WPCampus 2019 Draft Proposal: Dramatically extending a Domain of One’s Own with IndieWeb technology

Below is a draft proposal which I’m submitting for a possible upcoming talk at WPCampus from July 25-27, 2019 in Portland, OR. If you don’t have the patience and can’t wait for the details, feel free to reach out and touch base. I’m happy to walk people through it all before then. If you’re looking for other upcoming events or need help, check out any of the upcoming Homebrew Website Clubs, IndieWebCamps, the IndieWeb Summit 2019, or even Domains2019.

Session Title

Dramatically extending a Domain of One’s Own with IndieWeb technology: How to improve your online research notebooks, commonplace books, and digital pedagogy

Session description

(This description will be edited and used on the website. Please include 1-2 paragraphs and a list of key takeaways for the audience.)

Having a Domain of One’s Own and using it as a “thought space” to own your online identity and work is just the tip of the iceberg. Can you imagine how useful it would be if you could use your Twitter account to reply to someone on Facebook (without needing a Facebook account) or vice versa? Open web technology from the IndieWeb movement that utilizes simple plugins, modules, or even built-in functionality now exists so that people can now use WordPress, Drupal, WithKnown, Grav and many other content management systems on any domain name to have rich site-to-site communications in a simple and intuitive way. Third party (and often unethical) corporate platforms are no longer needed to have rich interactions between scholars on the web.

It is now easily possible to have a teacher write a post on their own website and their students to easily reply/react to that post on their own websites (along with a useful reply context) and send that reply to the teacher’s website for possible display. Each participant can now own a copy of both sides of the conversation.

  • Teachers and students will learn how to (individually or together) collect, analyze, write, collaborate, and interact easily online while doing so in a space they own and control without giving away their data to third party platforms.
  • Researchers can now easily bookmark, highlight, or annotate portions of the web and keep this data (public/private) on their own website (aka digital commonplace book or notebook) for future reference or use.
  • We’ll show how courseware can be decentralized so that the instructor and the students each own their own pieces of the learning processes and can keep them for as long as they wish.
  • We will demonstrate how one can use their WordPress-based website with a few simple plugins to own all of the traditional social media types (bookmarks, items read, highlights, annotations, comments/replies, photos, status updates, audio, checkins, etc.) on their own site while still allowing interacting (if desired) with other websites as well as in social spaces like Twitter, Instagram, Swarm, etc.
  • We will demonstrate a new generation of free feed readers that allow composing in-line responses and reactions that post them directly to one’s own website as well as send notification to the site being read and interacted with.

You can now have the joy of a Domain of Your Own and still easily interact just as if your site were a (better-than) first class social media platform.

More Information About Your Session

(Please describe your session in greater detail for the organizers. You may be more casual in this description as it will not be posted on the website.)

In some sense, this session will be a crash course on using IndieWeb technologies and building-blocks with WordPress in the Education space. I’ll aim to remove a lot of technical jargon and keep coding examples to a bare minimum (if using any at all) so that those with the technical ceiling of downloading and installing a plugin can immediately benefit from the talk. I will also provide enough pointers and describe the broad outlines that developers will have a broad overview of the IndieWeb space to find and extend these plugins and functionality if they wish.

I’ll be covering the basics of new W3C recommendations like Webmention, Micropub, and WebSub along with forthcoming specs like Microsub in combination with IndieAuth (a version of OAuth2 for login). I’ll show how they can be applied to personal websites in research, teaching, collaboration, and other educational domains like creating Open Educational Resources. Many of these can be easily implemented in WordPress with just a handful of simple plugins that allow the web to become the social media platform we all wish it would be.

I’ll use examples from my own personal website and several others (which use Drupal, WithKnown, Grav, etc.) to show how these plugins can be used in educational settings and will walk through a case study of a course built using DoOO and IndieWeb philosophies and technologies (EDU 522: Digital Teaching and Learning at Southern Connecticut State University) on which I collaborated with Dr. Gregory McVerry.

