@tchambers @coachtony @jeffjarvis@mathowie Thanks for these links! Definitely exciting to see how this is being approached from different angles. I’m excited for this next chapter.
@email@example.com @tchambers @firstname.lastname@example.org @jeffjarvis@mathowie
Another example of longer posts which are folded under a “read more” type link within the Fediverse itself can be seen in the Hometown fork of Mastodon (https://github.com/hometown-fork/hometown), which is running the hcommons.social platform. The admins have upped the character limit to 1000 instead of the usual 500. Ideally those reading in other parts of the network would see the beginning of a post and a “Read more” link to read the remainder of the piece.
I often post to my own WordPress website which has a plugin to make it appear as if it were ActivityPub compatible. If I follow it via a Hometown-based (Mastodon) server, like my hcommons.social account, I see all the full short notes/replies content which are usually 1000 characters or less. For posts over that limit, there’s a “Read More >” which opens up the entirety of the article within the hcommons.social interface where I can read it in its entirety. Naturally there’s a link to the original, so I can also go back to read that if I chose.
I’ve just gone over the 1000 character limit, so I’ll post this on my own site, syndicate a copy to my hcommons.social account, and with any luck it will serve as an example of how all this might work between WordPress, a forked version of Mastodon, and Mastodon itself, as well as for testing it for reading in other parts of the Fediverse if one wished.
Beyond this reading experience, one should also be aware of a separate user interface/interaction problem inherent in how Mastodon and potentially other parts of the Fediverse handle replies and who can see them. I’ll leave this link to explain that issue separately: https://fedi.simonwillison.net/@simon/109559268498004036. (Hopefully your instance will let you see a subsection of some of the replies to it…)
An additional benefit that one gets in bolting on ActivityPub the way it works for my WordPress site is that folks who subscribe to @chrisaldrich can see linked text natively from within Mastodon despite the fact that Mastodon doesn’t allow one to wrap text with URLs to link out.
@chrisaldrich Another #IndieWeb question for you! I'm syndicating blog posts from kfitz.info to Mastodon, where they appear from @email@example.com, and then I boost from this account. Replies to @firstname.lastname@example.org appear as comments to the blog post, as desired. But if I reply to the comment on the blog, that reply doesn't syndicate here, so the commenter doesn't know. And if I reply to the comment here, the reply comes from this account (and I'm not yet sure whether it appears as a reply on the blog or not). How do you manage this?
Generally, you’d post on your site where it’s seen in the Fediverse via the ActivityPub plugin and/or optionally boosted by your native Mastodon account. Replies to your post (on Mastodon) show up on your site as comments and you reply to them there in your site’s comments section. Then you manually copy/paste the text of your reply from your website into your native Mastodon account and include the comment/reply permalink in that reply. If you’ve got Webmention set up with Brid.gy for Mastodon, replies to your replies on Mastodon should then make their way back to the proper threaded spot in your website’s comments section.
An example of this at work can be seen on my earlier mistake:
Related, I’ve been playing around with mirroring my WP site as an instance with the ActivityPub plugin and have boosted posts with my more broadly followed mastodon.social account the same way you mentioned that you were doing with yours. Somehow I’m anecdotally finding that I get more responses/reactions with native posts that with these boosts. I’m curious what your experience has been with this strategy so far? I’m still just starting my experimentation here, but I do like the fact that I’m able to include richer presentation of wrapped links in my WordPress native posts which are seen in the Fediverse while Mastodon seems to strip them out or not allow them (see an example of this in the post above this reply).
Thinking of changing up my strategy for syndicating content from my website into Mastodon. How can my posts integrate better with ActivityPub?
When the Humanities Commons team started to spin up hcommons.social I started to wonder if this platform would be a way to conduct my microblogging activities in a space that might have a better distribution network, allowing my work to be more visible.
OMG! There is so much to love here about these processes and to see people in the wild experimenting with them and figuring them out.
Scott (@schopie1), you are not alone! There are lots of us out here doing these things, not only with WordPress but a huge variety of other platforms. There are many ways to syndicate your content depending on where it starts its life.
In addition to Jim Groom and a huge group of others’ work within A Domain of One’s Own, there’s also a broader coalition of designers, developers, professionals, hobbyists, and people of all stripes working on these problems under the name of IndieWeb.
For some of their specific work you might appreciate the following:
Incidentally, I wrote this for our friend Kathleen Fitzpatrick last week and I can’t wait to see what she’s come up with over the weekend and in the coming weeks. Within the IndieWeb community you’ll find people like Ben Werdmuller who founded both WithKnown (aka Known) and Elgg and Aram Zucker-Scharff who helped to create PressForward.
I’m thrilled to see the work and huge strides that Humanities Commons is making to ensure some of these practices come to fruition.
If you’re game, perhaps we ought to plan an upcoming education-related popup event as an IndieWebCamp event to invite more people into this broader conversation?
If you have questions or need any help in these areas, I’m around, but so are hundreds of friends in the IndieWeb chat: https://chat.indieweb.org.
