Replied to Webmentions + Eleventy Talk by Sia KaramalegosSia Karamalegos (sia.codes)
Slides and resources from my talk at JamStack Toronto.
First there’s the details of her post in particular that are cool, but I like how Sia is leveraging Twitter as part of the commenting system on her blog using Webmention and Brid.gy. This way for people who aren’t replying or interacting with their own websites (yet!), they can still take part in the conversation, but she can own it all in one centralized place.

In particular take a look at the great, and intuitive UI she’s got at the bottom of her post:

Join the conversation on Twitter. Or, if you liked this article and think others should read it, please retweet it.

Just click on the link, reply and go. It would  be nice to see other social platforms allow this sort of interaction. Setting it up for Mastodon should also be pretty simple too.

Crediting your own website when syndicating to Mastodon with WordPress plugins

I’ve been tinkering around with methods to automatically syndicate (POSSE) content from my personal website to Mastodon. I’ve been working at making a custom plugin which is far from finished. But a test post I made the other day, caught a few people’s attention[1][2]

I was trying to syndicate from my website so that the post on Mastodon would credit my website for the post and link back to my homepage as the application that made the post. You’ll notice at the bottom of the post there’s the post date and a globe icon, which indicates the post is public, followed by my website name ‘BoffoSocko.com’ and details about replies, reposts, and favorites.

screen capture of a Mastodon post which gives credit to Boffosocko.com at the bottom of the post.

I assuredly won’t release a public plugin for WordPress that does this. But since some have asked how I did it, I thought I’d share some of the internals of a few WordPress plugins that one can quickly modify to achieve the same thing.

That I can currently see, there are three plugins in the repository that will allow one to syndicate content to a variety of Mastodon instances. They are Mastodon Autopost, Mastodon Auto Share, and Share on Mastodon. The first two are closely related and essentially replicate the same codebase.

Similar to using Twitter’s API to crosspost, Mastodon is looking for two bits of information when an application is registered: a client name and a website URL. 

Mastodon Autopost and Mastodon Auto Share, both have a file called client.php which define these two variables. 

public function register_app($redirect_uri) {
  $response = $this->_post('/api/v1/apps', array(
    'client_name' => 'Mastodon Share for WordPress',
    'redirect_uris' => $redirect_uri,
    'scopes' => 'write:statuses write:media read:accounts',
    'website' => $this->instance_url
  ));

You can edit this file with a text editor to change the 'client_name' from 'Mastodon Share for WordPress' to 'Anything You Want'. If you’re in a joking mood, maybe change it to 'Twitter'?

To change the URL so that the link on the client_name directs to your website, you’ll want to change the line 'website' => $this->instance_url.

In particular change $this->instance_url to 'https://example.com' where example.com would be your website. I’ll note that $this->instance_url on this line in the original plugin is a bug. If left alone, it points the URL to your home Mastodon instance instead of to the more logical https://wordpress.org/plugins/autopost-to-mastodon/ where the plugin lives. 

If you prefer using Jan Boddez‘ excellent plugin, you’ll want to do something similar, except in that case you’ll want to change a file named class-options-handler.php in the includes folder.

Here you’ll want something like:

'client_name'   => __( 'Example.com' ),

But note that Boddez doesn’t have a similar bug, so the website line

'website' => home_url(),

is already correctly defined so that your website will automatically be linked without any changes to it.

If you’re already using one of these plugins and manually modify them, note that you’ll probably need to re-authorize the plugin so that the changes propagate.

Read The 2010s and alternative Social Media: A decade full of work, hope, and disappointment by Dennis Schubert (schub.wtf)
Looking back at the decade of 2010 and developments in the internet, in Social Media, and inside alternative Social Media projects.

It feels a lot like the reason we are unable to offer real alternative social networks is not that we cannot do so. It is because most people with the abilities to do so spend their time working on things that only work for the tiny audience that is the tech sector, while happily ignoring the needs of all those billions of non-technical humans out there. This is something that frustrates me more than I want to admit. 

Annotated on May 06, 2020 at 08:17AM

He’s definitely got some interesting and insightful ideas here on why alternative social media efforts may not have the desired effect. I’ve also heard some of his technical issues with Activity Pub by other developers (and implementers). Many find it not only difficult to implement, but find it difficult to actually federate properly. 

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.

Spent a few minute to finally set up my website with Brid.gy so that it’s now pulling responses back from Mastodon. It’s so nice to see all the interactions that were once “lost” to me coming back to live with their proper contexts on my website.

