Read The Layered Deceptions of Jessica Krug, the Black-Studies Professor Who Hid That She Is White by Lauren Michele JacksonLauren Michele Jackson (The New Yorker)
During her scholastic career, Krug’s advisers, editors, and colleagues failed to recognize the gap between something thrown-on and something lived-in. That inattentiveness was her escape hatch.

Consider, for instance, the footage that has been circulating from a New York City Council hearing, held over Zoom in June, which shows Krug in her Afro-Latinx pose. She introduces herself as Jess La Bombalera, a nickname apparently of her own making, adapted from Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican genre of music and dance. Broadcasting live from “El Barrio,” and wearing purple-tinted shades and a hoop in her nose, she lambasts gentrifiers, shouts out her “black and brown siblings,” and twice calls out “white New Yorkers” for not yielding their speaking time. What stands out, though, is the way Krug speaks, in a patchy accent that begins with thickly rolled “R”s and transitions into what can best be described as B-movie gangster. This is where desire outruns expertise. The Times, in a piece on Krug’s exposure, last week, nonetheless called this a “Latina accent,” lending credence to Krug’s performance. (The phrase was later deleted.) The offhand notation is a tiny example of the buy-in Krug has been afforded her entire scholastic career, by advisers and committee members and editors and colleagues. They failed to recognize the gap not between real and faux, so much, as between something thrown-on and something lived-in. That inattentiveness was Krug’s escape hatch. 

If nothing else, this is indicative of human cognitive bias. We’ll tend to take at face value what is presented to us, but then once we “know” our confirmation bias will kick in on the other direction.

I’m curious if there were examples of anyone calling out her accent contemporaneously? We’re also stuck with the bias of wanting to go with the majority view. When you’re the lone voice, you’re less likely to speak up. This is also evinced in the story of her previous colleagues who had “gut feelings” that something was wrong, but didn’t say anything or do any research at the time.
Annotated on September 19, 2020 at 09:14AM

She introduces herself as Jess La Bombalera, a nickname apparently of her own making, adapted from Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican genre of music and dance. Broadcasting live from “El Barrio,” and wearing purple-tinted shades and a hoop in her nose, she lambasts gentrifiers, shouts out her “black and brown siblings,” and twice calls out “white New Yorkers” for not yielding their speaking time. 

I hear this name and immediately think “Bamboléo“! Gipsy Kings! and then this:


Annotated on September 19, 2020 at 09:30AM

Lauren Michele Jackson is a contributing writer at The New Yorker and an assistant professor of English at Northwestern University. 

This is an excellent article on its own without the context, but it is more interesting with the context on the click-thru that Jackson’s first book, the essay collection “White Negroes,” was published in 2019.

I’m curious about the editorial decision to not mention it in the mini-bio here, particularly when the piece is so pointedly about identity and authenticity.
Annotated on September 19, 2020 at 09:57AM

Read Tombstone (typography) (Wikipedia)
In mathematics, the tombstone, halmos, end-of-proof, or Q.E.D. symbol "∎" (or "□") is a symbol used to denote the end of a proof, in place of the traditional abbreviation "Q.E.D." for the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum", meaning "which was to be demonstrated". In magazines, it is one of the various symbols used to indicate the end of an article. In Unicode, it is represented as character U+220E ∎ END OF PROOF (HTML ∎). Its graphic form varies, as it may be a hollow or filled rectangle or square.
Read a thread by Liz (threadreaderapp.com)
Read 5 Excellent YA Books About Selkies by Abby Hargreaves
If books about mermaids aren’t really your thing and you’re looking for something a bit earthier, you might be interested in selkie lore. For the uninitiated, selkies come from Scottish folklore, stemming particularly from the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland. Selkies, a kind of mythical creature that shapeshifts from a seal to a human form. In many examples of selkie legends, part of the lore typically involves a woman selkie who loses her pelt to a man of the land. When this happens, she is tied to him so long as she is unable to find her pelt, and therefore unable to return to her seal form and her ocean habitat. These six YA books about selkies drop readers into stormy seaside towns, sparkling ocean depths, and treacherous rocky crags.
Apparently this is a “thing”? I’m going to download a sample of one and give it a try.
Read How to find the editor of a book by Erin Mayer (Book Riot)
As readers, we love books. We also recognize that books are about more than the author’s name on the front cover. Books wouldn’t exist without authors, but so much goes into publishing your favorite titles. From publicity to copyediting and book design, the publishing world is vast and varied. Have you ever wondered how to find the editor of a book? It’s actually super easy most of the time.
This didn’t have as much useful advice as I would have hoped.
I got sidetracked tonight and jumped into the rabbithole that is Pollen and Racket, which I’ve been tempted to look into for several years for simultaneously publishing both websites and books. 

