🔖 Personal sites are awesome

Bookmarked Personal sites are awesome by Andy Bell (personalsit.es)

Personal sites are awesome, so this site was built so we can all discover each others. All the links are by folks that want to share their site with the world.

If you want your site to appear on here, go ahead and submit it on GitHub, or drop me an email.

I just ran across this interesting version of a directory which is being built based on a GitHub repo and deployed to https://personalsit.es/

It’s built by Andy Bell who has been building his own website and is at least IndieWeb aware. I’ve added the example to the IndieWeb wiki page for directories. While interesting and useful, like some of the other directories I’ve seen floating around, there is a small hurdle that one needs to be able to fork a GitHub repo, edit it, and send a PR to be included, though I do like that he has an email option to bring the technical hurdle down. The other benefit is that it allows people to modify or delete their data as well. I do like the decentralized nature of of it, but I wonder about scale and search-ability.

I can’t help but wonder about building a similar directory site that aggregates its data by Webmention and uses the h-cards from websites to automatically update itself. Naturally having an OPML file(s) (think various versions that are sortable using tags/categories) or some other exportable and/or subscribe-able ability for feed readers would be highly useful.

In addition to resources like chat-names, Indie Map‘s list, as well as some planets, OPML resources like my own IndieWeb list, and the IndieWeb web ring, this could be another interesting directory creation method for IndieWeb-specific websites.


👤 Kicks Condor; Brad Enslen;

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@manton, I’m not sure if anyone would have thought to ask or do such a thing, but does micro.blog provide users any feeds (RSS, JSON, etc.) of the sites the’re subscribed to for reading in a reader that isn’t necessarily micro.blog’s primary interface?

I ask because I’m curious about the ease of maintaining contacts if one wanted a different reader experience, were to leave micro.blog, or simply wanted to transfer from following 100s within micro.blog to follow them using other interfaces?

Any thoughts perhaps of providing an exportable OPML file for making functionality like this easier? Or for taking an OPML file and putting it into a feed reader that supports subscribing to OPML files?

Reply to Aaron Davis

Replied to a post by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)

Great post Aaron. I’ll also say thanks for including me in such an illustrious list. But to the others, I’ll suggest that you’re holding out on us. The meatier list he’s hiding is at: https://readwriterespond.com/wp-links-opml.php

Throw it into a feed reader like Inoreader that will let you import or subscribe to OPML lists and then come back to thank him all over again.

Reply to Damian Yerrick about leaving Tumblr and recommendation engines

Replied to a tweet by Damian YerrickDamian Yerrick (Twitter)

Because of the decentralized nature of the IndieWeb, it’s most likely that more centralized services in the vein of Indie Map or perhaps a Microsub client might build in this sort of recommendation engine functionality. But this doesn’t mean that all is lost! Until more sophisticated tools exist, bootstrapping on smaller individually published sorts of recommendations like follow posts or things like my Following Page (fka blogroll) with OPML support are more likely to be of interest and immediately fill the gap. Several feed readers like Feedly and Inoreader also have recommendation engines built in as well.

Of course going the direction of old school blogs and following those who comment on your own site has historically been a quick way to build a network. I’m also reminded of Colin Walker’s directory which creates a blogroll of sorts by making a list of websites that have webmentioned his own. Webrings are also an interesting possibility for topic-related community building.

Since Tumblr is unlikely to shut down immediately, those effected could easily add their personal websites to their bios to help transition their followerships to feed readers or other methods for following and reading.

Of course the important thing in the near term is to spend a moment downloading and backing up one’s content just in case.

 

👓 NetNewsWire Diary #2: Switching to OPML | inessential

Read NetNewsWire Diary #2: Switching to OPML (inessential.com)
Since the earliest days of NetNewsWire, before 1.0 even shipped, I wanted to make the subscriptions list on disk an OPML file. It seemed like using the standard format for listing RSS subscriptions would be a good idea. But I was never able to make that happen — until now, with NetNewsWire 5.0d7.

Twitter list for #UnboundEq

Replied to Twitter Scavenger Hunt by Catherine CroninCatherine Cronin (Equity Unbound)
This activity is a great way to jumpstart community and networked learning using Twitter. Anyone interested in is welcome to join in this activity – we encourage educators and students in various classes and open participants take part!

A Twitter List

I started a bit of the Twitter scavenger hunt for Equity Unbound early this morning by creating a Twitter list of people who have been participating thus far with the hashtag.

For those new to the Twitter scene in education, knowing about Twitter lists, how to build them, and how one can use them are an invaluable set of tools and experiences. I highly recommend you spend a few minutes searching the web for these ideas and trying it out for yourself.

