogroll) with details at the very bottom for subcategories of OPML subscription. I’ll try to update the IndieWeb blogroll page with some of these details to make them more imminently findable as well.

👓 How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet | New York Times

Read How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet by Farhad Manjoo (nytimes.com)
Much of the internet feels terrible. But using the web to learn an offline hobby can give you a glimpse of a healthier relationship with your digital devices.

I see a lot of what I love about the IndieWeb community being discussed tangentially in this article. Interestingly, with respect to this article’s headline there’s a double-entendre with regard to who they are and what they actually happen to be doing as an online community.

#IndieWeb #FTW

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Reply to Flogging the Dead Horse of RSS by Dean Shareski

Replied to Flogging the Dead Horse of RSS by Dean ShareskiDean Shareski (Ideas and Thoughts)
And I think it’s true. I don’t use RSS the way I did in 2004. That said, I remember reading that blogging was dead ten years ago. And while it’s maybe not trendy, many educators have seen its value and maintained a presence. Apparently, RSS has some valid uses as well but like most everyone, I tend to use social as a place to find new and emerging ideas. But I also think using Twitter and Facebook to haphazardly find content lacks intention and depth. I also value reading a person’s blog over time to understand better their voice and context. So I’m asking for some advice on how to update my module on finding research. What replaces RSS feeds? What works for you that goes beyond “someone on Twitter/Facebook shared….” to something that is more focused and intentional?

Dean, I can completely appreciate where you’re coming from. I too am still addicted to RSS (as well as a plethora of other feed types including Atom, JSON, and h-feeds). I didn’t come across your article by feed however, but instead by Aaron Davis’ response to your post which he posted on his own website and then pinged my site with his repsonse using a web specification called Webmention. We’re both members of a growing group of researchers, educators, and others who are using our own websites to act as our social media presences and using new technologies like Webmention to send notifications from website to website to carry on conversations.

While many of us are also relying on RSS, there are a variety of new emerging technologies that are making consuming and replying to content online easier while also allowing people to own all of their associated data. In addition to my article about The Feed Reader Revolution which Aaron mentioned in his reply, Aaron Pareck has recently written about Building an IndieWeb Reader. I suspect that some of these ideas encapsulate a lot of what you’d like to see on the web.

Most of us are doing this work and experimentation under the banner known as the IndieWeb. Since you know some of the web’s prior history, you might appreciate this table that will give you some idea of what the group has been working on. In particular I suspect you may appreciate some of the resources we’re compiling for IndieWeb for Education. If it’s something you find interest in, I hope you might join in our experimentations. You can find many of us in the group’s online chat.

I would have replied in your comments section, but unfortunately through a variety of quirks Disqus marks everything I publish to it immediately as spam. Thus my commentary is invariably lost. Instead, I’m posting it to a location I do have stricter control over–my own website. I’ll send you a tweet to provide you the notification of the post. I will cross-post my reply to Disqus if you want to dig into your spam folder to unspam it for display. In the meanwhile, I’m following you and subscribing to your RSS feed.

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👓 Retroactive Webmentioning | Peter Rukavina

Read Retroactive Webmentioning by Peter RukavinaPeter Rukavina (ruk.ca)
By way of testing out my Webmention module for Drupal, I took the 256 posts I’ve written here this year, ferreted out all the external links, discovered their Webmention endpoints, and sent a Webmention. Those 256 posts contained 840 links in total; of those links, 149 were to a target that suppor...

There are some interesting/useful statistics here. There’s also an interesting kernel of an idea about how one links to one’s own website internally as well. I find this very intriguing with respect to owning a digital commonplace book. Perhaps there are some ways to modify IndieMap for extracting some useful metadata out of one’s own website?

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👓 Controlling How Webmentions are Rendered | ruk.ca

Read Controlling How Webmentions are Rendered by Peter RukavinaPeter Rukavina (ruk.ca)
Ton continues to wrap his head around Webmention, and wonders about how mentions should be displayed on the “mentioned” site: What strikes me as odd now is how little control I have over how the Webmention and Semantic Linkbacks plugins actually deal with webmention data. The stuff I’d like to...
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👓 Wrapping My Head Around Webmentions Pt 2 | Interdependent Thoughts

Read Wrapping My Head Around Webmentions Pt 2 by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (Interdependent Thoughts)
I very much appreciate how Sven Knebel extensively responded to my previous posting on some Webmention issues I came across. Some of his responses do make me have new questions. About the wrong URL, i.e. not the source of the webmention, showing up in a Webmention, Sven writes: …. There’s a href...
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