When I first started with this website I used to post meta-posts about the development of the site fairly often. It does still change quite often behind the scenes, but the changes are small and incremental so I forget to mention them, or it doesn’t seem worthwhile to mention them on an individual level.
But this time around, I am going to mention some small behind the scenes changes as the reason for them is important far beyond my site: the Indieweb builds on past efforts to own your own identity and owning your own content (which is pretty much what that post amounts to, even if ironically hosted “in the cloud”), but with an emphasis on still being social and keeping you connected with your friends on whatever system they choose to use. I.e. So it’s not a Facebook replacement or a Twitter replacement or any product at all: rather it’s a philosophy (and you choose which tools to use or build your own).
Having my own website is important to me. I like that I’ve had it for years and, especially over the last few years, I’ve managed to post something every month. I do like owning (as much as possible) my own content and I’m proud it isn’t all siloed off on something like Facebook or even Tumblr. I’m not terribly social at all (or rather, I am) on the internet so I’m not immediately focused on the “staying connected” part of Indieweb, although I am impressed with the technology. Rather, I discovered Indieweb through this tweet and thought I’d have a go at doing the same basic first steps.
Those basic first steps can be tracked through the Indiemark score:
- 0.2 pts for identity. Easy as I already have my own domain and website.
- 0.2 pts for authentication. I added rel=”me” links in so I can use IndieAuth. They are hidden on my homepage as I have them exposed on my Elsewhere page.
- 0.4 pts for posts. I’m lacking the exact time in my post published date because at the moment it is not relevant to my blog posts. I gather this is important as a big push of Indieweb is to get you to publish “notes” (tweets/status updates) on your own site and syndicate them out and obviously then the exact time is more important, but, for the time being, being to the nearest day is plenty accurate enough for my sporadic blog posts.
- 0.2 pts for search. Has been there for crawling for some years now.
(At time of writing, I’m sure the level 2 scores add up to 0.9 not 1 total)
- 0.1 pts for h-card. I’ve added my h-card in (see notes below). I never saw the point of microformats the first time around, but the Indieweb makes use of them and they are easy to add in now using the implied properties of the new and improved microformats2.
- 0.2 pts for multiple post types. Yep. Since I moved from Tumblr I have, and use, photo, text, quote and link type posts, so already there.
- 0 pts of 0.1 for syndication. POSSE (Publish Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) - This is where I’m lacking. More on this below.
- 0 pts of 0.1 for posting UI. I have nothing here either.
- 0.1 pts for navigation. In some previous iteration of my site, I had the required previous/next post navigation (I know because I’ve only very recently removed the long redundant CSS), but I think I lost it when I moved to Jekyll. This prompted me to go and look: It isn’t any limitation of Jekyll, just an oversight on my part, so I’ve added this back in. That’s an easy 0.1 pt.
- 0.1 pts for search. The search UI is there and I allow indexing (Level 1), but that doesn’t mean it gets indexed.
- 0 pts of 0.1 for aggregation. I think I get this now after asking on IRC. This is somewhat related to syndication and means embedding useful properties of items syndicated elsewhere. Take Tantek’s reply to me: this originated on his site, but was syndicated out to Twitter as a proper threaded reply (magic!), but displays on his site with automatic links to my Tweet and my username. And it’s those links that are considered “aggregated”. A fuller approach, perhaps, could be considered automatically pulling in my user image from Twitter.
- 0 pts of 0.1 for web actions. This is best explained by visiting that previous link and seeing how Tantek has links available allowing you to reply on Twitter even though the note is syndicated out from his site.
…I’ll stop there for now. Which gives me a score of 1.5. Not bad for minimal effort.
In doing this there were a couple of things I found less obvious to do with h-cards:
rel="me" on it
<a class="h-card" rel="me" href="http://atomicules.co.uk/"> <!-- Using implied h-card properties, which don't always validate, but is actually valid. Might figure out using a decent sized image at some point --> <img src="images/favicon.png" alt="atomicules"> </a>
I had the above in my footer and at the time no other h-cards on the page, yet it wouldn’t get picked up as the representative h-card until I put the
rel="me" bit in.
Multiple representative h-cards
So then I added my h-card into my post h-entry which meant I then had eleven h-cards on my home page (which is fine), but they were all coming up as representative h-cards! At first I thought it was because I’d left the
rel="me" in on them all as a result of copying and pasting, but weirdly taking
rel="me" off doesn’t work. At least per this parser. I had to remove the url from my h-entry h-cards:
<!-- A minimal h-card without a url to avoid multiple representative h-card issues--> <img class="p-author h-card" rel="author" src="images/favicon.png" alt="atomicules">
Thoughts on POSSE…
I’ve only scratched the surface of Indieweb so far. I am completely lacking on POSSE. I actually used to be a bit better: I used the PESOS (you can easily figure out what that means now you know what POSSE stands for) approach when my site was Rails based to pull in my forum posts from the (now long defunct) Appletalker forum and embedded my latest tweet as a site status heading. Since starting with Jekyll (so a few years now) I’ve toyed with the idea of syndicating out my link posts to Pinboard, but there is a huge lack of flow/convenience in doing this: If I’m in a web-browser it is far easier to bookmark it on Pinboard first (even in Elinks) than switch to Vim, create a new post, rebuild in Jekyll, commit in Fossil and finally deploy. Finally, I don’t really want every bookmark I make to be part of my website.
Now that my photography seems to have permanently slowed down perhaps I could think about syndicating that out somehow to Flickr though, as that isn’t an action I want to happen quickly like bookmarking.
I doubt I will ever syndicate out my Tweets. I am constantly on the fence with Twitter and always have half a mind to delete it, but then an unexpected interaction will occur and I’ll think it’s great again for a bit. I could, however, think about building my own plugin for TTYtter that publishes on my site at the same time as I Tweet.
##… and Staying Connected
At the moment I’m not that keen on receiving webmentions. I do think the idea and technology is cool, though: see the comments section of this post for a great example of how links flow back in as a result of the article being syndicated in different places). The reason I’m not keen is it feels similar to the clutter of comments: I don’t mean the clutter of having comments display on my site, rather the pointlessness of having them integrated at all when they would rarely ever be used.
For the time being though, I’m just going to try to remember to send webmentions and I’m also going to retrospectively add in
u-in-reply-to on the odd occasions this is applicable.
My Indieweb Commitment
[EDIT: 2015-04-08] Another 0.1 pts for syndication, bringing my total score uo to 1.6, now that I’m syndicating link type posts out to Pinboard.
[EDIT: 2015-05-18] Now also syndicating photo posts (well, when I eventually get last year’s films developed) and (select) note posts. This doesn’t get me any more points. Yet. It does enable me to think about adding webactions for replying, liking and reposting tweets, etc.I don’t know if I’ll ever get any points for aggregation as I don’t think it’ll be that appropriate for my use of my site. And I don’t know if my Rake task for tweeting from the command line counts as a UI. Perhaps. Actually, going back I do get a 0.1pt for UI as it is with regards to automatic POSSE and that all happens now. Total score now 1.7.
[EDIT: 2015-05-21] Added webactions (as in links to favourite, reply and rewteet) for my notes with the indie-action wrappers as well. Total score 1.8. Only Aggregation left and I’ve implemented all of Level 2.