Within higher education, requests to build websites for individual faculty members sit at the absolute bottom of the work queue for most marketing/communications teams. If this type of product is offered at all, it typically uses a self-service model; the institution will provide the platform while the faculty member will provide the content. And while this is the most sustainable model for most small and mid-sized web teams, it tends to produce multiple websites that are ineffective at communicating even simple messages. Worse, they have a high tendency to become the poorest reflections of the institution with a high rate of abandonment or misuse.
Let's fix that tendency together. With a careful examination of what really matters to faculty members who are looking to create and maintain their own websites, we can begin to build better sites. With better sites (and a little luck), you can start to derive value from the project at the bottom of your work pile.
Together we'll talk about:
A simple analysis of the types of content that you'll typically find within a faculty website.
A "wish list" for the types of content that you (as a marketer) would really like to see from these types of sites.
A working example of a theme that delivers on these key concepts and adds some "quick wins" which makes for a better experience.
How to leverage the capabilities of WordPress multisite to produce more value from collections of these type of sites.
This is an awesome little session at WPCampus 2020 Online. (Video for it available shortly.) It reminds me a lot of the Drupal project Open Scholar that does something similar. I can see it being useful for folks in the Domain of One’s Own space.
I’ll be hosting a Domain of One’s Own meetup on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at at 10:30 AM Pacific / 1:30 PM Eastern / 7:30 PM CEST. Everyone who is interested in the topic is welcome to attend. We expect there will be students, teachers, designers, web developers, technologists, and people of all ages and ranges of ability from those just starting out with a domain to those running DoOO programs at colleges or even people running their own hosting companies.
Have discussions about A Domain of One’s Own and the independent web;
Get to know other colleagues in the space;
Ask colleagues for help/advice on problems or issues you’re having with your domain;
Find potential collaborators for domains-related projects you’re working on;
Explore new and interesting ideas about what one can do or accomplish with a personal domain;
Create or update your domain
Introductions: short 2 minute introductions of attendees with an optional brief demonstration of something you’ve done on your domain or purpose for which you’re using your domain.
Group photo for those who wish to participate
Main meetup: Ideally everyone should bring a topic, demonstration, question, or problem to discuss with the group. Depending on time and interest, we can try to spend 5-10 minutes discussing and providing feedback on each of these. If questions go over this time limitation, we can extend the conversation in smaller groups as necessary after the meetup.
To RSVP to the meetup, please do one of the following:
While the time frame for this inaugural meetup may work best for some in the Americas, everyone with interest is most welcome. If there are others in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, or other locales who are interested, do let us know what dates/times might work for you in the future and we can try to organize a time to maximize some attendance there. I’m happy to help anyone who’d like to take the leadership of other time zones or locales to leverage some of the resources of the IndieWeb community to assist in starting future meetings to cover other areas of the world.
I’m planning on setting up up a regularly recurring Domain of One’s Own focused online meetup in the mold of Homebrew Website Clubs or WordPress meetups. People can ask questions, get help, collaborate, demo technology and ways they’re using their domains.
I’m thinking monthly to start, but I’m curious what days of the week and times might work best for people, especially across time zones?
Let me know if you’re interested in helping to organize or would like to join us to participate.
I want it all too! If you’d like to join us at IndieWebCamp this weekend (free online), let’s have a session there to brainstorm how we can have our cakes and eat them too.
I think some of the POSSE (Post on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) model may work to smooth some of this over. For example, I can write my response to everyone on my own WordPress site and fairly easily syndicate it to Twitter to have the best of both worlds.
If this weekend isn’t convenient, let’s host a pop-up session or mini-conference in a bit to discuss it and see what we can hack together.
Some of us have been wishing there were a #Domains20, but it’s a LOT to organize and execute on an annual basis. To bridge a bit of the gap, I’m collaborating with some in the IndieWeb movement to do a free online-only (due to physical distancing) two day BarCamp-style conference on the weekend of June 27-28, 2020.
The broad ideas behind DoOO dovetail quite well and the IndieWeb community has a welcoming, inclusive, and helpful atmosphere with a solid code of conduct.
