While we were waiting for the bus home today, Olle explained to me and Oliver how QSL cards work: two ham radio operators establish a radio connection, the more distant and unlikely the better; during the connection they exchange call signs, which are globally-unique and can be used to look up a postal address; to mark the magical radio connection, a printed QSL card can thus be sent, acting as a kind of award of merit for defeating geography via radio.

Olle delivered this explanation in light of Ton’s proposal:

Letterpress printed QSL cards for successfully sent and received Webmentions must be the most finely targeted joke. The audience very likely not larger than 3 people.

Being interested in Webmentions, and also being a letterpress printer, I feel an obligation to make this happen.

Here, then, are the Indieweb building blocks:

  • Olle writes a blog post.
  • On my blog, I reference Olle’s blog post, and so my blog sends him a Webmention.
  • Olle’s blog receives the Webmention, and looks to see if he’s ever received one from me before.
  • He hasn’t!
  • Olle’s blog looks for a postal address h-card on my blog and, finding one, sends a mailing label to Olle by email, ready for attaching to a letterpress-printed QSL card that he can pop in the mail to me.

For this to work as outlined:

  1. Blog authors need to includ their postal mailing address on their blogs, marked up as an h-card. I’ve got this but not everyone does.
  2. The Webmention-receiving logic on blogs needs to be able to track first contact, and trigger a QSL-card-sending callback when it’s established.
  3. Letterpress QSL cards need to be printed. I can do this.

I agree with Ton that the audience is small. But we’ve already got 3 people, so the idea has already reached 100% of its estimated audience.


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 11, 2019 - 11:01 Permalink

I’m manually sending Webmentions via a hacked together module for Drupal 7, and receiving them (but not acting on them) via Webmention.io. Once I migrate to Drupal 8, which is (I hope) imminent, things should get much easier!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 16, 2019 - 20:15 Permalink

I’ve finally walked the last mile, and I have now wired  up “save new post” to “send Webmentions for all the links in the new post” here in Drupal. I’d been ganging these together for batch sending whenever I remembered, which turned out to be not very often.

I’ve still got work to do on the Webmention-receiving side.