Replied to Thinking about Planets and Challenges by David ShanskeDavid Shanske (david.shanske.com)
Earlier today, at the special Transatlantic Bonus Homebrew Website Club, we continued a discussion on trying a community challenge to create content, similar to some of what micro.blog does with their photo challenges.  One of the stumbling blocks was discovery on this, being distributed, how you can...
GWG, Some random thoughts:
Your challenge question is tough, not just for the mere discovery portion, but for the multiple other functions involved, particularly a “submit/reply” portion and a separate “I want to subscribe to something for future updates”.
I can’t think of any sites that do both of these functionalities at the same time. They’re almost always a two step process, and quite often, after the submission part, few people ever revisit the original challenge to see further updates and follow along. The lack of an easy subscribe function is the downfall of the second part. A system that allowed one to do both a cross-site submit/subscribe simultaneously would be ideal UI, but that seems a harder problem, especially as subscribe isn’t well implemented in IndieWeb spaces with a one click and done set up.
Silo based spaces where you’re subscribed to the people who might also participate might drip feed you some responses, but I don’t think that even micro.blog has something that you could use to follow the daily photo challenges by does it?

Other examples

https://daily.ds106.us/ is a good example of a sort of /planet that does regular challenges and has a back end that aggregates responses (usually from Twitter). I imagine that people are subscribed to the main feed of the daily challenges, but I don’t imagine that many are subscribed to the comments feed (is there even one?)
Maxwell’s Sith Lord Challenge is one of the few I’ve seen in the personal site space that has aggregated responses. I don’t think it has an easy way to subscribe to the responses though an h-feed of responses on the page might work in a reader? Maybe he’s got some thoughts about how this worked out?
Ongoing challenges, like a 30 day photography challenge for example, are even harder because they’re an ongoing one that either requires a central repository to collect, curate, and display them (indieweb.xyz, or a similar planet) or require something that can collect one or more of a variety of submitted feeds and then display them or allow a feed(s) of them. I’ve seen something like this before with http://connectedcourses.net/ in the education space using RSS, but it took some time to not only set it up but to get people’s sites to work with it. (It was manual and it definitely hurt as I recall.)
I don’t think of it as a challenge, but I often submit to the IndieWeb sub on indieweb.xyz and I’m also subscribed to its output as well. In this case it works as an example since this is one of its primary functions. It’s not framed as a challenge, though it certainly could be. Here one could suggest that participants tag their posts with a particular hashtag for tracking, but in IndieWeb space they’d be “tagging” their posts with the planet’s particular post URL and either manually or automatically pinging the Webmention endpoint.
Another option that could help implement some fun in the system is to salmention all the prior submissions on each submission as an update mechanism, but one would need to have a way to unsubscribe to this as it could be(come) a spam vector.

Replied to a thread by Mia (not her best work) and Zach Leatherman (Twitter)
I always circle back to the Lost Infrastructure chart here https://indieweb.org/lost_infrastructure and wonder:

  • in which boxes can the technology requirements be simplified for publishers and maintainers of individual websites but still allow for the broadest inter-operation?
  • which axes are missing?
  • which boxes need to be expanded with technology for better plurality?
Replied to Sharing to micro.blog by Samuel ClaySamuel Clay (The NewsBlur Forum)
Sure, I’d love to support it. What’s the URL you want NewsBlur to share to? I can have it auto-fill in the title and url. Also, for bonus credit, what’s the url of the favicon?
There’s two different discussions happening here, one seemingly about posting to micro.blog and the other about posting to any website that has a micropub endpoint. Since micro.blog accounts all have micropub endpoints the second method subsumes the first.

In general most micropub clients authenticate using an IndieAuth mechanism which micro.blog also supports and this allows apps (Newsblur in this case) to send formatted data (an article’s title, URL, and a person’s reply, for example) to be published on third party websites. Developers interested in the pieces might inquire in the IndieWeb chat about the quickest and easiest method for implementing or to see some other examples and find open sourced clients/servers that already do most of the heavy lifting: https://chat.indieweb.org/dev. It would be great to see Newsblur added to the growing list of clients that can publish to independent third party websites.

