Here’s a handy little feature I hacked together this weekend. Webmention is a W3C recommendation for a protocol to notify a URL when a website links to it. It reminds me of the Pingback feature I used in my Wordpress days.
You can find a list of all the pages mentioning this under the “Mentions” heading below. If you would like to mention this page, there is also a form. Add this page as a link to your page, add it to the input, and click “Submit Webmention”. If everything goes right, your page should then be linked below.
Since then, Bridgy lost Facebook and Google+, which accounted for ~53% of its webmention volume. We know it’s sent 1,356,878 webmentions total as of today.If we assume non-Bridgy webmention growth has continued apace, from 48 per day at the end of 2017 to 77 per day now, that would add ~53k before then, plus ~33K since, for a total of ~1.44M sent to date, plus or minus a few thousand. Let’s keep it up!
For this Connected Writing Activity — which is taking place rather randomly as a test of something new, so pardon the odd nature of the post — we are testing out Greg’s idea for IndieWeb syndication across blogs. He has a “sub” set up for poetry at IndieWeb, so let’s try that.
You’ve gotten soooo close, but missed by just a hair.
You’ve described the process properly, but in the link at the top of your site, you’ve written:
I think the other small portion you’re missing is that Indieweb.xyz works using the Webmention protocol. It doesn’t appear to me that your site is using the Webmention or the Semantic Linkbacks plugins to make that portion work. If you install and activate them, that will get you a bit further and your site will properly ping Indieweb.xyz when you publish your posts to it.
An alternate route, without those plugins, is to manually ping Indieweb.xyz directly. You can use this manual submission link which has instructions and the fields you’ll need to fill out to force a manual webmention.
P.S.: I’m also seeing <pre><a rel="webmention" href="https://brid.gy/webmention/wordpress">-</a></pre> appearing in a widget in your right hand sidebar. I take this to mean that you’re trying to accept webmentions and that you’re using WordPress.com to host your site. I suspect you may not be getting the results you’re looking for on that account because the code is wrapped in <pre></pre>. If you remove that pre tag, you’ll be closer to getting that piece working. If it’s done properly you should only see the dash “-” in that widget. If you prefer to not have a random dash in your sidebar and since that link is only used/read by Brid.gy’s code parser, you can also hide it on your site by using the following code instead <link rel="webmention" href="https://brid.gy/webmention/wordpress">.
Has anyone from the #IndieWeb gotten OwnYourSwarm to show the number of coins on a #Wordpress configured site? I get all of my webmentions except for those. I'm still trying to figure that one out. Thanks.
When you’re logged into OwnYourSwarm there’s a dashboard page with a section entitled “Comments and Responses” with two toggles. The second toggle for “Send Webmention for system comments from Swarm” should be “on” and that should send you the coins and other fun comments that Swarm adds to your posts.
I’ve definitely get them on my site. I think David Shanske updated the Semantic Linkbacks plugin a year or more ago to pares and display them correctly, so it should be just a matter of making sure that the toggle is set to on to get them.
I’m definitely curious what you come up with! There are so many syndication options and I’m always on the look out for better/more standardized methods. (Of course, nothing beats the feed directly from the source…)
Once you have posting out done, are you going to work on backfeed to have the responses to your posts on Twitter come back to aggregate the conversation on the original site? Perhaps using Webmention and Brid.gy?
This is a ridiculous thing. It came into my head the other day and it amused at least a few of my children . . . once I explained what Snarf was.
I plan to make ridiculous things more often. I initially had it up on...
Content Warning (Earworm: Baby Shark)
This does make me wonder if Ryan Barrett’s website name is related? It would have been in his formative youth (circa 1985) in a nascent pre-web era. Do tell…
Incidentally Tom’s example here is another good reason for Why IndieWeb–one needn’t rely on a silo’s algorithm which may remove content for copyright violations even when it was done with fair use and/or satire in mind.
It’s also been a while since I’ve seen someone with a site that had a Trackback/Pingback URL box on their website like Tom does. Very cool and similar to the Webmention box on my own.
Lurking is the quiet watching/listening that what many people of the web do in chat rooms in order to begin gauging culture, learning jargon or lingo, and other community norms or unspoken principles before diving in to interact on a more direct level with other participants.
