Now that phase one of Gutenberg has dropped the interest in #ClassicPress grows by the day. So many WordPress developers fear the loss of control they will face under the new regime of 5.0. Many just don't want to do the work of all that refactoring.
#IndieWeb and #ClassicPress should join forces.
The #IndieWeb WordPress community has discussed the inclusion of microformats into ClassicPress core. I wanted to share our thinking
1. The Philosophical Right Choice
So many altruistic efforts fail under the premise of building platforms, data, and systems free of bias. They will all fail. Technology can never be free of bias. When you choose a stack, a language, or metadata you make a philosophical and political choice.
Microformats make sense for the web and for ClassicPress. A few properties in your HTML and you are done. More importantly keeping the web in semantic HTML helps to ensure it stays open in the future.
One plain text file and you can be online. Let's not lose that. Sustainability, energy consumption, the web affects it all. Microformats gives us the ability to keep websites light weight while providing the plumbing for some really cool things.
Choosing to exclude, or to rely on JSON-LD alone, is also a choice. When people say, "That is what Google and Yoast want..." Ask yourself, "Do you want to design ClassicPress for your goals or Google's?"
"Do you want good content or some companies SEO tricks to drive discovery?"
It is always a philosophical choice. How will you choose?
2. Empower the Web as THE Social Network
Scroll through the history of blogging research. Up until 2004 the research framed the blogger, the learner, and the networks being sources of agency and power. Then from that time on the research became about SEO and dominating places others owned.
Is the web you want to build with ClassicPress? The project will fail if the old value proposition of syndication and exposure are used.
ClassicPress needs a better social web to survive.
Have you tried webmentions yet? No this W3C approved standard brings social to your website as you publish a reply on your website to a post from a friend and your reply shows up on their site as a comment. Microformats make webmentions useful. and possible.
What social reader will ClassicPress use? It won't be WordPress or anything connected to JetPack. Microformats empowers a new generation, using webmentions, and some other open protocols micropub (writing API) and microsub (reading API) to create a way to #BeYourOwnSocialNetwork.
Adding native microformats support will provide ClassicPress with an abundance of already built community tools. Don't repeat our mistakes or waste limited open source resources.
Use what people already built.
3. Committed Community to help ClassicPress
We have come to love the IndieWeb's focus on personal goals to sustain open source communities (everyone uses open APIs and majority open source their work). Building for yourself does help to sustain when your values align with others in your network. No white papers, no committees, just code.
We want the same for ClassicPress.
Having members loosely organized but bound by a sense of duty to the web works and our community wants to build the future with ClassicPress. We have an install base in the thousands with hundreds of active members using IndieWeb WordPress every day. The WordPress IRC/Slack channel never stops.
ClassicPress may see a huge influx of users, much larger than your targeted business audience, when the second phase of Gutnberg drops and theme developers and users need to decide to update or move on.
Many will move on. We need to get ready. Let's work together.
All we need to make it happen is native microformats2 support.
4. Compatible with other Metadata
No one is asking ClassicPress not to use JSON-LD, a commitment to open standards and APIs all we need. In fact SemPress, the most widely used IndieWeb theme, already includes support for mf2 and JSON-LD.
We just need to add a few properties to rendered HTML...and whizbang...it just works.