This will have to get easier

So the idea is that rather than scams of varying fungibility, the "future" of the internet (if such a thing can be quantified) ought to be everyone owning their own content à la IndieWeb. This is great! Imagine — instead of feeling like you have to create a profile on every new social media website (even though you're too old to really get TikTok), everyone just posts what they want on their own website. If someone gets really into making short, funny videos, and you want to see that, you just follow their blog, with the same RSS Reader you've always used, because there is no social media website du jour, just everyone posting from their own websites in a fully interconnected and non-siloed way.

Cool, I mean I don't see most normal people doing this, but cool, okay, I'm on board. Let's do it! What do I have to do to join this social blog-o-sphere?

I've already enabled the ability to receive and display webmentions on my posts. This feels like a big deal because while being relatively simple, it took some doing, and I had to learn quite a bit along the way. I have not yet figured out how to send webmentions out from my site if I write a post that links somewhere — in the meantime, I have to send that manually. It looks like there are some services that can take care of of this though, if I can't get the Sendmentions plugin working properly.

Ideally I'll be able to add two additional post 'types' other than these long-winded blog posts where I never get to the point. One for short little notes or updates like a tweet or a Facebook post, and one for images with descriptions, like an Instagram post. Once I can make posts like that from here, I'll probably have to manually go and download my content from the aforementioned social media websites and re-post it here. After that, it looks like I'll have to use something like Bridgy to try and pull in a backfeed from Twitter or Instagram so there might be some semblance of a 'social' aspect to this whole thing. Which, you know, is kind of the point.

Oh, then I'll have to make sure my RSS feed works properly with the new post types, if they're to be included at all.

Oh, and then I'll have to decide if I want to try and automate the process of re-posting all of this fantastic content from my website to Twitter or Instagram, because that's where real human people are still hanging out.

In enabling receiving webmentions, the Commentions plugin also adds simple comments — and I've realized now that I don't really have an effective way of replying to those comments. I'm not sure if there's a better plugin, some tweaks I can make to improve the situation, or if this is just one of those things I have to live with until I learn how to write Kirby plugins myself. I'll have to look into that.

Altogether that isn't a small amount of work, even for someone with much more knowledge in this than me. If this is meant to be the future, it's gonna have to get a heck of a lot easier. Most people think of their Facebook profile as their 'website', and until it's just as easy to get going with your own .com, I don't know how far this could possibly go.

Responses

  • Puck

    Interestingly, what you're describing is very much like the pre-"social media" internet. So the "future" you're imagining here is functionally like the past. I remember having blogs on various platforms - xanga, livejournal, blogger - and we'd all have "blogrolls" to interact with each other through comments and whatnot. We'd use third party services like last.fm to let folks know what we were listening to, goodreads to let people know what we were reading... it was very much a cobbled-together experience, but one that was fun and personable to each individual. Then the big social media companies came in and "standardized" everything. I don't know that we're ever going to go back. The majority of people don't have the desire or the skills to leave Facebook behind. Do people read personal blogs anymore (do people HAVE personal blogs?)? It's much easier to just follow someone on twitter if you're interested in what they have to say. It's an interesting effect - we're more connected than ever through social media, but the standardization has kind of taken the life and fun out of that connectedness. I'm rambling now.

    June 13, 2022

  • Mitch

    @Puck Ah, the good ol' days. I think the IndieWeb is almost an attempt at getting to what could have been, if the web hadn't shifted from sharing to selling. I would love to see more personal blogs again!

    June 15, 2022

Join the conversation

Respond on Twitter or on your own website with a webmention and it will show up here. Or, you can fill out some forms:

Available formatting commands

Use Markdown commands or their HTML equivalents to add simple formatting to your comment:

Text markup
*italic*, **bold**, ~~strikethrough~~, `code` and <mark>marked text</mark>.
Lists
- Unordered item 1
- Unordered list item 2
1. Ordered list item 1
2. Ordered list item 2
Quotations
> Quoted text
Code blocks
```
// A simple code block
```
```php
// Some PHP code
phpinfo();
```
Links
[Link text](https://example.com)
Full URLs are automatically converted into links.

Send a webmention

If you've posted a response on your own website, you can manually submit the URL to your post and it will be added here. Your page must contain a link to this post.