I’ve always been a huge fan of WordPress’s post formats feature, because I believe they have a lot of potential. Yes, I know they aren’t very popular, and some people believe they should either be plugin territory, or killed off altogether. But for me, they are now very much personally relevant.
Trying to follow multiple WordPress events at the same time using Twitter
This weekend there were several WordCamps and other WordPress-related events that I wanted to keep track of. I first thought I could just input a regular expression into the search feature of my regularly-used Twitter client, and this quickly turned out to be a no-go. I’m not blaming the author of the client, since I haven’t checked Twitter’s API documentation to see whether or not the streaming API or the rest API support regular expressions in search. The Twitter website definitely doesn’t. I could use the Twitter website to do an advanced search, and then pull up all the hashtags and have them in one tab of my browser, but the I’m not nearly as efficient at using the Twitter website to scroll through tweets as I am with the Twitter client, which allows me to scroll through tweets quickly and, (if I choose), without a graphical user interface.
So the next best option was to pull up separate timelines for each hashtag. This quickly failed, because rate limit exceeded, at which point the Twitter client would crash because the database was locked. So, exit the Twitter client, go fix the permissions on the database, then restart the client and relaunch the timelines. All of this while still trying to keep track of everything else going on with the people and businesses I keep up with in the WordPress space, which I do through Twitter lists. So after the restart of the client, start bringing up lists, which you have to do one at a time, and with a bit of a time interval in between, because if you don’t the client will hang and time to restart again. So, bring up list, alt+tab away, read something in the browser quickly, come back, launch the next list, rinse, repeat.
I could pull up the client minus the lists, and just use it to view mentions and direct messages, (I almost never read the home timeline), but at that point, I might as well just use my phone or the Twitter website, because neither of those tasks requires any extra efficiency.
Posting tweets is where the status post format comes in. Often, there’s something I want to say to both my personal Twitter followers and the professional ones, and the easiest way to do that in one shot is to post that as a status post on this site, and shove it out to both Twitter accounts. Then, answer the mentions, which are already being pulled into this site as comments anyway. Most of the stuff I retweet is links from others, and so in comes the link post format. Plus, services like Pocket can’t be relied upon to make their sites accessible, and while Pocket is useable for now, if that gets any worse, no more easy way to keep track of all the things I find on the internet that I might want to read later. Then there are images. I don’t really want to post these to Facebook, and since iOS10 and the WordPress app now allow me to share images and videos directly to WordPress, I can share those here and shove them out to the social medias in one shot, as opposed to posting to both. I likely won’t use the chat post format, but the aside post format would be a great way to implement a DayOne-style journal, and since I’m already going to be setting up markup for the link, status, and image post formats, and I’ve also been mulling over creating some kind of Day-One-like functionality on my personal site anyway since the Day-One app is useable sort of, but not accessible, now’s a better time than any to do that. Same with quotes. So that’s most of the post formats covered right there.
I think I’m going to use the Post formats Admin UI that was scrapped from wordPress 3.6 as a starting point, and go from there. There are a few things that need to be fixed in that with regard to accessibility, but I don’t think there are that many. The biggest part of this will be customizing this theme to support the custom fields properly. I’ve looked at the themes on the WordPress theme repository that support post formats, and none of them do quite what I want with regard to the markup and the metadata they display. I started working on post formats for this copy of the Utility Pro theme for Genesis, but never got around to finishing it. So now might be a good time to pick that back up.
I’m not making any promises on any of this. I’ll have to do it in my spare time, which is severely limited, so I suspect things will move slowly. But I’ll post the code snippets publicly if anyone else in the Genesis community wants to use them. I also have no delusions of grandeur. I’m not expecting to take over the WordPress world with this, and I’m also not expecting that the blindness world will necessarily take to this either. But whatever I come up with will be licences under the GPL (V2 or later), so that anyone who wants to can use it. the only thing I expect to happen is that my own personal problem will be solved, which is ultimately what I’m after.