While the word lurking can have a very negative connotation, online it often has a much more positive one, especially in regard to the health and civility of the commons. Rather than rehash what Ton has done an excellent job of doing, I won’t go into the heavy details and history of online lurking, but instead, let’s take a look at where it isn’t in today’s social media landscape.
Since 2004, Twitter and a slew of other social media has popped up on the scene and changed many of our prior behaviors concerning lurking. In particular, Twitter’s interface has made it far easier to either like/favorite a post or retweet it.
In comparison the the preceding era of the blogosphere represented by Tons’ post, Twitter has allowed people to send simple notifications back and forth about each others’ posts indicating a lower bar of interaction than writing a thoughtful and measured comment. Now instead of not knowing about dozens, hundreds, or thousands of lurkers, a (micro)blogger would more quickly know who many more of their readers were because they were liking or resharing their content. Naturally there are still many more potential lurkers who don’t interact with one’s posts this way, but these interactions in some way are like adding fuel to the fire and prompt the writer to continue posting because they’re getting some feedback that indicates they’ve got an audience. Twitter has dramatically lowered the bar for lurkers and made it more socially acceptable for them to make themselves known.
Of course, not all is rosy and happy in Twitterland as a result of this lowering the social bar. Because it’s so easy to follow almost anyone and interact with them, naturally everyone does. This means that while before one may have lurked a blog for weeks or months before posting a response of any sort, people are now regularly replying to complete strangers without an resistance whatsoever. While this can be valuable and helpful in many instances, oftentimes it comes off as rudely as if one butted into the private conversation of strangers at a public gathering. At the farther end of the spectrum, it’s also much easier for trolls to tag and target unsuspecting victims. As a result, we have the dumpster fire that Twitter has become in the past several years for many of its users.
The problem for the continued health of the commons is how can we maintain a bar for online lurking, but still provide some feedback? How can we keep people from shouting and yelling at passer-by from their proverbial front porches or vice-versa? How might we encourage more positive lurking online before directly jumping into a conversation?
Read Posts and Private Posts
For several years now, as a part of the IndieWeb movement, I’ve been more directly controlling my online identity and owning my content by using my own domain name and my own website (boffosocko.com). While I still use Twitter, I’m generally only reading content from it via a feed reader. When I post to or interact with it, I’m always publishing my content on my own website first and syndicating a copy to Twitter for those who don’t own their online identities or content and (sadly) rely on Twitter to do that for them.
Within this setting, since roughly late 2016, I’ve been posting almost all of what I read online or in books, magazines, or newspapers on my own website. These read posts include some context and are often simply composed of the title of the article, the author, the outlet, a summary/synopsis/or first paragraph or two to remind me what the piece was about, and occasionally a comment or two or ten I had on the piece.
In tandem with these posts, I’m also sending webmentions to the websites of those pieces. These (experimental) read webmentions are simply notifications to the originating site that I’ve read their piece. In our prior framing of lurking or Twitter, I’m sending them the simplest notification I can think of to say, “I’m here lurking. I’m reading or looking at your work.”
I’m not saying that I liked it, favorited it, disliked it, bookmarked it, commented on it, or anything else, but simply that I read it, I consumed it, I spent the time to interact with it. But in contrast with Ton’s older method of looking at server logs to see what kind of traffic his posts are getting, he can see exactly who I am and visit my website in return if he chooses. (Ton’s old method of sifting through those logs was certainly not a fun experience and the data was usually relatively anonymous and useless.) These newer read notifications could potentially give him a much richer idea of who his (lurking) audience actually is. Then when someone shows up with a comment or reply, it’s not completely from out of the dark: they’ve previously indicated that they’re at least somewhat aware of the context of a potentially broader conversation on his site.
These read notifications are semantically different from likes, favorites, or even bookmarks on other platforms. In fact many platforms like Twitter, which has moved from “stars” (with the semantic idea of a favorite) to “hearts” (with the semantic idea of a like), have so few indicators of reaction to a post that the actual meaning of them has been desperately blurred. Personally I’ll use Twitter’s like functionality variously to mean: “I’m bookmarking this (or the linked article within it) for reading later”, “I like this post”, “I’ve read this post”, or even “I’m acknowledging receipt of your reply to me”. That’s just too much meaning to pack into a silly little heart icon.
