Tag Archives: Micro

WordCamp Edinburgh, thoughts #wcedin⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I just spent Saturday and half of Sunday at WordCamp Edinburgh 2017. This is only my third WordCamp, but I though it might be worth typing up a few impressions.

The camp was very nicely organised, ran to time, had good food, the venue was great. Minimal friction for attendees.

The vibe was quite like a TeachMeet although most of the presentations were an hour long and a bit more formal. I guess Wordcamp like TM has its roots in Bar Camp? Compared to a TeachMeet the sponsored were more visible and more part of the community. This felt fine as I guess most of the attendees were professional working alongside the sponsors. (I am not a fan of the over sponsorship of TeachMeets)

The talks were very varied, some technical, some business related. All the ones I went to were informative and enjoyable. There seemed to be a strong strand about using WordPress for the good, democracy and social change.

Social Good

Two of the keynotes were to do with this idea of social good. The opening one on day one was by Leah Lockhart, who talked about helping community groups and local politicians to communicate. I felt there were a lot in common with eduction. Schools have embraced online communication in the same sort of way, veering towards twitter ( probably less Facebook that community groups) as an easy way to get messages out. In the same way they lose control of their information and its organisation. Leah spoke of the way WordPress could give you a better long term result.

Leah also explained that it is hard for community groups to be able to design how their information gets out. I think we are at the point where WordPress is easy enough to use the difficulty comes in using it in a strategic way that maximises its potential. I’ve got a fair bit of experience in helping schools use WordPress in a practical sense and there is plenty of online help for that. There is a gap to be filled in the preparation and planning. If this is solved for community groups it might be easy to repurpose the information and processes for education.

Bridget Hamilton spoke of Using WordPress to create social change. Her story of her site Verbal Remedy was inspirational. A blog provide effective communication without much in the way of backing.

Technical

I went to a few of the more technical talks.

Mark Wilkinson spoke of ‘a deep understanding of actions and filters’. Since I mess around with code in WordPress at a very basic level this was a really useful talk for me. It was just pitched at the right level. I’ve used these with only a basic understanding. I think Mark got me to the point I could being to understand things a lot better the next time I dip in. Mark’s Slides

Tom Nowell spoke about the WordPress Rest API for beginners, he meant beginners with the API not generally. I held on by the skin of my teeth. Luckily I follow Tom Woodward and had played with the API in a much simpler way than either Tom documented. Yesterday I added a wee bit to my homepage to pull in the last status from my blog! Tom’s Slides

Twitter vs Blogs

Franz Vitulli talked about aspects of the pull between Social media and blogging it was good to hear another view of the area I’ve been reading and thinking about from an indieweb point of view.

Progressive Enhancement

Ben Usher Smith gave this talk, at first I thought it was a bit out of my wheelhouse, but it became apparent that the process of progressive enhancement can be applied to any sort of enterprise. I hope to be more aware of this when planning for my class next session. Ben’s post Progressive enhancement — More than just works without JavaScript on medium.

Even More…

I went to a few other talks all of which I enjoyed. Even the ones I though I was choosing almost at random had something interesting to them. Often it was in thinking about how the ideas or principles fitted into my world.

I took notes during the talks using Little Outliner 2, this meant I could publish as I went along: Notes from #wcedin. I am really liking using an outliner for this process, although I don’t think an iPad was as good as a laptop would have been. There are a few different links and thoughts there.

After I got back I feed the twitter hash tag into Tags, Martin Hawksey’s tool. This gives me TAGSExplorer: Interactive archive of twitter conversations from a Google Spreadsheet for #wcedin .

I probably missed a few opportunities to talk to folk, I found myself feeling a bit less social than I do in my TeachMeet comfort zone. But the atmosphere was very relaxed and inclusive. I’d recommend educators with an interest in blogging to join in if there is a Wordcamp near them.

Adventures in microblogging part 3⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

It is a about three months since I started using the miro.blog app it has been really interesting, to me, to use this blog in a slightly different way. I’ve certainly not come to any earth shattering conclusions but am enjoying using the ‘service’ thinking about all sorts of associated things.

I’ve categorised 132 posts as micro here, compared to a handful of standard posts. These posts would have been things I posted to Twitter or Instagram in the past. Now they go to micro.blog/johnjohnston and Twitter.

twitter replacement

Not quite. I’ve posted more things straight to twitter. I’ve enjoyed the 280 character limit on micro.blog but still have used Twitter directly for posting education related things, joining in the #30daytdc ds106 tweetfest in July and replying to tweets. The stuff I’ve sent through micro.blog has been more general internet stuff and thoughts about microblogging/indieweb. I didn’t think about this too much just went with what felt right.

Instagram replacement

The Micro.blog app is a nice simple photo sharer. The fact that the image is posted on your own blog first gives a nice warm indieweb feeling. I’ve still posted the odd picture to instagram mainly for the other nice warm feeling that comes from likes. I get a lot more likes on Instagram than I do on photos posted here and to twitter even though I’ve a much bigger following on Twitter than Instagram.
I flirted briefly with Youowngram and a WordPress plugin before that but I’ve not settled on some way of incorporating Instagram into a workflow.

micro.blog community

I’ve enjoyed a bit of interaction on micro.blog itself and the associated slack channel. It is fascinating watching quite a small group of folk figuring out how this new service, or perhaps layer on existing services works for them.

indieweb

I’ve dabbled in indieweb principles for a while on this blog. The theme I use is build for it and I’ve a bunch of plugins that help connect this blog with other services. Using micro.blog has brought me into contact with a lot more indieweb folk and helped my understanding of how things could work. Again it is nice to see others exploring and thinking this out loud.

