More than one way to wrangle a POSSE

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, 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?

The answer was two more plugins, both suggested by Ryan, who was very patient and helpful.These were Ultimate Category Excluder and IndieWeb Press This.  The former is a straightforward install from the plugin menu.  The latter is a manual install.  Tim helped me realize that I needed to download the ZIP archive from GitHub rather than the individual files.  There are also JavaScript bookmarklets that need to be manually edited.  D’Arcy Norman also mentioned his Ephemerator plugin, although I couldn’t get my WP install to recognize it,

There are just a few things I’m still working to improve:

  • I don’t know how well the JavaScript bookmarklets will work on my mobile device
  • 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.



4 thoughts on “More than one way to wrangle a POSSE

  1. Tim Owens

    I’m very close to releasing a Known installer on Reclaim Hosting for people to start playing with it. At that point it would be pretty straightforward for you to fire it up in a subdomain and compare the differences. I do think for someone who wants all the features of WordPress your route is a great option. Known certainly makes much of the #indieweb stuff seamless, although you still have to use Bridgy with it for now, but the comments actually show up in articles as opposed to just links. In fact that’s how I found your post. I got a notification directly from my Known install that you had replied to my post. Federated commenting! I’m really excited about the possibilities of this stuff and I’m glad more are playing with it (D’Arcy just setup a Known install tonight as well).

    1. Jason Green Post author

      I’m interested in how Known has changed your workflow. Do you find yourself doing things with Known that you used to do with WordPress?

      1. Tim Owens

        Well I had switched from using WordPress as my blog to a piece of software called Anchor last year but hadn’t been doing a whole lot in the way of blogging recently. I think Known has a long way to go in terms of editing tools to even compare it to WordPress. But I have been using it almost exclusively for my social media presence. Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr posts are authored there and then syndicated out. That’s working really well. I think one of the next steps is to find ways for the Known hub to also become a reader so that I’m not going one place to consume content from these networks and another place to publish.



  • Jeremy Cherfas

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