In which I grapple with Open Graph

A hexagonal shape at left, and an HTML code, <og:wtf> rises above the horizon of a dark turquoise flattened sphere. In the background of "space" is a dark-blue purple.
This is a test of Open Graph. Installed a WordPress plugin, “Open Graph and Twitter Card Tags.” It works for twitter and facebook, but I’m trying to get it to work on Spoutible and my Mastodon server, masto.ai.

I am only like 10 years late to all this Open Graph technical stuff. I did a test, though of how Spoutible and Mastodon treat open graph on some servers, in order to get it to work for 2020 Hindsight’s.

The four required metadata elements to be added to each page are:

og:title The title of the object (the title of this blog post)

og:type The type of object. For this post, the type is “article”

og:image An image URL that’s a “representative of the object” and (the full image address of the illustration at the top of this post)

og:url The URL to the object (the permalink to this post)

When I compose a spout (a social media post) and paste a link into my compose window, Spoutible attempts to load up open graph information from that link. Technically, an image must be present to meet the minimum required 4 metadata items in Open Graph. In the compose window, Spoutible loads up an image from the image URL. What this means is that, for this moment, Spoutible is trying to serve up an image from a different web site, that is, this web site (i.e., 2020hindsight.org/some/path/to/image). Once the post is published, Spoutible now serves a copy of the image from its own servers.

Mastodon does something similar, in that it makes a copy of the image located on 2020hindsight.org and places it on its own servers.

So far, both sites fail to create open graph previews of my posts, and I think I know why. It’s because I won’t let them. Yet.

When web server BA wants to display images located on server A, server A pays a price in terms of bandwidth. That kind of thing is a technical web no-no. Do sites still do that? Yes. How does Server AB defend itself? It refuses all image requests from all servers unless the request comes from its own site or has been granted permission. Twitter and Facebook have been granted permission, and now, instead of telling Spoutible and Mastodon Don’t Do That, we gotta do a test and grant ’em permission.

This is the test post. Fingers crossed.