Reply to Dan Cohen tweet

Replied to a tweet by Dan CohenDan Cohen (Twitter)

Dan, There are a lot of moving pieces in your question and a variety of ways to implement them depending on your needs and particular website set up. Fortunately there are lots of educators playing around in these spaces already who are experimenting with various means and methods as well as some of their short and long term implications.

I suspect some of the most interesting parts may be more closed off to you  (or possibly more difficult) because in your particular case it looks like you’re being hosted on WordPress.com rather than self-hosting your own site directly. For the richest experience you’d ideally like to be able to install some of the IndieWeb for WordPress plugins like Webmentions, Semantic Linkbacks, Post Kinds, and potentially others. This can be done on WordPress.com, but typically involves a higher level of paid account for the most flexibility.

For crossposting your content to micro.blog, that portion is fairly simple as you can decide on any variety of post formats (standard, aside, status, images, etc.), post kinds, categories, or even tags and translate those pieces into RSS feeds your WordPress installation is already creating (most often just by adding /feed/ to the end of common URLs for these items). Then you can plug those particular feeds into your micro.blog account and you’re good to go for feeding content out easily without any additional work. Personally I’m using the Post Kinds plugin to create a finer-grained set of content so that I can better pick and choose what gets syndicated out to other sites.

From within micro.blog, on your accounts tab you can enter any number of incoming feeds to your account. Here’s a list of some of the feeds (from two of my websites one using WordPress and the other using Known) that are going to my account there:

 

 

As a small example, if you were using the status post format on your site, you should be able to add https://dancohen.org/type/status/feed/ to your feed list on micro.blog and then only those status updates would feed across to the micro.blog community.

I also bookmarked a useful meta-post a few weeks back that has a nice section on using micro.blog with WordPress. And there are also many nice resources on the IndieWeb wiki for micro.blog and how people are integrating it into their workflows.

For crossposting to Twitter there are a multitude of options depending on your need as well as your expertise and patience to set things up and the control you’d like to have over how your Tweets display.

Since micro.blog supports the Webmention protocol, if your site also has Webmentions set up, you can get responses to your crossposts to micro.blog to show up back on your site as native (moderate-able) comments. You can do much the same thing with Twitter and use your website as a Twitter “client” to post to Twitter as well as have the replies and responses from Twitter come back to your posts using webmention in conjunction with the brid.gy website.

I’ve been playing around in these areas for quite a while and am happy to help point you to particular resources depending on your level of ability/need. If you (or anyone else in the thread as well) would like, we can also arrange a conference call/Google hangout (I’m based in Los Angeles) and walk through the steps one at a time to get you set up if you like (gratis, naturally). Besides, it’s probably the least I could do to pay you back for a small fraction of your work on things like PressForward, Zotero, and DPLA that I’ve gotten so much value out of.

Because of the power of these methods and their applicability to education, there are an ever-growing number of us working on the issue/question of scaling this up to spread across larger classrooms and even institutions. I’m sure you saw Greg McVerry’s reply about some upcoming potential events (as well as how he’s receiving comments back from Twitter via webmention, if you scroll down that page). I hope you might join us all. The next big event is the IndieWeb Summit in Portland at the end of June. If you’re not able to make it in person, there should be some useful ways to attend big portions remotely via video as well as live chat, which is actually active 24/7/365.

As is sometimes said: I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. At least I wasn’t hampered by Twitter’s character constraints by posting it on my own site first.

 

 

 

 

 

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👓 New Communities Can Be Overwhelming | David Wolfpaw

Replied to New Communities Can Be Overwhelming by David WolfpawDavid Wolfpaw (davidwolfpaw.com)
I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the IndieWeb space this year, with the intention of revamping my lifelogging site to both include more services that I still use (and remove the fitness tracking that I decided to stop), as well as become a repository for webmentions.

David, Welcome! Come on in, the water’s fine…

I remember lurking for over a year and a half before dipping a toe in for the first time myself. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind, thoughtful, supportive, and helpful that I now regret having let so much time pass before jumping in with both feet.

