Posting an event and RSVPing to it at the same time

Yesterday I had created an event post for an upcoming DoOO Meetup I’m hosting and syndicated a copy to Meetable. The sad, but predictable, result was a webmention being displayed on Meetable that duplicated all of the details including all of the invitations. This felt annoying to me, and I simultaneously thought that as the host, I also ought to officially RSVP for the event itself so that it didn’t appear like no one was going. Rather than go to the trouble of creating a stand-alone RSVP reply post, I thought, why not create a two-for-one bargain? So I naïvely added a class="u-in-reply-to" to the Meetable URL in my event and threw on a data tag to the front of the post like so:

<data class="p-rsvp" value="yes">I'll be hosting</data>

And of course, wouldn’t you know: it worked! The duplication of all the data on the syndicated copy disappeared, and in its place a smiling photo of me indicating that I’m attending.

Sadly, I’ve noticed that the WordPress Webmention plugin doesn’t seem to allow me to self-RSVP to my own original post within the same post. I thought I might try forcing it manually only to discover that Telegraph won’t allow the source and target to be the same URL. I also tried mention-tech which will apparently send it and report a success, but my site doesn’t seem to actually receive and display it. I will say this may be the only case I’ve run across in 5 years that I’d want to self-mention the same post and actually display the result.

Replied to a tweet by SparkleClass (Twitter)

Using the Webmention and the Semantic Linkbacks plugins you can post events to your WordPress site and others can RSVP from their sites to notify you. Here’s an example of it working on my site: https://boffosocko.com/2017/11/30/virtual-homebrew-website-club-meetup-on-december-13-2017/#comments

Bookmarked to reply on Feb 21, 2020 at 15:20

Owning my RSVP’s from Meetup.com using IFTTT and Webhooks to a Micropub endpoint

It’s a slightly circuitous set up and I may find a better way to do it eventually, but last night I was tinkering at a way to better own my RSVPs from Meetup.com. Previously it has been a completely manual set up, but it’s something I do often enough that the hour long investment was more than worth it. (I specifically want to own my data here because I’m hedging my bets for what ends up happening with Meetup.com in a post-WeWork bankrupcy world.)

Since I’ve been adding PESOS workflows using the Micropub endpoint on my website lately, I tried setting up a direct ping using IFTTT.com from the RSS feed from Meetup. Sadly the timestamps on that feed are not of the time that I RSVP’d, but the time the event was published. As a result the trigger seems like it would never actually fire to make a post. I also thought about taking a feed of all the events of the groups I’m a member of and feed that in, but alas, that feed doesn’t seem to exist. If that were possible, then I could create drafts of the data and then RSVP as yes, no, maybe, etc. for each of them in a slightly more manual (and thoughtful) way, but I’d also have the benefit of seeing all the notifications for everything pop up in my own website.

Since I always immediately add my RSVP’s from Meetup.com directly to my Google Calendar anyway, I thought I’d use that as the data source and trigger mechanism instead, and lo and behold! It works!

Now I can quickly RSVP via Meetup.com, use their interface to add the event to my Google Calendar, leverage IFTTT.com’s Webhook to send a Micropub request to my endpoint, and I’ve got an RSVP post with all the details on my website! It also cleverly creates syndication links on my posts as well.

Perhaps I could now use some of the infrastructure to create an upcoming events widget in a sidebar, to the home page of my site, or even on my neglected /Now page?

Since this Webhook to Micropub process is something I’ve been working on a bit, I’ll soon have a post with a step-by-step set up and an example or two of how it works, so that others can implement it too. I’ve been using it for read posts, listen posts, watches, and even for creating annotation posts on my site. Depending on the data source, some of the process can still have some manual portions, but at least I’m getting all the data I’d like to have.

Replied to a tweet by Allie Nimmons (your friendly neighborhood pain in the ass)Allie Nimmons (your friendly neighborhood pain in the ass) (Twitter)
This was an inspiring question to me, so I thought I’d spitball a few ideas for doing this in an IndieWeb way. Personal events like this are an excellent use case with respect to personal websites!

I had thought of doing some of this ages ago to own this sort of great nostalgic data on my own website. Sadly I couldn’t get it up due to other work commitments. I now really wish I had.

At the moment, the only direct wedding-related page on the IndieWeb wiki is a snarky definition for engagement. When I’m done, I’ll create a stub for wedding with the following brainstorm.

Of course if you’re looking for general inspiration, the prior artwork of Pinterest, various registries, and other wedding sites will naturally be useful. But I think there are a number of IndieWeb building blocks that can be leveraged to accomplish a lot of what these sites do.

I think if I were doing it today, I’d meld some of the work from bookmarks and photos to create a Pinterest-esqe post type (probably by extending the Post Kinds Plugin, maybe with a custom wedding type with a custom display).

There is lots of prior art on the registries front on the wiki under wish or wish lists. To goose things a bit, I’d definitely add referral links from places like Amazon.com, etc. and use the money either to make a donation to a charity in honor of the event or to defray honeymoon costs. If you want to encourage direct donations or funding mechanisms, there’s also some interesting prior art at the payment wiki page.

Now that the IndieWeb has some very solid support for events and RSVPs, I might even try doing an online wedding invitation and collecting RSVPs. I’ve recently seen Jacky Alcine’s website leveraging CommentPara.de to connect to Quill for comments/replies, and it would be cool to get Quill to also add RSVP functionality to allow those without their own websites to RSVP using the non-anonymous functionality in CommentPara.de. I suspect that since many people have trouble getting RSVP functionality into their sites, that Aaron Parecki might be Tom Sawyered into providing that functionality as a quick and easy win for the broader community. (I’m not immediately aware of any other Micropub tools that do RSVPs though I may be wrong.) Of course potentially expanding it with meal options would be a lovely bonus so people can choose meat/vegetarian/other options. I’ll also mention that gRegor Morill has been tinkering with RSVPs using Webmention on Twitter. As a minimal fallback, you can also allow people to respond directly in the built-in commenting system in WordPress, but if you’re going to do it…)

The biggest piece that would be fun to figure out would be to see how to get things set up to receive social media related wedding photos of the pre-, during, and post-event stuff back to my website from friends and family. Using Brid.gy with Twitter to pull back photos that tag your twitter user name is fairly straightforward, but I’m not sure that services like Flickr or Instagram may work as easily. This may require some thought and programming, but being able to backfeed social photos to your site or even providing friends and family a serviceable photo upload functionality to your site so you can document and keep photos from the event in real-time would be a cool win and could likely be a great feature for any event-related website to have built in or widgetized. It’s usually weeks or months for paid wedding photos to show up and it’s generally a big hassle finding all the online social photos, much less keeping copies of them, so having this could be both fun and useful, particularly for looking back on the event years later. 

Naturally, being a WordPress person, I’m sure there may be some interesting prior art in the plugin repository, but I think it would be far cooler to IndieWebify this sort of data and functionality for the broader world.

Depending on the wedding date, this general topic (even for other non-wedding related events) would be an awesome one to look at and explore during an upcoming IndieWebCamp. Perhaps someone is up for it at San Francisco this weekend? (I suspect they’ll have some good live-streaming options for those who aren’t local.)

Given her weddings/events background and web-based work, perhaps Liz Coopersmith (t) might be someone interesting to collaborate with on something like this? 

Similarly, I recall a great presentation by Brianna Privett at WordCamp US 2017 called The Story of Your Life: Using WordPress as Your Memory Warehouse. She may have some useful tidbits and advice in there as well.

Featured photo: Wedding cake. flickr photo by THEMACGIRL* shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license