Vouch

David Shanske wrote about a brainstorming session held at Indieweb Summit 2018 about implementing "Vouch" - a trust/anti-spam extension for webmention.

The idea of Vouch is that people create a list of webmention senders they trust and make this available to others. If a domain is in a published trusted list then it has been "vouched for" meaning it's safe to accept and approve webmentions from that domain.

As David says "This should block automated spam and aid in moderation."

But, problem is, "(w)here do you find people who have been approved by people you have approved of?" How do we build lists and share them? Can a blogroll be such a list?

Various ideas were proposed including using a rel value such as follower, following or contact, or maybe using microformats markup to declare u-follow-of entries in a h-feed.

Now, the issue with a blogroll is that, unless it's explicitly curated, its member sites may well not be configured to send webmentions and it might be a bit of a waste.

As such, I thought my /Directory could be an ideal place to hold such a list. It is automated, only includes sites that have sent webmentions and only shows those that I approve - I've not had webmention spam but any would be removed from comments and not appear in the directory.

I've laid the groundwork by adding a h-feed and u-follow-of markup to the Directory plugin (subject to tweaking but it's a start) so we now need the missing link of telling other sites where your list is.

  1. Aaron Davis says: #
    When I read Shanske’s post, I really liked the idea, but was concerned about having an old-school blogroll. Of course this may have been misreading it. A few years back I had a go at organising my blogroll using Sheets and representing it dynamically. The problem with this is that there is not much I can do with it and it is tedious to maintain, especially as my current workflow involves updating two spaces. I really like your idea about having a ‘directory’. This reminds me of Chris Aldrich’s following lists. Like Aldrich, I just wish there was an easier way of adding a link/site and having this automagically added to the page. I assume that in part that is what you have?
    1. Colin Walker says: #
      Yes, my Directory plugin polls comments received, checks which are webmentions then automatically cycles through adding a link to each site to the directory (and builds an OPML of those with discoverable RSS feeds). This happens on the fly each time the Directory page is loaded so is always up to date. It's not a list of recommendations per se as it is reactive to who sends me webmentions (I have my separate blogroll as well) but it is zero maintenance aside from moderating webmentions but that would have to be done anyway.

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