If they choose, some website owners display these read post notifications in one or more ways. Some sites like Aaron Parecki’s or Jeremy Keith’s will show my interactions as bookmarks. Others, primarily WordPress-based websites that support Webmention (via plugin), will actually show these interactions in their comment sections under the heading “Read” and display my photo/avatar as an indicator that I’ve interacted with that post. In the case of read posts on which I’ve written one or more comments, the receiving site also has the option of showing my interaction not as a read/bookmark intent, but could also show my comments as a reply to their post. I’ve written a bit about this and its potential for large news outlets before in Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internetfor A List Apart. There are also some older legacy sites that might show my interactions as a trackback or pingback, but these seem few and far between these days, particularly as those systems are major targets for spam and the Webmention protocol has a richer interaction/display model.
A new itch
But as I think about these read posts, lurking, and being more civil on the internet, I have a new itch for some functionality I’d like to add to my website. I very frequently use my website as a digital commonplace book to collect links of things I’ve read, watched, and listened to. I’ll collect quotes, highlights, and even my own marginalia. As I mentioned above, my read posts sometimes have comments, and quite often those comments are really meant just for me and not for the author of the original post. In many cases, when my comments may be too egregious, sensitive, or perhaps even insulting to the original author, I’ll make these posts private so that only I can see them on my site. Of course when they’re private, no notifications are sent to the site at the other end of the line.
Sometimes I would like to be able to send a read notification to the site, but also keep my commentary privately to myself. This allows me to have my notes on the piece and be highly critical without dragging down the original author or piece who I may not know well or the audience of that same piece which I haven’t properly lurked (in the positive community-based sense indicated above) to be as intelligently and sensitively commenting as I would otherwise like. Thus I’d like to build in some functionality so that I can publicly indicate I’ve read a piece (and send a notification), but also so that I can keep the commentary on my read private to either myself or a smaller audience.
I suspect that I can do this in a variety of meta-fields on my website which aren’t shown to the public, but which might be shown to either myself or logged in users. In some sense, this is a subset of functionality which many in the IndieWeb have been exploring recently around the ideas of private posts or by limiting the audience of a post. In my case, I’m actually looking at making a post public, but making smaller sub-portions of it private.
To begin with, I’ll most likely be looking at doing this at a small scale just for myself and my commonplace book, as I can definitely see second and third-order effects and a variety of context collapse issues when portions of posts are private, but others who may be privy to them are commenting on those pieces from the perspective of their public spheres which may not be as private or closed off as mine. i.e.: While I may have something marked as private, privy readers will always have the option of copy/pasting it and dragging it out into the public.
Interesting experiment Chris. Too bad that the spam-bots found this site so fast. Especially for that reason I'm keeping the public comments on my own instance closed. What are you using for keeping webmentions to your site spam-free?
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.
Bridgy pulls comments and likes from social networks back to your web site. You can also use it to publish your posts to those networks.
It’s mentioned in the documentation that one can reconstruct URLs to allow manually resending webmentions for missed backfeed. However, it appears this may no longer work(?) as these reconstructed URLs, which used to be static are now automatically redirecting to their siloed instances.
redirects to https://twitter.com/schnarfed/status/476408043819659264
Separately, though related, the example in the documentation for Instagram no longer seems to exist and could be replaced and the example for Google+ could be removed as the service no longer exists.
Bridgy pulls comments and likes from social networks back to your web site. You can also use it to publish your posts to those networks.
I’ve found a few instances in which Brid.gy will apparently fail to send a webmention (and/or fail to find a target) when the original URL contains an emoji(s). I’d suspect it’s a quirky encoding issue of some sort. I’m sure I’ve seen this issue before on Instagram where it’s probably more likely as the result of emojis in Instagram “titles” when using PESOS methods.
When I subsequently remove the emoji from the permalink, and reprocess Bridgy then has no problem finding the URL and sending the webmention. So at least there’s a “fix” on the user’s side for those experiencing this issue, but only if they’re aware it exists and have the means of executing it.
