Watched Anatomy of a Great Faculty Website by Steve RyanSteve Ryan from WPCampus 2020 Online - July 29-30 - Where WordPress meets Higher Education

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 totally want to start using something like this myself to not only test it out, but to build in the proper microformats v2 mark up so that it’s IndieWeb friendly. Perhaps a project at the planned IWC Pop-up Theme raising session?

Bookmarked Domain Kits | Guides to building out your domain by EduHack by Alan LevineAlan Levine (domains.eduhack.eu)
Do you have an internet Domain of One’s Own? What is it? Why would you want one? Would you like to try one out? What can you do with it? How do you build it?
The inimitable Alan Levin has created some great tutorials/kits for exploring and building your online domain.
Bookmarked Domain Kits | Guides to building out your domain by EduHack (domains.eduhack.eu)
Do you have an internet Domain of One’s Own? What is it? Why would you want one? Would you like to try one out? What can you do with it? How do you build it?

A Domain of One’s Own Meetup | July 23, 2020

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.

We’ll use Zoom for this online meetup (here’s the link to the room which should be active about 15 minutes before we start). We’re planning on using an Etherpad for real-time chat and note taking for the event.

Attendees will be expected to have read and agree to the IndieWeb Code of Conduct which will apply to the meetup.

We will 

  • 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

Agenda 

  • Welcome
  • 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.

RSVP

To RSVP to the meetup, please do one of the following:

Future meetups

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. 

🎉 Invitations 🎉 

Tim Owens, Aaron Davis, Cathie LeBlanc, Kartik Prabhu, Amber Case, Amy Guy, Greg McVerry, William Ian O’Byrne, Jim Groom, Kimberly Hirsh, John Johnston, Robin DeRosaAudrey Watters, Ken Bauer, Will Monroe, Jeremy Dean, Nate Angell, Jon Udell, Adam Procter, Amy Guy, Kris ShafferAnelise H. Shrout, John Johnston,  Mark Grabe, Rick Wysocki, Doug Holton, Jeffrey Keefer, Rayna M. HarrisDavey Moloney, Vicki BoykisJohn Carlos BaezDan ScottTaylor JadinKathleen Fitzpatrick (mb), Blair MacIntyre (mb), Doug Belshaw, Adam ProcterDan Cohen (mb), Dave Cormier, Scott Gruber, Kay Oddone, Kin Lane, Martha Burtis, Lee Skallerup Bessette, Adam Croom, Sean Michael Morris, Jesse Stommel, Cassie Nooyen, Stephen Downes, Ben Werdmüller, Erin Jo Richey, Jack Jamieson, Grant Potter, Ryan Boren (mb), Paul Hibbits, Maha Bali, Alan Levine, John Stewart, Teodora Petkova, Lora Taub-Pervizpour, Clint Lalonde, Clint Lalonde Sonja Burrows, Jonathan Poritz Chris Long, Mo PelzelMichelle S. HagermanAnne-Marie ScottTim Clarke, Amy Collier, Laura PasquiniMartin HawkseyZach WhalenDaniel LyndsTom WoodwardMark A. MatienzoLaura GibbsAutumn CainesChris LottJess ReingoldTerry GreenErin Rose Glass,  Trip KirkpatrickMeredith FierroLauren BrumfieldHelen DeWaardKeegan Long-Wheeler,  Irene Stewart Christina HendricksBill Kronholm, Xinli WangTineke D’HaeseleerMartin Weller Jeremy FeltJane Van Galen, Tanis Morgan, Library Carpentry

Know someone who would be interested in joining? Please forward this event, or one of the syndicated copies (linked below) to them on your platform or modality of choice.

Hashtags: #​phdchat#​DoOO#​edtechchat#​literacies#​higherED#​dh, #​ds106#​educolor#​WPCampus#​openscience#​clmooc#​digped#​altc

Featured image: Hard Drive Repair flickr photo by wwarby shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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.

Featured image: Hard Drive Repair flickr photo by wwarby shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Replied to a tweet by Martha BurtisMartha Burtis (Twitter)
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.

 

IndieWebCamp 2020 West: June 27-28, 2020

Some of us have been wishing there were a , 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 to a thread by geonz, ThomasJTobin, actualham (Twitter)
I’m helping to host an online IndieWebCamp at the end of June. I’ve stubbed out a session on A Domain of One’s Own “LMS” to discuss just this problem. I’d encourage other creators to join as well to propose other education, , and OER related topics for that weekend. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Domain of One’s Own LMS
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?
#DoOOLMS
Bookmarked a tweet (Twitter)
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. 

In the meanwhile, I’m curious what Greg McVerry, Aaron Davis, and others might whip up while I’m sleeping?

Bookmarked Subscribe to Hypothesis annotations (diegodlh.github.io)
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.[1][2] 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.

If you are a tinkerer, there is a GitHub repo for the project.

While you’re at it, why not throw in the usernames of some of your favorite annotators and subscribe away in your favorite feed reader? Some of the best things I discover online are through colleagues’ annotations, I think, in part, because it’s a much higher level of engagement with the material than the pablum found in many Twitter feeds.

