RSVPed Attending Respectful Responses

How do we enable more positive serendipity & discovery via our websites, between both existing friends & family, and new positive interactions. And how do we raise barriers to spam, harassment, and other unpleasant social media interactions.

It's not just "fixing comments", it's much more than that.

Respectful responses include even simple interactions like likes, bookmarks, and reposts, as well as indirect comments like quote tweets.

A broader user-centric conversation about the problem that Vouch is designed to solve one or some parts thereof.

Plywood wall with various posters glued up featuring one that reads POST NO ILLS

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
Hammersmith, London, UK |
A comment on the fragile state of society today, by artist Tim Fishlock

Many who attended @WeAreNew_Public‘s #NewPublicFestival earlier this week may be interested in this upcoming IndieWebCamp pop up session.

Replied to Bookish, Chapter Type Theme by cogdogcogdog (Reclaim Hosting Community)
I’ve recently rescued the formatted version of my 1986 MS thesis (originally in Mac Word 3.0 files on floppy disks) with plans to publish in my domain. I know most people will just say “do Pressbooks” but I want my own site/theme w/o all that overhead. If anyone has a suggestion for a good clean WP theme for creating content organized into Chapters, let me know. Or maybe I should be doing in some kind of static generator.

Alan,

Did I hear someone whisper “Book SPLOT”?!

There are a few examples of this sort of publishing pattern at https://indieweb.org/academic_samizdat and https://indieweb.org/book that use a variety of technologies.

The easiest method is obviously to publish a .pdf copy and simply link it. If you have a text version of it and want .epub or .mobi files for e-readers I’ve got infrastructure for converting text into those I could put into service for you. I’ve done it in the past for Stommel and Morris’s Urgency of Teachers. (I have a small publishing house on the side and can help you out with ISBN numbers for much cheaper than usual if you like.)

@kfitz has done it a few times during the process of writing and subsequently publishing books, so she may have ideas/opinions. If I’m not mistaken, she used CommentPress, so that may be most comfortable for you from within the WordPress world.

Jeremy Keith has an awesome example at https://resilientwebdesign.com/ and if you pinged him, he may have a flat html file “shell” that you could cut and paste into. (Or you could view source and manually get the same result.)

Amy Guy’s example on Github which she published using Github Pages is nice and could make a fun little project for you as well.

It would be so much nicer if there were a one click install of PressBooks, but I’ve quit holding my breath on that front. (Maybe it’s a future possibility for Reclaim Cloud though???)

 

Watched January 14, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode from PBS NewsHour
Thursday on the NewsHour, more arrests as investigations and calls for justice pick up after the Capitol riot that led to President Trump's second impeachment, Michigan's former governor is charged with criminally mishandling the deadly Flint water crisis, and a growing number of businesses distance themselves from the president and the Republican Party following last week's violent insurrection.

A few quick notes from the New_Public Festival:

Darius Kazemi:

Darius is running a project called Friend Camp, a Mastodon instance https://friend.camp/about/more

rabble:

Just launched a new social app in the Apple store a few minutes ago. Working on the project https://planetary.social/.

Golda Velez:

Has a proposal for Twitter’s Blue Sky for message encapsulation. More details by searching Blue Sky on Hacker Noon.

rabble:

Building because there is a path in social media 2.0 that we lost. There is a lot of adversiting money to be made, and that’s fine, but it’s deeply problematic.

It’s easy to criticize Twitter and Facebook, but it’s an unfair problem. They have an impossible task because the structure is wrong. How can we come together as humans instead of having the shopping mall do the enforcement?

Bolting on work to existing platforms where one can be deleted is not a good idea.

Darius Kazemi:

Hopes that you’ll have different political places, but other places too. Places built around ethoses that aren’t tied to particular political parties or idologies.

I want to provide a place where people don’t hate their lives. The hook isn’t that it’s decentralized, but that you’ll be happier here.

Golda Velez:

We want to have a safe space where people can do creative things together.

You have to have a federated system with accountability. A graduated system of sanctions. Some democratic way of determining what those things are.

