One of the fun things about #IndieWeb notes & replies is that how we post is actively evolving! Like how should we @ someone?

#socialMedia aliases (e.g. @Twitter) were obvious, with prior @-name usage on Flickr etc.

Now, some have a domain, or an @-@ (pronounced at-at, yes, just like the abbreviation for Imperial All Terrain Armored Transport¹), or some have both.

We can ask questions like why do we @-someone? What are the use-cases?
* In a reply to a public post, clearly express that you’re speaking to that person
* In a reply to a reply, that you’re speaking to everyone upthread (AKA a https://indieweb.org/canoe)
* When attributing something to someone (photo/post/cool thing by so-and-so), giving credit
* Distinguish a person (or something that can be followed) from “just” a site
* For all the above, notifying someone accordingly

Some ideas:

1. Ideally, if/when everyone has their own domain (where they receive Webmention notifications, and a feed you can follow), we can @-name their domain, which your auto-linker² should hyperlink accordingly, e.g.
* @aaronparecki.com @anomalily.net @Martymcgui.re@david.shanske.com @voxpelli.com @adactio.com @marcthiele.com @mxb.dev

These all look close enough to social media aliases/names that they’re immediately recognizable as readable @-names, a good consideration when choosing a domain name.³

2. As a fallback (e.g. for non-@-domain-auto-linking destinations) we can use someone’s plain domain (explicitly with https:), especially if their home page still has a stream or feed you can follow, or maybe if they don’t receive homepage Webmentions (yet), e.g.:
* https://jacky.wtf/ https://tmichellemoore.com/ https://crowdersoup.com/

3. Some folks with personal sites have (for now) created separate Mastodon accounts (or installed an instance on a subdomain), and for them, we can reference their @-@ parenthetically after their domain, like:
* https://kevinmarks.com/ (@kevinmarks@xoxo.zone), https://dangillmor.com/ (@dangillmor@mastodon.social), https://simonwillison.net/ (@simon@simonwillison.net)

Rather than using social media silo @-names (except when explicitly replying to a silo), I’m now experimenting with all three of these (1-3) instead, both to elevate people’s IndieWeb identities, and for Mastodon viewers, provide a convenient way to follow @-@ addresses.

If someone’s homepage receives Webmentions, they will get notified when I @-mention them by domain.

I recently implemented syntactic auto-linking of @-@ addresses like this:
* @user@example.com --> https://example.com/@user
with a special case for @-domain@-domain to just link to the domain, e.g.:
* @tantek.com --> https://tantek.com/

I also made a recent policy decision to auto-link all @-@ (and @-domain) mentions to https:, the reasoning being that identities on the web should be using https.
* Testing in production here: https://tantek.com/cassis.js, search for "auto_link("

Some questions:
* Does/do Mastodon (or other ActivityPub servers) notify people when you @-@ mention them in a post? How? Who’s responsible for that?
* Will Bridgy Fed notify the servers (deliver to AP inboxes) of folks I merely @-@ mention (rather than explicit replies, reposts)? Should it?

So many people are switching to using their personal domains to post (or at least a Mastodon account) that I no longer feel compelled to @-mention people’s Twitter handles in posts, which feels refreshing.

Now the fun part is experimenting and figuring out what combination of @-domain, plain domain, or @-@ mentions looks good, makes sense to people, and sends notifications to people the way they want to receive them.

This is day 11 of #100DaysOfIndieWeb #100Days.

← Day 10: https://tantek.com/2023/010/t2/build-use-services
→ Day 12: https://tantek.com/2023/012/t1/six-years-webmention-w3c

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT-AT
² My https://tantek.com/github/cassis/blob/master/cassis.js auto_link() function supports @example.com auto-linking, yours should too.
³ https://tantek.com/2023/004/t1/choosing-domain-name-indieweb

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