If others want to see my details, the’re available on my site (when I make them public), but they’re primarily for my benefit and not others. The public copy conforms to the silo’s requirements and can be modified by the repo owners, if necessary.
Bookmarked at 2020/01/10 9:51:41 pm
With the help of snarfed.org I've now got brid.gy running locally and syndicating RSVPs from my website to Meetup.com - hopefully it'll be live next week for the rest of the #IndieWeb to enjoy https://github.com/snarfed/bridgy/issues/873
For those looking to tinker with their websites as it relates to interacting with Mastodon, the IndieWeb has a reasonable number of potential options in addition to your ability to roll your own.
Not wanting to wait to see what David might come up with before the next couple of IndieWebCamps, I thought I’d at least do some research to see what was hiding in the good old WordPress repository. I found a few old plugins that were roughly the sort of idea I was looking for, but they were last maintained about 8-10 years ago.
Apparently the plugin itself had an early simple start before the developer came across Jon Smajda’s plugin Posthaste which was apparently repurposed for the Prologue/P2 code that WordPress used for that product/theme. He’s since rewritten a large chunk of it based on Posthaste’s original code and added in some basic formatting options and the ability to add media, so one can post a quick note along with a photo.
Settings for the plugin are hiding in
Settings << Writing admin interface (or at the path
/wp-admin/options-writing.php on your website) which includes the ability to choose which pages to display the “widget” and allowing one to hide the title, tags, categories, draft seclector, one’s Gravatar, and the Greeting and Links. I’d personally pare my version down to just provide tags, categories, and the draft options to keep the interface as clean as possible.
Finally the developer notes that within the user interface “if you leave the ‘Category:’ box at its default setting it posts to your default category. However… If you have a category named ‘asides’, it will put posts with empty titles into the ‘asides’ category even if you do not explicitly specify the ‘asides’ category in the dropdown. You can then style them as asides.”
I’ve already discussed some of the immediate benefits for easily and quickly posting directly from my own website. Just below I’ll add a few others.
Most importantly for me at the moment, the plugin works with the Classic Editor in WordPress. The interface also only shows up when one is logged into their website, so visitors won’t ever see it.
The plugin automatically takes the first 40 characters of your note and posts that into the title field, so you don’t have to bother with it. Sadly, this means that feed readers and other services will take your status updates and give them a title. (Though in the wild, most feed readers do something like this anyway. I am hearing strong rumors that Inoreader is about to have better support for social media-like posts soon.) For those using the plugin for IndieWeb use and prefer to keep their notes/asides/status updates titleless, you can spelunk into the code pretty easily and make a quick change which the developer kindly documents in his support page:
But, if you want to modify the title character limit it is easy to do.
- Go to this plugin’s folder and open the narwhal-microblog.php file.
- In this file you will see a line for this max character limit and you will see the number 40. You could just increase it to something like 100, 3500, or 999999. Depending on how long you are willing to let your titles get.
In my case, I think I’ll just decrease the character limit to 0 and then rely on the Post Kinds plugin to add it’s customary pseudo-title to the admin interface on my back end so that I can distinguish my posts in the posts pages.
The category chooser could be a little cleaner and provide a dropdown of all my pre-existing categories with the ability to select multiple ones. I suspect that somewhere in the WordPress universe there’s a way to do this even if it means swiping a snippet of code from core’s editor.
The basic text box for entering text could be a bit smaller on the page to accept 2-4 lines of text since it’s meant for short posts. As it stands now, it defaults to 10, but it also smartly already has a slider that appears when you type more than the available number of lines and it also has a handle in the corner to allow you to increase the boxes size.
I’ve mentioned doing natively titleless notes above, but to make things a bit more user friendly, it would be nice to have the ability in the settings page to enter a number for the text excerpt, so that users could configure it without needing code. I suspect that most in the IndieWeb space would set the title excerpt to zero so as to not have titles on their notes.
It will take me some time to dig into it, but it would be nice if the developer had some notes about the CSS classes used in the plugin so that one might more easily style the display of the output on one’s website. Fortunately the defaults to match one’s current theme seem relatively solid.
At present, there isn’t any UI for including syndication targets to external services like Twitter, Mastodon, etc. It would be nice if there was some tie into syndication services or functionality like that provided with Syndication Links plugin and brid.gy publish or brid.gy fed if those pieces are present.
The last dovetail that would be nice to have, particularly within an IndieWeb framing, would be to have better direct integration of this plugin with the Post Kinds plugin. This could extend to auto-setting the post kind to “note”, which should in turn allow the automatic setting of Post Formats to either “status” or “aside”.
In sum, this plugin is really fantastic for allowing a simple and lightweight means of posting quick status updates or notes to one’s WordPress website! It’s the next best thing to using any of the variety of Micropub clients, particularly when you already happen to be at your own site.
