On May 31st, 2000, I signed up with a new service called LiveJournal. I was user 4,136 which entitled me a permanent account and street cred in some alternate geeky universe which I have not yet visited. I was living in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory in Oakland California and starting a company to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the web. One night in July of that year I had an idea to make a more "live" LiveJournal. Real-time, up-to-date, from the road. Akin to updating your AIM status from wherever you are, and sharing it. For the next 5 years, I thought about this concept and tried to silently introduce it into my various projects. It slipped into my dispatch work. It slipped into my networks of medical devices. It slipped into an idea for a frictionless service market. It was everywhere I looked: a wonderful abstraction which was easy to implement and understand. The 6th year; the idea has finally solidified (thanks to the massively creative environment my employer Odeo provides) and taken a novel form. We're calling it twttr (though this original rendering calls it stat.us; I love the word.ed domains, e.g. gu.st/). It's evolved a lot in the past few months. From an excited discussion and persuasion on the South Park playground to a recently approved application for a SMS shortcode. I'm happy this idea has taken root; I hope it thrives. Some things are worth the wait.
I left my job as the second employee at Pinterest–before I vested any of my stock–to turn Gumroad into a billion-dollar company. And…
A great little essay. We need more entrepreneurs building things like this rather than chasing the dream of being a unicorn. We need more stories like this, because this is how the world really works, not the other way around.
📖 53% done reading A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman
A note from Tony Haile, CEO of Scroll
- Scroll is acquiring Nuzzel
- The core service isn’t going to change beyond removing the ads
- We’re spinning out the media intelligence business
Nuzzel is one of my favorite things, so I’m glad to hear that it will continue on… I haven’t heard much about Scroll, which appears to be a journalism startup, but hopefully they’ve got enough legs to make it for the long haul.
We need more competition in the space of “discovery” on the web and particularly in the area of allowing users to control the levers that go into some of that discovery. The blackbox algorithms of the social media giants certainly can’t be trusted because of their financial motivations. In some sense, I view Nuzzel as a real-time directory, but one whose cache is flushed at regular intervals instead of saving all the data for a later date and time or other additional searching. I wonder what a engine like Nuzzel would look like if it kept all the data and allowed itself to be searchable in a long-tail way?
The Bundeskartellamt has imposed on Facebook far-reaching restrictions in the processing of user data.
According to Facebook's terms and conditions users have so far only been able to use the social network under the precondition that Facebook can collect user data also outside of the Facebook website in the internet or on smartphone apps and assign these data to the user’s Facebook account. All data collected on the Facebook website, by Facebook-owned services such as e.g. WhatsApp and Instagram and on third party websites can be combined and assigned to the Facebook user account.
The authority’s decision covers different data sources:
(i) Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram can continue to collect data. However, assigning the data to Facebook user accounts will only be possible subject to the users’ voluntary consent. Where consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and cannot be processed in combination with Facebook data.
(ii) Collecting data from third party websites and assigning them to a Facebook user account will also only be possible if users give their voluntary consent.
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. Born eight weeks ago, Leon is too young to get his first measles shot, putting him at risk for the highly contagious respiratory virus, which can be fatal in small children.
It's ugly, but it was foreseeable, maybe even inevitable.
The glut of Ph.D. graduates is slowly killing academia. We need a better pathway for highly educated people to do something besides teach with these degrees because there just aren’t enough spots to employ them all.
I’m curious what other economic pressures are causing this issue and ones like it? Solidarity and unions are a stopgap at best, eventually the entire system is going to come down unless some drastic changes are made. Eventually it’ll only be the tier 1 schools that have tenure anymore, and everyone else will just be teachers. But even the tier 1 schools may have problems eventually too…
Apparently tenure numbers in rankings don’t mean enough after some point to force colleges to grant it at a reasonable level.
📖 49% done reading A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman
The age bracket of these sophomores/juniors in high school seems a bit older than some of Korman’s other books and characters, but is interestingly sophisticated. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it as much, but it’s starting to grow on me. Their fudging on the poetry assignment is becoming increasingly entertaining. I can feel the proverbial pot beginning to boil the frogs and can’t wait to see when they jump out of the soup.
The return of Web 1.0
Registration for IndieWebCamp Online 2019 is open!, it's the first IndieWebCamp based on the internet since 2014 and we're experimenting with really embracing the internet medium for everything it has. Come experiment with us?
Over the last months, one of the regular problems mentioned with the Indieweb on WordPress is the lack of compatible themes. Most themes do not properly mark up their content in microformats, or support some of the customizations that would integrate with Indieweb plugins. I had already been working...
Back to the Future
The “First Post” on this blog was back in 2013 but I’ve had a presence on the web since the 1990s. My first page would have been one that I had as a graduate student at the University of Washington (1993-1995). In fact one of the early (and extremely popular) web search engi...
Social networks encourage us to take less ownership of our content. That needs to change.
Some excellent motivation here for “Why IndieWeb” as well as some interesting thoughts on legacy from someone who has been blogging for years. Great to see another designer and website creator appreciating the immense value that IndieWeb principles can bring to the web.
Jason, while it looks like you don’t have webmentions set up or displaying yet (I’m guessing you’re on Craft 3 and the plugin for Craft is only compatible with v2 as I recall), you might try creating an account with Webmentions.io and put the endpoint into your head so you can receive them in the erstwhile on a separate service and worry about direct integration at a later date.
The delivery app’s practice of counting tips toward guaranteed minimum payments for its contract workers drew accusations of wage theft.
The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets is a collection of “indigenous and minority writing systems”, gathered together in the hopes of collecting information about reviving interest in these alphabets. From the about page:
In 2009, when I started work on the first series of carvings that became the Endangered Alphabets Project, times were dark for indigenous and minority cultures. The lightning spread of television and the Internet were driving a kind of cultural imperialism into every corner of the world. Everyone had a screen or wanted a screen, and the English language and the Latin alphabet (or one of the half-dozen other major writing systems) were on every screen and every keyboard. Every other culture was left with a bleak choice: learn the mainstream script or type a series of meaningless tofu squares.
Yet 2019 is a remarkable time in the history of writing systems. In spite of creeping globalization, political oppression, and economic inequalities, minority cultures are starting to revive interest in their traditional scripts. Across the world, calligraphy is turning writing into art; letters are turning up as earrings, words as pendants, proverbs as clothing designs. Individuals, groups, organizations and even governments are showing interest in preserving and protecting traditional writing systems or even creating new ones as way to take back their cultural identity.