Webmentions at sawv.org

created Aug 19, 2017

sawv.org's commenting system relies on Webmentions. Others create their replies on their own websites or web presences, and then they place the URLs to their reply posts here: http://sawv.org/webmentions.html.

Or if the commenters' content management systems support sending Webmention responses, then their code can hit my Webmention endpoint, which is found within the HTML of my homepage.

The webmention reply posts must contain the URLs to the sawv.org posts that the users are replying to.

The IndieWeb community devised the Webmention spec. More info can be found here: https://indieweb.org/Webmention

Why place ALL webmention replies on one page? sawv.org is a static HTML site, and at the moment, I don't want to add any mechanism, like an email notification, that informs me when a new comment (webmention) gets posted to an individual HTML page.

And since this is a static site, my code would need to edit the markup files of individual posts to add the webmention reply info and then rebuild the HTML files, like I do now for the webmentions.html page. It would be easy to implement site-wide, but for now, I'll keep the current setup.

I could rely on a third party service, such as webmention.herokuapp.com, to accept the webmentions, and then I would use JavaScript code to embed the replies at the bottom of each sawv.org web page.

More info about the 3rd party setup can be found half-way down this page http://wren.soupmode.com/wren-webmention.html. I've tested the setup here http://wren.soupmode.com/in-2016-digital-publishers-are-finally-concerned-about-ux.html.

A view-source on that HTML will show the CSS that I used to style the webmentions, pulled from the heroku-hosted app. And the view-source will show the webmention endpoint that was used.

But storing all the webmention replies on one page functions similar to the old website guestbook pages from long ago.

On the web, a guestbook is a logging system that allows visitors of a website to leave a public comment.[1] It is possible in some guestbooks for visitors to express their thoughts about the website or its subject.

The purpose of a website guestbook is to display the kind of visitors the site gets, including the part of the world they reside in, and gain feedback from them.

In the future, I may change how and where I display webmentions. I consider microformats and webmentions to be the two best tech ideas, espoused or created by the IndieWeb community.

But I might also switch to a lo-fi approach for accepting comments from others. This is old-school:


I don’t see my writing as a collaborative effort, and I don’t see my site as a community in which I need to enable internal discussion via comments. A blog post is a one-to-many broadcast.

We already have a widespread many-to-one feedback: email. So that’s the feedback system that I allow on my site. Anyone can email me, and I will read it.

Those who truly want to start a discussion usually have their own blogs, so they can write their commentary to their audience.

I don’t make it difficult to give me feedback. What’s not possible is reaching my audience, on my site, without my permission.