Owning My Social Content

Posted on Category: Misc
Telephone Conversation (Telefonisch Es Gespräch) (1907) print in high resolution by Moriz Jung. Original from the MET Museum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Was cruising through Twitter the other day, and saw this tweet from Adam Argyle – drawing in content from various sites & social feeds into a single personal timeline as historical record.

I was intrigued by this idea, but decided to do something slightly different on my WordPress site – turning site-based “tweet-like” posts into content for social sites, letting me own my content. Same spirit, but in reverse. Apparently this theory has been around for a while in the Indieweb world, and has the nickname POSSE (Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere).

For the sake of ease, I’m not following all these principles, as you will see below, but it did make the process less painful for me.

How I Rolled It Out

After some experimentation, I ended up creating a custom post type “Quip” that only needs a title & description.

Additionally, in order to further make this experience feel more like a social posting experience, I’ve also autofilled the title to the date & time of creation using the following code in my functions.php file. Having a unique title will be crucial for accessibility later once I get around to styling the stream.

function auto_posttype_title ( $post_id ) {
global $wpdb;
if ( get_post_type( $post_id ) == 'quip' ) {
$date = date("m-d-Y h:i");
$title = 'Quip from '.$date;
$where = array( 'ID' => $post_id );
$wpdb->update( $wpdb->posts, array( 'post_title' => $title ), $where );
add_action( 'save_post', 'auto_posttype_title' );

Once the custom post type was set up, I also wanted to make sure that its content didn’t get mixed in with my long-form article feed, so I used the Ultimate Category Excluder plugin to hide the type from both the home page & RSS feed.

Finally, as I was already using the WP to Buffer plugin to auto-post new articles to my social media feeds using the Buffer application, the Quip post type lets me have a separate template where the description becomes my “post” across Twitter, Mastodon, and LinkedIn.


Regardless of the new posting method, I’ll still be having follow-up conversations on those social platforms.

There is still more to do – a cleaner style & for the Quip timeline, making the custom title set to publish time instead of saved time, and working out how Open Graph links can be presented a bit nicer. Additionally, the Twitter to Mastodon cross poster I was using is expiring soon, so I need another solution there too. But the sooner I can own my content on my site, the better.

Hope this helps or inspires someone else out there to own their content too.

My opinions & views expressed may not reflect my employer's.