Within the last few weeks, Tim Owens (who was I think first among my network to manage it) David Wiley and Jim Groom have all written about using Known as a POSSE (Publish Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) hub. I asked Tim as soon as I read his enthusiastic post whether a trusty WordPress install could be coaxed into doing the same thing with enough plugins. I can now report that the answer is at least mostly yes.
To start, I installed the webmention and indieweb plugins, This didn’t in and of itself do much, since I wasn’t using a theme that supports microformats. However, before I got around to trying to install a microformat plugin I saw Ryan Barrett‘s comment on Mike Caulfield’s post about IndieWebCamp Portland, encourarging Mike to try brid.gy, a service which moves webmentions to and from silos like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. At first, I was skeptical. Isn’t the point of IndieWeb to free yourself from third party services? But there is a GitHub repository, so I figure If something were to happen to the site proper, I could at least try to self host,
I decided to start with just Twitter integration. I’m a light Facebook user and tend to keep it segregated from the rest of my online identity. I use G+ even less, On the one hand, I might use it more if I could integrate it, On the other hand, the point of G+ was being able to easily target messages to different audiences,
Signing up was straightforward, with the usual two step of authorizing a Twitter app, and mentions began to flow in quickly. Publishing out to Twitter wasn’t quite as easy. It involved putting a hidden link in the body of any post you want to publish. It works, but it’s a hassle. I had considered using a plugin called Social, but this apparently overrides your blog comment settings and allows anonymous commenting. I wasn’t quite ready for that.
After manually editing several posts to send them to Twitter, I discovered a second problem. My blog, which I think of as being at least hopefully for slightly longer form things, now had a front page full of tweets.. How could I make them less prominent?
There are just a few things I’m still working to improve:
- You can’t reply to a tweet when you are in timeline view. I had to click on the author’s profile link, find the tweet in their page, and then click Details to get the tweet on a webpage by itself before the Reply bookmarklet would work.
- I’m still stuck manually inserting the HTML when I want to publish something that doesn’t refer back to some other page or post,or refers to many, as this post does.
I’d be interested in putting together a feature comparison of Known with this setup if anyone with a Known instance would like to collaborate.