Read On planets and reading lists by Malcolm BlaneyMalcolm Blaney (unicyclic.com)

This is going to be a long one, so the short version is summed up in this screenshot:
screen shot of a page that reads This is a planet that follows members of the IndieWeb community. Anyone can join, all you need to do is send a webmention from a follow post to this page, and it will follow you back!

That's from the top of this page: unicyclic.com/indieweb, which is a feed combined from different sources, commonly referred to as a planet. Up until now I've been adding new feeds to that page as people join th...

This may be the first time I’ve heard this, though it’s possible that Kicks Condor or Bran Enslen has mentioned something along these lines:

the year of the indieweb directory  

Social Reading User Interface for Discovery

I read quite a bit of material online. I save “bookmarks” of all of it on my personal website, sometimes with some additional notes and sometimes even with more explicit annotations. One of the things I feel like I’m missing from my browser, browser extensions, and/or social feed reader is a social layer overlay that could indicate that people in my social network(s) have read or interacted directly with that page (presuming they make that data openly available.)

One of the things I’d love to see pop up out of the discovery explorations of the IndieWeb or some of the social readers in the space is the ability to uncover some of this social reading information. Toward this end I thought I’d collect some user interface examples of things that border on this sort of data to make the brainstorming and building of such functionality easier in the near future.

If I’m missing useful examples or you’d like to add additional thoughts, please feel free to comment below.

Examples of social reading user interface for discovery

Google

I don’t often search for reading material directly, but Google has a related bit of UI indicating that I’ve visited a website before. I sort of wish it had the ability to surface the fact that I’ve previously read or bookmarked an article or provided data about people in my social network who’ve done similarly within the browser interface for a particular article (without the search.) If a browser could use data from my personal website in the background to indicate that I’ve interacted with it before (and provide those links, notes, etc.), that would be awesome!

Screen capture for Google search of Kevin Marks with a highlight indicating that I've visited this page in the recent past
Screen capture for Google search of Kevin Marks with a highlight indicating that I’ve visited his page several times in the past. Given the March 2017 date, it’s obvious that the screen shot is from a browser and account I don’t use often.

I’ll note here that because of the way I bookmark or post reads on my own website, my site often ranks reasonably well for those things.

On a search for an article by Aaron Parecki, my own post indicating that I’ve read it in the past ranks second right under the original.

In some cases, others who are posting about those things (reading, commenting, bookmarking, liking, etc.) in my social network also show up in these sorts of searches. How cool would it be to have a social reader that could display this sort of social data based on people it knows I’m following

A search for a great article by Matthias Ott shows that both I and several of my friends (indicated by red arrows superimposed on the search query) have read, bookmarked, or commented on it too.

Hypothes.is

Hypothes.is is a great open source highlighting, annotation, and bookmarking tool with a browser extension that shows an indicator of how many annotations  appear on the page. In my experience, higher numbers often indicate some interesting and engaging material. I do wish that it had a follower/following model that could indicate my social sphere has annotated a page. I also wouldn’t mind if their extension “bug” in the browser bar had another indicator in the other corner to indicate that I had previously annotated a page!

Screen capture of Vannevar Bush’s article As We May Think in The Atlantic with a Hypothes.is browser extension bug indicating that there are 329 annotations on the page.

Reading.am

It doesn’t do it until after-the-fact, but Reading.am has a pop up overlay through its browser extension. It adds me to the list of people who’ve read an article, but it also indicates others in the network and those I’m following who have also read it (sometimes along with annotations about their thoughts).

What I wouldn’t give to see that pop up in the corner before I’ve read it!

Reading.am’s social layer creates a yellow colored pop up list in the upper right of the browser indicating who else has read the article as well as showing some of their notes on it. Unfortunately it doesn’t pop up until after you’ve marked the item as read.

Nuzzel

Nuzzel is one of my favorite tools. I input my Twitter account as well as some custom lists and it surfaces articles that people in my Twitter network have been tweeting about. As a result, it’s one of the best discovery tools out there for solid longer form content. Rarely do I read content coming out of Nuzzel and feel robbed. Because of how it works, it’s automatically showing those people in my network and some of what they’ve thought about it. I love this contextualization.

Nuzzel’s interface shows the title and an excerpt of an article and also includes the avatars, names, network, and commentary of one’s friends that interacted with the piece. In this example it’s relatively obvious that one reader influenced several others who retweeted it because of her.

Goodreads

Naturally sites for much longer form content will use social network data about interest, reviews, and interaction to a much greater extent since there is a larger investment of time involved. Thus social signaling can be more valuable in this context. A great example here is of Goodreads which shows me those in my network who are interested in reading a particular book or who have written reviews or given ratings.

A slightly excerpted/modified screen capture of the Goodreads page for Melanie Mitchell’s book Complexity that indicates several in my social network are also interested in reading it.

Are there other examples I’m missing? Are you aware of similar discovery related tools for reading that leverage social network data?

📑 Where Discover Doesn’t Help | Jean MacDonald

Annotated Where Discover Doesn't Help by Jean MacDonald (micro.welltempered.net)

Tip: One of the Discover curation guidelines is the Buddy Bench principle. If you want to find someone who shares a particular interest, write a micropost asking “Hey, are there any fans of ___ out there?” We add posts like that to Discover.  

Another useful tip on this front is to post a Micro Monday following recommendation aggregating a few people you know are interested in a particular topic. As an example, I posted one about a few educators and researchers I knew on micro.blog in July 2018 and it quickly blew up with lots of additional recommendations from others following me within the community.

