Exploring Pine.blog

I’d noticed Pine.blog before at a previous IndieWebCamp, but not had time to delve into it very deeply. Seeing some of what Brian Schrader has been working on while following IndieWebCamp Austin remotely this weekend has reminded about the project. As a result, I’ve been spending some time tonight to check out some of the functionality that it’s offering. In part, I’m curious how similar, or not, it is to what Micro.blog is offering specifically with respect to the idea of IndieWeb as a Service which I’ve recently begun documenting. It’s always great to see the growing diversity and plurality of solutions in the space.

My brief prior experience with the platform was simply adding my website to their discovery service. Tonight I’ve found thatĀ Pine.blog has got a very pretty little feed reader experience with some fun discovery functionality. You can apparently create multiple timelines to follow content, but one needs a paid account for more than one timeline. It allows both following sites as well as recommending them to others. It also appears that Brian is supporting the rel=”payment” microformat as I see at least one feed that has a “$ Support” button in the Pine.blog interface to allow me to go to the site’s payment page to support it. I think this may be one of the first times I’ve seen this functionality in an app in the wild outside of the Overcast podcast app which added it a couple of years ago.

It has webmention support, so I can “like” things within the reader and notify others. Without a paid account I don’t see the ability to reply to or mention other sites though. It also looks like it allows for import/export of OPML too, though I haven’t tried it out yet–I can only test drive so many feed readers at a time and Indigenous is taking up all of my bandwidth at present.

I do wonder a bit about potentially importing/exporting my content if I were to go all-in on Pine.blog. I’d bet the idea is on the product map, but that’s a huge bit of work to build without a paid user base to support it. I’d personally want at least an export function if I were to change over, though I’m more likely to want to dovetail my own site with it much the way I’m currently doing with Micro.blog.

It looks like it should be able to post to my website, but I’m finding the “publish” and “preview” buttons don’t work–perhaps I need a paid account for this functionality? Of course, I only see UI to provide pine.blog with my URL and my account name, but it hasn’t authenticated using a password or other method, so perhaps that portion isn’t finished? I’ll circle back around to it later when I do a free trial. I do notice that Brian, the developer of the project, has an account on pine.blog which is mirrored on one of his subdomains running WordPress. Quirkily I’ve noticed that the header on his main website changes to alternately serve the pine.blog version and the WordPress version!

More to come as I continue exploring… Later on I’ll take a look at some of their paid functionality, but for now, it’s a pretty compelling set of features and some well-laid out user interface to start. I look forward to seeing how it continues to evolve.

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

unopened condition

In honor of Darwin Day: An interior page on natural selection in an unopened original of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society. Note that the octavos in the edition haven’t been cut accounting for the top of the page being curved in the picture (because of the attachment of the adjoining pages). Science changed dramatically that day.

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Syndication Links now supports per-post syndication to Micro.blog from WordPress

Syndication Links now supports per-post syndication to Micro.blog from WordPress

The inimitable David Shanske released the 4.2.0 version of the Syndication Links plugin for WordPress this evening.

In addition to some other useful upgrades and bug fixes, the big new feature this release adds is excellent syndication support for Micro.blog.

While many people use RSS feeds, JSONfeed, or other plugin methods for syndicating their WordPress website’s content to Micro.blog, this plugin now provides for a per-post decision about exactly what content to send to Micro.blog. It also naturally provides a syndication link from your site back to the Micro.blog post. To my knowledge no other method provides thisĀ  syndication link functionality.

As I suspect many may already be aware, if your site supports Webmention (typically done with the Webmention and Semantic-linkbacks plugins), then Micro.blog will notify your site with replies and comments to your post as they appear on Micro.blog. This provides one the ability to do two-way communication between the two platforms.

Set up and configuration for Micro.Blog syndication

If you don’t already have it, install the plugin and activate it, otherwise update it within your site’s administrative interface.

Add your Micro.blog account username to your user profile on your WordPress site. This is typically found at /wp-admin/profile.php. In my case I simply added c to the field labeled Micro.blog username.

screencapture of the WordPress user interface
Enter your Micro.blog username (not the full URL) in the appropriate field and save your profile.

Adjust your WordPress Syndication Links settings page (typically found at /wp-admin/admin.php?page=syndication_links) to include Micro.blog by using the appropriate checkbox. Be sure to save the setting.

Screencapture of the Syndication Links settings UI
I obviously have a lot of syndication targets. Micro.blog is always one of them. If you’re also using Micropub clients like Quill that support the feature, you can choose Micro.blog as a syndication target in those interfaces.

Remove, if necessary, any of the RSS, JSON, or other syndication feeds from your Micro.blog account so you’re not accidentally duplicating the syndication.

Add the JSONfeed URL from the bottom of the Syndication Links plugin settings page into your list of feeds at https://micro.blog/account/feeds.

Screencapture of the Syndication Links settings UI

Create a post, select Micro.blog as an endpoint in the relevant meta-box, and publish your post.

Once published, your post will ping Micro.blog’s server to indicate the new content which will then be displayed in your timeline. The Syndication Links plugin will then find the permalink URL of your post on Micro.blog and display it on your post (as per your settings) along with any other syndicated copies. This notification process is roughly real time, but may take a minute or two for your post to display and the syndication link to appear on your site based on the processing times on the relevant servers.

Screencapture of a post on my site featuring the new Syndication Links features for micro.blog
Here’s an example of what Syndication Links looks like on a post recently syndicated to Micro.blog. This example was syndicated to both Micro.blog and Twitter.

As an added bonus, Syndication Links plugin will also find the syndication links from Micro.blog in your current feed and add those to your original posts.

If you have any questions, need clarifications, or find bugs with regard to your set up, you can file issues for the plugin on GitHub.

 

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich