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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

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chrisaldrich

chrisaldrich

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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

 

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.

 

A Comment on the Academica Wordpress Theme

2 min read

In reply to: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/surprised-by-all-the-bad-reviews

I agree wholeheartedly with Adam, though I don't think I'd really seen any small issues except perhaps for an odd CSS issue in formatting an h2 tag somewhere. (Note: This comment applies to v1.2.3 of Academica as on 4/2/15, the theme publisher made a DRASTIC change to the theme, so take caution in upgrading!!)

I have created a child-theme with one or two small customizations (slightly larger headings in side widgets and some color/text size changes), but otherwise have v1.2.3 working as perfectly as it was intended to. This includes the slideshow functionality on the homepage. See BoffoSocko as an example.

For those, perhaps including Adam, wanting to get the slider to work properly:

  • Go to your WP Dashboard hover on the menu tab "appearance" and click on "customize"
  • On the "Featured Content" tab, enter a tag you want to use to feature content on the homepage of your site. (In my case, I chose "featured" and also clicked "Hide tag from displaying in post meta and tag clouds".)
  • Go to one or more posts (I think it works on up to 10 featurable posts) and tag them with the word you just used in the featured content setting (in my case "featured"
  • Next be sure to actually set a "Featured photo" for the post--930x300 pixels is the optimal photo size if I recall.
  • Now when you visit your home page, the slider should work properly and include arrows to scroll through them (these aren't as obvious on featured photos with white backgrounds).
  • Note that on individual pages, you'll still have static header image(s) which are also customizable in the "customize" section of the WP dashboard, which was mentioned in step 1.

I hope this helps.

 

Upgrading @WithKnown on One's Own Server

3 min read

It's only been a short time since I installed my own copy of WithKnown (GitHub) and there have been a few small upgrades since that time, but I was overdue for upgrading. I'd also seen one or two errors when posting, and figured that the small bugs I was seeing would have been worked out.

When I went to upgrade earlier in the week, I figured I'd wing it since at the time there weren't any instructions for upgrading in the documentation (or at least that I'd noticed at the time.)  Somehow I got sidetracked and finally just came back to it today.  Following the general procedure for upgrading projects like Drupal and WordPress, I trundled along and found generally reasonable results until I realized that URLs weren't mapping quite properly, photos were missing, and something was a bit "off". (I had tried reinstalling my original config.ini file along with the Uploads file, but that didn't seem to work somehow.)

I went back to check the documentation, and lo-and-behold, in the intervening week,  there are now some scant upgrade instructions available which follow below: 

Upgrading Known is designed to be very simple.

  • Take a backup of your Known directory and database.
  • Overwrite your Known files except your upload directory.
  • Access your Known site homepage.

I was reticent upon visiting my homepage as I received a splash screen exactly like the original set up, and was very worried that I might manage to blow out some of the primary data and crash the whole thing. (I did remember to do a back up before starting, but who wants to deal with that if they don't have to.)

I decided to plunge ahead and proceeded like I was setting things up for the first time. I was directed to a page to enter in the database name, login, password, etc., which creates a config.ini file in the root, and was then redirected to my site, with all the links and data perfectly intact and functioning properly. 

For those who haven't done it themselves, and have the same reticence I did, I'd recommend adding a few additional steps to the process:

4. Click on the set up button

5. Enter in your database name, user name, host name and password

6. Update the path for the "Uploads" folder. (It may automatically default to the proper path name, but double check it.)

7. Hit enter and you'll be taken to your site.

Depending on what one is using for the update, I might also recommend blowing out (deleting) the original Known files in your root directory in step 2, and installing the new ones rather than simple overwriting so one isn't left with out of date files.