Read 7 Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Jetpack (Toolbar Extras)
The Jetpack Plugin from Automattic leaves no one cold. And it polarizes extremely. Either you love it or you hate it. There doesn’t seem to be a grey area in between, does there?
Some interesting and useful points here. Is Automattic becoming a bit too much like some of their fellow social silos?

I’m curious if anyone has done a grid comparison or set of suggestions to replace Jetpack functionality with other community based plugins for those that only want one or two of the features?

For Homebrew Website Club Wednesday, even though I didn’t make it to an in-person meetup I did manage to make some reasonable visible progress on my website.

I hacked together some tweaks to add the following:

  • Improved support in my theme for time related microformats including dt-published and dt-updated
  • Because I post so frequently, I added a visible timestamp next to the date so it’s easier to follow my timeline of posts.
  • I removed the data for my location, weather, and syndication links from the_body of my posts and appended it to my post meta data. This should prevent it from showing up in Webmentions to others’ websites or in syndicated copies, but still be available to parsers to attach that data to my posts in readers and other services.
  • I modified my CSS so that the text in the Simple Location and Syndication Links plugins matches that of the rest in its section.
  • I added a cute little bullhorn icon in front of my Syndication Links so that it has some parallelism with the rest of the meta data on my site.
  • I’d always liked the idea of adding in related posts data on my site, but didn’t like how it had worked in the past. Things were even worse with replying to other people’s posts as my markup (and far too many others I’ve seen in the WordPress world) was hacky and caused the related posts data to show up in their Webmentions sent to other sites. I looked through some of Jetpack’s documentation and figured out how to remove their Related Posts functionality from the_body, where it defaults, and append it instead to the post meta section of my posts. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s much closer to how I’d like it. Best of all, that data shouldn’t show up in my replies to other sites now either! I had disabled the functionality ages ago because it made me feel like a rude-IndieWebber.

With IndieWebCamp Online 2020 coming up this weekend, I hope to fix a few outstanding issues and roll these changes up into my open sourced IndieWeb Twenty Fifteen WordPress theme as my hackday project. If you’re using it on your own site, do let me know. Not that I can promise to fix it if it’s broken in places, but I’d at least like to know how it’s working out for you or where it could be improved.

Things left over to fix:

  • Simple Location data still needs some CSS help to display the way I want it to.
  • I need to target the Simple Location icon so I can have its color match that of the other icons.
  • Because so many of my posts don’t have titles, I’ll need to tweak something there so that the Jetpack related posts will pick up better meta data as a pseudo-title instead of displaying the relatively context-less commentary that appears in the_body
  • It may take a day or two for the related posts to populate properly, but I should make sure that it’s putting out relevant/interesting results.
  • Is it worth adding a default featured photo for the related posts that don’t have one? Could I pull one from other meta fields for some classes of posts?
Replied to Social Menu & Social Media Icons: Add Mastodon Support · Issue #10338 · Automattic/jetpack by transmothratransmothra (GitHub)
Please add support for Mastodon, a distributed, decentralized, federated micro-blogging platform popular among people abandoning Twitter and Free software/Free culture enthusiasts (many nodes exist)
I’ve noticed that @janboddez has a plugin that will do this for a variety of Fediverse instances including Mastodon:
https://github.com/janboddez/add-fediverse-icons-to-jetpack

There’s also an approved version in the repository named Add Fediverse Icons to Jetpack

Bookmarked WordPress by Jan Bozzez (janboddez.tech)
Through the years, I’ve created a few (child) themes and plugins for WordPress. Some of them are described below, and more will surely follow.
Jan has some awesome IndieWeb-esqe plugins for WordPress, how have I not seen these before?! If David Shanske hasn’t seen them yet, he definitely should be aware of them.

We should definitely add some of these to the IndieWeb wiki as necessary.

Jan if you’d like to join a group of us helping to improve the web standards and IndieWeb-friendliness of WordPress, do reach out.

I haven’t looked at my settings for it in a while, but apparently I’ve had JetPack’s “Like Buttons” turned on on my website. It seems rare that WordPress users are ever using that functionality and as a member of the IndieWeb, I’m accepting likes via Webmention anyway. As a result I’m choosing to drop the old “like” functionality. 

Extension of the Insights » Posting Activity functionality

Filed an Issue Automattic/jetpack (GitHub)
Increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers with Jetpack.
I’ve been enjoying the idea that JetPack is providing a Github contributions-like functionality at https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/example.com under the heading Posting Activity.

Orderly grid of squares representing dates which are grouped by month with a gradation of colors on each square that indicate in heat map fashion how frequently I post to my website.

Seeing this naturally provides me some additional motivation to post more often, which is generally a good thing for the platform. It also dovetails in visually with the “you have posted X days in a row” notifications sent by the mobile app.

I’m sure it all may be on the roadmap somewhere, but in case it’s not I thought I’d leave a few ideas about continuing to extend this awesome functionality and related UI features.

