Reply to chenoehart’s tweet about community

Replied to a tweet by Chenoe HartChenoe Hart (Twitter)
Whenever I find myself actively seeking something to RT it always feels like there’s nothing but noise. Seem to find the most interesting things to share after I’ve already found too many things to RT at once.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to tweet just in general, and wish there was an easy way to just have casual conversations on here, tweet about the weather or something. It’s often really just a proxy for trying to meet people anyway.

I’ve had this feeling before and often long for the earlier days of Twitter when it functioned more like this. The popularization of Twitter in 2009 and the subsequent iteration on the platform and its community killed all the original spirit. It also reminds me of a piece I’d read recently by John Naughton1 about how toxic the retweet functionality (and other gamification like likes/favorites) can be.

I’ve seen the type of interaction you’re describing in smaller pockets of the internet on services like App.net (aka ADN, now defunct), pnut, and 10centuries, and a few corners of the Mastodon sphere.

The place I’ve seen it done well most recently is on Manton Reece‘s awesome micro.blog service, which I think has some strong community spirit and a greater chance of longevity. They’ve specifically left off “features” like follower counts, number of likes, and made conversation front and center. As a result it is a much more solid and welcoming community. I’m curious, as always, if they can maintain it as they scale, but the fact that they encourage people to have their own website and own their own data mean that you can take it all with you somewhere else if they ever cease meeting your needs in the future–something that certainly can’t be easily done on Twitter.

I hope you find the connections with the types of people you’d like to meet.

Originally bookmarked on April 01, 2018 at 09:22PM

References

1.
Naughton J. How to stay sane on Twitter: ignore retweets. Memex 1.1: John Naughton’s online diary. http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2018/03/11/25409. Published March 11, 2018. Accessed April 12, 2018.
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👓 Apps of a Feather

Read Apps of a Feather …Stick Together (Apps of a Feather)
Third-party Twitter apps are going to break on June 19th, 2018.

After June 19th, 2018, “streaming services” at Twitter will be removed. This means two things for third-party apps:
  1. Push notifications will no longer arrive
  2. Timelines won’t refresh automatically
If you use an app like TalonTweetbotTweetings, or Twitterrific, there is no way for its developer to fix these issues.

We are incredibly eager to update our apps. However, despite many requests for clarification and guidance, Twitter has not provided a way for us to recreate the lost functionality. We've been waiting for more than a year.

Twitter seems to finally be closing off the remainder of their open API that allowed full-fledged Twitter clients to still exist. This certainly creates a chilling effect in the future on developers spending any time or resources on projects like it that aren’t completely open. This also makes it much harder to build competing services to Twitter which have a similar financial model. I remember the heady days when there were dozens of awesome Twitter clients to chose from and interesting new things were happening in the social space.

If I was sitting on a huge pile of Twitter related code with a full set of Twitter related reading/posting functionality, I think I’d head toward some of the new open protocols coming out of the IndieWeb to build a new user base. By supporting feeds like RSS, ATOM, JSON feed, and even h-feed (possibly via Microsub) for the feed reader portion and building in the open Micropub spec, one could rejuvenate old Twitter apps to work with a myriad of microblog-like (and even traditional blog) functionality on platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Craft, WithKnown, Jekyll, Kirby, Hugo, micro.blog, and a myriad of others in the future. Suddenly all those old Twitter apps could rise from the ashes and invigorate a new, more open community. Given the open “architecture” of the community, it would give developers much more direct control of both their software and futures than Twitter has ever given them as well as a deeper sense of impact while simultaneously eating a nice portion of Twitter’s lunch. With less than a week’s worth of work, I suspect that many of these old apps could have new and more fruitful lives than the scraps they were getting before.

If the bird site doesn’t heed their cries, I hope they’ll all re-purpose their code and support the open web so that their hard work and efforts aren’t completely lost.

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Add Twitter mentions of #DoOO to one of IndieWeb chat channels

Filed an Issue Loqi (GitHub)
Loqi is a friendly IRC bot https://indieweb.org/Loqi

The #DoOO (Domain of One’s Own) hashtag on Twitter is essentially an equivalent of the #IndieWeb hashtag, but more often used by the education segment of the community. While used by educators and researchers, particularly in higher education, their content typically isn’t restricted to that sub-segment and thus are broadly applicable to our overall principles. Many using the hashtag are administrators, developers, and evangelists overseeing large installations to help Gen2+ people join the IndieWeb at scale.