Unless and until Newsblur were to support this, I notice that it does have IFTTT support, so one might be able to carefully write some recipes that allows some functionality to dovetail with any website that has a micropub endpoint. I’ve documented some similar work I did using IFTTT to get the Inoreader feed reader to post reads, bookmarks, and replies to others’ sites to my WordPress website using micropub. I would abandon Inoreader for a reader with good Micropub support.


h/t to Jeremy Cherfas’ post for bringing this to my attention.

IndieWeb as a Service (IaaS) Idea: PESOS from all the Silos with Feeds using Micropub

IndieWeb as a Service idea:

Imagine a Micropub client that could accept any form of feed (RSS/Atom/JSON/h-entry/etc.) as an input and publish the content to your personal website.

Then any silo service (Soundcloud, Goodreads, Flickr, etc.) with such feeds could be used to syndicate all of one’s content to their own personal website with reasonable fidelity.

I’d love to see services like IFTTT, Integromat, Zapier, etc. provide this sort of service. Using the individual APIs they’ve already got, they could provide higher fidelity of content mapping (eg. tags which many feed types don’t support) to people with their own websites

Social media services that have widgets that people can embed into their websites should pivot to this sort of model for publishing their users’ data. They could still serve as discovery clearinghouses/hubs and serve ads. This would help make them less dependent on the major corporate social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for ancillary distribution and engagement. 

#BridgeAllTheThings  

Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.

https://boffosocko.com/2021/04/26/a-twitter-of-our-own-at-oerxdomains-2021-conference/

Read Podcasting, RSS, Openness, and Choice by Michael MignanoMichael Mignano (Medium)
In the coming months and years, we’ll be working to further enable choice for creators, including giving them the power to choose not only how someone wants to create or monetize audio, but also where specific content is able to be consumed, ensuring creators have an opportunity to decide if they are aligned with the platforms distributing their content.

The open RSS standard has provided immense value to the growth of the podcasting ecosystem over the past few decades. 

Why do I get the sinking feeling that the remainder of this article will be maniacally saying, “and all of that ends today!”
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 09:34AM

We also believe that in order to democratize audio and achieve Spotify’s mission of enabling a million creators to live off of their art, we must work to enable greater choice for creators. This choice becomes increasingly important as audio becomes even easier to create and share. 

Dear Anchor/Spotify, please remember that “democratize” DOES NOT equal surveillance capitalism. In fact, Facebook and others have shown that doing what you’re probably currently planning for the podcasting space will most likely work against democracy.
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 09:13AM

In the coming months and years, we’ll be working to further enable choice for creators, including giving them the power to choose not only how someone wants to create or monetize audio, but also where specific content is able to be consumed, ensuring creators have an opportunity to decide if they are aligned with the platforms distributing their content. 

So this means you’re going to use simple, open standards and tooling so that not only Anchor and Spotify will benefit?

Or are you going to build closed systems that require the use of proprietary software and thus force subscriptions?

Are you going to Balkanize the audio space to force consumers into your product and only your product? Or will producers be able to have a broad selection of platforms to which they could easily export and distribute their content?
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 08:57AM

Thus, the creative freedom of creators is limited. 

And thus draconian methods for making the distribution unnecessarily complicated, siloed, surveillance capitalized, and over-monitized beyond all comprehension are beyond the reach of one or two for profit companies who want to own the entire market like monopolistic giants are similarly limited. (But let’s just stick with the creators we’re pretending to champion, shall we?)
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 09:07AM

tl;dr: Anchor: We’re doing this not so much because creators say they want it, but because we really, really want it. P.S.: We don’t care at all what our listeners think, and so have nothing to say about their freedom.