For those looking to tinker with their websites as it relates to interacting with Mastodon, the IndieWeb has a reasonable number of potential options in addition to your ability to roll your own.

Read The escape from Instagram by Jeremy Felt (jeremyfelt.com)
I’ve been thinking through how to leave Facebook’s Instagram service since June, when I finally deleted my central Facebook account. This should be easy, because I don’t post that much on Instagram, but it always seems hard because it’s the best user experience (IMO) on mobile for writing a ...
An interesting method of leaving Instagram. I still read content there, but I had used dsgnwrks-instagram-importer by Justin Sternberg to rescue all of my Instagram posts back into my WordPress site since it gave me a huge amount of control over porting over the metadata as well. I’m noticing that the repository lists it with a warning “This plugin has been closed as of August 10, 2019 and is not available for download. Reason: Licensing/Trademark Violation.” though I can’t imagine what that would have been for unless Instagram is trying to nudge Justin out. (There’s a copy of the plugin on Github for those who may still want it.) Other than a small issue I’d seen with some emoji in Instagram, the plugin always worked like a charm for me.

Prior to that I’d always been a big fan of Aaron Parecki’s OwnYourGram, though I understand that Instagram was limiting his crawler, so the service may not be taking new accounts.

While I know some of the people behind Pixelfed and generally trust them, I don’t think I would use it as a solution unless I was standing up my own instance of the service. Far too many Mastodon instances have gone down for me to trust a particular sites’ admins. Apparently Mastodon has made it easier to move from one instance to another, but I’m not sure how this may or may not apply to Pixelfed.

Presently, my money is on Matthias Pfefferle’s ActivityPub plugin which adds support to a WordPress site to act as a stand-alone member of the Fediverse. While it’s beta software, it works fairly well and is evolving impressively over the past year or so. I suspect that photo support will improve to put it on par with solutions like Pixelfed, particularly when combined with the ease of use of some of the Micropub photo posting applications that are out there.

I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention that another option for exiting Instagram (or at least backing it up to your own site even if you don’t leave completely) is to try Beau Lebens’ Keyring Social Importers plugin. I know a few who have used and liked it for its Instagram and other social silo support.

I’m sure there are other methods out there as well and many might be found on the IndiwWeb wiki pages for “Instagram” or “photo”.

Bookmarked The Federation - a statistics hub (the-federation.info)
Node list and statistics for The Federation and Fediverse
Some screencaptures from the day I joined the statistics hub. My site dramatically changed some of the statistics:

This graph makes it look like my site has almost doubled the number of local posts for all WordPress nodes.
The addition of my node to the WordPress nodes has dramatically increased the number of local comments!
Of the WordPress nodes currently registered on the Federation, I’m leading for most posts and comments.
Replied to a tweet by Chris WiegmanChris Wiegman (Twitter)
Can’t I just follow you in a single place? Maybe just your website? (BTW, it’s possible to turn your WordPress site into a Federated/Mastodon-like instance using Activity Streams.

ActivityStream extension

@chrisaldrich@boffosocko.com is a followable thing in the Fediverse and the UI is continually improving.

Here are some instances you should be able to follow: https://the-federation.info/wordpress

Replied to a post by Jeannie McGeehanJeannie McGeehan (jeannie.digital)

In my effort to become more involved in the IndieWed community I created indieweb.life and indieweb.social.  A lot of the information out there is either out-of-date or is written so far above the head of the complete novice.  A lot of it is geared towards developers and webmasters.  I wanted to create a place and space where a person with only a cursory knowledge could come and get simple, easy instructions and places to go for further guidance. I wanted to create a simple “get started” site with some simple up-to-date links and instructions on indieweb.life for people looking to get started with WordPress and the IndieWeb.  I also created the open Mastodon instance at indieweb.social for anyone who would like to join an instance focused on supporters and participants of the IndieWeb movement.  I would really like it if some of the more experienced veterans would be willing to critique the site and maybe contribute or syndicate some content that would help new seekers.  Also, if anyone would be willing to be an admin on indieweb.social then we can get listed on joinmastodon.org.

Welcome to the gang!

If it helps to have some company, I seem to recall Christophe Duchamp running a Mastodon instance for French-speaking IndieWeb users which he’s been documenting.

I know there are a handful of us interested in better documenting some IndieWeb pathways for those who are less technical. For a while I’ve been hacking away at some pieces particularly for WordPress at https://indieweb.org/User:Boffosocko.com/wordpress-draft. I’m sure you’ll run into many of the others as well.