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

boffosocko.com

chrisaldrich

chrisaldrich

+13107510548

chris@boffosocko.com

u/0/+ChrisAldrich1

stream.boffosocko.com

www.boffosockobooks.com

chrisaldrich

pnut.io/@chrisaldrich

mastodon.social/@chrisaldrich

micro.blog/c

 

Trying to use a New Post in Known to Reply to Jeremy Cherfas

1 min read

If one is careful and marks up the html just so, then I suspect that Known will allow you to create a post and have it show as a reply. This post (and not a status update or a reply post) will serve as a test.

Of course, I'm not sure how one would add the proper class of u-in-reply-to with markup, but I'll bet someone somewhere does this in a way that Jeremy could potentially replicate.

 

I've updated my WithKnown install to v0.9.9 Derbyshire!

2 min read

Aside from one or two custom CSS tweaks, everything seems to be looking and working as expected! If readers or users see or experience any issues, please let me know.

I can't wait to try out all of the new core features and improvements that have arrived since 0.9.2! Including:

  • A simpler user registration experience
  • Fixed image preview rotation
  • Improved indieweb support (including for likes and reposts)
  • Improved migration support
  • Advanced access control internal API
  • Design and layout fixes
  • Better error pages
  • Support for PHP 7
  • Countless fixes and speed improvements in the background

You can get your own version of one of the best, most modern, and most forward-thinking Content Management Systems on the planet by contacting the fantastic team at https://withknown.com/. Or host your own version: https://withknown.com/opensource/ with lots of community developed plugins.

If you've already got Known and haven't upgraded, I've previously written up an outline about the upgrade process.

Coming up soon, I'll be upgrading my Known testing ground at http://known.boffosocko.com/ which, in some sense, is its own social media site, but also allows users to sign up for an account to test drive some of the core functionality in addition to syndicating their content to sites like Twitter and also backfeed their comments back from Twitter. For ease of use, I recommend setting up the bookmarklet after creating your account.

The 1.0 version of Known is anticipated some time in June 2017, but to be honest, in the almost three years I've been using it, it's been both fantastic and rock solid.

 

Adding a photo to a Known "Post"

1 min read

Known has several post types, each of which is good for particular content types. Sadly, one can't add photos to statuses or replies, though one could accomplish much the same thing with a photo post type.

In a "Post" type, one may need to switch from the plain text editor to the rich text editor to be able to insert a photo by clicking on the photo icon in the toolbar which only appears on the rich text editor. A modal window will then open up that will allow you to upload a photo and add metadata about it prior to inserting it into your post.

Tip: selecting the image in the post and re-clicking on the photo icon will allow you to edit the image source, description, and dimensions. 

 

 

Certainly an interesting and different way to do #annotation of older sources for the web. #IndieWeb

1 min read

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Facebook?src=hash">#Facebook</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/_Four_Horsemen">@_Four_Horsemen</a>  ...the individual is no longer a person, it’s a commodity: <a href="https://t.co/YTsGr2vUKy">pic.twitter.com/YTsGr2vUKy</a></p>&mdash; Blake B Wright (@WrightBlakeb) <a href="https://twitter.com/WrightBlakeb/status/649656823876861954">October 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

 

An open letter to Otis Chandler (or the goon overlords at @Amazon) on the Goodreads Brand Equity

3 min read

Otis,

First from your own Goodreads bio:

For me the value I get out of Goodreads is that it helps me read more. I have a theory that what gets a person excited to read a book is when they have a strong recommendation. Recommendations from friends are the best, but we don't always have the luxury of having those, so we've built a community of book readers and a top-notch algorithmic recommendation engine to help people find their next favorite read.

Next, I'll note that I've just started getting emails from Goodreads this week with headlines like "Chris, your Goodreads Deals for Saturday". I would probably care about the contents of these if they had ANY book I might actually begin to consider. Instead they appear to be cheap romance thrillers that I would never consider reading. Where did the top-notch algorithmic recommendation engine go?!

