A Followers Page on My Personal Website using Webmention

I’ve had a following page (aka blogroll on acid) where I list all the websites I’m following in my feed reader (along with OPML files for those who’d like to quickly follow them as well), but last night I quickly mocked up a followers page as well. It lists people who have either added me to their blogrolls or who have sent my site notifications (trackbacks, pingbacks, or webmentions) that they’re following me.

This is another in a long line of social media functionalities that I’m now able to relatively easily support on my own website.

To my knowledge, I may be the first person to be displaying “following” webmentions anywhere. The nice part is that this following webmention functionality is built into the Post Kinds plugin by default, so that if people begin creating follow posts on a more regular basis, then several hundred WordPress sites that have Post Kinds will automatically be able to display them.

Replied to a tweet by Tom CritchlowTom Critchlow (Twitter)
“@jgmac1106 Thanks - been trying to get my head around webmentions for a while and still haven't figured it out....”

Tom, for the basics of what Webmention is you might try this intro article Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet.

To get started quickly, just to have the notifications, you might try creating an account with Webmentions.io and put the endpoint into the <head> of your site so you can receive them in the erstwhile on a separate service and worry about direct integration at a later date. As I recall Aaron Gustafson has a Webmention.io Jekyll Plugin for display and some of the outline is covered in this recent article by Max Böck.

If necessary, you can get help in the #Dev channel of the IndieWeb chat.

Default avatars for refbacks

Filed an Issue Refbacks for WordPress by David ShanskeDavid Shanske (GitHub)
Contribute to dshanske/wordpress-refback development by creating an account on GitHub.

Refbacks in conjunction with the Webmention plugin and Semantic Linkbacks plugin don’t have as solid a parity with webmentions as they show up in the comments section as text instead of as an avatar. Perhaps it would be prettier if refbacks were given a default system avatar (possibly modifiable) for display?

Replied to A new interview with Manton Reece of Micro.blog for 2019 by Colin DevroeColin Devroe (cdevroe.com)

Colin, thanks for the great interview and the overview of where Micro.blog is going.

I’m noticing in the responses section of your site (and on this particular post) that you’ve got a “Mentions” section, and that when I click on some avatars I get the original post while others (for Twitter) link to the profile page. This isn’t the typical Webmention plugin for WordPress behavior, so I’m curious what particular lines you’ve changed in the plugin and how as I’d love to have this behavior instead of the less useful links to the profiles that the plugin typically gives. Thanks!

👓 Becoming a Better Writer Thanks to the IndieWeb | Jason Morehead

Read Becoming a Better Writer Thanks to the IndieWeb by Jason MoreheadJason Morehead (opuszine.us)
Social networks encourage us to take less ownership of our content. That needs to change.

Some excellent motivation here for “Why IndieWeb” as well as some interesting thoughts on legacy from someone who has been blogging for years. Great to see another designer and website creator appreciating the immense value that IndieWeb principles can bring to the web.

Jason, while it looks like you don’t have webmentions set up or displaying yet (I’m guessing you’re on Craft 3 and the plugin for Craft is only compatible with v2 as I recall), you might try creating an account with Webmentions.io and put the endpoint into your head so you can receive them in the erstwhile on a separate service and worry about direct integration at a later date.

Replied to a tweet by Lee KelleherLee Kelleher (Twitter)
“@gadgetopia Good question! From what I've read, pingbacks suffered from poor security/spam and being XMLRPC based. How webmentions differ, I'm not sure. I assume it's W3C's reimagining of it.”

I wrote up some broad thoughts about Webmention and web design which you might find helpful. Happy to answer any questions.
https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet

🔖 Personal sites are awesome

Bookmarked Personal sites are awesome by Andy Bell (personalsit.es)

Personal sites are awesome, so this site was built so we can all discover each others. All the links are by folks that want to share their site with the world.

If you want your site to appear on here, go ahead and submit it on GitHub, or drop me an email.

I just ran across this interesting version of a directory which is being built based on a GitHub repo and deployed to https://personalsit.es/

It’s built by Andy Bell who has been building his own website and is at least IndieWeb aware. I’ve added the example to the IndieWeb wiki page for directories. While interesting and useful, like some of the other directories I’ve seen floating around, there is a small hurdle that one needs to be able to fork a GitHub repo, edit it, and send a PR to be included, though I do like that he has an email option to bring the technical hurdle down. The other benefit is that it allows people to modify or delete their data as well. I do like the decentralized nature of of it, but I wonder about scale and search-ability.

I can’t help but wonder about building a similar directory site that aggregates its data by Webmention and uses the h-cards from websites to automatically update itself. Naturally having an OPML file(s) (think various versions that are sortable using tags/categories) or some other exportable and/or subscribe-able ability for feed readers would be highly useful.

In addition to resources like chat-names, Indie Map‘s list, as well as some planets, OPML resources like my own IndieWeb list, and the IndieWeb web ring, this could be another interesting directory creation method for IndieWeb-specific websites.


👤 Kicks Condor; Brad Enslen;

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Replied to Feed page by Andy BellAndy Bell (Andy Bell)
Let’s make 2019 the year of personal sites and the IndieWeb.

Thanks for the awesome feed page and congratulations on launching into the IndieWeb in 2019!

