Read Social Attention: a modest prototype in shared presence by Matt Webb (Interconnected, a blog by Matt Webb)
My take is that the web could feel warmer and more lively than it is. Visiting a webpage could feel a little more like visiting a park and watching the world go by. Visiting my homepage could feel just a tiny bit like stopping by my home. And so to celebrate my blogging streak reaching one year, this week, I’m adding a proof of concept to my blog, something I’m provisionally calling Social Attention.
You had me at “select text”…

If somebody else selects some text, it’ll be highlighted for you. 

Suddenly social annotation has taken an interesting twist. @Hypothes_is better watch out! 😉
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:03AM

How often have you been on the phone with a friend, trying to describe how to get somewhere online? Okay go to Amazon. Okay type in “whatever”. Okay, it’s the third one down for me…
This is ridiculous!
What if, instead, you both went to the website and then you could just say: follow me. 

There are definitely some great use cases for this.
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:05AM

A status emoji will appear in the top right corner of your browser. If it’s smiling, there are other people on the site right now too. 

This is pretty cool looking. I’ll have to add it as an example to my list: Social Reading User Interface for Discovery.

We definitely need more things like this on the web.

It makes me wish the Reading.am indicator were there without needing to click on it.

I wonder how this sort of activity might be built into social readers as well?
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:13AM

If I’m in a meeting, I should be able to share a link in the chat to a particular post on my blog, then select the paragraph I’m talking about and have it highlighted for everyone. Well, now I can. 

And you could go a few feet farther if you added [fragment](https://indieweb.org/fragmention) support to the site, then the browser would also autoscroll to that part. Then you could add a confetti cannon to the system and have the page rain down confetti when more than three people have highlighted the same section!
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:18AM

I want the patina of fingerprints, the quiet and comfortable background hum of a library. 

A great thing to want on a website! A tiny hint of phatic interaction amongst internet denizens.
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:20AM

What I’d like more of is a social web that sits between these two extremes, something with a small town feel. So you can see people are around, and you can give directions and a friendly nod, but there’s no need to stop and chat, and it’s not in your face. It’s what I’ve talked about before as social peripheral vision (that post is about why it should be build into the OS). 

I love the idea of social peripheral vision online.
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:22AM

streak: New posts for 52 consecutive weeks. 

It’s kind of cool that he’s got a streak counter for his posts.
Annotated on March 28, 2021 at 10:24AM

Hypothes.is as a comment system: Receiving @​mentions and notifications for your website

I’ve wanted @mention/Webmention support on Hypothes.is for a long time. I had URL hacked my way into a solution a while back but never wrote about it.

I was reminded today that one can subscribe to an RSS/ATOM feed of annotations on their site (or any site for that matter) using the feed format https://hypothes.is/stream.rss?wildcard_uri=https://www.example.org/* and replacing the example.org URL with the desired one. Nota bene: the /* at the end makes the query a wildcard to find anything on your site. If you leave it off you’ll only get the annotations on your homepage.

If you’re using Hypothes.is in an off-label use case as a commenting system on your website, this can be invaluable. I recall Tom Critchlow and CJ Eller trying this out in the past.

To go a step further, one can also use this scheme to get a feed of @mentions of their Hypothes.is username too. If I’m not mistaken, based on some preliminary tests, this method should work for finding username both with and without the @ being included.

These are a few interesting tidbits for those who are using Hypothes.is not only for the social annotation functionality, but as a social media site or dovetailing it with their own websites and related workflows.

Bookmarked One Year in the IndieWeb by Murray AdcockMurray Adcock (theAdhocracy)
The IndieWeb is a toolkit. A collection of ideas, technologies, and services that can help you solve some particularly tricky problems. If you're wanting to get involved in the IndieWeb, the first question you need to ask is: what problem do I have?
Replied to a tweet by Brian LeRoux (Twitter)
IndieWeb IS wonderfully popular!

You’re maybe wondering why more companies haven’t turned IndieWeb building blocks into a product like Micro.blog has?

There are a few others certainly.

For the masses, we’re going to need more providers who are ethically working toward IndieWeb as a Service (IaaS). Companies willing to allow people to be the customer rather than exploiting them as the product.

Of course, if you’re running WithKnown, you’re already there with all the trimmings. If you’re on WordPress or Drupal with your own domain, you’re already there too, but you can add lots of additional interactive functionality with a few plugins. There are dozens of available platforms that will do the job and each one has a multitude of options and configurations.

All that choice comes with a spectacular amount of complexity. Hopefully some clever companies will narrow down some popular options and make them available to large numbers of people for a reasonable price.

(Personally I wonder what things might look like if your online social IndieWeb infrastructure was run by your local public library or your local newspaper?)

The community has and continues to do a lot of incredibly difficult work to make dramatically different websites be able to interoperate and communicate with one another. Many of the roads are well worn now, we need others to come and pave them to be as equitable and easy-to-use for the rest of humankind.

All this said, of course we still also have additional complex problems like privacy, safety, anti-bullying, etc. to conquer so that we don’t end up with a decentralized version of Facebook and continue repeating the same problems of the past.

