Skip to main content

David Mead

Context challenges between #indieweb and social media silos

2 min read

My utopian dream of owning all my content would be to post it on my blog first. Syndicating to whatever social media silo's I choose afterwards.

This isn't a reality as some of these silos (Instagram) don't allow posting apart through their apps.

This forces me to accept their context for my content if I consume it into my site, from them.

Example

On my blog I like to capture what I ate or drank. In that post I can have a photo of what I consumed along with a description. It's a thing, don't 'at' me.

On my blog it has context. You can see all the other eat/drink posts on thier own or mixed in with everything else. I can include links to the place where I bought it, who makes it, or related posts.

Instagram's context is its a photo with an optional description. It doesn't matter what it's of. It won't contain links to anything.

So when I get something from Instagram on my blog it has to have the context of 'photo'.

I jump through hoops changing content to fit my context. Swapping from a 'photo' post to a 'food' post, adding links, reformatting text.

I'm not the only one who goes through this

there are a handful of photos of food I've posted *on* Instagram that i later want to go and add to the actual food post

Aaron Parecki

A different approach

Going forward I'm going to try something else. Displace the friction to the silo. I'm going to try to enforce the habit of posting content first on my blog.

From there I'll syndicate where I can (Twitter, Flickr), create a new post using the silo's app where I can't (Instagram).

That way the only edits I have to do my end is add a u-syndication link to the post from Instagram.  This does mean I have to add a spot to do that in the Known Food plugin - but's that a different post.

David Mead

Random Known and OwnYourGram issues still abound with my #indieweb setup

2 min read

I'm still having issues syndicating photo I post on Instagram, to my website. It's very weird and random.

The setup (simply) is this - A service called OwnYourGram "watches" my Instagram  account. When I post a photo there it takes it and creates a post on my website with a link back to the Instagram post.

A service called Brid.gy takes any comments/likes/etc. on that Instagram post and adds them to the post on my website. This can happen as my site has the link back to Instagram with a class of u-syndication on it.

This way I keep, not only a copy of my content but, a copy of any interactions with it.

In the Indieweb we call this PESOS.

The problem

When I first set up this Known blog it worked fine, and imported the last few entries from Instagram. After updating Known the OwnYourGram service returned errors posting to my site.

Once in a while I can log in to OwnYourGram and get a stuck photo to resend without an error.

Yesterday I posted a photo to Instagram and the whole process worked as it should! Going in to try and get the other "trapped" photos out, I got errors again.

OwnYourGram interface showing a photo went through and one erroring

Nothing had changed with my site or any of the services as far as I know.

I live in hope that an update to the core of Known may fix this. It doesn't seem to be an issue on the OwnYourGram side of things as the error is a result of something my site is doing.

But after a couple of conversations at the recent RustbeltRefresh, I may be changing things.

David Mead

David Mead

Theming Known, overriding Bootstrap and base styles.

1 min read

While the blog isn't 100% where I want it (Wordpress imports and Instagram imports not working yet), I thought I'd start giving a theme a go.

Before I dove in with posts etc., there was some internal housekeeping I want to tidy up.  Namely, the settings and configuration pages.

The 'tabs' always seemed off.  Applying my go to .red class (border: 1px solid red!important;) to identify things, I could see why.

(screenshot) overlapping tabs with a red border

Time to start plugging away at some Bootstrap overrides.

David Mead

David Mead

Have you tried just using the Instagram web app? At the moment no ads show. Bookmarking on your phone will prompt you for it. It's what I've been using for sometime.

David Mead

Setting up a blog, using Known, part 2

3 min read

So after part 1, we head into day two of setting up the new blog. I currently have:

  • A new Known blog at my domain root with the last 10 Instagram posts pulled in via OwnYourGram
  • No old WP blog
  • No old blog content
  • No way to syndicate to Twitter
  • No way to pull in comments from Instagram

I had logged into GitHub and filed a couple of issues about plugins and import not working.

Chatting on the IndieWeb IRC channels (a great resource btw) it became apparent that the build on the WithKnown website is out-of-date. Marcus Povey, one of the project contributors, hosts up-to-date builds if you're not familiar with using GitHub.

Also chatted about the Brid.gy profile issue. Thinking was using the new build would clear it up. Barring that, use the profile URL for both OwnYourGram & Brid.gy

Armed with this we try again.