The upcoming event is called IndieWebCamp 2020 West (based roughly on the Pacific time Zone). I’ve already started proposing a few DoOO-related sessions on their organizing Etherpad. I’d encourage others in the community who are interested to register for the free two day camp to talk about what we can do with our websites and how we can improve them. Students, faculty, staff, and even hobbyists of all levels of ability are welcome. If you’ve got ideas for things you’re interested in doing on or with your website, feel free to propose your own topics (either now or the morning of day one).
We’d love to see everyone there.
Day one is a brief introduction followed by various discussion-based sessions on topics of interest to those who attend. (First time attendees are given the first opportunity to schedule topics.) Day two is a creator day on which people write, create, build, code, or otherwise improve something on their website. If you don’t yet have a website, people will be on hand to help you set one up, or get around obstacles you may have for being able to use and manage your website.
Details and RSVP information can be found here: https://indieweb.org/2020/West
If anyone has questions or needs further details or help proposing potential sessions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Replied toa thread by geonz, ThomasJTobin, actualham (Twitter)
My statewide university system is likely going to go with a single LMS across all institutions. Moodle and Canvas are the two contenders. I have my thoughts, but would like to know yours. If you would cast a vote for one or the other, let me know. Use replies to explain.
The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly forced educators to flee online where there is a wealth of predatory, amoral, and questionable platforms for managing online pedagogy. Starting closer to first principles, how might we design and build an LMS (Learning Management System) based on IndieWeb Principles or using the related ideas behind A Domain of One’s Own where the teacher and students own their own content, learning content, and personal learning network. Can we dovetails ideas and principles from the Open Educational Resources (OER) space with this at the same time?
#pcPopUp2020 is 6 hours old in the UK, but way older in other parts of the world, feel free to join in
— PressED Conf - A tweeting WordPress conference (@pressedconf) May 27, 2020
It’s starting to feel too late on the West coast of the US to start something right now, but my mind is buzzing. I’ll see if I can come up with something IndieWebby/Domain of One’s Owny overnight to post tomorrow.
Do you want to know when someone annotates your webpages? Do you want to follow somebody's annotations? You have come to the right place.
I’ve seen a few people in the wild using Hypothes.is as a blog commenting system. Since they don’t yet have separate support for Webmention or require a bit of programming to get notifications, I thought I’d highlight this particular implementation as it has a simple, but relatively elegant user interface for creating feeds to provide notifications for just such a use case.
One could easily wire up the output from this through a service like IFTTT, Zapier, Integromat, etc. to push the notifications to email, or other modalities as desired.
It doesn’t give anything over and above what a Hypothes.is addict with some programming skills could already produce, but for those who are code averse, or just too busy with building other pieces of the Domain of One’s Own this could allow some simpler outputs.
TiddlyWiki is most often used as a private wiki for personal note taking and creating private journals.
TiddlyWiki is easy to use, highly flexible, modifiable, and can be easily copied, backed up, and shared. There’s an active community of users and developers for the platform which dates back to 2004. There are a variety of examples and documentation online and plugins are literally as simple as dragging and dropping some files from one source directly into your own Wiki. For those interested in the OER movement, individual Tiddlers (TiddlyWiki’s name for cards or discrete entries within the wiki) can be easily dragged and dropped from other TiddlyWikis to copy them!
There are some useful instructions for hosting it almost everywhere–except on one’s own domain name.
The few easy options I’ve found for hosting a TiddlyWiki publicly online as a website were rely on someone else’s service as a subdomain. As much as I like the idea of TiddlySpot I really wanted to use my own domain name (not to mention that it’s non-obvious how to host a newer TiddlyWiki version 5 (TW5) instance there). I’d also seen TiddlySpace shut down a few years ago and didn’t want to deal with that potentiality—though I will admit that exporting would be as simple as downloading and moving a single file!
So after a month or so at tinkering around at several complicated solutions that always seemed beyond my grasp, I went back to IndieWeb basics. What is their recommendation for the easiest way to get a website up and running? The fact that an empty TiddlyWiki file is named index.html gave me my answer: set up a GitHub Pages-based website and simply connect it to my domain!