  • It would be nice to be able to display more than one calendar year of activity. Perhaps a tabbed UI could provide access to prior years while still being relatively compact? (This could be similar to “All Time Views” just below it which has button (aka tab) options for “Months and Years” or “Average per Day”.
    A visual representation of the button/tabbed functionality for "All Time Views" described in the text.
  • While hovering over a particular square representing a date provides some useful information like the number of posts on a particular date, it would be awesome if clicking on that date would take one to the correct archive page for that date. This is not too dissimilar to from GitHub’s functionality and the permalinks for each day should already exist in core. Example: https://example.com/2019/04/17 to show all of that day’s posts.
  • Similar to the functionality for posts, it would be interesting to have a similar set up for comments to allow sorting through those visually as well.
  • It would be awesome to have all of the above rolled up into a widget that would allow one to post the visual data for several months and/or years visually on a sidebar, footer, or other widgetizeable area. This also provides site readers the ability to quickly jump to a particular date and/or set of posts much like the Archives widget allows, but with a more visual interface.
  • If there is a widget, while I’m sure that many will love the blue WordPress-based color scheme, many will want to key their colors off of their theme as a customizable widget option.
  • Given the infrastructure for creating a lot of the above functionality, one could go a half step further and create an “On this Day” feature similar to that of Facebook, Timehop, and many others which allow one to create archive page views for what happened on this same day a year ago, two years ago, three, four, etc. This could be wonderfully useful for a wide variety of sites to look back at birthdays, anniversaries, and red letter dates as well as the average Tuesday. To my knowledge there is only one old plugin that I was able to find after some serious search that has somewhat similar functionality: Room 34 presents On This Day. There is also some similar functionality like this recently built into the Post Kinds Plugin which creates archive views for several date-based permalinks. This would be all the better if there is a better API for such an endpoint so that it could be tied into third party platforms like Timehop which are overly focused on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., but which could include WordPress-based websites.

Also as I post this, and as I’m thinking the functionality is relatively new, I notice that my JetPack enabled .org site only has Posting Activity that goes back to mid-October 2018 (despite the fact that it should go back much further), while my wordpress.com site has data that goes far back beyond that date. Is this a potential bug, or could it be the case that my self-hosted site hasn’t been parsed back far enough to cover more time yet? It may also be related to the fact that I’ve recently (this week) disconnected and reconnected JetPack to do some troubleshooting.

👓 WordPress.com and Jetpack Launch New Activity Feature for Monitoring Website Changes | WP Tavern

Read WordPress.com and Jetpack Launch New Activity Feature for Monitoring Website Changes (WordPress Tavern)
WordPress.com launched a new Activity feature today, a tool for monitoring changes that occur on the site and actions initiated through the admin. It’s also available for Jetpack-enabled site…

Scrolling error on Annual Site Stats page

Filed an Issue Automattic/jetpack (GitHub)
Increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers with Jetpack. - Automattic/jetpack
Perhaps this is a native WP.com issue, but I suspect it’s JetPack functionality as it occurs both with a .org connected account as well as an example.wordpress.com domain both of which have a “Powered by JetPack” logo on the bottom of the page.

Steps to reproduce the issue

  1. Go to https://wordpress.com/stats/day/annualstats/example.com
  2. Scroll down the page (zoom in if necessary so that the table fills the entire screen; the error isn’t as or won’t be obvious on a new account or if one doesn’t have several years worth of data to view)

What I expected

I expected the entire chart and page to scroll down.

What happened instead

The Year column stayed fixed and the remainder of the chart scrolls down the page instead. Without zooming in/out on the entire page, one can’t visualize the data or have it align properly.

Screenshots
Here’s a shot of the misaligned static year column versus the remainder of the chart which scrolls up/down.
On a multi-column display the year column doesn't scroll in alignment with the remainder of the chart

It dawns on me that I haven’t used JetPack’s Publicize or social sharing functionalities in ages (particularly with the coming death of Google+), so I’ve gone in and finally turned them off. I’m still surprised they don’t return the URLs of where the content got shared for showing on the page with plugins like Syndication Links.

👓 PBE: Shortcode to set post format · Issue #240 · Automattic/jetpack | Github

Read PBE: Shortcode to set post format · Issue #240 · Automattic/jetpack (GitHub)
Add a shortcode to the PBE parser to allow author to set Post Format via e-mail. Ported from https://plugins.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/2055 See: 2443-wpcom
Sad that this is marked as wontfix

👓 Jetpack 5.8: A Focus on Speed with Faster Search and Lazy Loading Images | Jetpack for WordPress

Read Jetpack 5.8: A Focus on Speed with Faster Search and Lazy Loading Images by Nicole Kohler (Jetpack for WordPress)
Today’s release of Jetpack 5.8 includes several features that have graduated from beta testing. We are very excited to bring them out for you to try. Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update, and how today’s additions will help you speed up your site and deliver faster...
I like the idea of Elastic Search being added in here and that alone might make it worth the subscription price! I’m surprised that it wasn’t bundled in from the start or that Elastic Search isn’t making an smaller subscription version available via plugin for a smaller price.

Jetpack 4.5: Monetize your site, brand new VideoPress, and many new shortcodes and widgets | Jetpack for WordPress

Read Jetpack 4.5: Monetize your site, brand new VideoPress, and many new shortcodes and widgets by Richard Muscat (Jetpack for WordPress)
New Jetpack release including site monetization tools, ad-free video hosting, new shortcodes and sidebar widgets.
How 1995! JetPack v4.5 now has a widget for “blog stats: a simple stat counter to display page views on the front end of your site.”


Welcome to Jetpack 4.5, available now for upgrade or installation. We’re starting the year in style with some very exciting additions and improvements that we can’t wait for you to try. This release includes:

  • Jetpack Ads (WordAds)
  • Brand new VideoPress
  • New shortcode support
  • More sidebar widgets
  • An update to our Terms of Service

Continue reading Jetpack 4.5: Monetize your site, brand new VideoPress, and many new shortcodes and widgets | Jetpack for WordPress