The web is my social network

How I use WordPress to create the social platform I want
(and you can too!)

Chris Aldrich |

Slides at

WordCamp Riverside | Saturday, November 3, 2018
#WCRS18   |   #IndieWeb | This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Who uses the following?

Does anyone really like them?

What do these sites do that WordPress can’t do?

Why don’t we just use WordPress?

What’s the real difference? What are social sites really?


Telephone analogy

History of the Web and Blogosphere



Site Deaths

Site Death Watch Examples

Independent -> Yahoo -> Smugmug
On Thursday they announced switch from unlimited data to 1000 photos without paid account

Announced this month they’re sun-setting in August 2019

Site Death Examples

My Space
Google Reader
Google Buzz


IndieWeb Why

Why have your own website?

IndieWeb Why (continued)

Avoiding problems

IndieWeb Principles

IndieWeb Principles (continued)

IndieWeb How

IndieWeb for WordPress

IndieWeb Plugin

Helps you establish your IndieWeb identity by extending the user profile to provide rel-me and h-card fields. It also includes a bundled installer for a core set of IndieWeb-related plugins.

WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository


<p class="h-card">
<img class="u-photo" src="" alt="" />
<a class="p-name u-url" href="">Maria Blogger</a>
<a class="u-email" href=""></a>,
<span class="p-street-address">17 Austerstræti</span>
<span class="p-locality">Reykjavík</span>
<span class="p-country-name">Iceland</span>

h-card Visual Example


XFN 1.1 introduced the “me” rel value which is used to indicate profile equivalence and for identity-consolidation.

Example from my personal homepage:

<a href="" rel="me">@chrisaldrich</a>

Example from my Twitter profile:

<a href=""></a>

This can be used as a means of distributed identity verification.


Illustration by Dougal MacPherson courtesy of A List Apart ©2018

Webmention Model

Webmention for WordPress

Webmention Plugin
WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository

Semantic Linkbacks Plugin
WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository


Spam prevention

Home page set up for Mentions

Overview article: Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet

Sending your First Webmention from Scratch by Aaron Parecki

Post Kinds Plugin

Think about this as Post Formats on acid
WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository

Provides support for the following types of posts:
Article, Note (aka Status Update), Photo, Video, Audio
Reply, Repost, Like, Favorite, Bookmark, Quote, RSVP, Check-In, Issue
Listen/scrobble, Jam, Watch, Play, Read

Future support for kinds: Wish, Weather, Exercise, Trip, Itinerary, Tag, Eat, Drink, Follow, Mood, Recipe, Event, Sleep, Acquisition, Question

Flexibility to add or modify types to suit individual needs

Can add the context above or below your response to be more like Facebook and others.


POSSE is an abbreviation for Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere

PESOS is an acronym/abbreviation for Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate (to your) Own Site.

These methods will allow you to keep in touch until friends/family on corporate social silos until they can follow your lead.

Plugins that can be used to syndicate content easily:

Syndication Links Plugin

Provides fields to indicate where particular posts on your site were syndicated to.

WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository


IndieAuth Plugin

WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository

Wouldn’t you like to use your own domain name and web identity to log into other sites and services as yourself instead of delegating it to Twitter, Facebook, or giving away your email address?

Authorization endpoint looks like the following:
<link rel="authorization_endpoint" href="" />
<link rel="token_endpoint" href="" />

Micropub Plugin

Micropub is an open API standard (W3C Recommendation) that is used to create, update, and delete posts on one’s own domain using third-party clients. Web apps and native apps (e.g. iPhone, Android) can use Micropub to post and edit articles, short notes, comments, likes, photos, events, or other kinds of posts to your own site.

WordPress Repository  |  GitHub Repository

Remember all those old Twitter clients?

Could be leveraged for quick import and export of data to and from websites.

Great tool for developers and agencies to build custom, minimal, and clean user interfaces for clients to interact easily with their websites.

Micropub Example: Quill

Micropub Example:

Micropub Example: Omnibear

Micropub Example: OwnYourSwarm


Microsub provides a standardized way for reader apps to interact with feeds. By splitting feed parsing and displaying posts into separate parts, a reader app can focus on presenting posts to the user instead of also having to parse feeds. A Microsub server manages the list of people you’re following and collects their posts, and a Microsub app shows the posts to the user by fetching them from the server.

Servers: Aperture, Yarns (a WordPress-based server)

Clients: Monocle, Together, Indigenous (iOS/Android), Eckster



Future (continued)


Future (continued)

Providers / Businesses


WordPress related IndieWeb Resources website & wiki:

IndieWeb Chat:

IndieWeb Channel:

Getting started on WordPress:

IndieWeb for WordPress articles/research:

Contact Me



Chris Aldrich

Slides at