Social Media, Fast and Slow

I like the differentiation that Jared has made here on his homepage with categories for “fast” and “slow” posts.

It’s reminiscent of the system 1 (fast) and system2 (slow) ideas behind Kahneman and Tversky’s work in behavioral economics. (See Thinking, Fast and Slow)

It’s also interesting in light of this tweet which came up recently:

Because the Tweet was shared out of context several years later, someone (accidentally?) replied to it as if it were contemporaneous. When called out for not watching the date of the post, their reply was “you do slow web your way…”#

This gets one thinking. Perhaps it would help more people’s contextual thinking if more sites specifically labeled their posts as fast and slow (or gave a 1-10 rating)? Sometimes the length of a response is an indicator of the thought put into it, thought not always as there’s also the oft-quoted aphorism: “If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written a Shorter Letter”.

The ease of use of the UI on Twitter seems to broadly make it a platform for “fast” posting which can too often cause ruffled feathers, sour feelings, anger, and poor communication.

What if there were posting UIs (or micropub clients) that would hold onto your responses for a few hours, days, or even a week and then remind you about them after that time had past to see if they were still worth posting? This is a feature based on Abraham Lincoln’s idea of a “hot letter” or angry letter, which he advised people to write often, but never send.

Where is the social media service for hot posts that save all your vituperation, but don’t show them to anyone? Or which maybe posts them anonymously?

The opposite of some of this are the partially baked or even fully thought out posts that one hears about anecdotally, but which the authors say they felt weren’t finish and thus didn’t publish them. Wouldn’t it be better to hit publish on these than those nasty quick replies? How can we create better UI to solve for this?

I saw a sitcom a few years ago where a girl admonished her friend (an oblivious boy) for liking really old Instagram posts of a girl he was interested in. She said that deep-liking old photos was an obvious and overt sign of flirting.

If this is the case then there’s obviously a social standard of sorts for this, so why not hold your tongue in the meanwhile, and come up with something more thought out to send your digital love to someone instead of providing a (knee-)jerk reaction?

Of course now I can’t help but think of the annotations I’ve been making in my copy of Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things. Do you suppose that Lucretius knows I’m in love?

Replied to WordPress of One's Own: Or, thinking through creating a not intimidating menu of options for domain installs by AlanaCallanAlanaCallan (Reclaim Hosting Community)

Hey there,

New and just wading in here :blush: I work at Fleming College in our Learning Design and Support team/department

Our medium sized college has always offered our students and faculty a choice in terms of the platform they choose to use: Wordpress, tumblr, weebly, medium, etc., mostly because we didn’t have anything else to offer them other than the LMS that was supported by the institution.

This past September our communication courses for first year have been using wordpress.com (mostly) as they were encouraged by the teaching faculty who were also using wordpress.com sites for their own writing. The redesigned communication courses have the students learning to write, give and receive feedback, and loop through this cycle several times for an authentic audience. First semester focuses on personal writing, the second focuses on professional writing.

(just wanted to provide some context for my reply - they had to go with wordpress.com as there was no plan or budget to do a local install or have it hosted for the college)

Feedback from the faculty teaching team after teaching for almost 8 weeks is how to template and simplify space for students to use, here is a direct quote: “could we create dedicated blog page for students that would be a pre-made, fool-proof template? When a student’s WordPress blog does not work and we can’t fix the problem, it is very frustrating to be helpless beside an exasperated student.”

I am inclined to suggest freeing up the expectation that the student’s use wordpress and that they instead use a platform that they may already be familiar with (like tumblr etc.,) and create a space AND use categories/titles that are consistent so that the faculty can go in and review, comment, provide feedback etc., easily.

Many students may choose to use wordpress either way but…

One thing that we do here that may help the conversation is that our library holds workshops to assist students in creating their online presence, creative commons, attribution etc.,

I’m interested in any thoughts or feedback on how to approach the our communication faculty request… am I heading in the right direction??

Thanks!!

Alana

There may be a bit of a path forward here that some might consider using that has some fantastic flexibility.

There is a WordPress plugin called Micropub (which needs to be used in conjunction with the IndieAuth plugin for authentication to their CMS account) that will allow students to log into various writing/posting applications.

These are usually slimmed down interfaces that don’t provide the panoply of editing options that the Gutenberg interface or Classic editor metabox interfaces do. Quill is a good example of this and has a Medium.com like interface. iA Writer is a solid markdown editor that has this functionality as well (though I think it only works on iOS presently).