I suspect this plugin is the sort of thing that many within the IndieWeb and WordPress communities will love using–and at least one person in the chat has already said they think it’s a great find. There are currently less than 10 active installations of the plugin, but I think it deserves a magnitude or more. Let’s see what we can do about that!
Have you tried it? What do you think of the idea?
54 °F thunderstorm
For fun, we can use this to estimate the total number of webmentions sent in the wild to date. We previously estimated that we hit 1M somewhere around 2017-12-27, at a rate of ~929 new webmentions per day. At that time, ~95% of all webmentions had come from Bridgy, 880 per day.
Since then, Bridgy lost Facebook and Google+, which accounted for ~53% of its webmention volume. We know it’s sent 1,356,878 webmentions total as of today.If we assume non-Bridgy webmention growth has continued apace, from 48 per day at the end of 2017 to 77 per day now, that would add ~53k before then, plus ~33K since, for a total of ~1.44M sent to date, plus or minus a few thousand. Let’s keep it up!
This return post will serve as a test to see if I might return to and occasionally post there again.
Once you have posting out done, are you going to work on backfeed to have the responses to your posts on Twitter come back to aggregate the conversation on the original site? Perhaps using Webmention and Brid.gy?
redirects to https://twitter.com/schnarfed/status/476408043819659264
Separately, though related, the example in the documentation for Instagram no longer seems to exist and could be replaced and the example for Google+ could be removed as the service no longer exists.
When I subsequently remove the emoji from the permalink, and reprocess Bridgy then has no problem finding the URL and sending the webmention. So at least there’s a “fix” on the user’s side for those experiencing this issue, but only if they’re aware it exists and have the means of executing it.
Example of failed webmention:
(I’ll note that it’s also got a fragment # in the URL, but don’t think this is a part of the issue)
Syndicated copy that was liked: https://twitter.com/ChrisAldrich/status/1129124049068498944#favorited-by-14591484
Bridgy Log: https://brid.gy/log?start_time=1558056830&key=aglzfmJyaWQtZ3lyTAsSCFJlc3BvbnNlIj50YWc6dHdpdHRlci5jb20sMjAxMzoxMTI5MTI0MDQ5MDY4NDk4OTQ0X2Zhdm9yaXRlZF9ieV8xNDU5MTQ4NAw
Example of previously failed webmention that ultimately went through following emoji removal:
Syndicated copy: https://twitter.com/ChrisAldrich/status/1129124049068498944#favorited-by-19844672
Bridgy Log: https://brid.gy/log?start_time=1558714459&key=aglzfmJyaWQtZ3lyTAsSCFJlc3BvbnNlIj50YWc6dHdpdHRlci5jb20sMjAxMzoxMTI5MTI0MDQ5MDY4NDk4OTQ0X2Zhdm9yaXRlZF9ieV8xOTg0NDY3Mgw
Another potential example from Instagram
Done via PESOS from Instagram which I’m sure missed webmentions (though too far back to find the specific logs):
This would leave Bridgy free from being the potential source for security leaks and put the onus on the end user. You’d naturally need to have the ability to reset/change the user’s hash in the case that they accidentally allowed their custom email address to leak, although generally this isn’t a huge issue as emails which don’t match the user’s account/endpoints would be dropped and not send webmentions in any case. (In some sense it’s roughly equivalent to my being able to visit https://brid.gy/twitter/schnarfed and clicking on the
Poll now or
Crawl now buttons. It’s doable, but doesn’t give a bad actor much. You’d probably want to rate limit incoming emails to prevent against mass spam or DDoS sort of attacks against Bridgy.)
A side benefit of all of this is that those who have kept their old email notifications could relatively easily get much of their past missing back feed as well. Or if they’re missing back feed for some reason, they could easily get it by re-sending the relevant emails instead of some of the current manual methods. Perhaps allowing preformatted emails with those same manual methods could be used to do back feed for Facebook or other providers as well?
We could also put together some forwarding filters for common platforms like gmail to help people set up autoforwarders with appropriate keywords/data to cut down on the amount of false positive or password containing emails being sent to Bridgy.
The one potential privacy issue to consider(?) is that this set up may mean that Bridgy could be sending webmentions for private messages since users get both private and public message notifications whereas the API distinguished these in the past. To remedy this, the comment URL could be tested to see if/how it renders as a test for public/private prior to sending. Separately, since Bridgy doesn’t need to store or show these messages (for long?), private messages could be sent, but potentially with a payload that allows the receiving end to mark them as private (or to be moderated to use WordPress terminology). This would allow the user’s website to receive the notifications and give them the decision to show or not show them, though this may be a potential moral gray area as they could choose to show responses that the originator meant to be private communication. The API would have prevented this in the past, but this email method could potentially route around that.
Thank you to @RyersonResearch and especially @joyceemsmith for inviting me to talk about my research today. I had a great time talking IndieWeb, and specifically, Bridgy. Jan 30, 2019 Lunch and Learn at Ryerson Journalism Research Centre I presented a study I’ve been working on about Bridgy, i...
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