Because the "recommendations" in these emails don't appear to actually use any data you have on me at all, they're completely useless to me, and--I suspect--to everyone else.  These books aren't anything I'd be interested in, instead they're just cheap books that you (or perhaps Amazon is forcing your hand for some base profit motive) are advertising, likely on someone else's behalf to get higher margin.  This completely goes against the Goodreads value proposition and is thus killing your brand equity in the market place--it's certainly hurting it in my mind. I really love Goodreads, and these emails border on making me want to quit.

Instead of getting one of these completely useless emails every day, I'd far prefer you mined my "want to read" list or use the "if you liked this, you'll love this" functionality against my active lists for discount possibilities and send me just one email a week or even per month. You'll also be far more likely to get any kind of conversion. 

Given the data they have on me, my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite already does a horrific job of recommending some of the worst looking novels on the planet. It's so bad I actually want to pay the fee to make the ads go away. Please don't let Goodreads follow suit. Let Bookbub continue to be the bookspam in my email account that I don't read or pay attention to and allow the emails from Goodreads that I always open keep their Tiffany place in my heart.

Warmest regards,

Chris

 

Thank you for sharing your commonplace book with us @KevinMarks #indieweb

1 min read

I'm always impressed with Kevin Marks' use of his website(s) (kmk) as a commonplace book. It has to be one of the best personal versions of such a construct on the internet today.

Any time I (or others I've seen) have a question, he nearly always responds, "I wrote this last [chose one (or more): month/year/decade]" followed by a link(s) to his site where there is a carefully crafted and well thought out article he's written on the subject. By comparison, others would, if they're kind enough, Google the subject and dump out random answers that may or may not be of any help.

I write all of this in some sense because it inspires me to aspire to such kindness and thought, but mostly to say, "Thank You, Kevin!"

 

Description and FAQ for IndieWeb WordPress Plugin

5 min read

I just wrote up a quick description for the IndieWeb plugin for WordPress. As a native IndieWebber, I thought I'd PESOS it from GitHub and share it out for those who might be interested. It's also a somewhat self-contained description why one should join the movement and points to some great resources.

Description

The IndieWeb Plugin for Wordpress is a bundled installer for a core set of IndieWeb-related plugins. It's meant to be a one-stop shop to help WordPress users quickly and easily join the growing IndieWeb movement (see below). Some of these sub-plugins are required while others are optional.

Some of these plugins allow you to:

  • send and receive comments, likes, reposts, and other kinds of post responses using your own site
  • allow comments on others' sites to show up as comments on your posts
  • help make IndieWeb comments and mentions look better on your site
  • allow support for threaded comments and webmentions
  • more easily syndicate your content to other sites to take advantage of network effects and other communities while still owning all of your original content
  • link to syndicated versions of a post so that comments on your content in silos like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ can come back to your original post as comments there
  • allow you to add bookmarklets to easily respond/comment on other sites with one click
  • set up a MicroPub Server to use other posting interfaces. (You could potentially use services like Instagram, Foursquare, and others to post to your WordPress site.)
  • set up a personal URL shortener
  • log into your WordPress site with services like Twitter, GitHub, SMS, or even email using IndieAuth.

The IndieWeb

The IndieWeb is a people-focused alternative to the ‘corporate web’ that allows you to be the humb of your own web presence. It's been written about in Wired, The Atlantic, Slate, and Gigaom amongst others.

The IndieWeb, like WordPress, feels that your content is yours

When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.

The IndieWeb is here to help you be better connected

Your articles and status messages can be syndicated to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone in your social network/social graph. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.

Interested in connecting your WordPress site to the IndieWeb? Let us help you get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get Started?

IndieWeb for WordPress includes a plugin installer program. A Getting Started Guide can be found under Plugins->IndieWeb.

Where can I find help? Can I contribute?

A group of web developers (including those knowledgeable about WordPress, among many other web technologies) can be found discussing and working on IndieWeb related technologies in the wiki at IndieWebCamp.com or in the IRC on Freenode. WordPress specific portions of the IndieWeb camp can be found at WordPress, Getting Started on WordPress, Examples, and other plugins.

