@ross, This sounds like an interesting IndieWeb version of analytics. I’ll bet you might find some interest there. You’d certainly find some who might try using it. I like the ethical way it sounds like you’re designing it.
@jbj Given the number of people I’ve seen experimenting over the past months, I’d be happy to put together a series of short pieces for @ProfHacker covering the areas of overlap of between #edtech, #DoOO, #indieweb, research, academic publishing, samizdat, commonplace books, etc. Essentially tighter versions of some of https://boffosocko.com/research/indieweb/ but specifically targeting the education space using WordPress, Known, and Grav. Let me know if you’d accept submissions for the community.
Perhaps better than allowing simply the download of an OPML file, it would be nice to have the ability to provide a link to an OPML file as well? This way feed readers like Inoreader that support OPML subscription would be able to auto update themselves when new feeds/friends are added to the list?
Depending on your infrastructure, you could potentially leverage the old Link Manager within WordPress which provided OPML outputs as well as outputs arranged by category. This would prevent you from needing to rebuild the side-files unless you’re doing that already.
I love how you’re trying to take control of all of the parts of your website. In particular, I think it’s a great idea to improve the usability of particular pages (both for yourself as well as for others) based on how you’re using the pages. I think more people should be considering this as an option.
Certainly having multiple WordPress installs can be a headache, though it will obviously work. I know some IndieWeb tech related to syndicating to various silos and using services like Brid.gy for backfeed will be hard to do when using more than two domains and targeting a single silo presence, so it’s not only a maintenance tax, but you might not have the flexibility you’d like if you syndicate content in multiple locations.
Another option is to use the same WordPress install to run multiple websites, which is also a possibility. Or you could also run a multi-site installation and go that route. This at least would cut down on needing to maintain and update multiple sites one at a time.
Possibly the best option, however, is to know that you can custom theme any and every page generated within your website. This isn’t done quite as often as it may take a bit more upfront development work and knowledge of how WordPress works internally as well as how to tweak your theme. The easiest thing to do is to create custom templates for each of the particular pages you want to change. When WordPress tries to build a page it relies on a nested hierarchy of templates potentially available within your theme. It starts at the top and stops when it finds one available and then uses that template. By targeting the particular page you’re making (by a variety of means) you can have direct control over what your page will look like. The nice part is if you’ve got templates from other themes, you can use those as a guide and include their CSS files to get the exact look and feel you want.
Now that you know it exists as an option, there are a huge variety of resources on the web that you can consult to begin tinkering. Below are a few potentially useful ones:
- A Detailed Guide To A Custom WordPress Page Templates
- Creating Custom Page Templates in WordPress
- How to Create a Custom Page in WordPress
- Page Templates (documentation from WordPress Developer)
- Taxonomy Templates (documentation from WordPress Developer)
I suspect even for those without a development background, one could do a bit of reading followed by some judicious cutting and pasting to get some reasonable results. I’m far from an expert in this area myself, but I was recently able to create a sort of landing page template for my podcast recently by creating a custom page that displays when the archive page for my ‘podcast’ category is rendered. Essentially I copied the archive template from my theme, added a bit of detail about the podcast just above the part where it renders the reverse chronological order of the category posts (I did this in simple raw HTML, without any ‘real’ coding), gave the file a new name
category-podcast.php so it would trigger when
/category/podcast/ is the URL, put it into my child theme (so it wouldn’t be overwritten if I update my theme), and voila–a landing page for the podcast!
If you’re not much of a developer/tinkerer, you could likely ask your departmental, divisional, or institutional web developer, someone at a local WordPress meetup or maybe a Homebrew Website Club to help you out a bit. I think once you’ve done it once with even some simple changes like I did on one page, you’ll have the gist of it and the sky is the limit for every other page on your site.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.