Skip to main content

Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, IndieWeb, mnemonics, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation






At Homebrew Website Club watching with great anticipation as @KevinMarks adds microformats to the base Tumblr theme to help make it more IndieWeb friendly.


I think a lot of the problem comes down to all of the siloed walls out there which are causing most of the friction. We're still relatively early days yet and only a tiny few are using the concept of salmention which would help keep running threads working properly. Admittedly having the context live somewhere and then having proper threaded communications isn't easy, so many do what they're able to for the moment.

I'm usually attempting to manually accomplish salmention as best as I'm able, but I may not hit every syndicated target unless you're displaying it directly. Additionally some targets just don't make sense--I'll webmention your original, for example, but this lengthy reply just won't look right at if you syndicated a simple headline and URL there, so why bother since you'll see it at the original anyway? Others who are on may miss out on part of the conversation, but presumably if they're looking at your copy on, they'll be able to see the original as it was intended.

Colin, you mention that not all of your content needs to go to Perhaps, but to think so in my mind is part of the older silo way of thinking. The only reason you're syndicating there is as a stopgap to reach the people who don't currently have the time or luxury to be doing things the way you are. Otherwise they could subscribe to you directly at the source (and potentially even circumscribe the types of posts, keywords, or content to get exactly what they want from your site.) In some sense you syndicate there to reach and communicate with the non-IndieWeb crowd. Perhaps some of your content doesn't make as much sense there as is limited in what it is able to do, but that is its limitation, not yours. Eventually in a fully IndieWeb-ified world, everyone would have their own domain, their own data, and syndication of any sort won't have a real need to exist at all.

As to Jack's comment, syndicating things out to multiple places is often difficult as is getting all the responses back. (Fortunately services like make things far easier though they don't cover all the bases.) I do it in large part because while I prefer to own all of my content and have all the conversation take place on my personal site, I can't necessarily make that choice for everyone else. My mom is likely to never have her own domain much less a site. The only way she'll see my content (whether it's meant for her or not) is to syndicate it to Facebook. For those who aren't yet aware of the IndieWeb or using it, they're still reading and interacting on other platforms, which, for me is fine since I can still have my cake and eat it too. Eventually there will be inexpensive platforms that will let people who don't want to deal with the development cost and overhead that allow much of the IndieWeb-types of functionalities they're not currently getting from their silo platforms for free. I suspect that these will be easier and easier (as well as cheaper) to use over time. I suspect more people will use them for their freedom, flexibility, and increased control. Until then, I have the privilege of using my site much the way I would Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Flickr, GoodReads, etc., etc., I just get to do it through a more unified experience instead of having to juggle dozens of accounts and only being able to interact with my fractions of friends, family, and colleagues who coincidentally happen to be spending the time and effort to interact on those websites. As an example, I have dozens of friends who interact with me on Facebook about things I'm currently reading or finished reading, but if I was only doing this on GoodReads, they'd never have a chance to see it as they don't have accounts there or even know it exists. (Coincidentally, this is also the reason that GoodReads and most other silos allow one to syndicate their accounts to Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Not all social sites are as lucky as Facebook to have such massive adoption. This creates a value imbalance with respect to the classic "network effect" (see: Philosophically I think that an decentralized and distributed version of IndieWeb philosophies add far more value than having hundreds or even thousands of individual silos.

Invariably some people are likely to stick with Twitter, Facebook, or others because they don't have the same values I do. (Currently I suspect the majority do it because it's frictionless and easy.) But this doesn't change the fact that one can't have a "universal" conversation if one prefers. When I look at various platforms, some of them have different personalities and types of conversations because of the (possibly) self-selecting group of people on them. I loved Twitter more in the early days because of it's smaller and more engaged community--things have naturally changed drastically since those early days. is a bit more like it now, but to me it's not so much a social media replacement for Twitter. To me it's really a social reader that I use to quickly follow a subset of interesting and thoughtful people until I have a better social reader built into my own site. The conversation would be somewhat different if these silos were working on niche audience content like knitting or quantum mechanics, but typically they're not. Most social silos are geared toward mass adoption and broad topic discussion or content posting for everyone/everywhere. Their goal is for their site to be the proverbial "phone number and dial-tone of the web". Why do this when I already have a connection and a "phone number" that is my own site URL?

Jack, while some bloggers have turned off comments, they've often done so saying "Post your reply on your own site, or on Twitter, Facebook, etc." This has just pushed the conversation on their ideas off somewhere else which is disconnected and not as easily searchable or discoverable. And without some kind of notification mechanism, the author of the original post has no idea it exists. (I'll elide a conversation about blocking trolls and abuse here.) I've written some thoughts on comments sections in reply to such a blogger who recently re-enabled comments which also links to several interesting articles about the pros/cons of having comments at all. To me, between webmentions, spam filtering, and even moderation, we're lightyears ahead of where we were in the early 2000s.