Many of us are content with small, organic growth. Massive overnight growth is often a myth, and if it does happen, you can have unmanageable and unanticipated problems seen in situations like the “eternal September“.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead

Replied to a tweet by Andy BellAndy Bell (Twitter)
It’s not quite Aaron Parecki’s social reader set up, but I’ve described how to bootstrap some of this to Inoreader until they decide to support micropub capabilities to make this easier.
Liked a tweet (Twitter)
Can’t wait to try out Velox as an IndieWeb friendly theme!
Listened to Episode 2 - Zines! by This Is Altadena from This is Altadena (Podomatic)

What is a zine? The name "zine" is a shortened version of "fanzine" which is a portmanteau of the word "fan" and "magazine". Most people that think of zines think of punk rock and the punk community, where the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos is more than just a slogan, it's a way of life. In truth, "zines" have been around for centuries, going back to Thomas Paine's famous pamphlet "Common Sense". These homemade publications can be about anything their creators desire - music, art, politics, or something personal. Chloe Cavelier sits down for a conversation with library staffer and resident zine expert Alice Wynne to discuss the past, present and future of zines and Altadena Public Library's very own zine collection. Later Chloe speaks with Bob Lucas Branch manager Diana Wong to discuss Bob's new and improved demonstration garden. Subscribe to This Is Altadena at any and all of the places you get podcasts including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I got a copy of the library’s zine last Friday. This is such a cool project. They’ve reached out to me briefly as a steward of a Little Free Library, but I’ll have to stop in and pick up a few copies to have in my library.
 
I’d like to join the next session to see what I might add to help people bring their zines into online spaces as well. I see a lot of overlap here with some of my work with the IndieWeb.

 

Bookmarked OERxDomains Conference (alt.ac.uk)
Online - 21-22 April 2021
Organised by the Association for Learning Technology and partnership with Reclaim Hosting’s Domains Conference, this special edition of the much loved event is the 12th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy. We are proud to incorporate a special strand hosted by the Domains Conference - bringing our two communities closer together in 2021.

OER AND Domains?! I’m totally in for this.

Anyone want to collaborate on a slate of IndieWeb-related topics to submit for this? Proposals are due in late January and it would be interesting to have a handful of IndieWeb tech and some of our experiments discussed at this conference.

Who’s game? Greg McVerry, William Ian O’Byrne, Kimberly Hirsh, Mark Aaron Davis, Cathie LeBlanc, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Ken Bauer, Davey Moloney, Will Monroe?

Replied to a tweet by Stian Håklev (Twitter)

We totally need to schedule a follow up to the IndieWeb Gardens & Streams session from early 2020 to discuss the efflorescence of platforms in this space. I’d love to see more of them supporting Webmention for garden-to-garden interactions.

My poor little website passed 23,000 comments/replies/reactions yesterday. This is in tremendous part due to webmentions and the ability to collect the conversation about my content across social spaces.

I’m wondering when comments will pass the number of posts (currently 27,648)?

Automating syndication of reply contexts in Twitter Cards using OGP metacrap and plugins in WordPress

A Metacrap Problem

It’s metacrap–I know, I know–but I’ve been thinking about easy ways to use Open Graph Protocol meta data to add contextual Twitter cards to some of my content when syndicating posts to Twitter. My goal is to leverage the speed and ease-of-use of Micropub clients while doing as little as possible manually, but achieving as much parity between posts on multiple sites. 

I’m particularly keen to do this to syndicate/share more of the articles I read and post about on my site without adding additional manual work on my own part.

Outline of Some Resources

The Post Kinds plugin for WordPress parses URLs for me and pulls in data to create reply contexts for a variety of posts like bookmarks, reads, watches, listens, etc. Since Post Kinds doesn’t display featured images (yet), I’ve also been using the External Featured Image plugin to display the featured images from the original to add to the reply context of my posts as well. 

In addition to all these I’ve been using the All in One SEO plugin to easily add an SEO layer to posts without having to do much thinking about it. AIOSEO recently upgraded their UI and features in the last year, and yesterday I upgraded to the newest v4.0+. One of the new features it’s got is the ability to add default fields or pull in pre-existing custom fields to output OGP meta data. 

Start of a Solution

So I got the idea that since Post Kinds and External Featured Image plugins are pulling in and displaying the sort of data I’d like to show in Twitter cards, I figured why not use them? While metacrap is a DRY violation, the fact that it’s automated for me and is based on data I’m actually showing visually on my website makes it feel much less dirty. It also has the benefit that it helps make some of my syndicated content look and feel on Twitter, more like it does on my website. This is also a problem since Twitter hampers how much data I can syndicate in a single post.

I’ve still got some issues about how to deal with the Post Kinds data, but after a bit of digging around, I discovered the image URL for External Featured Image plugin is hiding in the _dcms_eufi_img field. So I can make the default Twitter settings in AIOSEO pull the external image by setting Default Post Image Source to Image from Custom Field and set the Post Custom Field Name to _dcms_eufi_img

Since a lot of my posts are reads, bookmarks, etc., this works well, but I can easily override the settings for articles or other custom posts which I make less frequently. 

Hopefully I can figure out the settings for Post Kinds to get the rest of the default fields to map across. I’m happy to hear ideas on what field names I’d need to use to get the Post Kinds Name and Summary/Quote fields to map over for the og:title and og:description respectively. Ideally I can manage to get it done without needing to get a subscription to the pro version of AIOSEO which also has support for custom taxonomies which is how Post Kinds works.

Since my theme has relatively solid microformats support, and I have plugin infrastructure to allow easy syndication from my website to Twitter through micropub clients, this last bit for creating Twitter reply contexts helps close some of the loop for me in my syndication workflow while keeping as much context across platforms.

Example

Here’s a visual example of a native post on my site and the corresponding syndicated copy on Twitter. There are some differences, mostly because I don’t have as much control of the appearance on Twitter as I do on my own site, but they’re about as close as I can get them with minimal work.

screen capture of a tweet with my thought at the top and a Twitter card underneath it including the reply context of the article I'm responding to

screencapture of a read post on my website for a Slate article with a reply context at the top and my response to it just below