Eli Pariser 🏞📲:

Loved what @tinysubversions wrote on https://runyourown.social/

Golda Velez:

Any tool you build, attackers will use (and abuse) it.

Darius Kazemi:

Keeping nodes of communities smaller (50 people) helps to prevent context collapse. It also minimizes the reporting system from being an attack vector.

I just ran across and am happy to follow Anasuya Sengupta (@Anasuyashh) and
Whose Knowledge? (@WhoseKnowledge) via the New_Public Festival (#NewPublicFestival). Whose Knowledge is “a global campaign to center the knowledge of marginalized communities (the majority of the world) on the internet.”

As I’m reading Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly‘s (@Lynne_Kelly) Songlines: The Power and Promise, I’m curious to explore how the work of  Whose Knowledge might possibly help to empower oral cultures that are neither written down nor on the internet? Also how might this also empower their “third archive”?

Replied to IndieWeb is Too Complicated for It’s Own Good by Kevin TracyKevin Tracy (Kevin Tracy)
Evan Stoner has an incredibly well written (and very to-the-point) article about IndieWeb up on his site that needs more attention. As I mentioned last year, I’ve been playing around with int…

Kevin, I understand a lot of the complications for attempting to set up an IndieWeb site for a static site generator like Evan. A lot of IndieWeb tech is harder to do with SSG’s since a lot of the functionality is anything but static—yet it still works.  Hopefully the small handful of plugins for WordPress are much easier, particularly for someone as adept as you. I’ll admit there’s a microformats issue for dovetailing WordPress themes properly, but that should only get better with time. We could definitely use some developers and designers to help lighten the load to make it easier for everyone. Some platforms like WithKnown have it all out of the box while Drupal and WordPress have either one or a several plugins. Evan’s set up is about as complicated as they could come.

Since you mention some of your problems, a few things you might appreciate for making your own personal use easier for WordPress are the large number of Micropub clients you could be using to post to your website. They’re way easier than dealing with the Classic editor, Gutenberg, or the mobile interface.  I really enjoy using Quill and Omnibear (a browser extension) myself, but for food you might enjoy Teacup and for memes there’s Kapowski. If you want a crash-course on micropub for a non-developer, I did a WordCamp session on it a while back. Since most of them are open source, I’d imagine with your experience, if necessary, you could modify them to suit your specific needs without a lot of work.

If you want to go a step further, you could set up a social reader for subscribing to and reading other sites as well as using their built in micropub functionality to reply to posts directly from your reader.

You’re right that the ecosystem does seem overly-complicated on first view, but it’s taken almost a decade of work by hundreds and thousands of people to attempt to make a set of standards that are as simple as possible for building into almost any platform out there. Further work will only serve to make things even easier and more usable over time.

Of course if one wants an easier solution (especially for the completely non-technical person who is looking for a Twitter-like replacement), there are a few IndieWeb as a Service platforms out there. One of the best I’ve seen so far is micro.blog. You can’t beat its clean interface or ease-of-use as a service and it has pretty much everything built in out of the box. As time goes by it’ll be great to see other services like this that offer the interoperability without the heartache that Evan has seen.

If you’ve got ideas about how the WordPress parts could be improved, do pass them along.

Insurrection aftermath: Don’t absolve yourself

After watching many Republicans on the Sunday morning shows and hearing a few on the radio this morning, I notice that they’re actively preferring only one or two of the three solutions after Wednesday’s insurrectionist coup attempt.

Three options

The three broad options that everyone is talking about:

  1. Trump resigns
  2. 25th Amendment removal of Trump
  3. Impeachment in the House possibly followed by conviction in the Senate

Generally Republicans are looking more closely at options one and two (in that order) and then they’re immediately shifting the discussion to the appalling nature of the events themselves.

The important question we need to ask ourselves is why are they preferring resignation or the 25th amendment? The answer comes down to who is actively receiving the blame and who has to actively do the work to make the system function properly.

