In honor of the legacy and work of Aaron Swartz, I’ve dedicated some time over the last month on a project in the spirit of RSS and Creative Commons, both projects Swartz contributed towards. Swartz coauthored RSS with the version 1 specification, and helped architect Creative Commons licensing. This project is a feed reader that is also a publisher. I’ve explored seven directions including an Android app, Chrome extension and have looked at several different programming languages to help optimize and improve the speed it takes to download several hundred website feeds, and for there to be many affordable web hosting options to publish selected posts into a feed. Read More
Wanted to post an update to the first post made on October 3rd, 2011 here on this list, thanks to for the prior feedback. Many of the previous plans have been changed, and now entirely exists, for the most part, in the WordPress admin interface.
Thanks everyone who gave feedback on my first post about AWE. I’ve revised the project plan based on that feedback, and have continued development to the point of having a front-end built to demonstrate ( video screencast: http://braydon.com/2011/11/awe-0-1-2/ ) .
Summary of previous discussion and problems raised with solutions implemented for each of them:
> Problem #1. Search engines and Google not taking to it kindly because it would spam their indexes.
I’ve made a post type now called “update” for all external posts that are being read into the blog. These posts when viewed have “noindex,nofollow” in the header of the their html to not be indexed at Google and others. In addition these posts do not have yet another permalink, the permalink remains the same as the original. In feeds it will link to the original, and on archive and pages on a website they will link to the original. They are copied to be a convenience, and made more accessible.
> Problem #2: There were concerns about “cross-posts” and how it could be abused from exact duplicates of sites with a different theme.
There could be malicious copies made, this currently has not been addressed with current development but is part of the next. If a problem were to be discovered, the malicious IP could be blocked. For more security, a move towards fully encrypted and authenticated feed connections could be made so that only those who you intent to share with get the information. Currently read posts are the status “pending”, as a partial solution to this issue.
> Problem #3. Auto-generated posts leading to drop of participation.
I’ve address this by making all read posts default to status “pending”, and you can go through your reader and “approve” posts and then those are shared and made available for others to view. They go back into a feed, they permalink and guid remains the same, to make a feed that is a mix of other feeds. These approved posts then are also made available to view on your site, and can be searched (though search isn’t implemented yet).
> Problem #4. Issue with comments getting lost between the two separate copies.
Commenting on a “update” post is disabled, to comment on the post it’s necessary to return to the original.
> Problem #5: Copies taking attention away from the original.
There isn’t a “single” view of “update” posts, and the permalink remains and goes to the original.
> Problem #7. Potential problem with planning on bundling with WordPress, as the core team plans to unbundle Akismet and move towards a featured plugin model.
Plans of bundling along side WordPress, as a separate WordPress distribution, “package” or as part of the core have been taken out. Continuing work under the impression of being a plugin standalone.
I have been working on a free software solution to social networking. Many projects are focused on starting from scratch, such as; Freedom Box, StatusNet, Diaspora, and Libre.fm. My approach is different because I am planning on building upon what is currently already at the heart of social media, WordPress, and just fixing one problem — those pesky share buttons everywhere. I have just completed PHASE 1 of the project, and would like to make this the first public release, which does not include all the required features.
In the same way that people will post links of WordPress posts to Social Media websites, the goal of this is to automatically cross-post to a community of websites for promotional purposes and is a distributed method for online marketing campaigns. This will not require a visitor to leave to visit the post, since it is copied verbatim, and does not require users to be either a member of a network or not a member. This will serve as two-way posting making it possible for a dialog between separate websites and community organization. I am terming it “networked media” to be distinguished from “social media”.
Websites are built in the millions for publishing articles, videos, music and linking these to Social Media websites for promotion. My goal is to build new networked media websites that bring together a community of individuals based upon topics of interest; opening the opportunity for verticals and topic based networked media websites as opposed to Social Media differentiated by differences of software.
That is the goal. This is the future of online marketing. Now, here is what I have made. I have started with a method to define new URLS and templates, and am currently working on the aggregation portion. Here are the links to the resources for the plugin:
* Unified front-end/back-end interface
4. Complete WordPress Distribution:
* Packaging the plugin as a part of WordPress
* OpenID for network to network authentication and privacy
5. AWE Plugins:
* Write extensions to the core of AWE to add new post types
including: video, sound, gallery, events and shop.
6. Web Service:
* Dedicated web host for users that don’t want to run it on their
* Sign-up and payment settings.
For those that I have previously contacted about URL routing, this is the plugin I was mentioning. I am now looking to work in collaboration because this project can not succeed without the support of a few people working in synchronization. So let’s get going!