Tip: One of the Discover curation guidelines is the Buddy Bench principle. If you want to find someone who shares a particular interest, write a micropost asking “Hey, are there any fans of ___ out there?” We add posts like that to Discover. ❧
Another useful tip on this front is to post a Micro Monday following recommendation aggregating a few people you know are interested in a particular topic. As an example, I posted one about a few educators and researchers I knew on micro.blog in July 2018 and it quickly blew up with lots of additional recommendations from others following me within the community.
Over time I’ve kept up with adding to it, and even within the last month that post is still helping to benefit others on the service:
blair says: “@c this made me very happy, thanks for tagging me, I’ve now got a bunch more interesting folks to follow!” May 30, 2019 at 4:28 pm
We are not filtering out topics like F1. There just are not any posts to add. For a lively community on that topic or other specialized topics, you probably need to find a forum or follow hashtags on Twitter. ❧
This is also a potential space that Webmention-based aggregation services like IndieWeb news, or the multi-topic Indieweb.xyz directory could help people aggregate content for easier discovery and community building.
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What are the crucial texts and ideas I should be engaging with? ❧
I’d also look at doing some interviews as well. Starting with Tantek Çelik, Kevin Marks, (both previously of Technorati in the early blogging days, pre social), Dave Winer, Anil Dash, David Weinberger, and Doc Searles.
To put our toxic relationship with Big Tech into perspective, critics have compared social media to a lot of bad things. Tobacco. Crystal meth. Pollution. Cars before seat belts. Chemicals before Superfund sites. But the most enduring metaphor is junk food: convenient but empty; engineered to be addictive; makes humans unhealthy and corporations rich. ❧
That is to say: if the problem has not been the centralized, corporatized control of the individual voice, the individual’s data, but rather a deeper failure of sociality that precedes that control, then merely reclaiming ownership of our voices and our data isn’t enough. If the goal is creating more authentic, more productive forms of online sociality, we need to rethink our platforms, the ways they function, and our relationships to them from the ground up. It’s not just a matter of functionality, or privacy controls, or even of business models. It’s a matter of governance. ❧
So this is where some older paths-not-taken, such as Ted Nelson’s original many-to-many, multidirectional model for hypertext, and some more recent potential paths, such as Herbert van de Sompel’s decentralized, distributed vision for scholarly communication, might come in. ❧
Herbert van de Sompel sounds familiar but I’m not placing him at the moment. I’ll have to read his work with respect to some of my ideas on academic samizdat.
I imagine that the first part of this project will focus on how it got to be this way, what got missed or ignored in some of the early warnings about what was happening online and how those warnings were swamped by the hype depicting the Internet as a space of radical democratization. ❧
I love the brewing idea here. We definitely need this.
Some broad initial bibliography from the top of my head:
A little magazine called the Blind Man, co-edited by Duchamp, ignited a debate still running today. “Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He chose it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – and created a new thought for the object.” ❧
>“If Facebook is providing a consumer’s data to be used for the purposes of credit screening by the third party, Facebook would be a credit reporting agency,” Reidenberg explained. “The [FCRA] statute applies when the data ‘is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility for … credit.'” If Facebook is providing data about you and your friends that eventually ends up in a corporate credit screening operation, “It’s no different from Equifax providing the data to Chase to determine whether or not to issue a credit card to the consumer,” according to Reidenberg. ❧
“It sure smells like the prescreening provisions of the FCRA,” Reidenberg told The Intercept. “From a functional point of view, what they’re doing is filtering Facebook users on creditworthiness criteria and potentially escaping the application of the FCRA.” ❧
In an initial conversation with a Facebook spokesperson, they stated that the company does “not provide creditworthiness services, nor is that a feature of Actionable Insights.” When asked if Actionable Insights facilitates the targeting of ads on the basis of creditworthiness, the spokesperson replied, “No, there isn’t an instance where this is used.” It’s difficult to reconcile this claim with the fact that Facebook’s own promotional materials tout how Actionable Insights can enable a company to do exactly this. Asked about this apparent inconsistency between what Facebook tells advertising partners and what it told The Intercept, the company declined to discuss the matter on the record, ❧