Since it looks like you’re playing in the WordPress world, feel free to drop into the #WordPress channel (or any of the others for that matter) anytime to ask questions, help others solve problems (we can always use help with UX/UI, and themes especially), talk about what itches you’re working on, or even just to say “hi”. If you haven’t yet, I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting some of the WP regulars including pfefferle (Germany), GWG (New York), miklb (Florida), snarfed (San Francisco), jgmac1106 (Connecticut), jeremycherfas (Rome), and me: chrisaldrich (Los Angeles).

I hope that the most overwhelming part isn’t getting to know the community, but the sheer number of things that are becoming possible to do with one’s website that weren’t as easily possible just a few years ago. My biggest problem reading the chat logs usually comes in the form of saying, “That sounds/looks cool, I want that too!” about 8 times a day. My best advice for “eating the whole whale” is to do it one bite at a time.

I’ll also personally extend an invitation to the upcoming IndieWeb Summit in Portland at the end of the month. If you can’t make it in person, there should be enough support to allow a lot of direct participation via chat and live streaming video–it’s not quite as much fun as attending in person, but you can participate to a level higher than most conferences typically allow.

Welcome again!

 

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reply to tkasasagi tweet

Replied to a tweet by tkasasagitkasasagi (Twitter)

I hope you do blog about it, I’m sure many would find it useful. I’ve been using my own website as a commonplace book for a while now, not only for blogging as you’ve considered, but also to bookmark interesting things, to highlight and make notes of what I read, and generally use it as my online notebook/research/study space. I do post some personal tidbits, but a large amount of what I post (both research and personal) is actually private and only viewable by me. Perhaps worth considering as you continue your studies which others have interest in as well?

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Reply to Greg McVerry about Hypothesis

Replied to a post by Greg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
@chrisaldrich Wouldn’t it be neat if @hypothesis was also a micropub client or used the API so I could PESOS each annotation to my blog as a quote post-kind? So cool @xolotl is coming coming to #indieweb summit. Know the markup doesn’t match but that ain’t a hard fix. Has to be somefun ways regardless of tech to make wordpress and open annotation talk.

There is the (abandoned?) Hypothesis Aggregator plugin  which Nate has worked on a bit that allows a relatively easy PESOS workflow from Hypothes.is to WordPress, but you’re right that it would be nice to have a micropub version that would work for all CMSs.

Personally, I’d also love them to support Webmention which I think would be generally useful as well. There are obvious use cases for it in addition to an anti-abuse one which I’ve written about before. Perhaps if it were supported and had better anti-troll or NIPSA (Not In Public Site Areas) features folks like Audrey Watters might not block it.

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Reply to Your Challenge: Take Back The Open Web

Replied to Your Challenge: Take Back The Open Web by Daniel Bachhuber (WordCamp for Publishers: Chicago)

This year, we’re asking for speaker applications that focus on Taking Back The Open Web. But what does this really mean?

One thought is that the Open Web is inclusive and encourages fair distribution of ideas with no barrier to entry. It exists in opposition to proprietary systems created by companies for the purposes of lock-in, control of user experience, or requiring payment for entry. In 2010, the New York Times pointed out ways in which these platforms trade fair access to ideas for a better-looking web.

It’s 2018 now, and we’ve seen the impact of opaque, tightly-controlled systems. In  “Can We Save the Open Web”, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert asks:

Do we want the experiences of the next billion web users to be defined by open values of transparency and choice, or by the siloed and opaque convenience of the walled-garden giants dominating today?

After helping to implement and post the first “Read posts” within WordPress using the W3C Webmention spec yesterday, I really can’t wait to see what the WordCamp for Publishers: Chicago begins announcing for their upcoming lineup on the topic “Take Back the Open Web.”

Most promising to me is that this WordCamp actively, purposely, and contemporaneously quoted Drupal founder Dries Buytaert in their announcement right after he began contemplating POSSE vs. PESOS and other IndieWeb philosophies.

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👓 Becoming More Interested in icos | Ben Werdmuller

Read Becoming more interested in ICOs by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
I started looking at blockchain from a position of extreme skepticism. Over time, mostly thanks to friends like Julien Genestoux and the amazing team over at DADA, I've come to a better understanding. I've always been interested in decentralization as a general topic, of course - the original visi...

Ben, like you I’m highly skeptical of the word blockchain when applied to any business. My background in cryptography and information theory indicates that the technical side of things is generally on the up and up, but the long term use with huge ledgers and massive transaction scale doesn’t seem to scale the way most seem to be hoping it will.