Students can write and then post from these, but still have the option to revisit within the built in editors to add any additional bells and whistles they might like if they’re so inclined.

This system is a bit like SPLOTs, but has a broader surface area and flexibility. I’ll also mention that many of the Micropub clients are open source, so if one were inclined they could build their own custom posting interface specific to their exact needs. Even further, other CMSes like Known, Drupal, etc. either support this web specification out of the box or with plugins, so if you built a custom interface it could work just as well with other platforms that aren’t just WordPress. This means that in a class where different students have chosen a variety of ways to set up their Domains, they can be exposed to a broader variety of editing tools or if the teacher chooses, they could be given a single editing interface that is exactly the same for everyone despite using different platforms.

For those who’d like to delve further, I did a WordPress-focused crash course session on the idea a while back: Micropub and WordPress: Custom Posting Applications at WordCamp Santa Clarita 2019 (slides).

Replied to a tweet by Andy BellAndy Bell (Twitter)
It’s not quite Aaron Parecki’s social reader set up, but I’ve described how to bootstrap some of this to Inoreader until they decide to support micropub capabilities to make this easier.
Replied to Micropub Tweetstorm Builder by Boris Boris (Fission Talk)

Description

People write tweetstorms because they’re “easier” than whatever their blog setup is. And the constraints of 280 characters at a time makes for both careful sentence construction and flow.

But - then you’ve got this lovely writing that is trapped on Twitter. At best, you come back and copy / paste the tweets back into a blog post.

The idea is a Micropub enabled tweetstorm builder. You log into it with your Twitter account and with Indieauth so that posts end up as one big blog post on your own site, but are sent to Twitter as a tweetstorm / collection.

User Impact

Who would want to use this and why?

Anyone that wants to compose tweetstorms in a richer environment while also having it post to their own site.

Features

PWA

Twitter login

Create a Twitter collection — I actually don’t know what all the features of collections are. Tweetbot supports this.

IndieAuth / Micropub support

Choose timing of tweets — all at once or pace them out by X minutes

Boris, I love this idea of this and how it could work.

If you haven’t come across it, ThreadReaderApp does something similar to this but in a reverse syndication instead of the method you’re describing. It allows one to publish a thread on Twitter and then use ThreadReaderApp to roll the thread up and post a copy of it to one’s website that supports Micropub. I’ve written a bit about how it works here: boffosocko.com/2020/05/28/threadreaderapp-micropub-to-blog/

I’d love to see something more like what you’re describing.

Another interesting option for this that has a lot of the functionality you’re looking for is Kevin Marks’ Noter Live. I know he’s considered adding Micropub functionality to it. I suspect he’d be very open to anyone who’d like to add that or other refinements via pull request to GitHub – kevinmarks/noterlive: A tool for indieweb live noting (aka live tweeting/live blogging). It does post live threads to twitter and currently gives the output as raw HTML that one could cut/paste into their site.

Read on February 17, 2021 at 09:54PM

Replied to Micropub Tweetstorm Builder by Boris

Description

People write tweetstorms because they’re “easier” than whatever their blog setup is. And the constraints of 280 characters at a time makes for both careful sentence construction and flow.

But - then you’ve got this lovely writing that is trapped on Twitter. At best, you come back and copy / paste the tweets back into a blog post.

The idea is a Micropub enabled tweetstorm builder. You log into it with your Twitter account and with Indieauth so that posts end up as one big blog post on your own site, but are sent to Twitter as a tweetstorm / collection.

User Impact

Who would want to use this and why?

Anyone that wants to compose tweetstorms in a richer environment while also having it post to their own site.

Features

PWA

Twitter login

Create a Twitter collection — I actually don’t know what all the features of collections are. Tweetbot supports this.

IndieAuth / Micropub support

Choose timing of tweets — all at once or pace them out by X minutes

Boris, I love this idea of this and how it could work.

If you haven’t come across it, ThreadReaderApp does something similar to this but in a reverse syndication instead of the method you’re describing. It allows one to publish a thread on Twitter and then use ThreadReaderApp to roll the thread up and post a copy of it to one’s website that supports Micropub. I’ve written a bit about how it works here: https://boffosocko.com/2020/05/28/threadreaderapp-micropub-to-blog/

I’d love to see something more like what you’re describing.

Another interesting option for this that has a lot of the functionality you’re looking for is Kevin Marks’ http://www.noterlive.com/. I know he’s considered adding Micropub functionality to it. I suspect he’d be very open to anyone who’d like to add that or other refinements via pull request to https://github.com/kevinmarks/noterlive. It does post live threads to twitter and currently gives the output as raw HTML that one could cut/paste into their site.

