I ran across a Chrome extension for highlights, annotations, and tagging tonight. It’s called Learning Paths. It works roughly as advertised for creating and saving highlights and annotations online. With a social silo log in process (I didn’t see an email login option), you’ve quickly got an account on the service.
You can then use the extension to highlight, tag, and annotate web pages. One can export their data as a .csv file which is nice. They’ve also got an online dashboard which displays all your data and has the ability to see public data from other users as well.
One of the interesting pieces they support is allowing users to tweet a thread from all their highlights of a piece online. Upon seeing this I thought it might make a useful feature for getting data into one’s personal wiki, website, or digital garden, particularly now that ThreadReaderApp supports posting unrolled Twitter threads to one’s Micropub enabled website.
So the workflow goes something like this (with links to examples of my having tried it along the way):
- Use Learning Paths to highlight an article;
- Use the sharing interface to share the highlights as a Twitter thread;
- Make any modifications to the Twitter thread and then post;
- Go to the thread and reply to one of the tweets with “@ThreadReaderApp unroll”;
- Log into your ThreadReaderApp account to see the thread;
- Go to your “My Authored Threads” tab;
- Click on the “Publish n Tweets to Blog” button for the appropriate thread (and handle any authentication/authorization workflow);
- The thread of highlights should now be on your website;
While this works relatively well, there are a few drawbacks:
- The UI for the annotations is a bit flaky at times and in my experience often disappears before you’ve had a chance to save them.
- The workflow misses out on any of the annotations and tags you might add to each of the highlights (unless you manually add them to the thread, and even then you may run out of space/characters).
- The appearance of the thread on your site is simply what you get.
While the idea works roughly in practice, it isn’t as optimal as the workflow or data fidelity I’ve found in using more robust tooling like that found in Hypothes.is for which I’ve also built a better UI on my website.
Still others, might appreciate the idea, so have at it! I’d love to see others’ ideas about owning their highlights, annotations, and related data in a place they control.
I wish @ThreadReaderApp had the ability to authenticate into my personal website & publish a copy of my tweetstorms into my blog using Micropub. This would be a great way to leverage existing infrastructure and to allow people to put their [more…]https://t.co/maWditNLNB
— Chris Aldrich (@ChrisAldrich) March 6, 2020
I would often see people post tweetstorms, long threads of related tweets, to tell an extended story.
Invariably people see these threads and say “Why don’t/didn’t you just post that on your website as a blog post instead?”
(In fact, why don’t you try it on this very tweet?)
I’ve personally been using the #IndieWeb concept of P.O.S.S.E. (Post on your Own Site and Syndicate Elsewhere) for a while now. I’ll post my content on my personal website first and only then syndicate a copy to Twitter.
But today, for the first time in a very LONG time, I’m posting this particular thread to Twitter first…
Then when I’m done, I’ll roll it all up conveniently using the awesome @ThreadReaderApp which will put a nice readable version on their site.
Sadly, I don’t own that copy…
It really needs to be on my blog for that to work, right?!
“But wait. There’s more.” as they say in advertising.
Yes, you guessed it! It’s that wondrous “Publish to Blog” button!!
With a quick click, @ThreadReaderApp will authenticate and I can authorize it to publish to my WordPress site on my behalf.
I can now publish the entire thread to my own website!!
Now this thread that I’ve published to Twitter will live forever archived on my own website as its own stand-alone blogpost.
I’m not sure how often I’m prone to do this in the future, but I hope we won’t hear that “Why didn’t you just post that on your own website as a blogpost?” as frequently.
With just a button push, I’ll be able to quickly and simply cross-post my Twitter threads on Twitter directly to my website!
I’ll mention for the masses that this publishing functionality is only possible courtesy of a W3C recommendation (aka web standard) known as Micropub.
Because it’s a web standard, @ThreadReaderApp can build the functionality once & it should work on dozens of platforms including @WordPress @Drupal @WithKnown @CraftCMS @Jekyllrb @GetKirby @GoHugoIO @MicroDotBlog among a growing set of others.
Some of these may have built-in or core support for the standard while others may require a simple plugin or module to support this functionality.
Don’t see your platform supported yet? Ask your CMS or platform provider to provide direct support.
There’s lots of open source implementations already out there in various languages and there’s a fantastic test suite available for developers.
I’ll also give a quick shout out to @iAWriter which also just added Micropub support to let people use their editor to post to their websites.
And of course once you’ve realized that your platform supports Micropub to publish to your website, why not try out one of the dozens of other Micropub clients out there?
They support a variety of post or content types from full articles to photos and geolocation to bookmarks. The sky’s the limit.
Some of my favorites are Quill, OwnYourSwarm, Omnibear, and Teacup. And let’s not forget social feed readers like Monocle and Indigenous that let you read and respond to content directly in your feed reader! (I no longer miss Google Reader, now I just feel sorry for them.)
Congratulations again to @ThreadReaderApp for helping to lead the way in the corporate social space for support of the awesomeness that Micropub allows.