Following Dr. Kay Oddone

Followed Dr. Kay Oddone (Linking Learning)

I am a lecturer and researcher at Queensland University of Technology, teaching Connected Learning, Inquiry Learning and Teacher Librarianship. My recently completed thesis investigates how teachers experience professional learning through personal learning networks. My research presents a conceptual model of of learning as a connected professional, which makes a significant contribution to theory and practice in the emerging field of professional networks and learning, enabled through the affordances of social technologies. While I have based my research on school teachers’ professional learning, I believe that my research has implications for professional learning opportunities of individuals in many different fields. I am very interested in how we can break down the silos that exist between different professions, and would love to hear from others who wish to explore this further. I also hope that my research will build foundations for rethinking how we bring connected learning more authentically into our pedagogical practice.

I have previously worked as a librarian and teacher, and have been fortunate to have had many wonderful learning opportunities across a variety of roles, in a variety of contexts. When I’m not working, I love reading, playing with my Jack Russell puppy, Ruby and Whippet, Alice, and cooking. I’d love to travel more and see the world, and eat my way around many different countries and cultures!

Replied to a tweet by Dr LJ Dr LJ (Twitter)
Content doesn’t always need to be public. On my WordPress-based commonplace book (aka my website), a huge amount of it is either private or password protected for smaller groups. Would something like that have worked in your case?

👓 Writing synthetic notes of journal articles and book chapters | Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

Read Writing synthetic notes of journal articles and book chapters by Raul Pacheco-Vega (raulpacheco.org)
Earlier this week I shared Dr. Katrina Firth’s modified version of the Cornell Method’s Notes Pages. I used the Cornell Notes method in 2013 and really didn’t click with me, so I simply moved on. Had I discovered Katrina’s modified version earlier I probably would have “clicked” with the...

Everything Notebook  

by this I’m thinking he means commonplace book?

Thursday, April 4, 2019 10:15 am

Brief thoughts on receiving read posts

I’ve been posting “read” posts/notes/links–reads, for simplicity– to my own website for a while to indicate articles and material which I’ve spent the time to read online (and oftentimes even offline). While I automatically send notifications (via webmentions or trackbacks/pingbacks) to notify the original articles, few sites know how to receive them and even less actively display them.

It’s only in the last few weeks that my site has actively begun receiving these read posts, and I have to say it’s a really lovely and heartwarming experience. While my site gets several hundreds of hits per day, and even comments, likes and other interactions, there’s just something additionally comforting in knowing that someone took the time to read some of my material and posted that fact to their own website as a reminder to themselves as well as a signal to others.

Mentally there’s a much larger value in receiving these than likes or tweets with links from Twitter, in part because there’s a larger indicator of “work” behind these signals. They’re not simply an indicator that “I saw the headline of this thing somewhere and shared it because the friction of doing so was ridiculously low”, but they represent a lot of additional time, effort, and energy and thus are a stronger and more valuable signal (both to me and hopefully to others.)

I suppose I’ll eventually need to preface that these are especially interesting to me now when I’m only getting small numbers of them from particular people who I know are deeply engaging with specific portions of my past work. I can also imagine a day when these too may become spam-like, and I (or others) are inundated with them. But for now I’ll just revel in their joyous, little warmth.

It’s interesting from my website’s administrative interface to see the path individuals are taking through my thoughts and which topics they may find interesting. I don’t think that many (any?) social media silos provide these types of views which may actually help to spark future conversations based on our shared interests.

Of course I must also admit that, as nice as these read notifications have been, they actually pale in comparison to the rest of the work that the particular sender has been doing in replicating large portions of the sorts of things I’m doing on and with my website.  I hope all of our work, experimenting, and writing is infectious and will help others out in the future.

👓 Dissertating in the Open: Keeping a Public Research Notebook | Kimberly Hirsh

Read Dissertating in the Open: Keeping a Public Research Notebook by Kimberly HirshKimberly Hirsh (Kimberly Hirsh)
I’m making a few notes to myself here to document my process for keeping a public research notebook. They might be of interest to you, too. First, I’m talking here mostly about keeping up with the literature. There are (in my opinion obvious) ethical implications of actually sharing your data on...