I hope we can bring more of these technologies to the masses in better and easier-to-use manners to lower the technical hurdles.
This blog uses WebMention technology. If you write an article on your website and mention one of my blog posts, I get a notification. That notification can then be published as a comment. It usually looks something like this:
Screenshot of a comment showing that someone mentioned my post on their bl...
Not an answer to the dilemma, though I generally take the position of keeping everything unless someone asks me to take it down or that I might know that it’s been otherwise deleted. Often I choose not to delete my copy, but simply make it private and only viewable to me.
On the deadnaming and related issues, it would be interesting to create a webmention mechanism for the h-card portions so that users might update these across networks. To some extent Automattic’s Gravatar system does this in a centralized manner, but it would be interesting to see it separately. Certainly not as big an issue as deadnaming, but there’s a similar problem on some platforms like Twitter where people will change their display name regularly for either holidays, or lately because they’re indicating they’d rather be found on Mastodon or other websites.
The webmention spec does contain details for both editing/deleting content and resending webmentions to edit and/or remove the original. Ideally this would be more broadly adopted and used in the future to eliminate the need for making these choices by leaving the choice up to the original publisher.
Beyond this, often on platforms that don’t have character limits (Reddit for example), I’ll post at the bottom of my syndicated copy of content that it was originally published on my site (along with the permalink) and explicitly state that I aggregate the replies from various locations which also helps to let people know that they might find addition context or conversation at the original post should they be interested. Doing this on Twitter, Mastodon, et al. is much harder due to space requirements obviously.
While most responses I send would fall under fair use for copying, I also have a Creative Commons license on my text in an effort to help others feel more comfortable with having copies of my content on their sites.
Another ethical layer to this is interactions between sites which both have webmentions enabled. To some extent this creates an implicit bi-directional relationship which says, I’m aware that this sort of communication exists and approve of your parsing and displaying my responses.
The public norms and ethics in this area will undoubtedly evolve over time, so it’s also worth revisiting and re-evaluating the issue over time.
Replied toa thread by John-Mark Gurney, Dan McDonald, and Seth Wright (Twitter)
Has anyone written software to mirror their tweets to their own website? That is save static versions of them with the ability to update regularly?
I have most of the elements to implement it, which means I should probably just do it myself. Just not sure how I'll handle the threads. Or people replying to me, and my responses. I can't archive other people's tweets, but I guess I could embed them.
I think (from my limited time looking at it a couple years ago), the indieweb people who did something like this went the other way and mirrored from their blog *to* Twitter…which seemed pretty limiting to me for all the reasons you just brought up. (Also following…)
In the bustle of life I missed it a week or so ago, so Happy 8th IndieWeb Birthday to BoffoSocko.com! I’ve been worrying about other things for the past year, so I’ve completely missed the 7 year itch effect, though perhaps improving my PASTA workflow to Obsidian might have been the dalliance?
I think the biggest thing I’ve added to my website this past year was the ability to post to it with pen and paper. I wonder what sort of functionality the 8th year will bring? Pottery is apparently the “traditional gift”, so perhaps posting via clay with cuneiform as someone joked might actually come to fruition? I’m off to fire up the kiln…
The whole idea behind IndieWeb is that you can use your website to own all your content on a domain you own/control. You’ve got a site with webmentions set up, so we could be having this whole conversation from site to site. Instead, I’m choosing to syndicate/POSSE my replies from my site(s) to Twitter, to meet you where you’re currently at. Integrating my site with Brid.gy allows me to get your responses from Twitter back to my website. Here’s some more on threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter that may help frame what you’re attempting. (It also includes a link of WordPress to WordPress or other site conversations as well.)
After I make a photo of the post, I can add the date/time stamp and any other meta data, and keep the original handwritten copy for later uses.
A few weeks ago I saw Ben Stokes’ post about PaperWebsite.com and my immediate reaction was, “I have to be able to do that!” I’ve long enjoyed writing by hand over typing as the tactile feel of of pen or pencil and paper is such an enjoyable one. I particularly enjoy using a nice fountain pen on high quality paper.
Obviously there was a route to doing a workflow like this as Ben had shown. I just needed to figure out a method with a low enough barrier that I could personally implement for doing this with my own WordPress website.
A Quick Solution
Not being a serious coder, I immediately began looking for ways I could leverage some of the IndieWeb building blocks my site supports. Micropub seemed like a no-brainer for the posting portion since I’ve got an endpoint using the Micropub WordPress plugin. Certainly not wanting to manually re-type everything once I was finished writing, I needed a way of converting my handwriting to text and then automating a way to plug that into my micropub client.
A short burst of searching revealed that Google Docs could do Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on photos. I pulled out my IFTTT app and found a recipe for taking a photo and saving it to Google Drive. Then I set up another recipe to watch a particular folder in Google Drive and take whatever text appears in new documents and send it to my website using a webhook that uses my Micropub endpoint. The whole thing only took a half hour from idea to a working prototype. In the end it took a tap to open IFTTT on my phone and another tap to take the photo. Then I had to manually open the document to trigger the OCR. Finally, I had to manually open and edit the post before posting.