Adding #DoOO tweets to one of the channels (#indieweb or #dev) could certainly make sense for the community and be a welcoming addition to those joining us from the education related communities, many of whom have attended past IWCs or are actively participating already.

Current hashtag frequency is roughly 1-3 tweets per day, though for related conferences, their velocity can go higher on a particular day. Higher velocity days likely only occur 1-3 days per year.

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👓 Librarian tweetstorm by @green_grainger

Read Librarian tweetstorm by Georgia | Saoirse (Twitter)
So there was a MYSTERY at the library today.

A wee old women came in and said "I've a question. Why does page 7 in all the books I take out have the 7 underlined in pen? It seems odd."
"What?" I say, thinking she might be a bit off her rocker. She showed me, and they did.

I asked if she was doing it, she said she wasnt and showed me the new book she was getting out that she hadnt even had yet. It also had the 7 underlined! "I don't know, maybe someone really likes page 7?" I said, assuming of course that there is a serial killer in the library.

I checked some other books. Most didn't have it, but a lot in this genre did - they're "wee old women" books (romances set in wartime Britain etc). Lots of underlined 7s. The woman who pointed it out shrugged and went on her way, "just thought you should know".

My manager came back from doing arts and crafts with some of the kids and I decide to tell her about the serial killer in the library.
And that’s how I found out that a lot of our elderly clientele have secret codes to mark which books they’ve read before.

Our computers do it automatically but many have been doing it since before that was possible, so Esther might underline page 7, while Anne might draw a little star on the last page, and Fred might put an “f” on the title page. Then when they pick it up, they can check!

It’s quite clever really but now I’m dying to just underline page 7 of every new wee old women book we get in.

So, good news: there’s not a serial killer in the library whose MO include the number 7 and wartime romances. Bad news: people are defacing books rather than just asking us to scan them (smiling face with smiling eyes)

I'm now concerned that the amount of people enjoying this thread means there's going to be a new spate of readers using secret codes - apologies to librarians everywhere!
(although, in truth, I find it hard to be annoyed about it - better than torn pages and felt pen graffiti!)

(Also, I am new to the library job, hence why I hadn't seen it before! The library and our customers are great though (smiling face with smiling eyes))

Just had another victim of the page 7 vandal returned!!!
(Now checking every book that looks like it might be their taste...)

This is such an interesting little story including some cultural anthropology.

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❤️ hmvanderhart tweet My 3yrold thinks all people looking at their phone are reading poems.

Liked a tweet by Hannah VanderHart Hannah VanderHart (Twitter)

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Replied to a tweet by Matt Reed (Twitter)
Wish Twitter would distinguish between "favorite" and "save for later." People could infer some pretty misleading things...

Intent on Twitter is often so muddled, this is the last thing some might worry about. (Yet it’s still a tremendous tool.) Pocket has browser extensions, and I know the one for Chrome has settings one can toggle an icon to appear on Twitter to allow bookmarking things to read for later directly within your Pocket account, which is generally a reasonable experience.

Pocket’s browser extension can add a much better “save to read for later” button to one’s Twitter feed.

I think the much stronger and better solution for one’s personal commonplace book is to simply add these intents to one’s own website and either favorite, bookmark, mark as read, repost, reply to, annotate, highlight, or just about “anything else” them there and syndicate the appropriate response to Twitter separately. (Examples: bookmarks and reads.) This makes it much more difficult to muddle the intent. It’ll also give you a much more highly searchable set of data that you can own on your own website.

Why wait around for Twitter or another social service to build the tools you want/need when it’s relatively easy to cobble them together for yourself on a variety of opensource platforms? While you’re at it, remove some of the other limitations like 280 characters as well…

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👓 Why Tweet? | Confessions of a Community College Dean

Read Why Tweet? by Matt Reed (Inside Higher Ed)
The positives of academic Twitter.