Example of failed webmention:
(I’ll note that it’s also got a fragment # in the URL, but don’t think this is a part of the issue)
Summary: Our first episode since January. David Shanske and Chris Aldrich get caught up on some recent IndieWebCamps, an article about IndieWeb in The New Yorker, changes within WordPress, and upcoming events.
We used to control our online identities, content, and experience. We now share Twitter names instead of domains; even web developers tweet and post on Medium instead of their own sites. We scroll social media and feel empty instead of reading news & blogs to feel informed and connected. Algorithmic feeds amplify rage & conspiracies, enabling tribal ad-targeting to polarise and spread misinformation, threatening democracy itself.
What happened? And what are we doing to fix it?
That's a big question that will require all of us, our communities, our employers, to shift. I don't want to wait, and you probably don't either.
What can you do for yourself, today?
Own your domain. Own your content. Own your social connections. Own your reading experience. IndieWeb services, tools, and standards enable you to take back your web.
Dramatically extending a Domain of One’s Own with IndieWeb technology: How to improve your online research notebooks, commonplace books, and digital pedagogy
(This description will be edited and used on the website. Please include 1-2 paragraphs and a list of key takeaways for the audience.)
Having a Domain of One’s Own and using it as a “thought space” to own your online identity and work is just the tip of the iceberg. Can you imagine how useful it would be if you could use your Twitter account to reply to someone on Facebook (without needing a Facebook account) or vice versa? Open web technology from the IndieWeb movement that utilizes simple plugins, modules, or even built-in functionality now exists so that people can now use WordPress, Drupal, WithKnown, Grav and many other content management systems on any domain name to have rich site-to-site communications in a simple and intuitive way. Third party (and often unethical) corporate platforms are no longer needed to have rich interactions between scholars on the web.
It is now easily possible to have a teacher write a post on their own website and their students to easily reply/react to that post on their own websites (along with a useful reply context) and send that reply to the teacher’s website for possible display. Each participant can now own a copy of both sides of the conversation.
Teachers and students will learn how to (individually or together) collect, analyze, write, collaborate, and interact easily online while doing so in a space they own and control without giving away their data to third party platforms.
Researchers can now easily bookmark, highlight, or annotate portions of the web and keep this data (public/private) on their own website (aka digital commonplace book or notebook) for future reference or use.
We’ll show how courseware can be decentralized so that the instructor and the students each own their own pieces of the learning processes and can keep them for as long as they wish.
We will demonstrate how one can use their WordPress-based website with a few simple plugins to own all of the traditional social media types (bookmarks, items read, highlights, annotations, comments/replies, photos, status updates, audio, checkins, etc.) on their own site while still allowing interacting (if desired) with other websites as well as in social spaces like Twitter, Instagram, Swarm, etc.
We will demonstrate a new generation of free feed readers that allow composing in-line responses and reactions that post them directly to one’s own website as well as send notification to the site being read and interacted with.
You can now have the joy of a Domain of Your Own and still easily interact just as if your site were a (better-than) first class social media platform.
More Information About Your Session
(Please describe your session in greater detail for the organizers. You may be more casual in this description as it will not be posted on the website.)
In some sense, this session will be a crash course on using IndieWeb technologies and building-blocks with WordPress in the Education space. I’ll aim to remove a lot of technical jargon and keep coding examples to a bare minimum (if using any at all) so that those with the technical ceiling of downloading and installing a plugin can immediately benefit from the talk. I will also provide enough pointers and describe the broad outlines that developers will have a broad overview of the IndieWeb space to find and extend these plugins and functionality if they wish.
I’ll be covering the basics of new W3C recommendations like Webmention, Micropub, and WebSub along with forthcoming specs like Microsub in combination with IndieAuth (a version of OAuth2 for login). I’ll show how they can be applied to personal websites in research, teaching, collaboration, and other educational domains like creating Open Educational Resources. Many of these can be easily implemented in WordPress with just a handful of simple plugins that allow the web to become the social media platform we all wish it would be.
I’ll use examples from my own personal website and several others (which use Drupal, WithKnown, Grav, etc.) to show how these plugins can be used in educational settings and will walk through a case study of a course built using DoOO and IndieWeb philosophies and technologies (EDU 522: Digital Teaching and Learning at Southern Connecticut State University) on which I collaborated with Dr. Gregory McVerry.