Lurking, although the word seems to imply a negative connotation, has usefull aspects nonetheless. It is a way of determining rules of behaviour for new comers to a group.
The most obvious characteristic of a lurker is that he’s at the fringe of a group, listening and observing. Being at the fringe may seem like a bad place from the core, but in fact is a good position to build bridges to other groups, and be aware of other groups in the vicinity. In a face to face setting like a pub or a meeting of some kind, a lurker is visible, often shortly introduced after which the focus of attention shifts to the established group members again.
In on-line settings things are different. In some fora lurkers are encouraged to introduce themselves and then adviced to lurk, i.e. observe and learn for a while. But at all times there is no way of knowing how many lurkers are there that you are unaware of.
As lurkers are possible bridges to other groups, I as a blogger, would like to know:
- How many lurkers I have, who read my blog but don’t comment or post.
- Who they are
Serverlogs can give some clues, and I keep a close watch on them. Dave Winer’s RSS-tool also brings new info to light.
To my knowledge, there has yet to be an instance of spam within the broader community using Webmention. Of course, if it does become a problem there are community-based plugins like Akismet which have been very effective in the past. Others are also experimenting with building the idea of Vouch to extend Webmention as well.
Greg, the outlet you’re thinking of is ColoradoBlvd.net, a local paper here in Pasadena, CA, which does support webmentions including backfeed of interactions with Twitter using Brid.gy. (Sadly Facebook’s API turned off their access to this sort of feature on August 1st.)
As for Ben Keith’s concern about spam, yes, Webmention can be a potential vector like trackbacks and pingbacks, but it does learn from their mistakes with better mitigation and verification. Work on the Vouch protocol/extension of Webmention continues to mitigate against these issues. I’ll also note that Akismet for WordPress works relatively well for Webmentions too, though there have still yet to be examples of Webmention spam in the wild.
For publishers using WordPress, there are some excellent plugins including Webmention (which has some experimental Vouch plumbing included already) and Symantic Linkbacks which work with WordPress’s native comments. I’ll note that they’re developed and actively maintained by several, including the core maintainer for pingbacks and trackbacks in WordPress.
I’m happy to help if anyone has questions.
Researcher posts research work to their own website (as bookmarks, reads, likes, favorites, annotations, etc.), they can post their data for others to review, they can post their ultimate publication to their own website.
The researcher’s post can webmention an aggregating website similar to the way they would pre-print their research on a server like arXiv.org. The aggregating website can then parse the original and display the title, author(s), publication date, revision date(s), abstract, and even the full paper itself. This aggregator can act as a subscription hub (with WebSub technology) to which other researchers can use to find, discover, and read the original research.
Readers of the original research can then write about, highlight, annotate, and even reply to it on their own websites to effectuate peer-review which then gets sent to the original by way of Webmention technology as well. The work of the peer-reviewers stands in the public as potential work which could be used for possible evaluation for promotion and tenure.
Readers of original research can post metadata relating to it on their own website including bookmarks, reads, likes, replies, annotations, etc. and send webmentions not only to the original but to the aggregation sites which could aggregate these responses which could also be given point values based on interaction/engagement levels (i.e. bookmarking something as “want to read” is 1 point where as indicating one has read something is 2 points, or that one has replied to something is 4 points and other publications which officially cite it provide 5 points. Such a scoring system could be used to provide a better citation measure of the overall value of of a research article in a networked world. In general, Webmention could be used to provide a two way audit-able trail for citations in general and the citation trail can be used in combination with something like the Vouch protocol to prevent gaming the system with spam.
Government institutions (like Library of Congress), universities, academic institutions, libraries, and non-profits (like the Internet Archive) can also create and maintain an archival copy of digital and/or printed copies of research for future generations. This would be necessary to guard against the death of researchers and their sites disappearing from the internet so as to provide better longevity.
Resources mentioned in the microcast
IndieWeb for Education
IndieWeb for Journalism
arXiv.org (an example pre-print server)
A Domain of One’s Own
Article on A List Apart: Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet
Synidicating to Discovery sites
Brad, much like you’re making a laudable effort, and one of the ways our work grows is to both keep up with it and experiment around., I think
If I recall, programming wasn’t necessarily your strong suit, but like many in the IndieWeb will say: “Manual until it hurts!” By doing things manually, you’ll more easily figure out what might work and what might not, and then when you’ve found the thing that does, then you spend some time programming it to automate the whole thing to make it easier. It’s quite similar to designing a college campus: let the students walk around naturally for a bit then pave the natural walkways that they’ve created. This means you won’t have both the nicely grided and unused sidewalks in addition to the ugly grass-less beaten paths. It’s also the broader generalization of paving the cow paths.
In addition to my Following page I’ve also been doing some experimenting with following posts using the Post Kinds Plugin. It is definitely a lot more manual than I’d like it to be. It does help to have made a bookmarklet to more quickly create follow posts, but until I’ve got it to a place that I really want it, it’s not (yet) worth automating taking the data from those follow posts to dump them into my Follow page for output there as well. Of course the fact that my follow posts have h-entry and h-feed mark up means that someone might also decide to build a parser that will extract my posts into a feed which could then be plugged into something else like a microsub-based reader so that I could make a follow post on my own site and the source is automatically added to my subscription list in my reader automatically.
In addition to Kicks Condor, I’me seeing others start to kick the tires of these things as well. David Shanske recently wrote Brainstorming on Implementing Vouch, Following, and Blogrolls, but I think he’s got a lot more going on in his thinking than he’s indicated in his post which barely scratches the surface.
I also still often think back to a post from Dave Winer in 2016: Are you ready to share your OPML? This too has some experimental discovery features that only scratch the surface of the adjacent possible.
And of course just yesterday, Kevin Marks (previously of Technorati) reminded us about rel=”directory” which could have some interesting implications for discovery and following. Think for a bit of how one might build a decentralized Technorati or something along the lines of Ryan Barrett’s indie map.
As things continue to grow, I’m seeing some of all of our decisions and experiments begin to effect others as these are all functionality and discovery mechanisms that we’ll all need in the very near future. I hope you’ll continue to experiment and make cow paths that can eventually be paved.
Summary: David Shanske and I recap the recent IndieWeb Summit 2018 in Portland Oregon including recent developments like microsub, readers, Vouch, and even the comeback of webrings!
Recap of IndieWeb Summit 2018
- Plugin for WordPress (pull request pending)
- David’s Post about Brainstorming on Implementing Vouch, Following and Blogrolls
The Year of the Reader (🎧 00:38:32)
- Gordon Korman – Son of Interflux (🎧 00:49:00)
- Gregor Morrill’s IndieBookClub.biz (🎧 00:57:47)
- WordPress webring
Aaron Parecki posts (🎧 1:12:10)
Vouch is an extension to the webmention protocol. Webmentions usually have two parameters…source and target. Target is the URL on your website that the Source URL is linking to. The vouch parameter is a third URL to help the target determine whether or not they should accept the webmention. This...
I like the sound of where this is going already! All these small little pieces loosely joined to build a much larger edifice is certainly interesting.
I’ve got a somewhat reasonable bookmarklet for quickly following people, though it’s not marked up with XFN data (yet) — perhaps another data field for Post Kinds? I do wish that there was either a mechanism for adding those to my Following page via the WordPress Link Manager or someone had a means of parsing lots of follow posts so I could quickly have data for both Vouch as well as for microsub readers either via my follow feed list or via OPML export and/or OPML subscription. WordPress obviously has some of the infrastructure built already, but there’s certainly a more IndieWeb way of doing it that wouldn’t require side-files like OPML.