Some interesting and generally useful insight here. Sadly I didn’t see his Twitter handle attached to the post–at least on the mobile version. So much for the “promotion” accusation…

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👓 Build an instant Twitter dashboard, with just a little code | PushPullFork

Read Build an instant Twitter dashboard, with just a little code by Kris Shaffer (PushPullFork)
Mining tweets? Just provide your search terms, enter a couple commands at the terminal, and voilà, ... instant dashboard!

Over the past year and a half, I've been building tools to collect, analyze, and visualize large quantities of tweets. These tools have helped me (and my colleagues at Data for Democracy) monitor trends and uncover disinformation campaigns in the French presidential election, the 2017 Virginia election, the #unitetheright rally in Charlottesville, and the #MeToo movement, among others. Over the past few months, I've been building a pre-packaged dashboard kit that will help me spin up something quickly, so I can get an at-a-glance view of trends surrounding a certain hashtag, topic, or movement right away, as I start to analyze these trends, often in the moment.

While I'm sure there will be more updates, that package — tweetmineR — is complete! I've licensed it open-source and hosted it on GitHub, so anyone who wants can download it and use it to generate their own Twitter dashboard. While you need to have certain coding packages installed, you don't actually need to be a coder to make it work. Just edit a couple lines with your search terms, enter a couple commands at the terminal/shell/command-line to run it, and voilà, ... instant dashboard!

This is a cool looking little tool for Twitter analysis. Includes some useful outline for setting up and using the tool as well.

I could see this being an interesting thing to study the recent #DeleteFacebook movement.

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👓 How to get Twitter back on song? #NoMoreRetweets | the Guardian

Read How to get Twitter back on song? #NoMoreRetweets by John Naughton (the Guardian)
They make up a quarter of all tweets, but at long last someone has found a way to turn them off…

This is an interesting theory. I’ll have to dig into the mechanics and try it out. I often find that don’t pay as much attention in general to retweets as I do to original content. I even far prefer people who are excellent aggregators in focused topics and post their content as bookmarks to the article rather than retweeting content.

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👓 Most major outlets have used Russian tweets as sources for partisan opinion: study | Columbia Journalism Review

Read Most major outlets have used Russian tweets as sources for partisan opinion: study by Josephine Lukito and Chris Wells (Columbia Journalism Review)
In a new study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we look at how often, and in what context, Twitter accounts from the Internet Research Agency—a St. Petersburg-based organization directed by individuals with close ties to Vladimir Putin, and subject to Mueller’s scrutiny—successfully made their way from social media into respected journalistic media. We searched the content of 33 major American news outlets for references to the 100 most-retweeted accounts among those Twitter identified as controlled by the IRA, from the beginning of 2015 through September 2017. We found at least one tweet from an IRA account embedded in 32 of the 33 outlets—a total of 116 articles—including in articles published by institutions with longstanding reputations, like The Washington Post, NPR, and the Detroit Free Press, as well as in more recent, digitally native outlets such as BuzzFeed, Salon, and Mic (the outlet without IRA-linked tweets was Vice).

How are outlets publishing generic tweets without verifying the users actually exist? This opens up a new type of journalistic fraud in which a writer could keep an army of bots and feed out material that they could then self-quote for their own needs without a story really existing.

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👓 All Followers Are Fake Followers | The Atlantic

Read All Followers Are Fake Followers by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic)
A New York Times exposé of a “black market” for online fame diagnoses the symptom of social-media despair, but misses its cause.

This aptly picks up where the NYT article left off… though of course they go on even further than this article admits.

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👓 The Facebook execs who turn to Twitter for publisher charm offensive | Digiday

Read The Facebook execs who turn to Twitter for publisher charm offensive - Digiday by Lucia Moses (Digiday)
These are the Facebook execs using Twitter to promote the social network and attack its critics.
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Microblogging by Paul Robert Lloyd

Bookmarked Microblogging by Paul Robert Lloyd (paulrobertlloyd.com)
I stopped using Facebook because I didn’t trust the people behind Facebook. I had grown weary of the sly and underhand tactics used to grow their network and was unwilling to remain part of it. But if I’m honest, I couldn’t trust myself either. Visiting Facebook would elicit behaviour you could only describe as stalking; trawling through the feeds of my friends, seeking out people I vaguely knew. I had better things to do with my time. Almost a decade later, I’m having similar thoughts about Twitter.

He’s got some interesting, but subtle references to pieces of the “old” web including Small Pieces, Loosely Joined.
​​​​​​

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Adding Simple Twitter Response Buttons to WordPress Posts

Simple Twitter UI buttons on an IndieWeb-enabled site can allow Twitter to become part of your commenting system.

Back at IndieWebCamp Austin, I became enamored of adding additional methods of interacting with my website, particularly for those who weren’t already on the IndieWeb train. I’d seen these types of interactions already on Tantek Çelik’s site in the past, so naturally I figured I would start there.

Web Actions

Some basic searching revealed that in IndieWeb parlance, these types of functionalities are known as web actions. While they’re often added to make it easier for one site with the proper infrastructure to interact with another, they’re also designed for social web silos (Like Twitter, Facebook, et al.) to do this type of interaction simply as well.

As a small scale experiment, I thought I would begin manually and add some simple interface to allow Twitter users (who may not yet have their own websites to use to respond to me instead) to be able to quickly and easily reply to, repost, or like posts on my site. A little bit of reading on the wiki and Twitter’s developer site allowed me to leverage something into existence pretty quickly.

Interestingly, although there are many plugins that help users simply share a blog post to Twitter, I couldn’t easily find a WordPress plugin that already allows these other interactions as options at all. I suspect it may be because the other side of the interaction of bringing the replies back to one’s site isn’t commonly known yet.

Example

I was able to write a post, syndicate it to Twitter, upload the button images, and then inject the Twitter post ID (939650287622434816 in this example) for my syndicated copy into my post like so:

<span class="syn-text">Respond via Twitter:
<ul class="relsyn">
<li><a href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?in_reply_to=939650287622434816" target=""><img src="/reply-icon-16.png" alt="" width="16" height="11" /> Reply</a></li>
<li><a href="https://twitter.com/intent/retweet?tweet_id=939650287622434816" target=""><img src="/retweet-icon-16.png" alt="" width="16" height="10" /> Repost</a></li>
<li><a href="https://twitter.com/intent/favorite?tweet_id=939650287622434816" target=""><img src="/like-icon-16.png" alt="" width="16" height="16" /> Like</a></li>
</ul><script type="text/javascript" async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></span>

And voila! My new post now had some simple buttons that allow users a simple one click interaction with a popup window to reply to, repost, or like my post.

Displaying responses

Naturally, through the “magic” of Brid.gy, I’m able to collect these responses via backfeed with the Webmention protocol using the Webmention Plugin for WordPress back to my own website. In simpler and less technical terms, if you use one of these buttons, your interaction with my website as posted to Twitter comes back to live on my website. Thus users can use Twitter to write a comment or reply on Twitter and it will display in my comments section just as if they had written it directly in my comments box. Likes and reposts are sent to my site and are displayed relatively naturally as facepiles under the comment headings “Likes” and “Reposts”.

I’ll do another manual example with this particular post, so feel free to use the buttons at the bottom of this post to make your response via Twitter if you wish.

Future Improvements

Taking some of this code and abstracting into a plugin for others to use would be a nice feature. Doing this would also potentially make it available as a potential plugin in the larger IndieWeb suite of WordPress plugins. Perhaps it could be easily added into the codebase in one or another pre-existing plugins? I might think that David Shanske’s  Syndication Links plugin or Bridgy Publish plugin might make sense as they’re already adding functionality for part of the publishing half of the cycle by either publishing to Twitter and/or importing the Tweet ID back into one’s WordPress site for potential display. One or the other could do a simple if/then on the existence of a syndicated Tweet, then extract the Twitter ID, and add the buttons to the interface appropriately.

It would be interesting to add full mark up to make <indie-action> functionality possible for a broader class of web actions, particularly if it could be integrated directly into WordPress in a more interesting manner to work with the Post Kinds Plugin or the IndieWeb PressThis type of bookmarklet functionality.

Instead of having these types of interactions injected at the bottom of the post, it may make more sense to have it display in the comment block instead.

I suspect that Facebook, Instagram, and others also enable some types of functionality, so adding the ability to use them the same way would be awesome. And even more so in the case of RSVP’s to events since Brid.gy handles those relatively well between Facebook and WordPress sites. (See this example.)

Try it yourself

Go ahead and use the buttons below to interact with this post via Twitter.

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