The one interesting business use case I’ve seen was on the fundraising front, but it also has a lot of the downside you mention for use in building a business. If it helps lay out a sketch of what the thing would look like from a startup perspective, I’m including the recorded talk I saw a few months ago. Still I say caveat emptor.

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Reply to vishae’s issue Affects the status of private posts

Replied to Affects the status of private posts · Issue #70 · dshanske/simple-location by vishaevishae (GitHub)
I've noticed this issue for a little while now but it's only today that I took the time to try and weed out the source. Whenever I update a post marked as private (visibility set to private), the post would get published to the public instead. Even when I edit the post to try to set it to private again, it still remains public. I have to go to the All Post (edit.php) page and quick edit the post to change the privacy there. It's only when I deactivated simple-locations this issue stopped happening and I can update and change the privacy of my posts in the indvidual post editing page.

I could have sworn I filed this as an issue before myself, but I’m not seeing it in the queue. Perhaps I mentioned in chat somewhere?

Simple location’s privacy setting seems to override the post’s public/private settings on my site as well. Perhaps it’s a naming conflict (function/filter/etc.) with WP’s core content visibility code?

In any case, I can’t make a post private while Simple Location is installed/activated either. This seems to happen regardless of other plugins. I do seem to be able to use @vishae’s method of using the quick edit option to change a post to private. I’m not sure if this may indicate a potential solution to the issue based on what is firing on a post save/update versus what fires on a quick edit save.

Additionally, I don’t seem to be able to mark a particular location as “private” in a post either as upon saving it it defaults back to public in the UI. I only seem to be able to use “public” or “protected” options for locations.

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Reply to Second try at language

Replied to Second try at language · dshanske/wordpress-webmention@c97ff2b (GitHub)

Another alternative:

To respond on your own website, enter the URL of your response which should contain a link to this post’s permalink URL. Your response will then appear (possibly after moderation) on this page. Want to update or remove your response? Update or delete your post and re-enter your post’s URL again.

If there’s the ability to hook into whether or not comments are moderated, one could simplify it slightly with an if/then statement based on the site’s moderation policy to either include, or not, the part about moderation.

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Reply to Anna Holmes’ post about using cheese as a bookmark

Replied to a tweet by Anna Holmes (Twitter)

Move over chicken. I can already see someone in the IndieWeb community creating a Cheese post kind to begin cheesemarking content on the internet.

 

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Reply to “Post New” page not showing Reply to URL · Issue #168

Replied to "Post New" page not showing Reply to URL · Issue #168 dshanske/indieweb-post-kinds (GitHub)

Sorry, David, I seem to be breaking your stuff left right and centre.

I've been using Post Kinds plug to post replies to other websites, but then last night when I clicked on "reply" in Kinds, the usual URL bar (for pasting in the article URL I'm replying to) doesn't show up.

I thought it was because of one of the plugins I've installed, so I restored my WP back to an instance when the URL bar was showing. After the restore, Post Kinds starts working again, but after posting a couple of posts (without adding any new plugins) the URL bar stops showing again.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

I’ve seen some issues similar to this, but haven’t been able to figure out what the root cause may be. It began in the version of Post Kinds just after you updated the Response Properties Meta box moving based on the post kind being chosen.

In general, the problem seems to be that the Response Properties checkbox in the Screen Options (in the top right hand corner of the admin UI) doesn’t seem to remember its prior state. Thus I’ve needed to occasionally open the screen options and recheck the Response Properties box to see its meta box.

I’ve played around with it a bit, but can’t always reliably recreate the issue. It does seem to be happening less frequently now compared to when I originally upgraded. Is it possible that the checkbox state is only saved per kind?

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Reply to The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) by Sebastian Greger

Replied to The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) by Sebastian GregerSebastian Greger (sebastiangreger.net)
Originally intended to showcase a privacy-centred implementation of emerging social web technologies – with the aim to present a solution not initially motivated by legal requirements, but as an example of privacy-aware interaction design – my “social backfeed” design process unveiled intricate challenges for Indieweb sites, both for privacy in general and legal compliance in particular.

Again Sebastian Greger has written up a well-thought-out and nuanced approach to design. Here he discusses privacy and GDPR with a wealth of research and direct personal experience in these areas. He’s definitely written something interesting which I hope sparks the beginning of a broader conversation and evaluation of our ethics.