In just a few minutes in a quick demo, I’ve been able to build a local website. This seems a bit easier than I had initially expected, but there’s still a way to go…

Watched Anatomy of a Great Faculty Website by Steve RyanSteve Ryan from WPCampus 2020 Online - July 29-30 - Where WordPress meets Higher Education

Within higher education, requests to build websites for individual faculty members sit at the absolute bottom of the work queue for most marketing/communications teams. If this type of product is offered at all, it typically uses a self-service model; the institution will provide the platform while the faculty member will provide the content. And while this is the most sustainable model for most small and mid-sized web teams, it tends to produce multiple websites that are ineffective at communicating even simple messages. Worse, they have a high tendency to become the poorest reflections of the institution with a high rate of abandonment or misuse.

Let's fix that tendency together. With a careful examination of what really matters to faculty members who are looking to create and maintain their own websites, we can begin to build better sites. With better sites (and a little luck), you can start to derive value from the project at the bottom of your work pile.

Together we'll talk about:

  • A simple analysis of the types of content that you'll typically find within a faculty website.
  • A "wish list" for the types of content that you (as a marketer) would really like to see from these types of sites.
  • A working example of a theme that delivers on these key concepts and adds some "quick wins" which makes for a better experience.
  • How to leverage the capabilities of WordPress multisite to produce more value from collections of these type of sites.

This is an awesome little session at WPCampus 2020 Online. (Video for it available shortly.) It reminds me a lot of the Drupal project Open Scholar that does something similar. I can see it being useful for folks in the Domain of One’s Own space.

I totally want to start using something like this myself to not only test it out, but to build in the proper microformats v2 mark up so that it’s IndieWeb friendly. Perhaps a project at the planned IWC Pop-up Theme raising session?

Bookmarked ISBNdb (isbndb.com)
ISBNdb gathers data from hundreds of libraries, publishers, merchants and other sources around the globe to compile a vast collection of unique book data searchable by ISBN, title, author, or publisher. Get a FREE 7 day trial and get access to the full database of 24 + million books and all data points including title, author, publisher, publish date, binding, pages, list price, and more.

Outline for Webmentions in Conjunction with Academic Citations

Replied to a tweet by Terence EdenTerence Eden (Twitter)
I’ve noted before how Altmetric does what some would call backfeed, though I’m not sure what or how their mechanism works other than some heavy search and extreme processing from social media platforms.

Pingbacks are essentially dead and in personal experience some of the few sites that still support them are in academia, but they’re relatively rare and have horrible UI in the best of times. Webmention is a much better evolutionary extension of the pingback idea and have been rapidly growing since before the spec was standardized by the W3C. 

I’ve sketched out how individual academics could use their own websites and publish pre-prints and syndicate them to pre-print servers and even to their final publications while still leveraging Webmentions to allow their journal articles, books, other works, to accept and receive webmentions from other web publications as well as social media platforms that reference them. 

I think the Microformats process is probably the best standardized way of doing this with classes and basic HTML and there is a robust offering of parsers that work in a variety  of programming languages to help get this going. To my mind the pre-existing h-cite is probably the best route to use along with the well-distributed and oft-used <cite> tag with authorship details easily fitting into the h-card structure. 

As an example, if Zeynep were to cite Tessie, then she could write up her citation in basic HTML with a few microformats and include a link to the original paper (with a rel=”canonical” or copies on pre-print servers or other journal repositories with a rel=”alternate” markup). On publishing a standard Webmention would be sent and verified and Tessie could have the option of displaying the citation on her website in something like a “Citation” section. The Post Type Discovery algorithm is reasonably sophisticated enough that I think a “citation” like this could be included in the parsing so as to help automate the way that these are found and displayed while still providing some flexibility to both ends of the transaction.

Ideally all participants would also support sending salmentions so that the online version of the “officially” published paper, say in Nature, that receives citations would forward any mentions back to the canonical version or the pre-print versions.

Since most of the basic citation data is semantic enough in mark up the receiver with parsing should be able to designate any of the thousands of journal citation formats that they like to display any particular flavor on the receiving website, which may be it’s own interesting sub-problem.

Of course those wishing to use schema.org or JSON-LD could include additional markup for those as well as parsing if they liked.

Perhaps I ought to write a longer journal article with a full outline and diagrams to formalize it and catch some of the potential edge cases.

Replied to a tweet by Martha BurtisMartha Burtis (Twitter)
I want it all too! If you’d like to join us at IndieWebCamp this weekend (free online), let’s have a session there to brainstorm how we can have our cakes and eat them too.

I think some of the POSSE (Post on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) model may work to smooth some of this over. For example, I can write my response to everyone on my own WordPress site and fairly easily syndicate it to Twitter to have the best of both worlds.

If this weekend isn’t convenient, let’s host a pop-up session or mini-conference in a bit to discuss it and see what we can hack together.

