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Kevin Marks

sending webmentions for all links in #indieweb #yesvember

1 min read

A while back I built which is a webmention sending tool with a couple of differences - you can set it as your webmention endpoint, and it will pass through webmentions, but it will also cache the mentions itself, in case the linked URL doesn't have an endpoint.

What it didn't have was a way to look for all outbound mentions and send them for a post, so I added that tonight. It may need to work more carefully wiht h-feeds, but with an h-entry it should be OK.

Try it out at


Kevin Marks

Rel-me, mastodon and browser plugins

1 min read

If you go to an account on, like you can see that it now verifies rel=me links:

However not all mastodon instances have updated to 2.6.1 yet, eg

Help is at hand though - with the verify-me chrome plugin it will check when you click the green tick:

And if you go try this on the version, you can check their checkmarks should be checked:

Which is helps see if aral is being sneaky.

Kevin Marks

The verify-me plugin is now approved at the Chrome store:
Not sure how to get the firefox version updated.

Kevin Marks

I updated the verify-me plugin at to use Martijn's local code instead of - it's pending review at the chrome store

Kevin Marks

How do we replace Flickr? #Indieweb #Yesvember

4 min read

Flickr, like all successful social software, is different things to different people. When something is done well, we internalize the communities that we interact with on it as part of the character of the place.

Just two average guys, minding their own business, walking down the street in SF.  The usual.  This is usual, right?

Flickr was intentionally built as a community - it had community guidelines and a welcoming presence from Heather Champ and George Oates, who tummelled it brilliantly, welcoming new people and setting the tone.

Don MacAskill, Smugmug CEO and new owner of Flickr, wants to retain this:

We bought Flickr because it’s the largest photographer-focused community in the world. I’ve been a fan for 14 years. There’s nothing else like it. It’s the best place to explore, discover, and connect with amazing photographers and their beautiful photography. Flickr is a priceless Internet treasure for everyone and we’re so excited to be investing in its future. Together, hand-in-hand with the the most amazing community on the planet, we can shape the future of photography.  

However, he also wants to change things, in particular he wants to undo Yahoo's 'Free TB of storage' model:

In 2013, Yahoo lost sight of what makes Flickr truly special and responded to a changing landscape in online photo sharing by giving every Flickr user a staggering terabyte of free storage. This, and numerous related changes to the Flickr product during that time, had strongly negative consequences.

First, and most crucially, the free terabyte largely attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with other lovers of photography. This caused a significant tonal shift in our platform, away from the community interaction and exploration of shared interests that makes Flickr the best shared home for photographers in the world. We know those of you who value a vibrant community didn’t like this shift, and with this change we’re re-committing Flickr to focus on fostering this interaction.

I get this, but the heuristic that Don has chosen—free photos will be limited to 1000, and the oldest ones will be deleted first—is likely to damage the original community feeling that he wants to preserve. Ton points out the Creative Commons ethos, but it is an earlier mode that I want to point to.

In the early years, before cameras in cellphones and huge bandwidth became commonplace enough that we all had photostreams, Flickr was the place where we shared a community record of events. We'd upload our photos and tag them together to make a shared sense of occasion. I know if I want to remember etechmicroformats first anniversary or the vloggies, the photos will be there.

DSCN0375Microformats One Year Anniversary PartyLike Father, Like Son

However, a lot of these photos are from free users, and they may have gone over 1000, so the collages will be ruined.

I'd like to suggest a more subtle heuristic. If images are public, and tagged, and especially if they are creative commons, Flickr should retain them to preserve this archive. If as Don says there are 3% of users with many thousands of photos that are private, they will still be hit by this without enclosing the commons.

On the creative commons side, the Internet Archive can download those:

As for the people who want a big private archive of photos for free, send them to Google Photos, who love users like that (and will run machine learning over them for fun and profit).

Meanwhile, over in the fediverse, pixelfed is just getting started.

Kevin Marks

Rebuilding the web - #Yesvember #indieweb

Rebuilding the web - #Yesvember #indieweb

Amber Naslund took 30 days off from social media and it clarified things:

When I felt like posting, I told myself to write instead. If I couldn’t find it in me to write, I spent time with some other creative pursuit – music, needlework, visual art and lettering, whatever.  When I felt like thumbing and scrolling, I picked up my Kindle and read instead.…

When you turn down the white noise of mindless distraction, you can clearly hear what’s in your own heart and mind (even if it’s hard to hear).…

Many of my social networks were serving as heavy, moss-covered anchors holding me in my past self rather than allowing me to move freely, fully and confidently into who I am today.…

It came out in words, mostly, as I gave myself unfettered time – and privacy – to write things down without having to share them with the world. I journaled and scrawled on napkins at coffee shops and wrote blog posts I didn’t publish (yet).

The new owners of Flickr announced that they were going to erase the oldest photos from anyone with more than 1000 of them.

It's on us, all of us, to make the web that we want, and not accept the procrustean version of it that machine learning models driven by crude engement metrics wave in front of us.

I'm going to write an post, or some code or make something for the 30 days of November.

I was lucky enough to go to XOXO 2018 2 months ago, and the Andy's just sent out this reminder of it. 

Art dismantles power, otherwise it is propaganda.

You are really smart, you are really good at what you do and we should fucking listen to you.