A useful resource I’ve found is Chris Aldrich’s Opml list of indieweb RSS feeds. I’ve subscribed to this in Inoreader and added as a tab on my River5 setup not only have I seen some familiar faces from the ds106 universe I am getting to read lots of great content about this stuff.

Colin Walker’s blog Social Thoughts is another great resource (part of the indieweb opml too). Colin has been narrating in great detail both technical and philosophical ideas surrounding microblogging and he has a great Microcast too.

I am beginning to see how conversations can cross domains and belong to participants rather than the silos they take place in.

Still tweekin’

I am still trying to more fully understand how this all works and how best to organise things here. I do think it is still fairly complicated to set up a blog following all of the indieweb principles. It also looks like it is getting simpler all the time. The indieweb WordPress plugins are getting regularly updated and the future looks bright.

The whole microblogging experience is leading me to re-thinking my approach to social media, podcasting and blogging and I am really enjoying the process.

I’ve also enjoyed the minor geeky things I’ve been playing with, posting to microblog from drafts on iOS using the workflow app and using AppleScript from a mac. Not big or interesting to many other folk but it is how I get my fun.

 

The featured image on this post is of a conversation from this morning that took place on microblog and reflected in the comments here.

Microcast 8: Thoughts On Sonant Thoughts Ep 29⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Audio comment on the Microcast Sonant Thoughts – Episode 29: Focused

This is a quick try of an iOS workflow. The idea is to quote and comment on a podcast. The content was a one take job. Steps:

  1. Listen to podcast
  2. Copy URL to audio file (I grabbed it from my RSS reader FeeddlerPro
  3. Open in safari
  4. Save to Dropbox
  5. Open in Ferrite
  6. Trim to quote
  7. Add audio comment
  8. Save to iCloud
  9. Back in Safari upload to blog, create post etc

Could probably speed things up using workflow to create post.

Id love to see an app to simplify this. I don’t think it is really a practical solution. Much quicker to move to desktop.

WordPress menus fixed, fault mine & mine alone⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I just updated my blog to the latest version of WordPress.

All seemed fine until I had a look at the site. Some of my menus had went a little weird.

Quite a few of the titles had changed to ellipses! I went into the dashboard and changed them back, my changes didn’t stick. I presumed that it must have been the upgrade. I had no idea where to start so shot off a quick tweet for help.

After dinner I calmed down a little and though about the changes to my blog I’d made recently for mico blogging. One of those was to give posts without a title titles on wp_insert_post_data. It uses ellipse! This was meant for posts arriving from the micro.blog app. They would get titles set when they arrived on my blog, to prevent ugliness in he dashboard.


function modify_post_title($data)
{
    if ($data[ 'post_title' ] == ''  ) {
        //wp_filter_nohtml_kses strips html and then I replace   
        $title = str_replace( " " , " " , substr( wp_filter_nohtml_kses( $data[ 'post_content' ] ) , 0, 60 ) ) . "..." ;
        $data['post_title'] =  $title ;
    }
    return $data; // Returns the modified data.
} 

so I’ve changed the if to:
if ($data[ 'post_title' ] == '' && $data[ 'post_type' ] == 'post' )

Which seems to have solved the problem and taught me a lesson.

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2017-05-08 20:21:15⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I’ve been beta testing micro.blog. There is a new page here for status type posts, these get sent to micro.blog/johnjohnston and to twitter.

This has renewed my interest in finding different ways to post to the blog especially for short posts that would have previously gone straight to twitter.

On iOS there is the nice micro.blog app, editorial or drafts and workflow. On my mac I’ve used AppleScript to post to blogs before, but needed to figure out how to add a category for the micro blog. I also wanted to not have a title, use the format of status and the note kind. The categories and kinds were the tricky bit, they need to be in a strut within a strut in the datas sent to the xml-rpc end point (I am a wee bit wobbly on the vocabulary here).

The following script does the trick. It is fairly limited as I hard code various things into it:

  • user name
  • password – this is probably not the greatest idea.
  • the category micro
  • the post format and kind
  • an empty title

It should be obvious how to change most of these things and make the script fit other needs or to generalise it.

I also wanted to be able to post from any application, so this script is for Alfred. In a workflow this is triggered by a hotkey which sends the currently selected text to the script. The script passes on the returned info, the post id, to a notification.

So to post a quick stratus method I select some text  hit cmd-alt-control-m and that test gets posted here.

Of interest to micro.blogista is the comment_status:"open" bit. I am thinking of all sorts of ways to extend this, perhaps for use in FastScripts to grab the selecting and link from Safari. I’d have probably used FastScripts for this, but I can’t figure out how to get the selection from any text in plain AppleScript, I needed Alfred for that.