Replied to Joe’s Syndicated Links Considered ‘Spam’ By Some Mastodon Instance by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
I actually kind of understand this—only because I think Mastodon is at odds with the Indieweb.

I don’t think that what Joe is seeing is an anti-IndieWeb thing. It is something we’ve seen before from a handful of instances and will assuredly see again.

The other example of this behavior I’ve seen was when Greg McVerry, a college professor and member of the IndieWeb community, tried to join a Mastodon instance that was specific to researchers and professors in higher education. Sadly he found out, like Joe, that syndicating content from other locations was not acceptable there. As I recall, they also required an automatic content warning on almost everything posted to that particular instance which seemed an additional travesty to me. I think he ultimately joined mastodon.social and found he didn’t have any similar issues there and anyone who wanted to follow him from any other instances still could. I’m sure he can provide some additional details and may have posted about it sometime in the summer of 2018 when it happened.

The tough part is that each instance, though federated among many others, can have its own terms of service and set up. Some instances can be and certainly are run by their own tyrannical administrators, and I suppose that it’s their right since they’re paying for the server and the overhead. The solution is to do some research into some instances and find one that isn’t going to ban you for what would otherwise seem like average use to most. I’ve found mastodon.social to be relatively simple in its terms and its massive size also tends to cover up a lot of edge cases, so you’re unlikely to run into the same problems there. (It is also run by the creator of Mastodon, who has generally been IndieWeb friendly.)

The issue Joe has run into also points out a flaw of the overall Fediverse in that just like each real-world country can have its own laws and there is a broader general international law, the international laws aren’t as well codified or respected by each individual country. When you’re operating in someone else’s country, you’re bound to follow their local laws and even customs. Fortunately if you don’t like them there are lots of other places to live. And this is one of the bigger, mostly unseen, benefits of the IndieWeb: if you have your own website, you can create your own rules/laws and do as you please without necessarily relying as heavily on the rules of others.

I’ll note that some in the IndieWeb (Aaron Parecki, Ryan Barrett, Mathias Pfefferle, Jacky Alcine, et al.) have been playing around with or thinking about adding the ActivityPub protocols so that their own websites act as stand-alone members of the Fediverse. Since I know Joe has recently moved to WordPress, I’ll mention that there are two separate projects to help WordPress sites federate:
* ActivityPub plugin for WordPress from Mathias Pfefferle
* Bridgy Fed from Ryan Barrett

Naturally neither of these (yet) supports all of the protocols so some functionality one would find on Mastodon won’t necessarily work, but I suspect that over time that they eventually will. It’s been a while since I tried out BridgyFed, but I’ve had the ActivityPub plugin set up for a bit and have noticed a lot of recent work by Mathias Pfefferle to use it for himself. I still have to tweak around with some of my settings, but so far it provides some relatively useful results. The best part is that I don’t need to syndicate content to Mastodon, but users there can subscribe to me at @chrisaldrich@boffosocko.com, for example, instead of @chrisaldrich@mastodon.social. The results and functionality aren’t perfect yet, but with some work we’ll get there I think.

Good luck finding (or creating) an instance that works for you!

Replied to Feed page by Andy BellAndy Bell (Andy Bell)
Let’s make 2019 the year of personal sites and the IndieWeb.

Thanks for the awesome feed page and congratulations on launching into the IndieWeb in 2019!

If it helps, Max Böck recently wrote some excellent articles (with code examples) on using Eleventy to easily syndicate content to Twitter as well as to add Webmention functionality. If you haven’t seen them yet, they may help you along your journey a bit more quickly. Both can be found at: https://indieweb.org/Eleventy

👓 Static Indieweb pt1: Syndicating Content | Max Böck

Read Static Indieweb pt1: Syndicating Content by Max Böck (Max Böck - Frontend Web Developer)
How to automatically publish content from a static site on Twitter, using Eleventy and Netlify's lambda functions.

A nice little article with some excellent code examples for those who want to follow along.