Day Two

  • download build 0.9.9-a from Marcus
  • deleted everything except .htaccess, config.ini, and the Uploads folder using Coda
  • unzipped and moved everything from mapkyca-known-0.9.9-a-2018112001 over to root, except the Uploads folder
  • visited site and all the content seems to still be there from yesterday
  • the IndiePub tab is a nice addition to see what you’ve connected - revoked all so I can revalidate with new build
  • activated twitter+bridgy on the Interactions tab, though I don't remember seeing anything that said it worked
  • signed in and authorized:
    • Quill
    • Teacup
    • Aperture
    • OwnYourSwarm
    • Brid.gy for Instagram (no longer asks for profile page)
    • Brid.gy for Twitter
  • added Twitter plugin (which now worked) - I had an existing app with Twitter from last time I used Known (2015), so edited that and connected
  • created a post on the blog, syndicated to Twitter - Showed up on Twitter, and a "like" from Twitter showed up on my site
  • created post in Quill and it showed up on blog
  • added feeds to Aperture - showed up in Together (feedreader), liked a post and it showed up as an entry on my blog and Twitter
  • created a post on Teacup still did not appear on blog
  • added Listen plugin
  • added Short Profile plugin - works, but most icons don’t now show up in 0.9.9-a where they did in the out-of-date build
  • added KnownEmoji plugin
  • added FooterJS plugin - This is no longer in main build, but does let you insert code into the header & footer of pages, fixing my Aperture link issue
  • tried importing the WP .XML export with the new build

Issues

  • importing WP content still doesn’t work
  • posting from Teacup still doesn’t work
  • checkins from OwnYourSwarm still need to be resent from within the tool

So we’re cutting down on the immediate issues, but still big hurdles.

Consensus is the WP importer still doesn’t work, so I’m going to add my WP blog back on /blog, using the exported .XML to return all my content.  That way I’ll have it there at least, links won’t remain broken, and everything new will be on the Known blog going forward.

Day three, here we come.

David Mead

Setting up a blog, using Known, part 1

4 min read

Yes, there are multiple parts. Wordpress (WP), Known, and myself all contribute to this, so I wanted to jot down the steps in the order I took them for anyone going about moving a blog or starting afresh.

Ready? Here goes...

Day One

Before deleting/installing/moving anything I:

  • made a note of the existing URL structure I had on my existing WP blog (domain/blog/year/month/day/slug) so I can do redirects later on if needed
  • made a note of my database details, including login information
  • exported all current mySQL databases
  • used the export tool within WP to make a copy, so I can import it later if anything goes wrong and I have to reinstall WP (more on that later)
  • moved everything I had on my local machine to a separate folder for reference (.htaccess file, custom CSS, etc.)

Feeling fairly secure I had everything I proceeded.

  1. deleted everything from root using Coda
  2. deleted old mySQL databases using myPHPadmin control panel
  3. created new MySQL database using myPHPadmin control panel
  4. downloaded Known from http://withknown.com (DO NOT DO THIS)
  5. unzipped and moved files to root using Coda
  6. browsed to my domain and followed the simple setup instructions
    Apache mod_rewrite only requirement not wholly met (screenshot)
  7. enabled all the plugins that came with the install
  8. added Short Profile plugin
  9. imported Wordpress generated XML file
  10. edited .htaccess file with redirects for https

 WordPress import started confirmation message (screenshot)

While I was waiting to get the email that the import had finished, I started going around and updating social profiles with the new URL. As I use some IndieWeb tools to syndicate my content (pull in Instagram posts, social media comments, etc.), I want to make sure they all pointed to the right place.

So I changed everything from http://davidjohnmead.com/blog to http://davidjohnmead.com. I can now use this domain to log into various IndieWeb services.

  1. signed into Quill (online tool for posting)
  2. signed into Aperture (feedreader)
  3. signed into OwnYourGram (pulls your Instagram posts into your site)
  4. signed into OwnYourSwarm (pulls your Swarm checkins into your site)
  5. signed into Teacup (replacement for Foodspotting)
  6. signed into Brid.gy (pulls comments from various social media into your blog)

When I went to test these I started running into issues.

Issues

Aperture creates a <link> for you to add to the <head> of your HTML pages.

<link rel="microsub" href="https://aperture.p3k.io/microsub/xxx">

There didn't seem to be a way to add this within the Known settings. I also didn't know which file I could edit to manually add it using FTP.

The Brid.gy login for Instagram wanted my blog's profile URL (https://davidjohnmead.com/profile/davidmead) to be in my Instagram profile, but OwnYourGram was fine with the root being in there.

Teacup would let me login, create a post, but it never showed up on my blog.

OwnYourSwarm captured checkins, but only sent them to my blog if I logged in and imported them again.

I needed a way to send my blog posts and replies to Twitter, so I found the Known plugin on GitHub and installed it, but it broke.

After all this I still didn't receive any notification that the Wordpress XML import had worked.

So at the end of the day I had:

  • A new Known blog at my domain root with the last 10 Instagram posts pulled in via OwnYourGram
  • No old WP blog
  • No old blog content
  • No way to syndicate to Twitter
  • No way to pull in comments from Instagram

Not terrible, but not where I wanted to be. On to day two.

David Mead

Breakfast 2019-01-01

Breakfast 2019-01-01

Good morning 2019. Starting the year lazy, coffee and cinnamon rolls.

David Mead

I want to use the @vsco app more, so I've set myself an arbitrary project.

I want to use the @vsco app more, so I've set myself an arbitrary project.

 Last day of every month take a photo of my surroundings:

  • from a "different" angle
  • crop to 16:9 ratio
  • use the 'tech' filter

Here the first one.