However, as simple as this pathway may seem to some, I thought I’d briefly document the process I took so others can do the same for themselves.
First I’ll presume you’ve got a domain name and a host that will allow you to change the CNAME for where your domain name is pointed. (If you don’t, check out https://indieweb.org/personal-domain for details.)
In short, you’re going to upload a single file to your GitHub account and then point your domain name at it.
The idea of GitHub may scare a lot of people, but you won’t need to use git, know any git commands, or even know how git works since I’ll describe steps that entirely use the graphical user interface and don’t come anywhere near using the command line or any complicated GitHub applications. It’ll be as easy as dragging and dropping.
Go to https://tiddlywiki.com/ and click on the “Download Empty” button on their homepage. This will allow you to save a file called index.html to a convenient place on your computer.
This one file is the entirety of your future website! Guard it well.
Here you may need to consult with the the instructions your specific domain name registrar or host has for pointing your domain name (or subdomain) at your new GitHub Pages website. Usually they will have step by step instructions for doing this, but they can also often do it for you via email or phone support if you prefer.
Scroll down the page to the “GitHub Pages” section
In the “Custom Domain” section enter your domain name example.com into the field and click the “Save” button.
Setting up your website
It may take a while for the DNS system to propagate the changes from your host, but you should be able to visit your website and see your empty TiddlyWiki online. Congrations! You’ve got a new website.
You’ll notice in the TiddlyWiki documentation that the first rule of TiddlyWiki is to always save or back up your wiki!
(The second rule, in true Fight Club fashion, is–let’s say it together–to always save or back up your wiki!)
Since our wiki is on GitHub, we’ll want to use the Save to a Git Service instructions. Once set up, the changes to our TiddlyWiki should automatically self-save (this can be changed within your wiki’s Control Panel too) or they can be saved manually using the TiddlyWiki checkmark save functionality.
I’ll note that you can presently use your GitHub password in these settings, but this isn’t quite as secure as generating a custom token (or password), and sometime in late 2020, GitHub won’t allow you to use your basic account password this way, so you may as well set up the personal access token now.
Setting up Personal Access Tokens
You will need a Personal Access Token (essentially a password that will be specific to your TiddlyWiki account) in order to save your TiddlyWiki file.
On GitHub, click on your user icon, select “Settings”, then “Developer Settings”
Next click on the “Personal Access Tokens” tab and then click “Generate new token”
Give your token a descriptive name like “TiddlyWiki”
Under scopes, select “repo” (and all of its sub-scopes)
Click the “Generate Token” button at the bottom of the page.
Once created, immediately copy this string somewhere safe since navigating away from the page will not allow you to recover it. (If you do, you’ll need to regenerate a new token.)
Finally copy the text of your token into the Tiddler noted above in place of your password. There’s no explicit save button, just ‘X’ out of the settings control panel and click your TiddlyWiki’s main save button.
Your token value should be stored in browser local storage.
Now you can edit any Tiddler and save it.
After edits to your wiki, you’ll see that the checkmark icon on the page is red (depending on your theme), indicating changes to save. You can click on it to force a save.
I’ve found it convenient to wait for the TiddlyWiki to schedule the save on its own, however, make sure you’ve saved any changes you want before closing your browser tab.
Sometimes saves aren’t always successful and you’ll see error warnings, but usually they’ll clear themselves up on subsequent auto saves.
If necessary, you can visit your GitHub repository for your wiki and it will indicate the interval of time since the last save.
Everything after this you may be able to either handle yourself by poking around your new wiki or you can find lots of help in the two Google Groups listed above or by searching around online, in fora, or even step-by-step videos on YouTube.
If you’ve done this as part of the IndieWeb or A Domain of One’s Own, be sure to log yourself into the IndieWeb wiki and add yourself to the examples on their TiddlyWiki page where you might also find some other useful ideas.
If you like, you can delve deeper into GitHub and use one of their apps or command line functionality to regularly back up your website to your desktop, or you can make branches of your site on your local computer and then push those changes up to the cloud.