🎧 This Week in Google 481 Stoned on Cheese | TWIG.tv

Listened to This Week in Google 481 Stoned on Cheese by Leo Laporte, Jeff Jarvis, Stacey Higginbotham from TWiT.tv
Foldable Phone, Online Civility

  • The Samsung Developers Conference Keynote features a foldable phone, SmartThings IoT, and Bixby innovations.
  • Android will support foldable phones.
  • Google employees stage a walkout over sexual harassment
  • Tim Berners-Lee's Contract for the Web
  • How to encourage civility online
  • YouTube Content ID
  • Facebook and "White Genocide"
  • Young people are deleting Facebook in droves
  • Facebook's holiday pop-up store
  • Everybody gets free Amazon shipping
  • Amazon's new HQ2(s)
  • 8 new Chromebook features
  • Google Home Hub teams up with Sephora
  • Ajit Pai's FCC is hopping mad about robocalls

Picks of the Week

  • Jeff's Number: Black Friday home tech deals
  • Stacey's Thing: Extinct cables, Alexa Christmas Lights

Leo Laporte doesn’t talk about it directly within an IndieWeb specific framework, but he’s got an interesting discussion about YouTube Content ID that touches on the ideas of Journalism and IndieWeb and particularly as they relate to video, streaming video, and YouTube Live.

While most people are forced to rely on Google as their silo of choice for video and specifically live streaming video, he points out a painful single point of failure in their system with regard to copyright rules and Google’s automatic filters that could get a user/content creator permanently banned. Worse, as Leo indicates, this ban could also extend to related Google accounts (YouTube, Gmail, etc.) One is thus open to potential chilling effects of intimidation, censorship, and deplatforming.

Leo discusses the fact that he’s not as beholden to YouTube because he streams and hosts all of his content on his own website and only utilizes silos like YouTube as ancillary distribution. In IndieWeb parlance what he does is known as POSSE or Post to your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere and this prevents his journalism, commentary, and even his business from being ravaged by the whims of corporate entities whose rules he can’t control directly.

The discussion starts at 1:05:11 into the episode and goes for about 10 minutes for those who are interested in this particular sub-topic.

This idea also impinges on Cal Newport’s recent article Is YouTube Fundamental or Trivial? which I read the other day.

 

👓 Meeting subscribers where they’re at | Ben Werdmüller

Read Meeting subscribers where they're at by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
Yesterday I upgraded my laptop to OSX Mojave. Among the improvements: a desktop version of the iOS news app, which is slick. I checked into it a few times yesterday, and I expect I will again today. Under the hood, it's a highly-curated feed reader. There's a proprietary API, but a lot of content is...

👓 Syndication Links 4.0.0 Released | David Shanske

Read Syndication Links 4.0.0 Released by David ShanskeDavid Shanske (David Shanske)
Today, from my hotel room in Berlin, Germany, where I am preparing to attend Indiewebcamp Berlin, my first European Indiewebcamp, I released Syndication Links 4.0.0. The major version number change is because in this version, Syndication Links takes on a new role. As promised previously, I’ve buil...

Yet another update from the unstoppable David Shanske! I can’t wait to try this out.

👓 Distributor publicly released with Gutenberg support and Enterprise service offering | 10up

Read Distributor publicly released with Gutenberg support and Enterprise service offering by Jake GoldmanJake Goldman (10up)
We are proud to announce that Distributor has exited beta and is now openly available. Distributor is a free WordPress plugin that makes it easy to syndicate and reuse content across your websites—whether in a single multisite network or across the web with the REST API. With Distributor, content creators can "push" or "pull" content [...]

Some thoughts on silos, divisions, and bridges

Replied to a tweet by Cruce SaundersCruce Saunders (Twitter)

The #IndieWeb community has been working on this for a while. There’s even a service called Brid.gy to help enact it. At the same time, as Ben Werdmüller indicates, we need to be careful not to put too much reliance on silos’ APIs which can, and obviously will, be pulled out from underneath us at any moment.

As any kindergartner can tell you, “It’s difficult to play ball when the local bully owns the ball and wants to make up their own rules or leave in a huff.”

