in Ways of Working

A Kind of Emoji

A reflection on using emojis as a way to provide visual information about blog posts.


I have dived into my latest #IndieWeb venture of saving links on my own site. I thought that I would simply use the Bookmark post kind to save my links, but I soon realised not every link needed some form of commentary and/or extended quotations. For those where the link and quote/summary was enough, I started labelling as a Like. There were also some links where I would write a Reply to the author. With all these additions, the different kinds of writing were lost in my stream. I was beginning to understand why Chris Aldrich’s site starts with a static page, which guides readers to the different kinds of writing. I was not yet interested in going down the static path, I therefore had to think of some other solution to differentiate between the different content I was adding to the site. After some initial exploration of beginning each title with the kind, I turned to the emoji.

I came upon the use of emojis in the work of John Johnston, who added them to some of his posts to provide additional information. I think this may be something built into the Micro.Blogs platform. In addition, I like the way that Audrey Watters uses icons to break up information in her Weekly News posts. There has also been a lot written about the use of emojis to define Google Drive folders. Although most of the emojis I use correspond with the post kinds, there are times when I use them to add more nuance for particular tags and categories. Here is a list of my emojis so far:

As this is a new iteration, I still have a bit of work going back through my posts adding emojis to other kinds and categories, such as events and mentions.

Beyond the visual, the addition of emojis has had a few interesting side-effects. When I POSSE to Diigo, I have discovered that the title is left blank. My workaround has been to manually create the title for Diigo using the Social Network Auto-Poster (SNAP) plugin. There is no issue with other spaces, such as Twitter, where the emoji is happily embedded.

Another issue is the permalink. Most options involve adding the name of the post to the end of the URL, this includes emojis. For some reasons, this creates issues with sending webmentions. The answer seems to be to manually ping the site using the post ID or manually edit the permalink before posting to remove the emoji.

I remember Eric Curts mentioning problems with some emojis:

Emojis appear differently on different operating systems. Because of this, the images may not look the same on every device. If you are using any modern computer or device (Chromebook, Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows), the emojis should display well. However if you are using an older version of Windows earlier than Windows 8.1, the emojis do not appear in color and many may be missing.

Maybe the issues are associated with this?

So what about you? Do you use any methods for breaking up content within your spaces? Or maybe you use emojis in some other way? As always, comments welcome and webmentions too.



Also posted on IndieNews


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Aaron

I am an Australian educator supporting the integration of technology and innovation. I have an interest in how collectively we can work to creating a better tomorrow.
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  1. Incidentally I notice you’ve got some kind of CSS display problem just above your author block. Perhaps an errant grammar plugin causing problems? Sylewriting check, overused words check, etc…

    • Thank you for your comment Khurt. I must admit that I probably need to do a bit more homework on ‘accessibility’, beyond Tom Woodward’s post I haven’t explored it much. Do you have any suggestions? I would prefer to use shortcodes to enter the emojis (like on Mastadon), but not sure that is possible. I think that would help with accessibility though.

      • Alas, I have no good suggestions. I avoid using emojis for the reason Eric Curts stated. If we can’t be assured of displaying the emojis properly, how can we be assured that the visually impaired can “read” what’s presented?

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  • I am still getting my head around all the post kinds, especially the title-less nature of ‘notes’
    Also on: diigo.com Tumblr Twitter

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  • A Kind of Emoji –
    A reflection on using emojis as a way to provide visual information about blog posts https://readwriterespond.com/2018/01/emoji/

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  • I followed micro.blog’s suggestion to use emoji for post about books & casually extended it a bit. @mrkrndvs is thinking a bit deeper. Not hard to strip emoji out of titles? Converting to Post Kinds more so?
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  • A new twist on literacy | A Kind of Emoji readwriterespond.com/2018/01/emoji/ via @mrkrndvs

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