Replied to a post by Natalie (
I started the second week of "Programming 101: An Introduction to for Educators" on #FutureLearn and wrote a small quiz about Arabic verbs: It was fun again and I'm actually a little proud! Would really like to recommend the course again. It's the perfect gentle introduction for me that doesn't overwhelm but still teaches enough to get an idea of what's possible. Looking forward to the final challenge this week: Building commands into your bot. Let's try this!
@natalie, Thanks for the recommendation, this looks great! It looks like it may be a good companion to the Santa Fe Institute’s (free) Foundations & Applications of Humanities Analytics which starts on Jan 17. #DigitalHumanities 


Reposted a post by Ryan RandallRyan Randall (
Earnest but still solidifying take:
The ever-rising popularity of personal knowledge management tools indexes the need for liberal arts approaches. Particularly, but not exclusively, in STEM education.
When people widely reinvent the concept/practice of commonplace books without building on centuries of prior knowledge (currently institutionalized in fields like library & information studies, English, rhetoric & composition, or media & communication studies), that's not "innovation."
Instead, we're seeing some unfortunate combination of lost knowledge, missed opportunities, and capitalism selectively forgetting in order to manufacture a market.
Replied to Return to Blogging by Christopher Long (
A new year brings new calls for a return to personal blogging as an antidote to the toxic and extractive systems of social media.
@cplong @sramsay
IndieWeb, blogging, fountain pens?!? I almost hate to mention it for the rabbit hole it may become, but you’ll get a bit of all three here: Happy New Year!
Replied to How to Set up and Maintain Your Academic Reading List in Obsidian by Natalie Kraneiss (Field Notes)
The combination of Zotero (with the Better BibTeX plugin) and Obsidian with the Citation and Projects plugins are the perfect way for me as a PhD student to keep track of the literature to be read and already read.
This is excellent! I’d already had the majority of it set up and I was going to spend some time this week to write some custom code with Dataview to do this, but apparently there’s a reasonably flexible plugin that will get me 95% of what I’m sure to want without any work! Thanks Natalie.

Incidentally, I spent a chunk of yesterday looking at S.D. Goitein’s note taking process (zettelkasten) in his work on the Cairo Geniza, specifically with respect to:

Zinger, Oded. “Finding a Fragment in a Pile of Geniza: A Practical Guide to Collections, Editions, and Resources.” Jewish History 32, no. 2 (December 1, 2019): 279–309.
Princeton Geniza Lab. “Goitein’s Index Cards,” 2022.
Replied to a post by Ryan RandallRyan Randall (
Slowly customizing my site layout enough to get it to validate h-entry info according to this nifty tool: Wow, do I teach myself best by exploring other examples.
@ryanrandall @natalie I’m seeing more HCommons folx looking at , so I’ll mention that I’ve got several IndieWeb friendly sites including on as does @KFitz, who I think has also been experimenting with static sites lately. If you need support, there’s a great and helpful community you’ll find at for all your questions. You might find some useful tidbits and examples at as well.
Reposted a post by Geoff Cain ( Cain ( (Mastodon)
The Handbook of Open, Distance and Digital Education, a great (1400+ pages!) resource on elearning has been released as an openly licensed book. Great essays in here on learning theories - I will write more as I get through this, but it looks some of the most interesting writers/researchers on elearning are well represented here. Pay a lot for the print copy or download it free as a pdf.

Full RSS feeds for Mastodon Instances with OpenRSS

I’ve wanted full RSS feeds for several Mastodon instances for ages.

They can be particularly useful for small instances (aka communities) with slow posting velocity—you know, that instance you wanted to join for the local camaraderie, but having/maintaining/maintaining yet another Mastodon account wasn’t worth it, the hashtag discovery wasn’t going to cut it, and trying to follow all the people in the local community individually is irksome. Well might be able to cover you.

As an example, I wanted to follow what’s happening at so I added that slightly trimmed local timeline URL onto and put it into my feed reader. After they wire things together for you a bit (presuming it’s one they’ve not seen/done before), voilà your RSS feed just starts working!  Now I’m following ToolsForThought at:

Since my personal website works with Mastodon and the Fediverse, this last part of more easily following groups of people in my social reader helps me complete the circle of reading, following, and responding in a more IndieWeb way. (Of course I wish that Mastodon 4.0 had not gone full js;dr, which would have allowed following them using Microformats mark up with much better fidelity. le sigh)

Replied to a post by Buster Benson ( Benson ( (Mastodon) @coachtony Thanks for these links! Definitely exciting to see how this is being approached from different angles. I’m excited for this next chapter.
Another example of longer posts which are folded under a “read more” type link within the Fediverse itself can be seen in the Hometown fork of Mastodon (, which is running the platform. The admins have upped the character limit to 1000 instead of the usual 500. Ideally those reading in other parts of the network would see the beginning of a post and a “Read more” link to read the remainder of the piece.

I often post to my own WordPress website which has a plugin to make it appear as if it were ActivityPub compatible. If I follow it via a Hometown-based (Mastodon) server, like my account, I see all the full short notes/replies content which are usually 1000 characters or less. For posts over that limit, there’s a “Read More >” which opens up the entirety of the article within the interface where I can read it in its entirety. Naturally there’s a link to the original, so I can also go back to read that if I chose.

I’ve just gone over the 1000 character limit, so I’ll post this on my own site, syndicate a copy to my account, and with any luck it will serve as an example of how all this might work between WordPress, a forked version of Mastodon, and Mastodon itself, as well as for testing it for reading in other parts of the Fediverse if one wished.

Screencapture of post stream seen from within It features a post with over 1000 characters and displays a Read more > link at the bottom of the post to see the entire article.

Beyond this reading experience, one should also be aware of a separate user interface/interaction problem inherent in how Mastodon and potentially other parts of the Fediverse handle replies and who can see them. I’ll leave this link to explain that issue separately: (Hopefully your instance will let you see a subsection of some of the replies to it…)

An additional benefit that one gets in bolting on ActivityPub the way it works for my WordPress site is that folks who subscribe to can see linked text natively from within Mastodon despite the fact that Mastodon doesn’t allow one to wrap text with URLs to link out.

social media (n):  /ˌsoː.ʃəl ˈmiː.di.aː/
A DDoS, usually perpetrated by surveillance capitalists, on a person’s attention preventing them from traditional sensemaking, clear thinking, learning, and generally otherwise experiencing life.
It’s not lost on me that historically multiple votes to elect a Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives like this happen when the United States is grappling with its white supremacist history and what Eddie Glaude, Jr. calls “the lie”.

Screenshot of Mastodon post from Emmanuel Mehr on Jan 05, 2023, 07:44 that reads: 
Updated tracking for historical precedent of current House Speaker voting, all cases of 6+ ballots:

16th Congress (1819-1821): 22 ballots

17th Congress (1821-1823): 12 ballots

23rd Congress (1833-1835): 10 ballots

26th Congress (1839-1841): 11 ballots

31st Congress (1849-1851): 63 ballots

34th Congress (1855-1857): 133 ballots

36th Congress (1859-1861): 44 ballots

68th Congress (1923-1925): 9 ballots

118th Congress (2023-): 6+ ballots (and counting)