One of the things I love about IndieWeb is that we’re all trying to create a way for balls to be roughly standardized and mass manufactured so that everyone can play regardless of what the bully wants to do or what equipment people bring to the game.1

And as Nikhil Sonnad has reminded us very recently, we also need more than just connections, we need actual caring and thinking human interaction.2

References

1.
Aldrich C. Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet. A List Apart. https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet. Published July 19, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018.
2.
Sonnad N. Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason. Quartz. https://qz.com/1342757/everything-bad-about-facebook-is-bad-for-the-same-reason/. Published July 30, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018.

Stepping back from POSSE | Ben Werdmüller

Liked Stepping back from POSSE by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
Just a quick note: ostensibly to fight algorithmic propaganda, Facebook is shutting off API access to publish to profiles tomorrow. I expect other platforms to follow. That's completely their right. The indieweb has this intrinsic idea of Publishing on your Own Site, Syndicating Elsewhere: automatic...

👓 NextScripts API for Facebook Configuration | NextScripts

Read NextScripts API for Facebook Configuration (NextScripts)
Setup/Installation: Facebook - Social Networks AutoPoster (NextScripts API) NextScripts API for Facebook Configuration NextScripts API for Facebook could be used instead of official native Facebook API. NextScripts API for Facebook could post: 1. Facebook Profile. 2. Facebook Pages (all kinds). 3. P...

👓 Alternative Facebook API Library | NextScripts

Read Alternative Facebook API Library (NextScripts)
NextScripts Autoposting API for Facebook allows you to share your texts, images and links to Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups. New API library from NextScripts can automatically share texts, images and links to Facebook.

👓 What happened with Facebook | NextScripts

Read What happened with Facebook by NextScripts (NextScripts)
Facebook made changes to it’s API access policy on May 1st, 2018. As the result we introduced our own Premium API for Facebook.  We feel that we need to explain how exactly those changes affected SNAP. Since the beginning Facebook native API was unrestricted. Anyone w...

Threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter

I’ve written about threading comments from one WordPress website to another before. I’ve long suspected this type of thing could be done with Twitter, but never really bothered with it or necessarily needed to do it, though I’ve often seen cases where others might have wanted to do this.

For a post today, I wrote on my own site and syndicated it to Twitter and got a reply back via webmention through Brid.gy. This process happens for me almost every day, and this all by itself feels magical.  The real magic however, and I don’t think I’ve done this before or seen it done, was that I replied to the backfed comment on my site inline and manually syndicated to Twitter using a permalink of the form http://www.example.com/standard-permalink-structure/?replytocom=57527#respond, where 57527 is the particular comment ID for my inline comment. (This comment ID can typically be found by hovering over the “Reply” or “Comment” button on one’s WordPress website in most browsers.)

Where to find the comment ID to provide the proper permalink to get properly nested comments backfed to your site.

When a reply to my second syndicated Twitter post came in, Brid.gy properly sent it as a comment to my comment AND nested it properly!

I’ve now got a nested copy of the conversation on my site that is identical to the one on Twitter.

I suspect that by carefully choosing the URL structure you syndicate to Twitter, you’ll allow yourself more control over how backfed comments from Brid.gy nest (or don’t) in your response section on your site.

Perhaps even more powerfully, non-WordPress-based websites could also use these permalinks structures for composing their replies to WordPress sites to have their replies nest properly too. I think I’ve seen Aaron Parecki do this in the wild.

Since the WordPress Webmention plugin now includes functionality for sending webmentions directly from the comments section, I’ll have to double check that the microformats on my comments are properly marked up to  see if I can start leveraging Brid.gy publish functionality to send threaded replies to Twitter automatically. Or perhaps work on something that will allow automatic replies via Twitter API. Hmmm…

Despite the fact that this could all be a bit more automated, the fact that one can easily do threaded replies between WordPress and Twitter makes me quite happy.

Thread onward!

For more on my IndieWeb explorations with Twitter, see my IndieWeb Research page.