@-mentioning people on my blog

The past week I mentioned both Martijn and the Twitter-account of the Dutch Railways (@NS_online) in different blogposts. For Martijn, I used a hand-written link with the proper .u-category.h-card classes to person-tag him. [see update below] For @NS_online, I wanted to @-mention them in the POSSE'd tweet. Martijn complained that my blog didn't autolink them, so that's what I fixed now.

I have a new syntax to @-mention (and thus tag) people in my blogposts.

  • I want to match names like @name
  • I don't want to match the word @-mention itself.
  • I want to be able to escape the @-mention with a \, like \@name, so I can talk about @-mentions in a blogposts (this one, actually, I like meta-meta-meta).

Then the syntax. Obviously I use an @-symbol, with a name behind it. I then check the name for the following:

  • Is the name on my list of names? Then use the URL I provided.
  • Does the name contain a dot? Then assume it's a domain / URL itself, so add replace @ with http:// (@seblog.nl becomes <a href="https://seblog.nl/">Sebastiaan Andeweg</a>)
  • And if it doesn't contain a dot, assume it's a Twitter account.

I then fetch the h-card (or profile information) from the resulting URL, and use the name that's there.

There are times, however, where I want to specify the name. In the example at the beginning of this post, I called Martijn 'Martijn', not 'Martijn van der Ven', which is on is h-card. Sometimes a full name makes no sense. So I can add the name I want to use in brackets behind the tag (@Zegnat[Martijn]). This way I have total control over my text (and possible conjugations if I start writing in a language that needs those, not that I speak one).

Then it all comes down to the following syntax:

@namefromcache        > the URL I specified
@someone.com          > that URL
@facebook.com/someone > also the literal URL
@twitteruser          > their Twitter profile URL
@someone[This Person] > my own name for them
\@someone             > escaped tag

I now need to redo my automated webmention-sending, for it does not yet recognise these tags. Manual sending works fine!

Edit: after some discussion during the Virtual HWC EU-time, I realised that just doing @someone is not really person-tagging them. Person tagging is explicitly saying "I am now with this person", which makes sense for photos and checkins, but not always in blogposts.

I added a minor tweak: I can now use + instead of @ to really person-tag someone. The @ is used for just a mention, the +-mention will receive the class="u-category h-card" markup. I don't know how much I will be using that, but I have that option now.

3 personen vinden dit leuk


Aaron Parecki
Aaron Parecki

Awesome! If your webmention sender looks at the rendered HTML to find links, then you won't have to add anything special for this syntax! That's how I handle it on my site, since some of my…

Jonathan LaCour
Jonathan LaCour

I've been thinking about how to properly @-mention people on my Known website as well. I very much like your approach! This is another feature I'd like to work on for Known to enable…