For those who are already well-versed in the idea of Twitter lists (no cheating; you’re only cheating yourselves if you’ve never done this before), feel free to subscribe to it or use it to quickly follow your peers. (Teachers are busy people and the 50+ of us don’t need to spend an inordinate amount of time doing the aggregation game, particularly if you’re doing it manually and not somewhat automated the way I’ve done.)

I’m sure the list will grow and I’ll update it over time, so check back if you don’t subscribe or use the list in a tool like TweetDeck. Apologies for those I’ve managed to have missed, please send me a tweet reply, comment below, or just keep using the hashtag and I’ll be more than happy to add you.

Even if you subscribe to the list or quickly follow everyone on it, I’d still highly recommend you spend a few minutes scrolling back into the Twitter timeline for the hashtag for the course and read what is going on. You’ll definitely have a better idea of who your class, teachers, and personal learning network are.

OPML List?

Perhaps I’ll also start a planet or subscribe-able OPML list of RSS feeds for those in the class soon as well for those who want to follow along in their feed readers? If you’ve got a particular tag/category/other that you’re using to aggregate all of your Equity Unbound participation on your own website, let me know in the comments below as well. As an example I’m using the tag UnboundEq, so all the related posts on my site can be seen at https://boffosocko.com/tag/unboundeq/ or subscribed to via https://boffosocko.com/tag/unboundeq/feed/. Let me know what yours are.

If enough people are doing this, I’ll publish a subscribe-able OPML file to make it easier for everyone to use these without us all spending the time to track them all down individually and put them into our feed readers to keep up with each other.

👓 Sunday, August 26, 2018 | Scripting News

Read Sunday, August 26, 2018 (Scripting News)
The OPML Editor is my fork of the Frontier code base, started in 2004. It runs on today's Macs. In the flurry of activity in April, I broke the Mac part of the download page. I have now fixed it.

👓 #EDU 522 Daily Update: RSS and WordPress | Greg McVerry

Replied to #EDU 522 Daily Update: RSS and WordPress by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
Hello in today’s first daily update I wanted to share about RSS if you wanted a little background here you go:

My feeds for the class would be:

I don’t have everyone in it yet, but I’ve started an OPML file for the class that one could use to subscribe to in Inoreader. Otherwise you can save the file (typically with the extension .xml) and upload it into the reader of your choice, however you’ll need to come back and get updates as I add new feeds. If you’d like me to add you to the list, drop your details into the comments as you’d like them to appear on my Following Page or send my original post a webmention from your site.

Reply to Brad Enslen about The Future of Blog Snoop

Replied to Memo: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop Blog Directory by Brad EnslenBrad Enslen (Brad Enslen)
I’m hitting a fork in the road with this site and the experiment of using a blog as a directory of blogs.  The problem here is me: I’m running out of time.  I’m duplicating a lot … Source: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop – Blog Snoop Weblog Directory We’ll see what happens.  It...

Brad, much like Kicks Condor, I think you’re making a laudable effort, and one of the ways our work grows is to both keep up with it and experiment around.

If I recall, programming wasn’t necessarily your strong suit, but like many in the IndieWeb will say: “Manual until it hurts!” By doing things manually, you’ll more easily figure out what might work and what might not, and then when you’ve found the thing that does, then you spend some time programming it to automate the whole thing to make it easier. It’s quite similar to designing a college campus: let the students walk around naturally for a bit then pave the natural walkways that they’ve created. This means you won’t have both the nicely grided and unused sidewalks in addition to the ugly grass-less beaten paths. It’s also the broader generalization of paving the cow paths.

In addition to my Following page I’ve also been doing some experimenting with following posts using the Post Kinds Plugin. It is definitely a lot more manual than I’d like it to be. It does help to have made a bookmarklet to more quickly create follow posts, but until I’ve got it to a place that I really want it, it’s not (yet) worth automating taking the data from those follow posts to dump them into my Follow page for output there as well. Of course the fact that my follow posts have h-entry and h-feed mark up means that someone might also decide to build a parser that will extract my posts into a feed which could then be plugged into something else like a microsub-based reader so that I could make a follow post on my own site and the source is automatically added to my subscription list in my reader automatically.

In addition to Kicks Condor, I’me seeing others start to kick the tires of these things as well. David Shanske recently wrote Brainstorming on Implementing Vouch, Following, and Blogrolls, but I think he’s got a lot more going on in his thinking than he’s indicated in his post which barely scratches the surface.

I also still often think back to a post from Dave Winer in 2016: Are you ready to share your OPML? This too has some experimental discovery features that only scratch the surface of the adjacent possible.

And of course just yesterday, Kevin Marks (previously of Technorati) reminded us about rel=”directory” which could have some interesting implications for discovery and following. Think for a bit of how one might build a decentralized Technorati or something along the lines of Ryan Barrett’s indie map.