It could also be a good means of following annotations on some of your favorite hashtags in the system as well. Want to learn some new words? Follow wordnik in your feed reader. Want to know the state of the art in Open Education Resources? There’s a tag serious people are annotating with that you could follow in your reader.

Self-hosting TiddlyWiki with GitHub Pages

TiddlyWiki is most often used as a private wiki for personal note taking and creating private journals.

Because it is a single text file usually named index.html written in HTML, CSS and some JavaScript, I thought it would make an ideal candidate for a simple-to-use personal website that can be hosted on one’s own domain. As a researcher who appreciates the IndieWeb and Domain of One’s Own philosophies and uses my personal website as a commonplace book for both work and personal reasons, how could I resist?

TiddlyWiki

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.

Let’s start!

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Get TiddlyWiki

  • 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.

GitHub

  • If you don’t already have one, create an account at https://github.com/
    • You’ll use this account and their free GitHub Pages service to host your website for free as long as the project folder (also known as a repository) you are hosting is public.
  • At GitHub create a new repository.
    • Name it username.github.io, where username is your username (or organization name if you’re doing it for your organization) on GitHub.
    • Give your repository an optional descriptive name. I named mine “A TiddlyWiki commonplace book”
    • Choose the “Public” option, otherwise no one will be able to visit your new website.
    • Click “Create Repository”
  • Upload your TiddlyWiki to your new repository
    • In the Quick Set Up box click on the link for “uploading an existing file”.
    • On the subsequent page you can either drag and drop the empty TiddlyWiki index.html file you saved on your computer or you can click “choose your files” to find and upload the file.
    • If you like, you can optionally add any additional README, License, or gitignore files as necessary. If you don’t know what these are you can safely skip them or revisit doing this later.
    • Under “Commit changes” give your upload a short title; the suggested “Add files via upload” is fine. You can add an optional extended description if you like.
    • Click on the “Commit Changes” button.
      • P.S.: If you haven’t done so before you’ve just made your first Git commit. Congratulations!!
    • Your https://github.com/username/username.github.io repository folder should now be ready and have your index.html file in it.

Setting up your domain

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.

We’re done!

  • 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.

Webmentions with WordPress for Open Pedagogy

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.

Missed my presentation for PressEdConf20 on Twitter earlier and want to read it all bundled up instead? The “article” version appears blow. You can also enjoy the Twitter moment version if you like. 


ONE

Chris Aldrich
Chris Aldrich

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. 


TWO

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.

Wall of security cameras looking down at two women
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

THREE

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.


FOUR

Some of these new W3C specs include Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, IndieAuth, and Microsub. Today I’ll talk abut Webmentions which are simply site-to-site @mentions or notifications which don’t involve corporate social media silos.

For those who’d like more information about Webmentions and how they could be used, I’ve written a primer for A List Apart entitled Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet.

Cartoon of baseball player hitting a ball with a bat to a waiting player with a tennis raquet
Illustration by Dougal MacPherson
Image courtesy of A List Apart

FIVE

Many common content management systems support Webmention either out of the box or with plugins including: our friend WordPress, Drupal, WithKnown, Grav, and many others.

Webmention rocks logo
Webmention rocks

SIX

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 commentsrepostslikes, and favorites, detected using microformats2 markup from the source of the linkback.


SEVEN

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.)

Example of a reply context with author name, image, title, and short synopsis


EIGHT

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.


NINE

Examples of webmentions in a course setting: Greg McVerry and I ran an experiment with Webmentions in a class in 2018. 

Example assignment: https://archive.jgregorymcverry.com/5570-2/

Notice the replies underneath which came from other sites including my response which is mirrored on my site at https://boffosocko.com/2018/08/04/highlighting-some-of-my-favorite-edtech-tools/

Example podcast post for a class: https://archive.jgregorymcverry.com/2toponder-episode-one/

Notice the listen webmention in the comments which links to my listen response at: https://boffosocko.com/2018/08/06/2toponder-episode-one-intertextrevolution/ where I own a copy of the context and my own response. As a student, even if the originals disappear, I’ve got the majority of the important content from the course.


TEN

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.]


ELEVEN

As a concrete example, I now have tagged archives for all the work I’ve done for EDU522 with Greg McVerry who also has his related posts in addition to a variety that he subsequently archived.

Fluffy cat head that moves with the fur underneath it appearing more like rocket exhaustion as the cat "takes off" into the air


TWELVE

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.

Gif of grain silo on a farm collapsing in on itself.

[No more content farming? What will the corporate social media silos do?]


THIRTEEN

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.

gif of Kermit the frog sitting on a desk excitedly flailing his arms and legs

[Webmentions + creativity: How might you take their flexibility and use it in your online teaching practices?]


FOURTEEN

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.

Huge group of diverse attendees at IndieWebSummit 2019 waving


FIFTEEN

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.

FOURTEEN

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.

Huge group of diverse attendees at IndieWebSummit 2019 waving

 
TWELVE

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.

Gif of grain silo on a farm collapsing in on itself.