There’s so much to think about and process here, that I’ll have to re-read and think more specifically about all the details. I hope to come back to this later to mark it up and annotate it further.

I’ve read relatively deeply about a variety of privacy issues as well as the weaponization of data and its improper use by governments and businesses to unduly influence people. For those who are unaware of this movement over the recent past, I would highly recommend Cathy O’Neil’s text Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which provides an excellent overview with a variety of examples about how the misuse of data can be devastating not just to individuals who are broadly unaware of it, but entire segments of society.

There is a lot of publicly available data we reveal via social media and much of it one might flippantly consider “data exhaust” which has little, if any inherent value by itself. Unfortunately when used in aggregate, it can reveal striking things about us which we may either not be aware of ourselves or which  we wouldn’t want to be openly known.

My brief thought here is that much like the transition from the use of smaller arms and handguns, which can kill people in relatively small numbers, to weapons like machine guns on up to nuclear weapons, which have the ability to quickly murder hundreds to millions at a time, we will have to modify some of our social norms the way we’ve modified our “war” norms over the past century. We’ll need to modify our personal social contracts so that people can still interact with each other on a direct basis without fear of larger corporations, governments, or institutions aggregating our data, processing it, and then using it against us in ways which unduly benefit them and tremendously disadvantage us as individuals, groups, or even at the level of entire societies.

In my mind, we need to protect the social glue that holds society together and improves our lives while not allowing the mass destruction of the fabric of society by large groups based on their ability to aggregate, process, and use our own data against us.

Thank you Sebastian for kicking off a broader conversation!

Disclaimer: I’m aware that in posting this to my own site that it will trigger a tacit webmention which will ping Sebastian Greger’s website. I give him permission to display any and all data he chooses from the originating web page in perpetuity, or until such time as I send a webmention either modifying or deleting the content of the originating page. I say this all with some jest, while I am really relying on the past twenty years of general social norms built up on the internet and in general society as well as the current practices of the IndieWeb movement to govern what he does with this content.

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Replied to Add ability to edit Linkbacks type and fields manually · Issue #75 · pfefferle/wordpress-semantic-linkbacks (GitHub)
Add these fields to the edit comment form in the admin. Partially this is also to allow viewing of this data in the admin.

Some additional related thoughts/ideas:

For more easily editing webmentions (aka comments) and their types it would be nice if the Comments UI page (usually found at /wp-admin/edit-comments.php) could be modified to add some additional columns for improved UI/UX.

In particular it would be nice to have direct access to see and sort comments by the semantic_linkbacks_type field as well as potentially via dropdown UI to be able to modify the type (mention, reply, like, favorite, read, listen, etc.). In particular, I find I’d often like to take a basic webmention and turn it into a “reply” to show the full content (particularly while facepiling simple mentions) when it substantively adds to the discussion.

Until #166 is resolved it would be nice to also have easier manual access to be able to modify semantic_linkbacks_avatar in bulk when they either don’t exist or fail to resolve.

It would also be nice to be able to (via query parameters in the URL perhaps?) filter out certain webmention types in the Comment page view. As an example, this might allow someone to more easily see only replies without cluttering up the page with likes, bookmarks, etc. to more easily reply to commenters.

As a potential guide, there is a related plugin called Admin Columns which has some related code that allows adding arbitrary admin columns as well as editing and formatting them.

Mock example of additional columns for webmentions and types
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Reply to More IndieWeb compatible themes #2

Replied to More indieweb compatible themes · Issue #2 · indieweb/wordpress-feature-requests (GitHub)
Currently SemPress is listed as the only theme that is fully microformats2 compliant, but its style is very distinct and will not appeal to everyone. Many indieweb WP sites use twentysixteen or Independent Publisher. I have tried many combinations of the last 2 with the mf2 plugin, and ended up having to edit the theme code to get everything working. Would be great to have more options for themes that "just work". :)

A few random tips/pointers:

@GWG has put out a very customized version of his Twenty Sixteen Theme on Github. For those who have some development skills or are willing to look at examples to try changes themselves, the commit history of this particular theme is very enlightening and does a reasonable step-by-step job of providing snapshots of what he changed in Twenty Sixteen to make it more IndieWeb-friendly. For most themes, one may not want to go as far as he did to remove Post Formats in favor of Post Kinds for greater flexibility, but most of the rest is pretty useful and solid as an example if one is converting/forking other popular themes to make them more IndieWeb friendly.