If you need additional assistance, feel free to reach out to any of the WordPress Outreach Club members via the website, our individual websites, or our social media presences -- we're happy to help!

Why IndieWeb?

Find more information and details for the motivations for joining the IndieWeb at http://indiewebcamp.com/Why

What about plugin XYZ?

If you think we missed a plugin reference, please file an issue on Github.

What plugins are included in this package? Can I install them separately?

  • Webmention (Required) - allows you to send and receive by adding webmention support to WordPress. Mentions show up as comments on your site.
  • Semantic Linkbacks (Required) - makes IndieWeb comments and mentions look better on your site.
  • Webmention for (Threaded) Comments - Adds support for threaded comments for webmentions.
  • Webactions - Adds webaction markups to WordPress elements.
  • Post Kinds - Allows you to reply/like/RSVP etc to another site from your own, by adding support for kinds of posts to WordPress.
  • Syndication Links - Adds fields to a post to allow manual entry of syndication links as well as automatically from a supported syndication plugin. Fully supports Social, partial support for NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster (aka SNAP).
  • MicroPub - A MicroPub Server
  • IndieWeb Press-This - Adds IndieWeb markup to the WordPress Press-This bookmarkets to allow you to respond on your site with one-click.
  • Hum URL Shortener - A personal URL shortener.
  • Indieauth - The plugin lets you login to the WordPress backend via IndieAuth. It uses the URL from the profile page to identify the blog user.

One could certainly download, install, and activate some or all of these plugins separately, but it is much quicker and easier to utilize the interface provided by this IndieWeb plugin to install and activate them. Note that some of these plugins may only be available on GitHub and are not yet on WordPress.org.

 

Also posted to GitHub:

wordpress-indieweb/readme.md at ee1cfb72203f1feef05b9225c4bb465abc82e094 · chrisaldrich/wordpress-indieweb https://github.com/chrisaldrich/wordpress-indieweb/blob/ee1cfb72203f1feef05b9225c4bb465abc82e094/readme.md

 

#IndieWeb Raison d'etre #55: Freedom of the press trumps atrocious comment moderation

2 min read

Last week I wrote up "Some Thoughts on Academic Publishing" after reading “Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone” from Science | AAAS which made some heavy rounds in social media, particularly in academic spheres. Originally I began typing my thoughts/comments into the Disqus box on their website. After getting to the third graph, I began thinking, I should be writing this on my own website as a standalone comment/piece of content and just POSSE it over to their Disqus box.

Despite the fact that the editors/moderators of one of the most venerable science journals of our day will allow internet trolls like CPO_C_Ryback and CPO_C_Rybacks_Mother to go thirty rounds on nearly every comment on their featured piece for the week, my slightly more tempered comment is still sitting in their moderation queue untouched. 

My poor pending commentary

Fortunately I had the foresight to have self-published it before hand, or the not-insignificant time I spent thinking and writing about the topic at hand would have been gone the moment I pressed send. It's one thing to get lost in the shuffle of hundreds of comments amidst trolls, it's another thing altogether to be moderated out of existence. The IndieWeb movement has prevented me from feeling like I did two decades ago after writing a term paper for hours only to lose it after discovering that I hadn't hit control-s to save what I'd written. The additional benefit was that I was able to post those same thoughts on multiple other networks effortlessly while still being able to own what I'd originally written.

The greatest irony of the whole affair is that in conjunction with the particular article I was commenting on, Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief Science Journals, published a companion piece about the high costs and attention to detail and quality that journals try to maintain in their digital presence. Apparently this massive expense and terrific effort doesn't go as far as preventing internet trolls like those mentioned from running roughshod over their own site (which is "moderated" by the way) while keeping out commentary that may add to the discussion and community that they're apparently not attempting to foster.

 

 

Review of Eden on Brand | An upscale burger joint in Glendale, CA

4 min read

Eden on Brand, right next to the Alex Theater, has taken a dramatic step up from its prior location further North (which is now closed, by the way).