I had set the micropub client to post as a draft as a default just in case the OCR wasn’t perfect. This was fortunate as the Google photo OCR was so solid that the letters “Dia” of the microscopic text from the word “Diamond” partially visible on my pen cap that was in the photo got pulled into the post.
In the few times I’ve used this workflow so far, I’ve mostly done straight text and syndicated posts to Twitter, Mastodon, and Micro.blog. Perhaps in the future I might set things up to add HTML links, but they’re fairly easy to add at the editing stage.
Since I started my experimentation, a few others in the IndieWeb community have noticed the paperwebsite.com site. Greg McVerry popped up and linked to it as well. He mentioned that he had a digital notebook with OCR capability. This reminded me that I’ve got both a Livescribe Echo pen and a Rocketbook notebook with a Pilot Frixion pen that has an app for uploading digitized images of notebook pages. I hadn’t done OER with Livescribe in ages, so I pulled out the Rocketbook, which is cleverly erasable and thus reusable not to mention being fairly inexpensive. A bit of quick set up allowed me to take a photo of a page which automatically uploads to Google Drive and does its own OCR process. This already dovetails with my prior process, so the whole thing is much smoother. As a result, I’m composing this post in my Rocketbook notebook and will automatically upload and post it to my site as a draft. I’ll probably add some links, a photo or two, and then publish it in a bit.
The Rocketbook notebook has some solid pages with an odd shiny texture and feel, presumably part of the technology that makes it easy to wipe them clean for reuse. The bottom of each page has seven different faint icon images which are meant to allow the app to determine where to send the digital copy of the notes. One can send them via email or to a variety of storage or sharing services. I could imagine having different recipes set up to allow one to publish their notes to different websites based on the icon X-ed out. Given the micropub possibilities, one could also use the icons as a means of differentiating post kinds (for example, indicating that a particular post is a note, an article, or a bookmark). Another alternate idea would be to use the icons as a means of selecting which services to syndicate your content to (for example, the diamond could mean syndicate this post to Micro.blog, the bell could mean Mastodon, and the clover syndicates the post to Twitter).
The overall process is quite elegant and pleasant. The OCR for Rocketbook is reasonably good aside from a few spelling errors which are easy enough to click and fix. I’ll admit that I far prefer using a fountain pen on some Tomoe River paper to using the Rocketbook paper and the Frixion pen, but really, who wouldn’t?
Handwritten notes for your digital zettelkasten or personal wiki
Since I’ve already got most of the infrastructure, I’ve gone the extra mile and set things up so that I can take notes on index cards zettelkasten-style and use a similar set up to post them to my Obsidian vault using similar IFTTT recipes.
I’m sure, now that there are multiple proofs of concept, some enterprising developer will build a custom micropub client to do all of this work automatically or with a few options built into a clever interface.
I could see pen and paper manufacturers (Moleskin, Leuchtturm, Rocketbook, etc.) creating apps for doing this too. I’d love to see and hear about others trying this out for themselves. Hopefully it can be done with almost no code or some easy cut and paste from my example. Ask if you need help, and I’ll see what I can do to help.
IFTTT Webhook settings
This following will be roughly standard for WordPress endpoints using the plugin, but they can obviously be modified for your platform of choice.
While doing some of this I did come across some older examples of handwriting to websites. Aside from handwriting typography which I think is usually ugly, I saw some interesting examples from Jeff Bridges , gRegor Morrill, and scrolled through some great examples of handwritten and typed Tweets by Alton Brown. In his case, he was simply taking photos of his writing, but it worked! I’ll admit he had some fun and was definitely creative about it. Hopefully Twitter always exists to save the copies for him.
In short, I’ve now got another great way to post to my website. I love the great old school tactile user interface of pen and paper. Now I’m glad to have a reason to be able to do more of it in an ever-digitized culture.
Until I start working on cuneiform solutions…
Write On! 🖋
Editor’s note: This post was originally handwritten on Dec 16, 2021 at 20:15.
IndieWeb Syndication Sketchnotes: POSSE >> PESOS >> PASTA >> PESETAS >> POOSNOW
I’ve been reading about sketchnotes for a bit this past week. As a first experiment I created some sketchnotes for a short talk on syndication in social media I prepared a while back. Here’s to hoping that no one ends up taking the actual spiral down to POOSNOW with their own social media presence.
After the Webmention session last weekend, I was inspired to revisit a quirk of Micro.blog’s Webmention implementation. Bridgy is an IndieWeb-friendly service commonly used to forward tweet replies via Webmention. If you were using Bridgy to connect your blog to Twitter, Micro.blog had been essent...
Replied toa post by Mike Rockwell (mike.rockwell.mx)
I might go back to IFTTT. But I’m going to see how an alternative syndication service works first.
It requires appropriate mark up in your theme, but I like using the Syndication Links plugin for syndicating from my site to Twitter (using Bridgy publish), Micro.blog, Mastodon, and many others. It also advertises syndication endpoints for Micropub clients which can be powerful and convenient too.
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.
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.
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.