 

Replied to a post by Katherine M. MossKatherine M. Moss (cambridgeport90.micro.blog)
I wonder how on earth one finds the ISBN of a Kindle-only book? I’m wondering whether or not the IndieWeb book resources should begin going by ASIN instead of ISBN … seems that the ASIN is easy to find if on GoodReads.
Each publisher should be assigning individual International Standard Book Numbers to each format for each different edition, but in practice they don’t always. Often they’ll assign a single ISBN number to all e-book versions (regardless of file format) and sometimes they’ll incorrectly use the same number as the paperback or hardback editions.

Things can be worse for more independent or self-published works where the author doesn’t know how these things work. These may often have no ISBN at all regardless of the format.

The least “indie” thing one could do would be to use the Amazon Standard Identification Number which is a number assigned by Amazon. ASINs are easy to find on Goodreads solely because they’re owned by Amazon. In many cases, there are far more editions on Goodreads than actually exist because of the lack of use of ISBNs and de-duplication of editions which they import from a variety of data sources, including Amazon itself.

To my knowledge, the only true way to find the “correct” ISBN is to copy it directly from the book/source itself.

Bookmarked a tweet (Twitter)
It’s starting to feel too late on the West coast of the US to start something right now, but my mind is buzzing. I’ll see if I can come up with something IndieWebby/Domain of One’s Owny overnight to post tomorrow. 

In the meanwhile, I’m curious what Greg McVerry, Aaron Davis, and others might whip up while I’m sleeping?

Thoughts on Wikity for WordPress

I spun up a new instance of Wikity today at http://wikity.chrisaldrich.net/ to test it out for potential use as a personal online wiki. My goal was also to test out how it may or may not work with IndieWeb-based WordPress pieces too.

Below are my initial thoughts and problems.

The /home/ page has a lot of errors and warnings. (Never a good sign.)

It took me a few minutes to figure out where the Wik-it! bookmarklet button was hiding. Ideally it would have been in the start card that described how the bookmarklet would work (in addition to its original spot).

The Wikity theme seems to have some issues when using for http vs. https.

  • Less seems to work out of the box with https
  • The main card for entering “Name of Concept or Data” didn’t work at all under https. It only showed the title and wouldn’t save. Switching to http seemed to fix it and show the editor bar.

I’ve tried copying over from Aaron DavisWikity instance, but the cardbox seems to fail on my end.

  • Nothing seemed to work at all when I had my site as https. In fact, it redirected to a URL that seemed like it wanted to run update.php for some bizarre reason.
  • On http I at least get a card saying that the process failed.
    • Not sure what may be causing this.
    • Doesn’t seem to matter how many cards it is.
    • Perhaps it’s the fact that Aaron’s site is https? I notice that his checkbox export functionality duplicates his entire URL including the https:// within the export box which seems to automatically prepend http://
    • Copying to my own wiki seems to vaguely work using http, but failed on https.

Multiple * in the markdown editor functionality within WordPress doesn’t seem to format the way I’d expect.

Sadly, the original Wikity.cc site is down, but the theme still includes a link to it front and center on my website.

The home screen quick new card has some wonky CSS that off centers it.

Toggling full screen editing mode in new cards from the home screen makes them too big and obscures the UI making things unusable.

The primary multi-card home display doesn’t work well with markup the way the individual posts do.

The custom theme seems to be hiding some of the IndieWeb pieces. It may also be hampering the issuance of webmention as I tried sending one to myself and it only showed up as a pingback. It didn’t feel worth the effort to give the system a full IndieWeb test drive beyond this.

Doing this set up as a theme and leveraging posts seems like a very odd choice. From my reading, Mike Caulfield was relatively new to WordPress development when he made this. Even if he was an intermediate developer, he should be proud of his effort, including his attention to some minute bits of UI that others wouldn’t have considered. To make this a more ubiquitous solution, it may have been a better choice to create it as a plugin, do a custom post type for wiki cards and create a separate section of the database for them instead of trying to leverage posts. This way it could have been installed on any pre-existing WordPress install and the user could choose their own favorite theme and still have a wiki built into it. In this incarnation it’s really only meant to be installed on a fresh stand-alone site.

I only used the Classic Editor and didn’t even open up the Gutenberg box of worms in any of my tests.

Summary

The Wikity theme hasn’t been maintained in four years and it looks like it’s going to take quite a bit of work (or a complete refactoring) to make it operate the way I’d want it to. Given the general conceptualization it may make much more sense to try to find a better maintained solution for a wiki.

The overarching idea of what he was trying to accomplish, particularly within the education space and the OER space, was awesome. I would love nothing more than to have wiki-like functionality built into my personal WordPress website, particularly if I could have different presentations for the two sides but still maintain public/private versions of pieces and still have site-wide tagging and search. Having the ability to port data from site to site is a particularly awesome idea.

Is anyone actively still using it? I’d love to hear others’ thoughts about problems/issues they’ve seen. Is it still working for you as expected? Is it worth upgrading the broken bits? Is it worth refactoring into a standalone plugin?