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Jeremy Cherfas

Replied to a post on :

I've been thinking about Rob's post and your notes on vHWC, and I agree that swapping the quiet writing hour for a question session makes a lot of sense. I've certainly learned a lot and look forward to the meetings.

One thing I'd like to suggest is a follow up on the idea of wiki pages for beginners. Someone was recently talking about a "for dummies" approach to setting up a web mention receiver, but from the context, I got the impression that they were dummies only about IndieWeb, not about PHP and servers and all the plumbing. Essentially Gen 1. A for dummies for that person would look very different to a for dummies for Gen 2 or Gen 3.

Would it be interesting if we picked a specific page and some of us (me, probably, although of course others too, and because it is a vHWC they could be anywhere) tried to do do a for Gen 2 dummies write up as a new version. Then at the vHWC you Gen 1people could take a look and explain in more detail, if necessary, or correct it, if wrong in some detail.

Does that sound worthwhile?

I don't actually have a good sense of which page might be best to start with, but it could be setting up to receive webmentions without, for now, going into the complexities of bridgy. So, for static sites, or CMSs like Grav.

Jeremy Cherfas

Chris Aldrich is way too kind, but it is the kind of kindness I need. A couple of quick responses:

I will indeed tweak the regex as you suggest. That behaviour by does rather spoil using it as a repository for links I want to go back to, but hey ho. On posting to Wayback Machine, I thought I saw a blog post from Reading that this was now done automatically for all saved posts. Getting things into my Known stream is on the horizon, but I will have to learn a lot more about how to use the web publish tools.

The webmention form is now looking good and working well, and I think I may even have got email notifications up and running, thanks once again to great help from the IndieWeb community. I'm not happy submitting anything to the original plugin, because it is so very different in scope and approach. But I am definitely thinking about creating a plugin of my own, which would also make it very easy to send the notification email. That's definitely on the cards. Putting it all on the wiki is next on my list.

And thanks again for being a guide and an encouragement.

Jeremy Cherfas

Owning my audio clips

3 min read

In the past couple of days, prompted by Marty McGuire's write-up, I raved about the potential of Audiogram to help promote the podcast by making it easier to share audio clips to social media -- by turning them into video clips. This afternoon, having managed to get tomorrow's episode edited early, and having had to chop quite a few interesting digressions, I thought I would have a serious play.

Tl;dr: It worked. I'd show you here, but I haven't found an easy way to upload video to Known yet. If you want to see the result, you can go to Patreon right now.

Installing Audiogram was not entirely plain sailing. Marty used Docker, and so despite warnings from other IndieWeb friends, I tried the same. All went well out of the gate, but then fell at the first. Something to do with virtualbox. So I switched to Homebrew and that did the needfull. Even then, though, Audiogram wouldn't start, but the error message made it clear that I needed to update node.js and npm. That done, it still wouldn't start.

Turned out I already had a local server running, via MAMP, and that was getting in the way. Switching off that server, and all was good.

That was two days ago. Today, I tried to use it for serious, and although there were plenty of hiccups along the way, I got there.

The instructions for modifying the theme are very straightforward, and with a bit of trial and error I was able to create a background for any future clips.

Uploading the audio, inserting the caption, all that was dead simple thanks to Audiogram's editor. Actually generating the videos, though, generated error after error, and some of them scrolled through several screens. But I kept my nerve, turned to search engines and StackOverflow and eventually got there.

Some of the fixes seemed to be pure voodoo. There's an invisible file that one of the Audiogram developers suggested deleting. The first time I tried that, it worked beautifully. The second time, not so much. Nor the third. But then, it worked again, at which point I called a halt, for now; a wise decision in my opinion.

I'm looking forward to seeing whether clips will attract listeners to the podcasts in their entirety. I put the first one on Patreon because the episode is not yet public, although Patreons have received it. I'll probably use clips there as bait and see how it goes. Once episodes are public I'll send clips to Twitter and, maybe, Facebook which will, I think make it relatively easy to trace any impact. And if the whole process isn't too hard (getting to the first video uploaded took almost three hours today) then I can imagine it might be useful to promote older epsiodes too, when there is a news peg.