👓 IWCNHV19 Keynote: Connected Learning & the IndieWeb | Kimberly Hirsh

Read IWCNHV19 Keynote: Connected Learning & the IndieWeb by Kimberly HirshKimberly Hirsh (kimberlyhirsh.com)
Where are we going? Who am I? What is Connected Learning? How can the IndieWeb support Connected Learning?
Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
https://boffosocko.com @reclaimhosting added Press book to their installatron could do that and I am remixing https://adactio.com HTML book great idea for and @IndieWebCamp New Haven
Me goes to sign up for a Reclaim Hosting account tout suite. I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time just to support them.

The tough question is what domain name shall I choose for experiments?

👓 Inoreader is meer dan een RSS lezer | Digging the Digital | Frank Meeuwsen

Read Inoreader is meer dan een RSS lezer by Frank Meeuwsen (Digging the Digital)
Ik gebruik Inoreader al een paar jaar maar ik wist niet dat het mogelijk was om er nieuwsbrieven in te ontvangen. Je kunt een specifieke tag aanmaken waarna je een uniek mailadres krijgt. Met dat mailadres kun je je op allerlei nieuwsbrieven abonneren en deze dus in je feedreader krijgen. https://di...
I use Inoreader a lot and never noticed it did emails to pull in newsletters! This is awesome!
Replied to Bookmark: Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader by Frank MeeuwsenFrank Meeuwsen (Digging the Digital)
Ik onderzoek weer hoe ik deze pagina’s beter kan gebruiken als een commonplace book, een plaats waar ik allerlei gedachten, ideeën en losse flodders kan plaatsen met minimale barrieres. Het is een rode draad in mijn blog-ontwikkeling en ik denk dat het een belangrijk element wordt op de IndieWebC...
[Rough English translation for convenience]
I am researching how I can better use these pages as a commonplace book , a place where I can place all kinds of thoughts, ideas and loose pieces with minimal barriers. It is a common thread in my blog development and I think it will be an important element at the IndieWebCamp barcamp for me.
Frank, in case you haven’t come across it yet, there is a stub page on the IndieWeb wiki about using our websites as digital commonplace books. Hopefully it will have some useful information, articles, and examples for you to use as you continue hacking. Feel free to add your own thoughts to it as you experiment.

While I do like the way that WordPress makes it easy for one to create link previews by simply putting a URL into the editor (as in your example), I’ve generally shied away from it as it relies on oEmbed and doesn’t necessarily put the actual text into your site. (Not all websites will provide this oEmbed functionality either.) I mention this because a lot of the benefit of having a commonplace is the ability to easily search it. If your post only has a title and a URL, without careful tagging it may be much harder to come back and discover what you were searching for later.

I’ve started an article on how I’m using my website as one, but still have a way to go before I finish it. A big portion of my workflow relies on the Post Kinds Plugin and its available bookmarklet functionality. There are also a lot of nice Micropub clients like Omnibear that making bookmarking things quick and easy too.

In the erstwhile, I ‘ll note that on my own site, I tag things relating to my own commonplace (thinking about and building it) as “commonplace book” and for examples of other peoples’ commonplaces, I usually use the plural tag “commonplace books“. These may also give you some ideas.

With respect to the Medium article which you linked, I’ve seen a recurring theme among bloggers (and writers in general) who indicate that they use their websites as “thought spaces”. Others may use similar or related phraseology (like “thinking out loud”) but this seems to be the most common in my experience. Toward that end, I’ve been bookmarking those articles that I’ve read with the tag “thought spaces“. Some of those notes and websites may also give you some ideas related to having and maintaining an online commonplace book.

👓 The Commonplace Book as a Thinker’s Journal | Critical Margins | Medium

Read The Commonplace Book as a Thinker’s Journal by Kevin EaganKevin Eagan ( Critical Margins | Medium)

For centuries, authors and thinkers have kept commonplace books: focused journals that serve to collect thoughts, quotes, moments of introspection, transcribed passages from reading — anything of purpose worth reviewing later.