There are a number of very IndieWeb-friendly themes and even child themes listed on the Themes page of the wiki. Most of these should “just work” though a few may have small bugs which could be filed to their respective repositories to improve them.

It’s generally recommended not to use the mf2 plugin with themes which are already very IndieWeb-friendly as it can cause issues or have unintended consequences. That plugin is generally better used when themes only have the minimal microformats v1 code which is added by WordPress core.

There are also lots of details and brainstorming for improving themes in general on the wiki page for WordPress/Development/#Themes.

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Reply to A (very) gentle comment on Algebraic Geometry for the faint-hearted | Ilyas Khan

Replied to A (very) gentle comment on Algebraic Geometry for the faint-hearted by Ilyas KhanIlyas Khan (LinkedIn)
This short article is the result of various conversations over the course of the past year or so that arose on the back of two articles/blog pieces that I have previously written about Category Theory (here and here). One of my objectives with such articles, whether they be on aspects of quantum computing or about aspects of maths, is to try and de-mystify as much of the associated jargon as possible, and bring some of the stunning beauty and wonder of the subject to as wide an audience as possible. Whilst it is clearly not possible to become an expert overnight, and it is certainly not my objective to try and provide more than an introduction (hopefully stimulating further research and study), I remain convinced that with a little effort, non-specialists and even self confessed math-phobes can grasp some of the core concepts. In the case of my articles on Category Theory, I felt that even if I could generate one small gasp of excited comprehension where there was previously only confusion, then the articles were worth writing.

I just finished a course on Algebraic Geometry through UCLA Extension, which was geared toward non-traditional math students and professionals, and wish I had known about Smith’s textbook when I’d started. I did spend some time with Cox, Little, and O’Shea’s Ideals, Varieties, and Algorithms which is a pretty good introduction to the area, but written a bit more for computer scientists and engineers in mind rather than the pure mathematician, which might recommend it more toward your audience here as well. It’s certainly more accessible than Hartshorne for the faint-of-heart.

I’ve enjoyed your prior articles on category theory which have spurred me to delve deeper into the area. For others who are interested, I thought I’d also mention that physicist and information theorist John Carlos Baez at UCR has recently started an applied category theory online course which I suspect is a bit more accessible than most of the higher graduate level texts and courses currently out. For more details, I’d suggest starting here: https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/seven-sketches-in-compositionality/

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Reply to chenoehart’s tweet about community

Replied to a tweet by Chenoe HartChenoe Hart (Twitter)
Whenever I find myself actively seeking something to RT it always feels like there’s nothing but noise. Seem to find the most interesting things to share after I’ve already found too many things to RT at once.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to tweet just in general, and wish there was an easy way to just have casual conversations on here, tweet about the weather or something. It’s often really just a proxy for trying to meet people anyway.

I’ve had this feeling before and often long for the earlier days of Twitter when it functioned more like this. The popularization of Twitter in 2009 and the subsequent iteration on the platform and its community killed all the original spirit. It also reminds me of a piece I’d read recently by John Naughton1 about how toxic the retweet functionality (and other gamification like likes/favorites) can be.

I’ve seen the type of interaction you’re describing in smaller pockets of the internet on services like App.net (aka ADN, now defunct), pnut, and 10centuries, and a few corners of the Mastodon sphere.

The place I’ve seen it done well most recently is on Manton Reece‘s awesome micro.blog service, which I think has some strong community spirit and a greater chance of longevity. They’ve specifically left off “features” like follower counts, number of likes, and made conversation front and center. As a result it is a much more solid and welcoming community. I’m curious, as always, if they can maintain it as they scale, but the fact that they encourage people to have their own website and own their own data mean that you can take it all with you somewhere else if they ever cease meeting your needs in the future–something that certainly can’t be easily done on Twitter.

I hope you find the connections with the types of people you’d like to meet.

Originally bookmarked on April 01, 2018 at 09:22PM

References

1.
Naughton J. How to stay sane on Twitter: ignore retweets. Memex 1.1: John Naughton’s online diary. http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2018/03/11/25409. Published March 11, 2018. Accessed April 12, 2018.
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