Over time I’ve kept up with adding to it, and even within the last month that post is still helping to benefit others on the service:

blair says: “@c this made me very happy, thanks for tagging me, I’ve now got a bunch more interesting folks to follow!”
May 30, 2019 at 4:28 pm

👓 Where Discover Doesn’t Help | Jean MacDonald

Read Where Discover Doesn't Help by Jean MacDonald (micro.welltempered.net)
A discussion is going on about how to discover people with your interests when the Micro.blog Discover timeline doesn’t really help. In a post in this thread, Khürt wrote: I’d like to discuss F1 and photography and hiking in New Jersey etc. I actually share Khürt’s frustration when it comes ...

 

📑 Where Discover Doesn’t Help | Jean MacDonald

Annotated Where Discover Doesn't Help by Jean MacDonald (micro.welltempered.net)

We are not filtering out topics like F1. There just are not any posts to add. For a lively community on that topic or other specialized topics, you probably need to find a forum or follow hashtags on Twitter.  

This is also a potential space that Webmention-based aggregation services like IndieWeb news, or the multi-topic Indieweb.xyz directory could help people aggregate content for easier discovery and community building.

👓 Curating the Micro.blog Discover Timeline | Jean MacDonald

Read Curating the Micro.blog Discover Timeline by Jean MacDonaldJean MacDonald (micro.welltempered.net)
Micro.blog is a blogging platform with a social engagement component. We have a timeline where you can follow and interact with other bloggers. Sometimes it feels like Twitter, because of the timeline, mentions, and conversations. But there are key differences, built into Micro.blog, to make it a sa...

👓 Feed Reading By Social Distance | Ton Zijlstra

Read Feed Reading By Social Distance by Ton Zijlstra (zylstra.org)
At the Crafting {:} a Life unconference one of the things that came up in our conversations was how you take information in, while avoiding the endlessly scrolling timelines of FB and Twitter as well as FOMO. My description of how I read feeds ‘by social distance‘ was met with curiosity and ‘c...

Ton’s archives have some more material on this topic, but it’s definitely an interesting way to sort and filter one’s feeds.

Hypothes.is doesn’t have a social media-like follow functionality baked into the system, but there are a few methods to follow interesting people. My favorite, and possibly the simplest, is to add https://hypothes.is/stream.atom?user=abcxyz as a feed into my feed reader where abcxyz is the username of the person I’d like to follow.

So to subscribe to my Hypothes.is feed you’d add https://hypothes.is/stream.atom?user=chrisaldrich to your reader.

Of course, the catch then is to find/discover interesting people to follow this way. Besides some of the usual interesting subjects like Jon Udell, Jeremy Dean, Remi Kalir, et al. Who else should I be following?

Ideally by following interesting readers, you’ll find not only good things to read for yourself, but you’ll also have a good idea which are the best parts as well as what your friends think of those parts. The fact that someone is bothering to highlight or annotate something is a very strong indicator that they’ve got some skin in the game and the article is likely worth reading.

❤️ Berg Builds Community Portal

Bookmarked Berg Builds Community Portal (community.bergbuilds.domains)
A collection of Domain of One's Own Projects at Muhlenberg College

It would be cool to have a site like this of IndieWeb web sites. This reminds me a bit of Kevin Marks’ Unmung Mastoview tool. Perhaps pulling from IndieMap’s list of sites would make building such a thing easier? Would certainly make an interesting discovery tool–almost like a centralized webring or a directory of sorts.

Hat tip:

👓 Implementing h-feed, and making all site content discoverable | Jamie Tanna

Read Implementing h-feed, and making all site content discoverable by Jamie Tanna (jvt.me)
With this announcement, I have two great pieces of news. The first, is that you'll now be able to follow my website's h-feed, which is a microformats2 structure for a feed of data. This is in addition to my RSS feed (/feed.xml) and my JSON feed (/feed.json), and will allow further interoperability with the IndieWeb.

👓 Are you ready to share your OPML? | Dave Winer

Read Are you ready to share your OPML? by Dave Winer (Scripting News)
Imagine if there were a database of feeds we all subscribed to, and we could get recommendations of new feeds to follow, based on what we already follow.That's the idea behind Share Your OPML, a service I started in 2006. The story of SYO is one of success followed by scaling issues. Now we have better technology so it should scale better.Help us get it started by:1. Export your subscription list in whatever RSS reader or podcast client you use.2. Upload it to the new SYO site. (It's simple, just sign in with Twitter and drag-drop your OPML on the gray box. Takes less than a minute.)If you have questions, post a comment here. Dave

👓 Scoping Out Basics of #IndieWeb Search | Greg McVerry

Read Scoping Out Basics of IndieWeb Search by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
Over the weekend I met with the CEO of BLUR Search Technologies . Jaime is also my brother-in-Law, and has  sponsored IndieWebCamp NYC in 2018. We mainly gathered for Thanskgiving, the second Thanksgiving, and finally leftovers. As we all played clean the fridge we snuck away to scope out a possibl...

👓 On blog search engines | Colin Devroe

Read On blog search engines by Colin Devroe (cdevroe.com)
Brent Simmons has been reminiscing about blog search engines and writing down some ideas for how one could be made today. Something he wrote sparked a memory.
Instead of having it crawl blogs, I’d have it download and index RSS feeds. This should be cheaper than crawling pages, and it ensures that it skips indexing page junk (navigation and so on).