If you find problems or encounter issues, feel free to drop me a line or catch me or others in the IndieWeb chat.
Abstract: With growing support for the W3C Webmention spec, teachers can post assignments on their own websites & students can use their sites to respond and interact. Entire classes can have open discussions from site-to-site owning all their data and eschewing corporate surveillance capitalism.
Hello everyone! My name is Chris Aldrich. I’m an independent researcher in a variety of areas including the overlap the internet and education. You can find more about me on my website https://boffosocko.com
Today I’ll be talking about Webmentions for open pedagogy.
For a variety of reasons (including lack of budget, time, support, and other resources) many educators have been using corporate tools from Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others for their ease-of-use as well as for a range of functionality that hadn’t previously existed in the blogosphere or open source software that many educators use or prefer.
This leaves us and our students open to the vagaries and abuses that those platforms continually allow including an unhealthy dose of surveillance capitalism.
In the intervening years since the blogosphere and the rise of corporate social media, enthusiasts, technologists and open source advocates have continued iterating on web standards and open protocols, so that now there are a handful of web standards that work across a variety of domains, servers, platforms, allowing educators to use smaller building blocks to build and enable the functionalities we need for building, maintaining, and most importantly owning our online courseware.
WordPress can use this new standard with the Webmention plugin. (Surprise!) I also highly recommend the Semantic Linkbacks plugin which upgrades the presentation of these notifications (like Trackback, Pingback, or Webmention) to more user-friendly display so they appear in comments sections much like they do in corporate social media as comments, reposts, likes, and favorites, detected using microformats2 markup from the source of the linkback.
Another plugin I love is Post Kinds Plugin (Classic editor only at present) which automatically parses URLs I want to reply to, like, bookmark, etc. and saves the reply context to my website which helps prevent context collapse. My commentary and notes then appear below it.
(I also use a plugin that saves the content of URLs on my site to the Internet Archive, so I can reference them there later if necessary.)
These plugins with WordPress allow teachers to post course content and students can then post their responses on their own sites and send notifications that they’ve read, listened to, or watched that content along with their ideas and commentary.
When the course is over, the student has an archive of their readings, work, and participation (portfolio anyone?) on a site they own. They can choose to leave it public or unpublish it and keep private copies.
[Copies for Facebook, Google+ or Big EdTech Giants? They can ask for them nicely if they want them so desperately instead of taking them surreptitiously.]
By taking the content AND the conversation around it out of the hands of “big social media” and their constant tracking and leaving it with the active participants, we can effect far more ethical EdTech.
[No more content farming? What will the corporate social media silos do?]
Imagine Webmentions being used for referencing journal articles, academic samizdat, or even OER? Suggestions and improvement could accumulate on the original content itself rather than being spread across dozens of social silos on the web.
[Webmentions + creativity: How might you take their flexibility and use it in your online teaching practices?]
There’s current research, coding work, and thinking going on within the IndieWeb community to extend ideas like private webmentions and limiting audience so that this sort of interaction can happen in more secluded online spaces.
I’ve also been able to use my WordPress website to collect posts relating to my participation in conferences like PressEdConf20 or Domains 2019 which included syndicated content to Twitter and the responses from there that have come back to my site using Brid.gy which bootstraps Twitter’s API to send Webmentions back to my website.
If Twitter were to go away, they may take some of my connections, but the content and the conversations will live on in a place under my own control.
Thanks for your time and attention! I’m around on Twitter–or better: my own website!–if you have any questions.
There’s current research, coding work, and thinking going on within the IndieWeb community to extend ideas like private webmentions and limiting audience so that this sort of interaction can happen in more secluded online spaces. I’d welcome everyone who’s interested to join in the effort. Feel free to inquire at an upcoming IndieWebCamp, Homebrew Website Club, event, or in online chat right now.
By taking the content AND the conversation around it out of the hands of “big social media” and their constant tracking and leaving it with the active participants, we can effect far more ethical EdTech.
When the course is over, the student has an archive of their readings, work, and participation (portfolio anyone?) on a site they own. They can choose to leave it public or unpublish it and keep private copies. #DoOO #PressEdConf20