Read a post by Barry FrostBarry Frost (barryfrost.com)
Micropublish now supports the proposed Micropub extension for Channels. If your server’s endpoint responds to ?q=channel, or your config has a channel property, you can use the new field. While my current site doesn’t use channels, I’ve designed page management in my new, work-in-progress server to use the new proposal.

How awesome would it be if IFTTT supported the W3C recommendation for Micropub? An endpoint like this could immediately be used to publish content to lots of websites with higher data fidelity and potentially better control over display.

I’m using something similar to bootstrap it with Webhooks, but had to jump through some additional hoops that IFTTT could smooth out.

Replied to a tweet by Roam Hacker (Twitter)

I’m watching this with high hopes something similar would work with @obsdmd. Come to think if it, if such an app were a Micropub client and these platforms all supported publishing via Micropub, then the one application would work across more platforms.

Replied to IndieWeb is Too Complicated for It’s Own Good by Kevin TracyKevin Tracy (Kevin Tracy)
Evan Stoner has an incredibly well written (and very to-the-point) article about IndieWeb up on his site that needs more attention. As I mentioned last year, I’ve been playing around with int…

Kevin, I understand a lot of the complications for attempting to set up an IndieWeb site for a static site generator like Evan. A lot of IndieWeb tech is harder to do with SSG’s since a lot of the functionality is anything but static—yet it still works.  Hopefully the small handful of plugins for WordPress are much easier, particularly for someone as adept as you. I’ll admit there’s a microformats issue for dovetailing WordPress themes properly, but that should only get better with time. We could definitely use some developers and designers to help lighten the load to make it easier for everyone. Some platforms like WithKnown have it all out of the box while Drupal and WordPress have either one or a several plugins. Evan’s set up is about as complicated as they could come.

Since you mention some of your problems, a few things you might appreciate for making your own personal use easier for WordPress are the large number of Micropub clients you could be using to post to your website. They’re way easier than dealing with the Classic editor, Gutenberg, or the mobile interface.  I really enjoy using Quill and Omnibear (a browser extension) myself, but for food you might enjoy Teacup and for memes there’s Kapowski. If you want a crash-course on micropub for a non-developer, I did a WordCamp session on it a while back. Since most of them are open source, I’d imagine with your experience, if necessary, you could modify them to suit your specific needs without a lot of work.

If you want to go a step further, you could set up a social reader for subscribing to and reading other sites as well as using their built in micropub functionality to reply to posts directly from your reader.

You’re right that the ecosystem does seem overly-complicated on first view, but it’s taken almost a decade of work by hundreds and thousands of people to attempt to make a set of standards that are as simple as possible for building into almost any platform out there. Further work will only serve to make things even easier and more usable over time.

Of course if one wants an easier solution (especially for the completely non-technical person who is looking for a Twitter-like replacement), there are a few IndieWeb as a Service platforms out there. One of the best I’ve seen so far is micro.blog. You can’t beat its clean interface or ease-of-use as a service and it has pretty much everything built in out of the box. As time goes by it’ll be great to see other services like this that offer the interoperability without the heartache that Evan has seen.

If you’ve got ideas about how the WordPress parts could be improved, do pass them along.

Automating syndication of reply contexts in Twitter Cards using OGP metacrap and plugins in WordPress

A Metacrap Problem

It’s metacrap–I know, I know–but I’ve been thinking about easy ways to use Open Graph Protocol meta data to add contextual Twitter cards to some of my content when syndicating posts to Twitter. My goal is to leverage the speed and ease-of-use of Micropub clients while doing as little as possible manually, but achieving as much parity between posts on multiple sites. 

I’m particularly keen to do this to syndicate/share more of the articles I read and post about on my site without adding additional manual work on my own part.

Outline of Some Resources

The Post Kinds plugin for WordPress parses URLs for me and pulls in data to create reply contexts for a variety of posts like bookmarks, reads, watches, listens, etc. Since Post Kinds doesn’t display featured images (yet), I’ve also been using the External Featured Image plugin to display the featured images from the original to add to the reply context of my posts as well. 

In addition to all these I’ve been using the All in One SEO plugin to easily add an SEO layer to posts without having to do much thinking about it. AIOSEO recently upgraded their UI and features in the last year, and yesterday I upgraded to the newest v4.0+. One of the new features it’s got is the ability to add default fields or pull in pre-existing custom fields to output OGP meta data. 

