I’ve been thinking about Twitter threads, tweetstorms and liveblogging for the better part of the week, and last night I had an idea that has stuck with me.
With the idea of Micropub allowing the ability to create updates, why couldn’t one build (or even modify) a Micropub client to create an interface to write relatively short updates with (date and timestamps to appear in the text) that, when published, concatenated that new piece of content into a longer piece of running text to send an updated Micropub request to an article or note on a site to allow that article to become an updating liveblog post?
I’m a bit shocked that no one has done it before now, and I suspect that one of the pre-existing micropub clients out there could probably add the functionality as a one day project at an upcoming IndieWebCamp.
I don’t suspect it was the sort of Micropub functionality that Kevin Marks was thinking about doing this weekend, but Noter Live comes pretty close to having a lot of this sort of UI already. Instead of just doing a single Micropub post at the end of a Twitter thread, why couldn’t it do an initial post at the beginning and then update the site with subsequent updates as it goes along while also acting as a means of syndicating the posts to Twitter and then returning those Twitter permalinks as syndication links on the user’s own site?
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.)
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.
At Twitter, we have a history of studying how people use our service and then creating features to make what they’re doing easier. The Retweet, '@reply', and hashtag are examples of this. A few years ago we noticed people creatively stitching Tweets together to share more information or tell a longer story – like this. We saw this approach (which we call “threading”) as an innovative way to present a train of thought, made up of connected but individual elements.