The atmosphere is stunning and very chic and borders on Hollywood night club with staff dressed to match, and apparently two more floors set to open soon according to employees. The darker theme with wood, stone, metal, and leather highlighted brilliantly with subtle lighting was fantastic. The restaurant is large and spacious and I can only imagine how fantastic the kitchen must be to work in. The space was actually so large, I almost wondered why they didn't try to sneak in a few more 2 tops on the first floor to give things a bit more bustle amid the hip music vibe being piped in.

The food, while a tad on the high side for standard burger fare, is generally great and exceptionally tasty. I loved the Royal Blue burger which had just enough blue cheese to be spectacular without going overboard. Similarly their signature Black Label Burger was fantastically beefy and even juicier than the Royal Blue. Both burgers were cooked perfectly. Given their burger creativity, I'm surprised that they didn't have a Kobe beef burger on the menu.

The Royal Blue Burger

The shoestring fries, while cooked wonderfully and garnished with just the right amount of parsley were lacking a bit in flavor and could have used some more salt.  Perhaps frying them in flavored oil or adding a light sprinkling of garlic could have lifted them to the level of the rest of the fare and the surrounding ambiance? The spicy ketchup was a nice attempt, but was far too overpowering given the flatter fries and didn't fit in with the flavor profile of the burgers. Larger ketchup vessels might make it easier to dip a burger if desired.

The appetizers were passable, but not nearly as creative as the burger options. I tried their carrot appetizer which sadly, while interesting, didn't put the carrots front and center and left them a bit overcooked.  The chefs might consider updating the appetizer menu with some more creativity or possibly swiping a few ideas from the Smith Brothers in Pasadena or Crossings in South Pasadena as this seems to be what they're chasing after, but still keep things in the mold of the high-end burger joint.

Their beer selections were nice as was the list of harder alcohols, but I'm surprised they didn't have a signature drink menu which could go a long way towards highlighting their bar for increased revenue.

The staff, while warm and welcoming still needs to up their game a tad, though hopefully this will come with time as they settle into the new space which is only about a month old.  Refinements could include: tipping customers off to the fact that the ketchup is spiced; not being so clumsy as to ask diners if they want to keep their silverware, but just bringing out new sets automatically with changes in courses (especially given the higher bar of dining that's being portrayed); pronouncing duck confit properly (it's French); and possibly suggesting beer pairings with particular burgers (if they're not going to be suggested on the menu). Check averages would also be a higher if they checked on refills or alternates during the meal as well.

I can certainly see where they're going with the ambiance and the food, and would certainly come back again. It would be a complete five star experience if they can up their game just a tad to have everything match their fine location and decor.

Also posted on Yelp

 

An Annotated Domain of One’s Own

2 min read

Jeremy, Congratulations on having your own domain! I was poking around Hypothes.is today and was excited to see that you'd moved over from Genius.

I'm impressed that you specifically mention the IndieWebCamp philosophy, which I've also been using for the past couple of years myself.  If you need some help in IndieWeb-ifying your WordPress install, I'd be happy to help, though it's now much, much easier to do than it was even a year ago. Shortly, I'm hoping to finish up a post about the IndieWeb and academia/educational related sites, which might also be helpful, though I'm not sure when that's actually going to be finished.

I'd love nothing more than to have Hypothesis be able to have webmention support so that when people annotate my own pages or reference them across the web, the system would automatically send me a notification of that fact. Are there any coders at Hypothes.is who are also part of the IndieWeb movement who might consider doing this? Is there a way to help suggest this into Hypothes.is's roadmap?

Finally, as a side-note, to help beautify your web presence a bit, you might notice that your photo doesn't show up in the author position in your 2016 theme on single posts.  To fix this, you can (create and) use your WordPress.com username/password to create an account on their sister site Gravatar.com. Uploading your preferred photo on Gravatar and linking it to an email will help to automatically populate your photo in both your site and other wordpress sites across the web. To make it work on your site, just go to your user profile in your wordpress install and use the same email address in your user profile as your gravatar account and the system will port your picture across automatically. If necessary, you can use multiple photos and multiple linked email addresses in your gravatar account to vary your photos.