Start of a Solution

So I got the idea that since Post Kinds and External Featured Image plugins are pulling in and displaying the sort of data I’d like to show in Twitter cards, I figured why not use them? While metacrap is a DRY violation, the fact that it’s automated for me and is based on data I’m actually showing visually on my website makes it feel much less dirty. It also has the benefit that it helps make some of my syndicated content look and feel on Twitter, more like it does on my website. This is also a problem since Twitter hampers how much data I can syndicate in a single post.

I’ve still got some issues about how to deal with the Post Kinds data, but after a bit of digging around, I discovered the image URL for External Featured Image plugin is hiding in the _dcms_eufi_img field. So I can make the default Twitter settings in AIOSEO pull the external image by setting Default Post Image Source to Image from Custom Field and set the Post Custom Field Name to _dcms_eufi_img

Since a lot of my posts are reads, bookmarks, etc., this works well, but I can easily override the settings for articles or other custom posts which I make less frequently. 

Hopefully I can figure out the settings for Post Kinds to get the rest of the default fields to map across. I’m happy to hear ideas on what field names I’d need to use to get the Post Kinds Name and Summary/Quote fields to map over for the og:title and og:description respectively. Ideally I can manage to get it done without needing to get a subscription to the pro version of AIOSEO which also has support for custom taxonomies which is how Post Kinds works.

Since my theme has relatively solid microformats support, and I have plugin infrastructure to allow easy syndication from my website to Twitter through micropub clients, this last bit for creating Twitter reply contexts helps close some of the loop for me in my syndication workflow while keeping as much context across platforms.

Example

Here’s a visual example of a native post on my site and the corresponding syndicated copy on Twitter. There are some differences, mostly because I don’t have as much control of the appearance on Twitter as I do on my own site, but they’re about as close as I can get them with minimal work.

screen capture of a tweet with my thought at the top and a Twitter card underneath it including the reply context of the article I'm responding to

screencapture of a read post on my website for a Slate article with a reply context at the top and my response to it just below

Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
The original Press This spun itself off as a stand-alone plugin, so look there first to recreate its functionality. If that doesn’t suit, try David Shanske’s Post Kinds plugin which incorporates a lot of Press This functionality and extends it quite a bit. You can create bookmarklets with it that work well (including mobile).

Another option is Tom Critchlow and Toby Shorin’s Quotebacks which you might leverage though they won’t necessarily create new posts on your behalf.

If you’ve got some programming experience, you might be able to do something interesting with a set of bookmarklets I just made too.

I think I’ve also shared most of my documented workflow for using Hypothes.is for some of this too, though that may require some work on your behalf.

Another good option is to add Micropub functionality and use some clients like Quill, Omnibear, or others in conjunction with the Post Kinds plugin. I think Quill may also have some useful bookmarklets you can use with it as well.

Replied to a thread by Bopuc and Ryan Bateman (Twitter)
And for WordPress you can already use the Webmention plugin and optionally the Semantic Linkbacks plugin to implement sending and receiving them for your own site.

In many cases, sites sending these notifications with the proper microformats mark up means that you can get some really beautiful replies to show up in your comments section (esp. in relation to how the old linkbacks/trackbacks looked). Webmention also has some structure as well as potential extensions to prevent the spam that the prior implementations encouraged.

If you reply to my syndicated copy of this post on Twitter, I’m also using the free service Brid.gy to have Twitter send these notifications to my personal website, so I’ll see your reply on my original post without actually needing to visit Twitter directly. This means that not only can I do threaded replies between my site and another WordPress site (or any other site that supports Webmention), but I can do threaded conversations between my site and Twitter.

Now if you want to take this the next few logical steps, add Micropub support to your website, and start using a social reader like Indigenous. That will let you write replies to content in your reader that will automatically post those repsonses/replies to your website, but then your site can ping the site you were responding to! The specifications allow a true social media experience between websites running different software on different URLs. Some documentation for the WordPress side of things: https://indieweb.org/Getting_Started_on_WordPress

The more sites that support these specifications, the richer the ecosystem becomes.

Replied to a tweet by Paul Beard (Twitter)
I’m curious what your expectation was for it without reading?

There isn’t any configuration beyond setting a default post status; you just download and activate. You may need to install the IndieAuth plugin to log in to them, but then you should be able to use any of the many Micropub clients to post to your website. I recommend starting with Quill.

More details and some examples discussed here: https://wordpress.tv/2019/06/26/chris-aldrich-micropub-and-wordpress-custom-posting-applications/