Checking out the IndieWebCamp IRC Feed

I noticed that Bret Commes has created an app to produce an Atom feed of the daily IRC log from the IndieWebCamp IRC channel. I tried adding the feed ( to my Selfoss feed reader, but it does not seem to show up, will have to look at the error log to see if there is a problem. I was able to read the feed from The Old Reader, so the app is working! Great job, Bret!

HOWTO – Setting up the Selfoss Feed Reader with microformats support

This post will show how to install the Selfoss feed reader with Aaron Parecki’s additions to support reading weblogs and websites that include support for microformats. This post assumes that you have a hosting account with PHP support.

To begin, download the Zip file for Aaron’s fork of the Selfoss reader ( You can either unzip the file locally and then upload the separate files, or upload the Zip file to your hosting account and unzip the file there (although the actual files are two levels down in the folder structure).

I decided to unzip the file locally. Next, I created a folder within the public_html folder of my hosting account (let’s use “selfoss” for this example, and assume that the URL of your reader will be Before I uploaded the files, I copied the file defaults.ini to config.ini and then uploaded all of the files to the selfoss folder. The Selfoss site says that you should be able to upload and go, and this is certainly the case. After uploading the files, I went to the URL for my site ( and saw the main reader display:


Now that the Selfoss reader is installed, it’s time to add some feeds from some Indieweb sites. I downloaded a subscription file from Amber Case by saving the file selfoss-subscriptions.xml from this post:

I then clicked on the cloud in the lower left hand corner and saw the following screen:



I then clicked on the “import opml file” link at the top of the page, leading to this page:



I clicked on the Choose File button, and got a dialog box for selecting a file:



After I selected the file, I clicked on the “Deliver my OPML!” button. After a few seconds, the following screen appeared:



I clicked on the “update now” link. After about 40 seconds, I saw the following screen:


I then reloaded my reader site and saw some feeds!



I then decided to try adding my website to the list. I clicked on the cloud icon in the lower left corner, then clicked on the “Add source” link on the next page and entered information for my site:



I did an update by going to the update URL (, but I did not see any items. I then went back and changed it to read my RSS feed ( After doing an update again and a refresh, I was able to see items from my site:


Maybe the microformats plugins I am using aren’t effective enough in creating microformats. I’ll have to do some more testing….

The last step I did was to activate the username/password option, since with the default setup, anyone could change your subscriptions list. To set this up, first go to the password URL for your reader (http://andysylvester/selfoss/password/ for my reader):


The Selfoss reader uses a hash of a your password as the password entry in the config.ini file. To get this hash, enter your password in the text field, then click the “generate password” button. The page will update with a long text string in the text field. Copy the contents of the text field to the password item in config.ini. It should look something like this:


Add an entry for the username in config.ini, like this:


Save config.ini, then upload it to the reader directory in your hosting account. Go back to the reader home page, you should then see a login screen like this:



Enter your username and password, and you should see your feed reader again.



You can now see two icons in the lower left corner. The cloud icon leads you to the page to add more feeds. The second icon (“person”) logs you out of the reader.



More Webmention plugin testing

I got an email from Matthias Pfefferle about my question with the WordPress Webmention plugin, and that I could not see comments from others on my posts. Matthias suggested I modify the Semantic Linkbacks plugin to enable display of all comments. I am trying to see if I can get this text to appear in the comments on another post by linking to another post. Update: it worked!

My IndieWeb areas of interest

I am planning to attend the next Homebrew Website Club meeting in Portland, and have been thinking about IndieWeb areas in which I have an interest. Here are some topics I would be interested in discussing this week…

Having a conversation

If I want to have a conversation with someone, how should I go about doing that? If I read a post by someone and want to respond, should I try writing my own comment and linking to their site to see if they have webmention support? Should I try to comment directly on their site? What about contacting them on IRC? What if they aren’t on IRC right then?How do I decide how the person wants to be contacted? (look at their h-card info?) It is a bit confusing to me.

Following other sites

Another area of interest is how to follow what other people are posting. Do IndieWeb sites have feeds, and how do I find them? I looked at my own site, and realized to my horror that there was nothing there indicating my feeds! I hurriedly looked through my WordPress widgets, found the one with the RSS feeds, and added that to my home page. I am also interested in seeing if my theme supports other types of feeds based on posts. Since there is a status post, I wonder if the theme creates a feed with just status posts, or if the theme supports feeds for categories. Jeena from Sweden writes about the “indie feed reader” problem. I installed Tiny Tiny RSS, then started adding some IndieWeb sites, and saw that Aaron Parecki, Amber Case, and Tantek Celik do not appear to produce feeds from their sites. I looked around on the IndieWebCamp site, and saw pages on feeds, feed readers, and using microformat parsers to read/follow websites that use microformat markup. Whew! It looks like there are lots of options, but nothing that is very user-friendly. Maybe that means there is an opportunity here…

Curating the web

Finally I am interested in tools to help me curate the web. I currently follow Dave Winer’s River of News web site, where he publishes “rivers” of RSS content on various topics. When I look at these rivers on my Samsung Galaxy S3 using Google Chrome, I scan through the list of news items, and create a new tab for items I want to read. If I want to keep a record of an article or post, I share the URL to Todo.txt, then edit my todo.txt file and copy those links to another text file that I have on my PC. If I am reading articles on my PC and find something that I want to record, I copy the link to my text file, and usually try to copy the title of the article or write a comment below the link to describe what it is. If I want to find something, I do a search of the text file with whatever terms I can remember. I don’t do any tagging or any other categorization, so this is primarily a link dump. I would like to do more in this area. I would also like to be able to publish rivers on my site. I know about Planet and Sam Ruby’s Venus. I am using Venus to power a river of news for one of my websites, but again it was not as user-friendly as I would like, and had problems in displaying embedded videos. Again, maybe there is an opportunity here…