As things continue to grow, I’m seeing some of all of our decisions and experiments begin to effect others as these are all functionality and discovery mechanisms that we’ll all need in the very near future. I hope you’ll continue to experiment and make cow paths that can eventually be paved.

Featured Image: Cows on the path flickr photo by Reading Tom shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Reply to Greg McVerry about #IndieWebEdu

Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
@kfitz Realized I can just use the list here to make my #IndieWebEdu feed: https://indieweb.org/Indieweb_for_Education Its okay about iOS..nobody is perfect.

For fun and not to need to reinvent the wheel:

My following page may have other feeds of interest as well.

Reply to Sara Soueidan about front end development feeds

Replied to a tweet by Sara SoueidanSara Soueidan (Twitter)

I tinker on my own website and frequently write about IndieWeb related technologies because the web is my social media platform. The feed you might appreciate most is https://boffosocko.com/category/indieweb/feed/.

I have feeds for nearly every tag/category or post type on my site for convenience (just add /feed/ to almost anything). You could subscribe to my firehose feed, but I suspect even my mother would tire of it quickly.

I’m curious if you have OPML files or similar bundles of feeds you follow that are shareable or subscribe-able?

Reply to Ryan Boren et al on the WordPress Link Manager, Calypso, and Indie Blogging

Replied to a tweet by Ryan BorenRyan Boren (Twitter)

Oh there’s just so much to say about the start of this thread, and it gives me so much hope for the open web as well as potential growth for WordPress.

Link Manager Update

The Link Manager still seems relatively solid and much of the infrastructure still works well, despite the warnings and lack of updates over the past several years. It would be nice to see it make a comeback and I can personally see many ways it could come back as a means of allowing people to better own their personal social graph as well as dovetail with readers. (This could also be the cornerstone of helping to make WordPress it’s own decentralized social network so that those who want to leave Facebook, Twitter, et al. could more easily do so and maintain their own data and infrastructure.)

If it were being updated, here are a few things that I might suggest as being imminently useful:

  • Update to the latest version of OPML; While the old version still works, there are some new toys that folks like Dave Winer have been iterating on including OPML subscription1,2 as well as some discovery tools.
  • Add in additional microformats support, particularly for display. Things like h-card, u-url, u-photo, etc. could make displaying these more useful for the growing number of microformats parsers. I also suspect that having OPML subscription support could be a major boon to the feed reader resurgence that is happening with the split of the server side/display side split occurring with the improving Microsub spec which now has one server implementation with several more coming and at least three front end implementations. I know of one person building a Microsub server for WordPress already.
  • It’s non-obvious where one’s OPML file lives within the plugin or that one can have or target OPML files by category. Making this more apparent from a UI perspective would be both useful and help adoption.
  • Provide a bookmarklet or browser extension to make it easier to scrape data off of someone’s homepage (or any page for that matter) and put it into the Links Manager data fields. This would allow people to do a one (or two click) solution for quickly and immediately following someone, saving their data into their site, and then via OPML subscription, they’ll automatically be following that feed in their reader of choice.
    • For doing the parsing portion of this, I might recommend the parsing algorithm being used by the Post Kinds Plugin, which parses a web page and searches for microformats, open graph protocol, and one or two other standards to return all or most all of the data that would be needed to fill out the data Links Manager can take. As I recall, this parser was being discussed by Kraft for potential inclusion into the Press This bookmarklet functionality to expand on what it had already provided.
    • From a UI perspective this would allow people to follow friends or others via a WordPress workflow almost as easily as any of the social media silos.
    • Another UI approach for comparison can be found by looking at the SubToMe universal follow button which was developed by Julien Genestoux (also of PubSub/WebSub fame). This version also uses some of the standard feed discovery mechanisms which a bookmarklet would want to be able to do as well.
  • As I’d written, following/subscribing has become more central to the social space, so upgrading the humble blogroll from a widget to a full page would certainly be in order. Having the infrastructure (short link perhaps?) to easily create a WordPress page out of the data would be quite helpful.

As Ryan indicates, the planet-like features that OPML subscriptions provide are immensely valuable in general, but also solves a tough problem that some of the best minds in the educational tech space have found perennially problematic.3

As for the title-less post types that are proliferating by the independent microblogging community (including the recent micro.blog as well as post types in the vein of likes, favorites, reads, replies, etc. which mimic functionality within the broader social space), the so-called (no title) problem can be  somewhat difficult since so many things are built to expect a title. Many feed readers don’t know how to react to them as a result. The Post Kinds Plugin faced a similar issue and recently pushed an update so that within the admin UI at /wp-admin/edit.php the title field would still indicate (no title) but it would also include a 28 character synopsis from the_body or the_excerpt to provide at least some indication of what the post was about. This also seems to be a potential issue in other areas of WordPress including widgets like “Recent Posts” which want to display a title where none exists. As the aside post format can attest, not all themes deal with this well, though there are other alternate methods for displaying some useful data.