Congratulations again!

 

Sharing from the #IndieWeb on Mobile (Android) with Apps and @WithKnown

4 min read

I've been doing some work to find a better, easier, and cleaner way to share content, likes, replies, bookmarks, and reposts on mobile. In part it's what prompted me to write my post the other day about "Configuring the RSS Reader Woodwind for Known."

In part, I want to keep a complete record of posts that I "like", "share", "retweet", etc. on my own site, in keeping with the principles of the indieweb. Between separate indieweb installs of both WordPress and Known that I've been using for roughly the last two years, this hasn't been difficult on my laptop computer, primarily making use of a bevy of bookmarklet tools in my browser. In fact, on my laptop, it's down-right simple.

But not so on my Android mobile phone! In fact there, it's actually a really painful experience, and as a result I sometimes retweet, like and carry on in the Twitter app like the IndieWeb movement is dead to me. As a result I feel continually guilty and carry around a lot of . So I put out a call for help and got a few responses [1] [2] with some ideas. 

After playing around for a few days with two different apps, I thought I'd post some thoughts about the two different solutions, which to me are roughly the same.

Bookmarklet Free, which I found on Ryan Barrett's site which included some generally excellent instructions wasn't too bad.

URL Forwarder, was recommended by Tino Kremer, didn't include any instructions or hints at all.

Fortunately, both work roughly the same and the set ups aren't all too different for some of the set up for configuring Woodwind, mentioned above. Testing them out with Known allowed me to click the ubiquitous sharing icon in most Android apps that then triggered a pop-up allowing me to choose which app I want to share with.  Selecting either Bookmarklet Free or URL Forwarder then took me to an interstitial screen to let me choose whether I wanted to like, share, repost, bookmark, or reply to the particular content.

In most cases both bookmarklets did a reasonable and similar job, but typically they ended up sharing a section of unwanted text followed by a URL (and sometimes---depending on the app---another chunk of text related to the original content).  Typically I had to delete the extraneous "titling" text to leave the raw URL which Known then did a good job of reformatting properly to allow me to finish the post and send it off. (Kyle, Ryan, and Kevin had a short discussion on the handling of the "title" back in the day, which Known apparently hasn't implemented, but Ryan proffers some Github code to remedy the issue within the CMS.)

Between the two, I generally prefer the UI and set up for URL Forwarder a bit better. Both are roughly equivalent.

Since Ryan did a good job showing the configuration settings for Bookmarklet Free in his post, I'll include the similar settings for URL Forwarder for those using Known:

One need only to replace `www.yoursitenamehere.com` with their appropriate site URL.

Here, the action name, which appears first, is what I put in for the "Filter name" (field 1). The URL which follows was what I used for the "Filter url" (field 2). For each of these one should leave the "Replaceable text" field as "@url".

Screenshot Screenshot 2

Nota bene: I'm using the KnownReactions plugin to provide functionality for the "like" and "repost" types and that without it, these action types won't function properly on your Known installation.

Those at Known, are more than welcome to freely cut/paste/modify this for potential inclusion into their documentation for future use.

If anyone has other suggestions for improved posting via mobile, I'd certainly love to hear them!

 

Configuring the #IndieWeb RSS Reader Woodwind for @WithKnown

4 min read

Woodwind (so, named because it's part of the "reed/read" family), is a nice little RSS program for following and interacting with blogs and sites as part of one's regimen.

Today, I began setting it up in conjunction with my self-hosted Known [download] site which also has Kyle Mahan's "KnownReactions" plugin installed. This plugin allows me to "like" and "repost" content on the web in addition to Known's built in "share", "bookmark", and "reply" functionality.

I played around on my Known site with some various options to configure Woodwind which has several built in reply mechanisms available:

Reply Mechanism

  Each post will have Like, Repost, and Reply buttons that will post content to your site directly via micropub. See Micropub for details.