Given Google’s history of killing Reader in a possible attempt to help empower their G+ product, does anyone else see their getting rid of email subscriptions from FeedBurner as a play at an upcoming Newsletter service/app/feature?

It’s suspicious that in a time with increased interest in paid Newsletters, they’d be giving this sort of love to an old project.

Context from a recent Google email:

FeedBurner has been a part of Google for almost 14 years, and we’re making several upcoming changes to support the product’s next chapter. Here’s what you can expect to change and what you can do now to ensure you’re prepared.

Starting in July, we are transitioning FeedBurner onto a more stable, modern infrastructure. This will keep the product up and running for all users, but it also means that we will be turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions, at that time.

For those who use FeedBurner email subscriptions, we recommend downloading your email subscribers so that you can migrate to a new email subscription service.

For many users, no action is required. All existing feeds will continue to serve uninterrupted, and you can continue to create new accounts and burn new feeds. Core feed management functionality will continue to be supported, such as the ability to change the URL, source feed, title, and podcast metadata of your feed, along with basic analytics.

Hypothes.is as a comment system: Receiving @​mentions and notifications for your website

I’ve wanted @mention/Webmention support on Hypothes.is for a long time. I had URL hacked my way into a solution a while back but never wrote about it.

I was reminded today that one can subscribe to an RSS/ATOM feed of annotations on their site (or any site for that matter) using the feed format https://hypothes.is/stream.rss?wildcard_uri=https://www.example.org/* and replacing the example.org URL with the desired one. Nota bene: the /* at the end makes the query a wildcard to find anything on your site. If you leave it off you’ll only get the annotations on your homepage.

If you’re using Hypothes.is in an off-label use case as a commenting system on your website, this can be invaluable. I recall Tom Critchlow and CJ Eller trying this out in the past.

To go a step further, one can also use this scheme to get a feed of @mentions of their Hypothes.is username too. If I’m not mistaken, based on some preliminary tests, this method should work for finding username both with and without the @ being included.

These are a few interesting tidbits for those who are using Hypothes.is not only for the social annotation functionality, but as a social media site or dovetailing it with their own websites and related workflows.

Replied to a tweet by @mrled (Twitter)
Discord. Ha!

What we really need is a planet of posts tagged with RSS that has its own RSS feed! I’ll start by offering my feed about RSS: https://boffosocko.com/tag/RSS/feed/

Or maybe if you’re daring, we need a shareable OPML file of feeds? Send me your feed about RSS, and I’ll add it to my list.

But seriously what is really new in RSS land?

RSS 2.0 will celebrate it’s 12th birthday at the end of the month on March 30th. It hasn’t changed or evolved since that time.

While many say it’s dead, it’s still thriving all around the web as a serious form of glue that’s supported by almost every major platform out there.

People are still adding these sidefiles to their sites all these years later. In fact, I just read a colleague’s article about moving from ATOM to RSS the other day. And it wasn’t that long ago that the Knight First Amendment Institute fixed their RSS feed.

But who is still iterating on doing new and interesting things with RSS?

One of the more interesting things I’ve seen is Julien Genestoux‘s work with SubToMe, which iterates significantly on making RSS easier to use and subscribe to sites.

There’s also Dave Winer‘s work with OPML and FeedBase which are intriguing.

Last year I saw some ideas out of Matt Webb who also made https://aboutfeeds.com/.

Ryan Barrett has some great RSS translation tools in Granary.

I’m using RSS and OPML to power a blogroll on steroids.

What are your favorite RSS tools and experiments?

Read Hypothes.is Social (and Private) Annotation by Dan AllossoDan Allosso (danallosso.substack.com)

How I use Hypothesis myself and with my students

Private groups are also my solution to the potential “saturation” problem that many people have asked me about. I DO think that there’s a potential disincentive to students who I’ve asked to annotate a document, if they open it and find hundreds of comments already there. I already face a situation when I post questions for discussion that people answer in a visible way, where some students say their peers have already made the point they were going to make. It’s easier to address this objection, I think, when EVERY LINE of a document isn’t already yellow! 

