📺 #EDU522 Daily Update IX: Adding and removing sidebar widgets | YouTube

Watched #EDU522 Daily Update IX: Adding and removing sidebar widgets from YouTube

Depending on where you’re syndicating to and why, one could consider leaving some of these default sidebar widgets in their installation. Some folks, Aaron Davis comes quickly to mind, add titles (sometimes with emoji) to their notes, replies, RSVPs, likes, favorites, etc., which often are defined as posts which technically don’t need titles. Doing this certainly takes some extra time and work (or coding skill if you’re automating it), but can have the benefit of populating not only those widgets, but also adding a somewhat logical title to RSS feed readers and other tools which have been trained over 20 years to want titles on everything.

Recent Posts and Comments widget displays on Aaron Davis’ website

If you have the courage, certainly go title-less as it’s a whole lot easier, but there are other options if you like those sorts of touches.

Visually indicating post types on blogs and microblogs

It’s been a while since I’ve actively read Om Malik‘s blog, but I noticed that he’s using graphical indicators that add some semantic detail about what each post is. It’s a design element I’ve only seen lately out of the IndieWeb community with plugins like the Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress or done manually with emoji in post titles the way Aaron Davis has done relatively religiously, particularly on his “Collect” site.

Om Malik is using some graphical indicators to give quick additional semantic meaning to what he’s posting.

I highly suspect that he’s using the Post Formats functionality from WordPress core to do some of this using a custom theme. Sadly it’s generally fallen out of fashion and one doesn’t see it very often any more. I suspect that it’s because WordPress didn’t take the functionality to its logical conclusion in the same way that the Post Kinds Plugin does.

The way Aaron Davis uses emoji in his posts helps to provide additional context about what is being written about to indicate what is going on in a link before it’s clicked.

I think some of my first experience with its resurgence was as helpful UI I saw suggested by Tantek Çelik on the Read page of the IndieWeb wiki. I’ve been doing it a lot myself, primarily for posts that I syndicate out to micro.blog, where it’s become a discovery function using so-called tagmoji (see books, for example), or Twitter (reads, bookmarks, watches, listens, likes). In those places, they particularly allow me to add a lot more semantic meaning to short notes/microblog posts than others do.

I do wish that having emoji for read posts was more common in Twitter to indicate that people actually bothered to read those articles they’re sharing to Twitter, the extra context would be incredibly useful. I generally suspect that article links people are sharing have more of a bookmark sentiment based on their click-bait headlines. Perhaps this is why I like Reading.am so much for finding content — it’s material people have actually bothered to read before they shared it out. Twitter adding some additional semantic tidbits like these would make it much more valuable in my mind.

It doesn’t appear that Om has taken this functionality that far himself though (at least on Twitter). Perhaps if WordPress made it easier to syndicate out content to Twitter with this sort of data attached it would help things take off?

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Books on Micro.blog by Manton Reece

Replied to Books on Micro.blog by Manton Reece (manton.org)
Today we’re introducing a search collection using emoji, starting with books. Just include the books emoji with your microblog text about a book you’re reading or related topic, and your post will automatically be collected on /discover/books.

@Manton has added an interesting new feature to micro.blog. He’s created a special book discovery page which users can use to see what others are reading or recommending.

Simply by including the books emoji 📚 in one’s post, the page will collect all those posts and display them at http://micro.blog/discover/books. In a sense, he’s using an emoji almost like a hashtag, though the mechanics of how things work are slightly different. I’m curious to see how it evolves.

Based on what I’m able to discern, I have the proud place of ownership for being the fourth book post to micro.blog with “The Library is finally unpacked” from several months ago. It isn’t a book recommendation, but it’ll give you and idea about what I think about books.

The sad part for me though is that he chose the books emoji 📚 . Why sad? Because for quite a while now I’ve been posting updates on my own site about what I read using various book-related emoji to indicate where I’m at with a book. I’ll use the bookmark emoji 🔖 to indicate things that I want to read. I use a green book emoji 📗 to indicate that I’ve started reading something, an open book emoji 📖 to indicate that I’m making progress, and a red book emoji 📕 to indicate that I’ve just finished or stopped reading a particular book. Most of my book status updates also have some notes or thoughts about what I’m reading as well as quotes, highlights, and other marginalia.

Since micro.blog’s discover page only uses one emoji, it’s missing out on all my past updates. For those who’d like to see them on my site, this link should have the entire archive. Not all of them are syndicated to Twitter, but this link will give folks an idea what these posts all look like there.

In a similar vein, I also often post what I’m reading online with glasses 👓 emoji. One of the things that’s always bothered me about Twitter was that people often share articles, but research has shown that very few actually bother to read them before sharing. (I’ve always gotten the impression that many don’t even bother to read the headlines.) Thus, following reading.am’s lead, I post everything I actually read online to my own website, but to indicate that it was read (from start to finish), I add the glasses emoji to the title. If I haven’t read it yet, it’s more likely hidden on my back end or, if it’s something I really want to advertise, promote, or highly expect I’ll come back to later, it will have a bookmark emoji 🔖.

I don’t publish all my reads publicly, a large number are published privately. You can find all of the public read posts here.

Lastly, for movies and television I’m watching, I include either TV emoji 📺 or film emoji 🎞️. I find that these emoji do really well for microblogging spaces which often have space restrictions.

Overall, I’ve quite enjoyed the evolution of micro.blog’s discovery features. While there are a few follow recommendations available, the service has a page with recent photos, so one can scan photos as a means of finding interesting people to follow on the service.

I can’t wait to see how the reading discovery page works out or what other new discovery tools Manton implements in the future. It’s nice to see a service that continues to evolve and change in reaction to its community.

Thanks Manton!

👻 ☠️ 🎃 Halloween flavored names on Twitter

Everyone I know has jumped on the Halloween bandwagon on Twitter and added one or more Halloween related emoji to their Twitter name. Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, etc. abound. Some have even changed their names a bit to fit into the theme.

Some of my favorites:

@JordanUhl is now jordan ghoul 👻 ☠️ 🎃
@rachsyme‏ is now🎃 rachel slime 🎃
@VictoriaAveyard is Victoria Graveyard 🎃
@BrendonHope is 🎃 Abandon Hope 🎃
@spicer‏ is Christian Spider 🕷 🎃
@Juliet_Shen‏ is 🎃 Ghouliet Shen 🎃

Despite the fact that Halloween is my favorite holiday, and since retailers are already jumping the gun on Christmas, I thought I’d do the same. I’m changing my Twitter name to something like:

🎄Christmas🎄 🎅Aldrich 🎁

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