  Clicking an indie-action link will invoke your web+action handler if registered. See indie-configfor details.

  Manually configure your own web action handlers. The placeholder {url} will be replaced with the permalink URL of each entry.

These variations are primarily based upon the type of site and architecture you're using to take the content from the reader and post it to your own site.

I tried out Micropub, which Known supports automatically, and liked the interface, but it didn't give me as much flexibility as I would have liked in terms of post types. (The stars it posts up for likes are a tad unwieldly too.) I'm honestly not sure if Known supports the Indie-config option, though my guess is that it doesn't. (I'm thinking that building a WordPress plugin to allow easy plug-and-play for Indie-config would be fun on an alternate CMS platform, but I'd guess that David Shanske likely already has.)

I finally messed around for a while with trying to get the Configurable action urls option working on my Known site. It seems to be working pretty well now, so I thought I'd pass along the very simple hack so that others who are less tenatious can relatively easily cut and paste the solution to get their Woodwind configuration humming more quickly.

Each action get's a title, which appears on the associated buttons within Woodwind, which is followed by a custom url.  I'll list the most common ones for Known below:

One need only to replace `www.yoursitenamehere.com` with the appropriate site URL, thus in my case for the "Share" button, I used `http://stream.boffosocko.com/share?share_url={url}&share_title=&share_type=note`.

I imagine that one could also use this general format to create buttons within Woodwind to post comics, recipes, and even reviews using the community plugins for Known, though it's likely that some of these plugins may need some tweaks to work properly.

Again, I'll note that I'm using the KnownReactions plugin to provide functionality for the "like" and "repost" types and that without it, these buttons won't function properly on your installation.

Those at Known, are more than welcome to freely cut/paste/modify this for potential inclusion into their documentation for future use.

 

AMERIKAN KRAZY

2 min read

AMERIKAN KRAZY

BY HENRY JAMES KORN

 

Episode One

The novel the shattered American psyche has been waiting for.

To shoot or not to shoot?


To make pressure cooker bombs, or not make pressure cooker bombs?


To embrace or spurn a blond beauty who might blow their cover if they let her into the leadership of the Central Committee?

These are the questions that haunt the savage soldiers that comprise the San Diego 3, a trio of PTSD-scarred, love-starved Vietnam veterans who are on the trail of President Kennedy’s killers while serving as East Asia Veterans Against Violence activists and founders of a commune in Mexico.

Despite escaping neo-fascist “Amerika” to remote reaches south of the border, Herbert Horn, a wounded Marine vet, cannot escape his lifelong preoccupation with the personal meaning of JFK’s brutal public execution and why he failed to sabotage an evil empire by assassinating the Presidential candidate Senator Honus T. Rhinelander Junior at Founding Father Land Theme Park when he had a golden opportunity.

As the years pass, Horn’s guilt deepens as he ponders the human suffering that would have been averted had he found the courage to fend off his fair-haired lady friend’s pleas and get off a kill shot.

With every egregious occurrence such as the Rhinelander financed rape of Costa Rica; the Rhinelander-enabled Taliban takeover of Kyrgyzstan; a Rhinelander presidential successor installed by fiat of the Supreme Court; and redistribution of America’s wealth to a trans-national corporate cabal, Herb Horn’s remorse regarding his cowardice at the moment of truth escalates in an explosive manner.

Amerikan Krazy interprets the meaning of power in post modern Amerika. By turning political writing into art, Henry James Korn begins where Jules Verne, George Orwell and Edward Abbey left off.

 

RIP Glenn Frey

1 min read

<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Atrack%3A3MWEkT6KOE1ajLEkrEP2N8" width="300" height="380" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe>

 

I read A Fatal Family Secret earlier in the year, & recommend it. (It's free right now on Amazon http://amzn.to/1YrZUli).

1 min read

I read A Fatal Family Secret by Samantha Marks earlier in the year, & recommend it  (It's free right now on Amazon http://amzn.to/1YrZUli). Even better, the sequel just came out.