So, grateful thanks to Marty McGuire and WNYC.

Jeremy Cherfas

Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress

Really super, fully comprehensive explanation that should make life easier for anyone wanting to make more use of WordPress in the IndieWeb.

Jeremy Cherfas

We are still a long way from home

1 min read

Struggling to understand how different bits of the  work in WordPress, I received some very sound advice from lots of people, including this little exhortation from @chrisaldrich:

I'll admit I had to read it about 3 times before I grokked it myself, but it also was a great general and practical intro to the inherent value of microformats.

If that were what it took to grok Facebook or Twitter, would anyone beyond a small, self-selecting cadre of geeks be using them?

I thought not.

Jeremy Cherfas

Pride goeth ...

1 min read

Blast. Just when I was reaching around to pat myself on the back for making webmentions work on the Mothership, I notice some big problems.

First, the home page is all messed up with duplicates of many things. Doesn't seem to happen on the local version, which means it is going to be tricky as all get out to solve.

Secondly, the markup on the Mothership leaves a lot to be desired. That one will be a lot easier.

There are probably others too.

Jeremy Cherfas

Site deaths where you least expect them

1 min read

Language Log -- a useful site I really enjoy -- recently wrote again about the big debate on whether language shapes, constrains or otherwise has any effect on thought. But that's not why I'm noting it here. Instead, there's the reason why they're talking about it again.

In 2010 The Econonomist hosted a big debate on Language and Thought. It used a very spiffy web-enabled platform to host the debate, and a language academic thought it would make a dandy introduction to some readings she is poutting together on the topic. Alas ...

[T]he Economist's intro page on this debate leads only to an debate archive site that doesn't include this one; and the links in old LLOG posts are now redirected to the same unhelpful location.

A source at the magazine explained:

We vastly over-designed the debate platform (and over-thought it generally, in various ways), and when we stopped running the debates that way, we stopped running that bit of the website. The old debates are now unavailable online.

Fortunately for all concerned Language Log was able to find copies in the Internet Archive. 

But if it hadn't ...

Jeremy Cherfas

Buona fortunate con la sperimentazione. Se stai a Roma, forse ci incontriamo per sapere più di indieweb?

Jeremy Cherfas

Reflections on Two Years of #Indieweb

Really good debriefing on two years of progress in the . I found this rather familiar:

While learning all of the requisite skills was challenging, the real struggle in joining the indieweb was piecing all the components together to hold a mental image in my head of what an indiewebsite should be. I spent a great deal of time trawling through the wiki and absorbing all of the ideas on disparate pages. At the time, there were many pages which would all have slightly different variations of the similar information.

There's still a ways to go, mind. When I did this reply to automatically, the title of the entry came though as "kongaloosh". I added the correct title by hand myself. The entry title is there, as `p-name` and I cannot tell whether the issue is at my end (WithKnown) or at Alex's end.


Jeremy Cherfas

The value of explaining yourself

2 min read

My father was devoted to cryptic crossword puzzles. He was good, too, but every now and then a clue would stump him. If I was around, he would read the clue aloud to me and, more often than not, before I'd even had time to think about it, he had solved it.

There's something about the act of saying it aloud that makes a different kind of thinking possible.

So it was last night, during the Homebrew Web Club virtual meeting in Europe. There was only me and Zegnat, much of the time, and first we explored further his comment, during the recent Indieweb Summit talk about Events, that "most of the things discussed are already available and possible with the current IndieWeb building blocks". So I fired up WithKnown and created an event for the virtual HWC and he replied and the reply was received and published. Just like that. Of course there are some things that could be improved, but it does Just Work.

Thinking more about improving things, I shamelessly took advantage by asking a lot of ill-informed questions about how to move further in the indiewebification of my presence on the web. Martijn was so helpful and patient with me, and I learned a lot. But the truth is also that just by asking the questions out loud, and having to think clearly about how to do so, I was able to see more clearly how things might work.

It's still pretty cryptic, but I'm getting there.