Webmention is a W3C recommendation that describes a simple protocol to notify URL when a website links to it, and for web pages to request notifications when somebody links to them. Webmention enables authors to track who is linking to, referring to, or commenting on their articles. By incorporating such comments from other sites, sites themselves provide federated commenting functionality.
Webmention is not limited to blog posts and can be used for new kinds of content and responses. For example, a reply can be an RSVP to an event, an indication that someone "likes" another post, a "bookmark" of another job, and many others. Webmention enables these interactions to happen across different websites, allowing a distributed social web.
A typical Webmention flow is as follows:
- A person posts some exciting content on her site (which is set up to receive Webmentions).
- Others see this content and comments on it on his website, linking it back to the first person's original post.
- Using Webmention, other users by publishing software automatically notifies the original post server that her post has been connected to by the URL of someone's post.
- The first one publishing software verifies that someone post actually contains a mention of her post and then includes it on her site.