Why keep a commonplace book today? When we are inundated by information through social media and our digital devices, it’s easy to overlook what drives and intrigues us. Keeping a journal helps, but keeping a focused journal is better, even if that focus is on self-fulfillment.

👓 Bookmark: Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader | Digging the Digital

Read Bookmark: Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader by Frank Meeuwsen (Digging the Digital)
Ik onderzoek weer hoe ik deze pagina’s beter kan gebruiken als een commonplace book, een plaats waar ik allerlei gedachten, ideeën en losse flodders kan plaatsen met minimale barrieres. Het is een rode draad in mijn blog-ontwikkeling en ik denk dat het een belangrijk element wordt op de IndieWebC...

👓 How I Build My Common Place Book | Greg McVerry

Read How I Build My Common Place Book by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
Creating a Navigable Rabbit Hole I only caught the tail end of the Common Place Book session at camp online as it fell right during dinner.  Since I didn't get to share with everyone I thought I would lay out a few strategies in a quick post here and overtime"My Common Place Book" will t...
This is a good reminder that I need to write more about how I implement my own…

👓 Update: Creating and managing a lifestream as an Early Career Academic | Kay Oddone

Read Update: Creating and managing a lifestream as an Early Career Academic by Kay OddoneKay Oddone (Linking Learning)

I began this year with the plan to create a lifestream blog – something that curated observations, discoveries, articles, images, music – in fact any digital artefact – that I encountered or spent time thinking about as I started my role as lecturer at QUT here in Brisbane Australia.

You can read about the reasons for this decision, and what I hoped it might achieve in my earlier post, but I am taking time to say that my plan has taken a left-hand turn, and being the ‘perpetually in beta, flexible, digitally fluent’ (!) person that I am, I am going with this to see where it takes me.

I had spent some time setting up the If This Then That (IFTTT) applets which I hoped would automate the process of recording my lifestream, and in doing so, I have made some discoveries.

Wahoo! Someone else out there in the ether(net) has started a digital commonplace book and she’s documenting how’s she’s doing it. I love that she’s framed doing it as part of her professional growth.

It looks like Kay has run up against some of the same problems I’ve seen in the past (and for which I’ve found some useful solutions). It would appear that she’s at least come across the IndiWeb wiki and knows about Greg (I can tell from her commonplace!) but perhaps she’s not run into examples by Aaron Davis or Ian O’Byrne yet.

I’m going to have to propose a commonplace session at IndieWebCamp Online this weekend (and maybe for PressEd)… who’s game? Kay, if you’d like to join us there (or in chat anytime), we can probably get a group of people to talk about what they’ve built, how they did it, what they want to do, and how to improve on it all.

📑 Building a digital garden | Tom Critchlow

Annotated Building a digital garden by Tom CritchlowTom Critchlow (tomcritchlow.com)

Some other interesting wikis

Credit for inspiration for this whole project comes from a variety of wikis and wiki-like collections on the web:

buster.wiki/ - Strong design and everything has a date by the looks of it which enables an RSS feed. Very polished and thought through.

are.na - A platform that all the cool kids use for building personal knowledge libraries. Lightly social, perhaps the right answer but slightly questionable if they’ll be around for a long time. Ymmv.

Brendan’s /canon - this was part of the original inspiration for me. A curated list of pure stock - things that Brendan returns to again and again. He has a template you can copy too.

Worrydream’s quotes page - just a massive list of interesting quotes collected by Brett Victor. Notice how being one giant page makes it instantly searchable.

daywreckers.com - from Ben Pieratt, not quite a wiki but a very minimal site designed to collect the dots. A daily visit from me.

derek sivers’ daily journal - a post from Derek Sivers on how to keep a text-file long-term store for your ideas and notes.

And there’s lots more too - this twitter thread has a whole bunch of interesting rabbit holes.

And, you can of course find this list of wikis on my wiki :)  

An interesting list here to be sure.

As I’m thinking about it I also have to think about not only my own blog cum commonplace book, but I do also keep a private digital set of structures in OneNote (primarily) as well as some data Evernote which serve a lot of the same functionality.