 

References

1.
OPML subscriptions. Inoreader blog. https://blog.inoreader.com/2014/05/opml-subscriptions.html. Published May 26, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2018.
2.
RSS Reader InoReader to Support Dynamic OPML Subscriptions. CleverClogs. http://cleverclogs.org/category/opml-subscriptions. Published May 26, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2018.
3.
Groom J. Will Work for Feed Syndication Framework. bavatuesdays. https://bavatuesdays.com/ds106-will-work-for-feed-syndication-framework/. Published August 5, 2013. Accessed July 18, 2018.

Reply to This Indispensable Digital Research Tool, We can Say, Without Lying, Saves Time

Replied to This Indispensable Digital Research Tool, We can Say, Without Lying, Saves Time by Alan Levine (@cogdog) (Extend Activity Bank)

People will claim they can replace RSS Readers with social media streams like twitter. While we do get many key resources and news stories via social media, let’s dispute that claim:

  • Clutter, noise, distraction. What you get is interspersed with many things that are outside your interests, rants, yelling, silly gifs. That’s a lot of filtering.
  • You Miss It, You Lose it. Social media is focused at the head of the stream. While you sleep or actually do something productive away from social media, it all flows away. Yes, maybe your network can signal with repeating important things, but its spotty.
  • Duplication You have no means to quickly know what you have already looked at, and you see may the same story multiple times.
  • You Are Subject to Algorithms Especially on facebook, what you see is determined by the mysteries of an algorithm. Sure you choose sources by followers, but the means by which information is presented is determined by some outside automated entity.

This activity brings you an exception to the technology as time-saving lie; it’s old tool that many people have abandoned. I will wade carefully through the acronym jargon jungle, but we are talking about using an RSS Feed Reader to monitor the most recent news, blog posts, data from sources you choose to follow, not ones dished out by some company’s algorithm.

RSS is incredibly valuable as is OPML.

I had used Feedly for several years, but made the switch to Inoreader last year, in part because it has one additional useful feature that Feedly doesn’t: OPML subscription. While it’s nice to be able to import and export OPML files, needing to remember to update them can be an unnecessary step, particularly if 20+ people need to do the update to capture all the new RSS feeds added. (As an example, say one or two students join a class late and everyone has already got the original OPML export and now needs to update to add a few more feeds to keep track of classroom activity.)  OPML subscription improves this by allowing the subscription to an OPML link with multiple feeds in it. If the original OPML file updates with new feeds, then the reader automatically updates them and pushes them out to everyone subscribed to that OPML file!

Think of an OPML subscription as an updating subscription to a bundle of RSS feeds which all also provide their own individual updates. Instead of subscribing to a bunch of individual feeds, you can subscribe to whole bundles of feeds.

For those looking for some sample OPML links to subscribe to, try some of mine which are listed at the bottom of the linked page. For some ideas about building your own data stores with OPML links for WordPress, try my Following Page solution. WordPress’s old Link Manager described on that page will provide the ability to store the data and provide the OPML links, the rest of the page discusses publishing it on one’s site so that it’s publicly available if you wish. URL schemes for sub-categories are discussed separately.

I maintain a few lists of related influencers:

Twitter List: https://twitter.com/ChrisAldrich/lists/indieweb/members
Following list: https://boffosocko.com/about/following/#Indieweb
OPML file (for more easily mass following via RSS): https://www.boffosocko.com/wp-links-opml.php?link_cat=1521

Please ping me if you or someone you know should be included or was overlooked somehow. Obviously you have more street cred if the canonical place to follow you is on your own website.

I find that it’s nice that I can follow fewer and fewer people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, et al. because they’ve begun owning all of their content on their own website where I can get as much of it as I like in my feed reader without having to subscribe to or try to read their content in dozens of different places with algorithms impeding my personal preferences.

Reply to Allow reading friends feeds in a feed reader

Replied to Allow reading friends feeds in a feed reader · Issue #16 · akirk/friends by Alex KirkAlex Kirk (GitHub)
We can do this by providing a download for a OPML file.

Perhaps better than allowing simply the download of an OPML file, it would be nice to have the ability to provide a link to an OPML file as well? This way feed readers like Inoreader that support OPML subscription would be able to auto update themselves when new feeds/friends are added to the list?

Depending on your infrastructure, you could potentially leverage the old Link Manager within WordPress which provided OPML outputs as well as outputs arranged by category. This would prevent you from needing to rebuild the side-files unless you’re doing that already.