In option 1, Trump and Trump alone takes the blame and initiates the action. This lets all his Republican supporters off the hook for allowing him the bullying free reign he’s had for more than four years now.

Presently the chance that Trump resigns is hovering around zero because he is so loathe to smear his own reputation or take responsibility for anything. Resignation is too closely associated with the idea of being a “loser” which Trump cannot admit himself to be at any cost.

In option 2, Trump still takes the blame and only a small handful of primarily un-elected leaders needs to take the action.

As we’ve already seen this past week, cabinet members are either still too loyal to Trump, or have chosen to jump ship to save themselves rather than take the necessary proactive action against him.

In option 3, Trump takes the blame, but a large number of people need to take action. While almost all Democrats and a handful of Republicans can easily take this route, some Republicans are loathe to want this option.

In particular, most Republicans won’t want to take this route because it also means that they must take some of the blame for so actively supporting Donald John Trump’s lies and views for so long.

Responsibility

Not a single Republican I’ve seen was willing to take even an iota of responsibility for supporting Trump, his outright lies, racist policies, or insanity for the past four+ years much less the last two months. Two months in which they either actively supported his lies that the election was stolen or supported it with their acquiescence by silence.  They’re still abjectly holding to the belief that the emperor is fully dressed, while only trying to admit that he’s taken off one glove. They may not want to say it but they know better.

We need to be able to admit that the Emperor is naked and that far too many of us are only half dressed at best. We need to ardently press for all three solutions to happen. We also need to advocate for a fourth option that requires sanctions of the members of congress who voted to continue to support the lie even after the insurrection.

To be the Americans we say we are or want to be, we need to hold power to account. We can’t leave the message that a future leader can do the same thing and get away with it. We need to admit our complicity in allowing Trump to pretend to lead us. We cannot absolve ourselves of responsibility.

We can’t absolve ourselves without true penance

If you’re still unsure of why we cannot absolve ourselves (and honestly even if you aren’t), then I highly recommend reading a short Twitter thread/essay from earlier this week by Lili Saintcrow. It’s a highly illustrative parable about what has been going on in America and why it continues.

Her thread starts here:

And for those who don’t click through, I’ll excerpt two tweets in the thread which are very important to her searing point:

Domestic abusers, white supremacists, and religious bigots all operate off the same thin but very useful playbook that exploits other people’s politeness and (I’ve got to say it) “civility.”

“Obama was born in Kenya.” “She provoked me, I had to hit her.” “Biden’s followers stormed the Capitol.” “It was Antifa.” “I thought that black child was going to shoot me.” These are all the same species of lie, and they serve the same purpose–to absolve the speaker.

Republicans (and let’s be honest, really all of us) are going to have to individually and collectively do some very hard work here, take responsibility, and stop attempting to absolve ourselves.

Without it, we’re just repeating the mistakes of ending Reconstruction after the Civil War which ushered in the despicable Jim Crow laws and have kept our nation mired in racist ideas and racist policies. If we’re not careful we’ll be heading back to an actual and far more costly Civil War. Let’s take this opportunity to admit our mistakes and actually move forward.

We all deserve better. We all need better. We all require better.

We should all demand better.

Replied to First Frozen Beard Run of 2021 by Tim Nolte (Tim Nolte)
This morning was a longer interval run, and it it was a lot colder than it has been, thus the frozen beard. It tool me a bit to get going this morning but I fought the urge to go back to bed and got out there and got it done. #HWI #Run4Water #WhyIRun #RiverBankRun

Coming back to this after-the-fact, I’m realizing that it’s a pretty cool way to do exercise posts. I used to have a better way of doing these myself, and this is a great reminder. You should definitely post the example to the IndieWeb wiki when you get a chance: https://indieweb.org/exercise.

When you’ve got a chance, take a look at your h-card so that when you end up sending webmentions to others your name, website, and avatar parse and show up correctly. You can test with https://indiewebify.me/

Glad to have another WordPress IndieWeb site in the world!

Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
Some call them hovercards. https://indieweb.org/hovercard has some research and good examples of these from across the web.