One other thing I do find interesting is that the way all of this is set up is allowing us the ability to write extended thoughts and extended multiple replies (with civility as relative strangers). I don't think there are many sites on the web that allow this type of interaction, and they certainly don't do it with anything remotely close to the open architecture we're using. While at times it can be a headache for maintenance and problems, I find far more value in it than using anything else.


@audreywatters @mtechman @hypervisible @onewheeljoe Even with the script blocking @hypothes_is it is still possible to annotate Fortunately, though public annotations appear in the Chrome extension as existing, they don't physically appear on the site itself and need to be searched for manually to be found. I was able to do this with only just a few minutes of work, and could probably hack something more significant with some time/effort. should really try to do a better job of preventing abuse in these types of situations so writers needn't worry about providing abusers the ability to use a writer's own platform to harass them. Perhaps borrowing the NIPSA concept from Flickr for flagged annotations and/or accounts? (NIPSA is an acronym for "Not In Public Site Areas", and an admin feature of Flickr that allows their support staff to mark an account such that posts from it will not be shown in search results and other similar public views of posts.)


Improved support for SNAP · Issue #39 · dshanske/syndication-links

Many of the channels in SNAP are already supported, but most are currently missing. Support would include not only adding the SVG icons for them, but adding auto-import for displaying them in the list based on the storage location within SNAP.

SNAP currently supports the following:
500px - perhaps leave this off as [ is currently shutting down](
+Google+ (did the icon get fixed for It doesn't currently display in the stable version)

Those marked with a * currently have support for icon display
Those marked with a + currently have support for import of the link


Looking for pumpkin carving ideas? Try Mathematical Pumpkins! @maanow


Marcus Povey: Ran a successful first full test of my Flickr to @withknown photo and video import tool ( overnight!


Updating @WithKnown Past 0.7.7 and Keeping Social Media Integration

3 min read

Last night I upgraded my WithKnown installation from 0.7.5 to and was shocked to see all of the social media integration of my instance had completely disappeared!  

Suddenly POSSE wasn't POSS-I-ble!

Starting with 0.7.7, Known had taken out the old social media plugins and replaced them with Convoy. While I'm sure Convoy is awesome and makes social media integration for POSSE dead simple, something in my gut told me that it just wasn't for me.  I also didn't want to throw away the hour or so I spent configuring all of the plugins in the first place only to end up paying $50 a year for the same thing I'd already had. Those who haven't dealt with it already, will probably find Convoy a great value, though it'd probably be better billed as a one-time fee rather than a recurring one.

I'll admit that I panicked for a while and contemplated restoring the original 0.7.5 server code from back-up.

Fortunately a cooler head prevailed and some research and internet searching began.  I didn't find much immediately - the drawback of living so close to the bleeding edge of technology when still learning how all of it works.

I tried to see if I could uninstall the Convoy plugin by going into the site configurations and changing the plugin to disable it. Sadly, of the dozen or so plugins, Convoy is the only one that didn't ship with an "enable"/"disable" button. I'm sure they'll fix this shortly, but for those who want to do it manually, simply add the following line of code to your config.ini file:

     antiplugins[] = 'Convoy'

Screen capture of Plugins Settings Page

Eventually, I spent some time digging into the code and comparing/contrasting all the files.  Noticing that 0.7.6 had six or so additional folders for each of the social media plugins hiding within the IdnoPlugins folder (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SoundCloud, etc.), I simply dragged and dropped all of those over into and voila! We're back up and running.

As a fine point, one should notice that both the FourSquare and Twitter plugins have been updated since 0.7.6, so they should be copied and dragged over from the main GitHub repository.  Following a similar procedure will also need to be watched/followed for future updates on occasion as well.

For future UX, I'm hoping that Known will at least as a minimum install and make Convoy available directly, but that disabling it will make the other original plugins viewable and configurable for the more technically minded, particularly as POSSE is one of the cornerstones of the IndieWeb movement.

As a quick recap for those doing general Known upgrades, try the following:

  1. Back up your database and your code, just in case;
  2. Download the new repository (either GitHub or on WithKnown);
  3. Delete the "dummy" Uploads folder from the new install and keep your original on the server which has all of your photos, etc.;
  4. Keep your config.ini; 
  5. Keep your .htaccess (unless it needs a serious change; the htaccess.dist replacement file can be easily copied over, but will need to have its name changed from the version with the .dist extension);
  6. Keep the social media plugin folders in IdnoPlugins that you intend to continue using; or upload newer versions which are availble from ​;
  7. Upload all the new files to the server directory.

Those with an adventurous spirit may also find some of the other available plugins fun to play around with too.