I’ve finally broken through another Twitter following cap which is fantastic because one needs to follow @MariaFarrell. Her work is so fascinating, she should have been the first person I ever followed. Now to collect all her RSS feeds.

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Slides for A Twitter of Our Own from OERxDomains 2021

Slides for A Twitter of Our Own from OERxDomains 2021
As promised at the conference, you can find the slides with convenient links and other resources for my talk A Twitter of Our Own at OERxDomains21 on Google Slides.

They are also embedded below:

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

I just got my first nudge on Twitter to sign up for their newsletter service Revue.

For some fun context, it popped up when I pressed the “+” button to create a Twitter thread. 

Screencapture of Twitter tweetstorm UI with a blue ad box below that reads "Hello, wordsmiths. We now have a newsletter tool. Learn More" with a link to getrevue.co
So apparently if you’re going to bother to write more than 280 characters you definitely need a newsletter…

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

A Twitter of Our Own

A Twitter of Our Own

A workshop proposal for the Domains Track of OERxDomains21 Conference in April 2021

Corporate social platforms extract a heavy and often hidden price from teachers and students. Lack of privacy, encouraging abuse, context collapse, and surveillance capitalism are a few of the harms we face. They also expose us to a wider variety of publics than we would choose in which to practice and share our learning.

We must take back ownership and control of our content and interactions online (Çelik 2019). This hands-on workshop will help those with domains of their own expand them into healthier and safer communication tools.

This session will be code-free. It’s presented at the level of a person who is able to log into their site, write a post, and publish it.

We’ll outline and install WordPress* plugins (IndieWeb 2021) to allow participants to make the open web their learning network. Participants can use their extended domains in classrooms, with personal and professional learning networks, or in their daily lives. We encourage more technical participants to partner with others for help. Community-based support is available following the conference.

When we’re done, participants should be able to:
– subscribe to each others’ websites;
– read subscriptions in a social reader (Parecki 2018);
– reply to posts by publishing on their domains using open standards (Parecki 2017a);
– send notifications to each other (Aldrich 2018) using open standards (Parecki 2017b).

The session will end with questions and discussion. We’ll focus on how to use our domains in ethical ways that enable an atmosphere of care. We want to ensure this system and its use don’t re-create the toxicity of the platforms it replaces.

Participants will leave with resources for how they might extend their independent network. Our domains can also interact with other social media using these new tools.

* This session will focus on WordPress as an example platform. We’ll provide resources for people using other content management systems. Everyone should be able to follow along, ask questions, and take part, either in real time or with follow up after-the-fact.

To the extent possible, the materials, resources, and video generated will be shared on the author’s domain with a CC0 license. Syndicated copies will be available on the IndieWeb.org community wiki and the Internet Archive.

References

Aldrich, C. (2018) “Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet.” A List Apart. https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet/.

Çelik, T. (2019) Take Back Your Web. Beyond Tellerrand 2019. https://vimeo.com/336343886.

IndieWeb. (2021) “Getting Started on WordPress – IndieWeb.” Wiki. [online] Accessed February 9, 2021. https://indieweb.org/Getting_Started_on_WordPress.

Parecki, A. (2018) “An IndieWeb Reader: My New Home on the Internet.” [online] Aaron Parecki (blog). https://aaronparecki.com/2018/04/20/46/indieweb-reader-my-new-home-on-the-internet.

———. (2017a) “Micropub.” The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) [online] https://www.w3.org/TR/micropub/.

———. (2017b) “Webmention.” The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). [online] https://www.w3.org/TR/webmention/.

License

CC0
To the extent possible under law, Chris Aldrich has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to A Twitter of Our Own: A workshop proposal for the Domains Track of OERxDomains21 Conference in April 2021. This work is published from: United States.

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Automating syndication of reply contexts in Twitter Cards using OGP metacrap and plugins in WordPress

A Metacrap Problem

It’s metacrap–I know, I know–but I’ve been thinking about easy ways to use Open Graph Protocol meta data to add contextual Twitter cards to some of my content when syndicating posts to Twitter. My goal is to leverage the speed and ease-of-use of Micropub clients while doing as little as possible manually, but achieving as much parity between posts on multiple sites. 

I’m particularly keen to do this to syndicate/share more of the articles I read and post about on my site without adding additional manual work on my own part.

Outline of Some Resources

The Post Kinds plugin for WordPress parses URLs for me and pulls in data to create reply contexts for a variety of posts like bookmarks, reads, watches, listens, etc. Since Post Kinds doesn’t display featured images (yet), I’ve also been using the External Featured Image plugin to display the featured images from the original to add to the reply context of my posts as well. 

In addition to all these I’ve been using the All in One SEO plugin to easily add an SEO layer to posts without having to do much thinking about it. AIOSEO recently upgraded their UI and features in the last year, and yesterday I upgraded to the newest v4.0+. One of the new features it’s got is the ability to add default fields or pull in pre-existing custom fields to output OGP meta data. 

Start of a Solution

So I got the idea that since Post Kinds and External Featured Image plugins are pulling in and displaying the sort of data I’d like to show in Twitter cards, I figured why not use them? While metacrap is a DRY violation, the fact that it’s automated for me and is based on data I’m actually showing visually on my website makes it feel much less dirty. It also has the benefit that it helps make some of my syndicated content look and feel on Twitter, more like it does on my website. This is also a problem since Twitter hampers how much data I can syndicate in a single post.

I’ve still got some issues about how to deal with the Post Kinds data, but after a bit of digging around, I discovered the image URL for External Featured Image plugin is hiding in the _dcms_eufi_img field. So I can make the default Twitter settings in AIOSEO pull the external image by setting Default Post Image Source to Image from Custom Field and set the Post Custom Field Name to _dcms_eufi_img

Since a lot of my posts are reads, bookmarks, etc., this works well, but I can easily override the settings for articles or other custom posts which I make less frequently. 

Hopefully I can figure out the settings for Post Kinds to get the rest of the default fields to map across. I’m happy to hear ideas on what field names I’d need to use to get the Post Kinds Name and Summary/Quote fields to map over for the og:title and og:description respectively. Ideally I can manage to get it done without needing to get a subscription to the pro version of AIOSEO which also has support for custom taxonomies which is how Post Kinds works.

Since my theme has relatively solid microformats support, and I have plugin infrastructure to allow easy syndication from my website to Twitter through micropub clients, this last bit for creating Twitter reply contexts helps close some of the loop for me in my syndication workflow while keeping as much context across platforms.

Example

Here’s a visual example of a native post on my site and the corresponding syndicated copy on Twitter. There are some differences, mostly because I don’t have as much control of the appearance on Twitter as I do on my own site, but they’re about as close as I can get them with minimal work.

screen capture of a tweet with my thought at the top and a Twitter card underneath it including the reply context of the article I'm responding to

screencapture of a read post on my website for a Slate article with a reply context at the top and my response to it just below

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich