Quoted by Jeremy KeithJeremy Keith (adactio.com)

I love my website. Even though it isn’t a physical thing, I think it might be my most prized possession.

It’s a place for me to think and a place for me to link.

A stark statement to make about one’s website. I feel exactly the same way.
 
 
Replied to The Memex, the Manhatten Project, and the month of July 1945 by Matt WebbMatt Webb (Interconnected)
I wonder about these two legacies, the Memex and the Manhatten Project, and which has had the greater influence on the world.
Some revisionist history here glorifying Bush and the Memex without any mention of the long historical precedent of the commonplace book.

So for Bush’s greatest legacy, my answer would have to be his supervision and support of Claude Shannon’s work at MIT.

Thoughts on Jeet Heer’s Can We Bring Back Blogging?

Jeet Heer recently wrote a piece (on Substack) entitled Can We Bring Back Blogging? where he waxed a bit nostalgic for the old blogosphere.

This makes me wonder: did blogging die off because the tools changed?

Everyone had their own space on the internet and the internet itself was the medium which opened up the conversation. I could use WordPress while someone else might have been on Blogger, Moveable Type, Live Journal, TypePad, or something they made in HTML themselves.

Now it’s all siloed off into tinier spaces where content is trapped for eyeballs and engagement and there’s not nearly as much space for expression. Some of the conversation is broken up into 280 character expressions on Twitter, some on Instagram, and now people are aggregating content inside Substack. Substack at least has a feed I can subscribe to and a free form box to add a reply.

I appreciate Jeff’s comment about the “flywheel of social media”. We’re definitely going to need something like that to help power any resurgence of the blogosphere. I also like to think of it in the framing of “thought spaces” where the idea of a blog is to give yourself enough space to form a coherent idea and make an actual argument. Doing that is much harder to do on a microblog where the responses are also similarly limited. It just feels so rude to post 250 words in reply to a sentence or two that probably needed more space to express itself too.

I suspect that if we want a real resurgence of thought and discourse online, we’re going to need some new tools to do it. As Friedrich Nietzsche famously conceded to his friend Heinrich Köselitz “You are right — our writing tools take part in the forming of our thoughts.”

It would help if we could get back to the bare metal of the internet in which to freely operate again. Substack at least feels close to that, though it could be much better.

Can we have a conversational medium that isn’t constrained by a handful of corporate silos that don’t allow conversation across boundaries? Can we improve the problems of context collapse we’re seeing in social media?

I’d like to think that some of the building blocks the IndieWeb movement has built might help guide the way. I love their idea of Webmention notifications that allow one site to mention another regardless of the platforms on which they’re built. Their Micropub posting tools abstract away the writing and posting experience to allow you to pick and choose your favorite editor. They’ve got multiple social reader tools to let you follow the people and content you’re interested in and reply to things directly in the reader. I presented a small proof of concept at a recent education conference, for those who’d like to see what that experience looks like today.

Perhaps if more platforms opened up to these ideas and tools, we might be able to return, but with a lot more freedom and flexibility than we had in the nostalgic blogosphere?

Yet, we’ll still be facing the human work of interacting and working together. There are now several magnitudes of order more people online than there were in the privileged days of the blogosphere. We’re still going to need to solve for that. Perhaps if everyone reads and writes from their own home on the web, they’re less likely to desecrate their neighbor’s blog because it sticks to their own identity?

There’s lots of work to be done certainly, but perhaps we’ll get there by expanding things, opening them up, and giving ourselves some more space to communicate?

Replied to a tweet by Flancian (Twitter)
The commonplace book is definitely the precursor to Vannevar Bush’s Memex and the idea of a personal wiki/digital garden. See examples at: https://indieweb.org/commonplace_book. Do add yours as an example there.
Bookmarked Whiki by Whitney TrettienWhitney Trettien (whitneyannetrettien.com)
This is an online commonplace book for Whitney Trettien. You're welcome to use these notes and reading lists to guide you in your own studies.
This has to be one of the baddest-ass things I’ve seen in months. I wish more people had public-facing commonplace books like this!

Bonus points that Whitney calls it a Whiki! 🙂

Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.

https://boffosocko.com/2021/04/26/a-twitter-of-our-own-at-oerxdomains-2021-conference/

Reposted a post by Altadena Library DistrictAltadena Library District (Facebook.com)

A top priority for the Altadena Libraries is to reach populations that are historically underserved and increase access to library services and resources. A multitude of issues can limit people from accessing literacy tools, so homegrown, community-driven initiatives like Little Free Libraries (LFL) are ideal channels through which to provide access to books and other literacy tools. Chris Aldrich is a steward of his own LFL #8424, and as a champion for Little Free Libraries in Altadena, he keeps books in his car to "pollinate" other libraries he sees. Talking with library staff, he noted that throughout the pandemic, he has been surprised and encouraged to see people walking to LFLs with their children and reading books on the spot, transforming LFLs from just quick pick-up locations to actual reading destinations.

After learning about the Altadena Zine Library, Chris decided to create a zine listing all Little Free Libraries in Altadena, both those officially registered with LittleFreeLibrary.org and not, with photos and locations for Altadenans to explore! As the Altadena Library District and the Friends of the Altadena Library work together to steward surplus book donations and as the District’s mobile library program gets rolling, library staff will draw on on Chris’ vast knowledge and passion about the Little Free Library movement to support the inventories of Altadena LFLs, reach underserved communities, and potentially even build new LFLs! #NationalLibraryWeek2021 #NationalLibraryWeekinAltadena

Photo clipped from the Altadena Libraries newsletter featuring a street view of the blue Little Free Library #8424 boxSnapshot of Chris Aldrich in a plaid shirt next to Tod Bol wearing a white shirt

PICTURED:
- Chris’ very own Little Free Library
- Chris (left) and founder of the Little Free Library movement Todd Bol (right)

I suspected they were going to do something, but just hadn’t seen it yet. The Altadena Libraries have featured me in their newsletter this past month for some of my Little Free Library work.
RSVPed Attending April Webinar: Inside Pressbooks with Steel Wagstaff

The next Cooking with H5P and Pressbooks webinar takes place Thursday, April 29 at 9:00 am PT (check for your local time). For this episode, we invited into the kitchen Steel Wagstaff, Educational Product Manager for Pressbooks. From his position, he will be able to share much about the features and capabilities of Pressbooks, how H5P integrates with it, examples worth looking at, and maybe some insight into future directions for the platform.

Replied to a tweet by Remi Kalir (Twitter)
My one hot take: A book about annotation should have had bigger (better) margins. Being part of a pre-existing series understandably made that difficult.

Let’s hear it for the electronic versions, which give us infinite space though!

Evie (taunting me to tuck her in before she gets to 15): …, 9-Mississippi, 10-Mississippi, 11-Mississippi, …

Me: We don’t Mississippi in this house! Maybe we should Tennessee since that’s where Grandma and Grandpa live?

Evie: I’ve Mississippi’ed since I was three.

Me: Maybe since we’re Welsh we should Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch? You know: 1-Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, 2-Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, …

Together: 3-Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch…

Evie (interrupting): Wait, what number are we on now???

Domains at Domains

I mentioned it as an anecdotal observation in my talk, so I went back and counted the appearances of online identifiers on the 159 re-mixable badges for the OERxDomains 21 Conference. I counted 91 twitter handles, 15 domain names, and 1 Instagram handle.

There were a couple people who used email addresses. A few people listed multiple twitter handles, and one enterprising person (not me!) listed three domain names.

Because the badges were customizable, people (or their animals and a few organizations) had the individual choice of what text to put on their personal badges.

Hopefully we’ll do better on using domain names at the next domains-related conference. 😜

Just saw my first news report since the start of the pandemic and introduction of vaccines where a reporter specified in voice over of video of people sitting within a foot or two of each other that everyone was fully vaccinated.

Helps make it feel like we’ve turned some sort of corner.

Of course the segment was about the coming plague of locusts…