I’ve run into this issue myself in a few public instances. I look at my annotations as my own “conversation” with a document. Given this, I usually flip the switch to hide all the annotations on the page and annotate for myself. Afterwards I’ll then turn the annotation view back on and see and potentially interact with others if I choose.
Annotated on February 23, 2021 at 10:28PM

Small world of annotation enthusiasts, but hopefully getting bigger! 

I’ve always wished that Hypothes.is had some additional social features built in for discovering and following others, but they do have just enough for those who are diligent.

I’ve written a bit about [how to follow folks and tags using a feed reader](https://boffosocko.com/2019/11/07/following-people-on-hypothesis/).

And if you want some quick links or even an OPML feed of people and material I’m following on Hypothesis: [https://boffosocko.com/about/following/#Hypothesis%20Feeds](https://boffosocko.com/about/following/#Hypothesis%20Feeds)
Annotated on February 23, 2021 at 11:33PM

👋

Annotated on February 23, 2021 at 11:35PM

Replied to Lets bring back the blogroll to WordPress by Michael Beckwith (Michaelbox)
Come with me as I briefly explore Blogrolls and re-introducing them in 2021 and creating a WordPress Block for their display.
I have so many ideas about this. The first one being that it’s awesome.

While WordPress is about websites, it’s also got a lot of pieces of social media sites hiding under the hood and blogrolls are generally precursors of the following/followed piece.

Blogrolls were traditionally stuck on a small widget, but I think they now deserve their own full pages. I’d love to have one with a list of all the people I follow (subscribe to) as well as a similar one with those who follow me (and this could be implemented with webmention receipts of others who have me on their blogroll). I’ve got versions/mock ups of these pages on my own site already as examples.

Next up is something to make these easier to use and import. I’d love a bookmarklet or a browser extension that I could use one click with to have the person’s page imported into my collection of links that parses the page (perhaps the h-card or meta data) and pulls all the data into the link database.

I always loved the fact that the original generated OPML files (even by category) so that I could dump the list of data from my own site into a feed reader and just go. Keeping this would be awesome, but the original hasn’t been updated in so long it doesn’t use the updated OPML spec

If such a curated list is able to be maintained on my site it would also be cool if I could export it in such a way (similar to OPML) as to dovetail it with social readers like Aperture, Yarns, or other Microsub servers to easily transport or mirror the data there.

Here are some related thoughts: https://boffosocko.com/2017/11/10/a-following-page/

I’m happy to chat about other useful/related features relating to this any time!

Replied to a tweet by Mike Rockwell
That’s what your 2006 self wanted. Your 2021 self deserves a social reader with Micropub support. You’ll get more features, a nicer UI, and more joy in your life.
Read Newsletters by Robin RendleRobin Rendle (robinrendle.com)
Newsletters; or, an enormous rant about writing on the web that doesn’t really go anywhere and that’s okay with me

Robin wins the internet today. What a great post, but all the better for the custom design and story telling layered on top!

RSS, Atom, and even h-feed are great ways to subscribe to web content. Sadly the UI has been lacking. I always appreciated Julien Genestoux‘s solution with subtome.com over the more roundabout solutions like Matt Webb’s aboutfeeds.com.

People know what a feed is, what subscription is, what a stream of content is, they just need it to be way simpler, like the click of a button that says “follow” or subscribe”.

Give it a whirl!

Or better, yet…

Liked ChRSStmas by Matthias PfefferleMatthias Pfefferle (notizBlog)
Wir haben ein kleines Weihnachtsgeschenk für euch: Matthias Pfefferle und Marcel Weiß sprechen über (fast) alle Aspekte von RSS und warum (nicht nur) für sie Feedreader und das Ökosystem rund um RSS immer noch wichtig ist. ‚Hier & Jetzt‘ kann man per RSS-Feed abonnieren und findet man natü...
What an awesome title! Merry ChRSStmas to everyone!