If it helps, Max Böck recently wrote some excellent articles (with code examples) on using Eleventy to easily syndicate content to Twitter as well as to add Webmention functionality. If you haven’t seen them yet, they may help you along your journey a bit more quickly. Both can be found at: https://indieweb.org/Eleventy

👓 Static Indieweb pt2: Using Webmentions | Max Böck

Read Static Indieweb pt2: Using Webmentions by Max Böck (Max Böck - Frontend Web Developer)
How to pull interactions from social media platforms like Twitter back to your own site, using Webmentions, webmention.io and Bridgy.

Clear and lucid tutorial for adding Webmention to one’s Eleventy-based static site.

👓 What is Discourse? | Discourse

Read What is Discourse? (Discourse - Civilized Discussion)
Discourse is the 100% open source discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet.

As I look at this it makes me wonder when small, single-purpose services might allow themselves to be white listed and/or custom styled to live on a users personal domain, yet still look like they’re part and parcel of that user’s native site.

As an example, Disqus and Webmention.io are interesting examples of how a company could specialize into handling comments for user’s sites. These two are both doing things very differently and at much different price points. Disqus is large and bloated and seems to have quite innovating and iterating. I have to wonder what it would look like with more players and more competition in the space?

In fact, I’m still wondering why hasn’t Disqus picked up and run away with the Webmention spec?

👓 Blind Person-Tagging | Kicks Condor

Read Blind Person-Tagging by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
I’m getting a lot out of these ruminations you’re doing about links as notifications. For me, I think I’m going to include a ‘cc’ bit of post metadata, much like I already have ‘via’ metadata, to advertise the original source for a bit of hypertext. Cool idea. The idea of a ‘bcc’ i...

Improving user experience with links, notifications, and Webmentions

Back in December, I was thinking about html links and the functionality of sending notifications using webmentions. Within the IndieWeb, this is known as mentioning or potentially person-tagging someone (inline). By adding a link to a person’s website onto any mentions of their name in my posts, my website will automatically send them a notification that they were mentioned. They can then determine what they want to do or not do with that information.

While I want people that I mention in some of my posts to be aware that they’ve been mentioned by me, I don’t necessarily need to add to the visual cruft and clutter of the pages by intentionally calling out that link with the traditional color change and underline that <a> links in HTML often have. After all, I’m linking to them to send a notification to them, not necessarily to highlight them to everyone else. In some sense, I’m doing this because I’ve never quite liked that Twitter uses @names highlighted within posts. All the additional cruft in Twitter like the “@” and “#” prefixes, while adding useful functionality, have always dramatically decreased the readability and enjoyment of their interface for me. So why not just get rid of them?! I’m glad to have this power and ability to do so on my own website and hope others appreciate it.

In the past I’ve tried “blind notifying” (or bcc’ing via Webmention) people by adding invisible or hidden links in the page, but this has been confusing to some. This is why one of the general principles of the IndieWeb is to

Use & publish visible data for humans first, machines second.

Thus, I’ve added a tiny bit of CSS to those notification links so that they appear just like the rest of the text on the site. The notifications via Webmention will still work, and those who are mentioned will be able to see their names appear within the post.

For those interested, I’ve left in some hover UI so if you hover your mouse over these “hidden” links, they will still indicate there’s a link there and it will work as expected.

As an example of the functionality here within this particular post, I’ve hidden the link on the words “mentioning” and “person-tagging” in the first paragraph. Loqi, the IndieWeb chat bot, should pick up the mention of those wiki pages via WebSub and syndicate my post into the IndieWeb meta chat room, and those interested in the ideas can still hover over the word and click on it for more details. In practice, I’ll typically be doing this for less relevant links as well as for tagging other people solely to send them notifications.

I’m curious if there are any edge cases or ideas I’m missing in this sort of user interface? Sadly it won’t work in most feed readers, but perhaps there’s a standardizable way of indicating this? If you have ideas about improved presentation for this sort of functionality, I’d be thrilled to hear them in the comments below.

Twitter:

📑 Publishers build a common tech platform together | Nieman Lab

Annotated Publishers build a common tech platform together by Jonathan GillJonathan Gill (Nieman Lab)

One way to meet the many needs that most if not all publishers share would be to collaboratively develop their digital products. Specifically, they should build for interoperability. One publisher’s CMS, another’s content APIs, a third company’s data offering — they might one day all work together to allow all ships to rise and to reclaim advertising and subscription revenue from the platforms. This might allow publishers to refocus on differentiating where it truly matters for the user: in the quality of their content.  

Some of this is already afoot within the IndieWeb community with new protocols like Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and Microsub. Journalists should know about this page on their wiki.

👓 Blocking Domains in webmention.io | Aaron Parecki

Read Blocking Domains in webmention.io by Aaron PareckiAaron Parecki (Aaron Parecki)
For the past week or so, I've been getting a series of Pingbacks from a spam blog that reposts a blog post a couple times a day as a new post each time. It's up to about 220 copies of the post, each one having sent me a Pingback, and each one showing up in my reader as a notification, which also cau...

👓 Displaying Webmentions with Posts | Amit Gawande

Bookmarked Displaying Webmentions with Posts by Amit GawandeAmit Gawande (amitgawande.com)
I have been using Blot, a simple blogging platform with no interface, for quite some time now for running my blog. I am not alone when I say this, but am mighty impressed with how simple it is to post things on blot and maintain the overall site. They are just some files in Dropbox - that’s about ...

A nice little tutorial for using Webmention.io with content management systems like Blot.​​​​​​​​​​