Want to try out Mastodon? Thinking about hosting your own? Or maybe you’re new to the experience and need some help or want tips for better connecting?  Our kind friends at Reclaim Hosting and ALT are doing a 90 day Mastodon experiment/class/seminar series where you can sign up for an account on a server that will self-destruct at the end of their trial run. They’re doing three sessions (live with recordings after), have a Discord for discussion and questions, and a Google doc with details and tips.

  • Session 1: Mission briefing: 19 January 2023 at 16:00 GMT (Watch Live)
  • Session 2: Verifying your progress: 23 February 2023 at 16:00 GMT (Watch Live)
  • Session 3: 30 days until self-destruct: 23 March 2023 at 16:00 GMT (Watch Live)

Sign up on their server today to try things out: https://thismastodonwillexplo.de/

@reclaimhosting@reclaim.rocks @jimgroom@social.ds106.us @marendeepwell@social.ds106.us

Reposted a post by Ryan RandallRyan Randall (hcommons.social)
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 a post by Ben AdidaBen Adida (Adida.net Mastodon)
I'm pessimistic about the chances of a federated Twitter gaining and sustaining wide adoption. But I could be wrong, and I'd love to be wrong. So in the spirit of contributing rather than just whining, I wrote up a few thoughts. Don't let federation make the experience suck. cc @blaine@mastodon.social http://benlog.com/2022/12/28/dont-let-federation-make-the-experience-suck/
@blaine@mastodon.social I can’t find the quote from earlier in the week for proper attribution, but someone essentially said “Mastodon brought a spec (ActivityPub, etc.) to a user experience fight.” This is too true, but we also need to be careful of all this not devolving into the RSS Atom Wars which sidetracked developers and allowed corporations to win on the usability front. Conversation on this post already shows heavy evidence of this devolution into architecture astronomy instead of usability. 😔
Replied to a post by Arindam Basu (@arinbasu1@social.arinbasu.online)Arindam Basu (@arinbasu1@social.arinbasu.online) (social.arinbasu.online)
Please share some resources on you have found useful.
@emkmiller@sciences.social, @josh@sciences.social, @arinbasu1@social.arinbasu.online Here’s a collection of material I’ve written relating to Zettelkasten which some may find useful: https://boffosocko.com/research/zettelkasten-commonplace-books-and-note-taking-collection/

In this area, I prefer using Zotero for collecting, ResearchRabbit for expanding scope, Hypothes.is for note taking/annotations which I then pipe into Obsidian for revising, cross linking, and further writing/revisions. Depending on the project, some of it may be more analog with index cards similar to Victor Margolin’s process.

To show the general benefits, I’m copying and pasting from my own prior notes and writing:

ZK is an excellent tool for literature reviews! It is a relative neologism (with a slightly shifted meaning in English over the past decade with respect to its prior historical use in German) for a specific form of note taking or commonplacing that has generally existed in academia for centuries. Excellent descriptions of it can be found littered around, though not under a specific easily searchable key word or phrase, though perhaps phrases like “historical method” or “wissenschaftlichen arbeitens” may come closest.
Some of the more interesting examples of it being spelled out in academe include:

For academic use, anecdotally I’ve seen very strong recent use of the general methods most compellingly demonstrated in Obsidian (they’ve also got a Discord server with an academic-focused channel) though many have profitably used DevonThink and Tinderbox (which has a strong, well-established community of academics around it) as much more established products with dovetails into a variety of other academic tools. Obviously there are several dozens of newer tools for doing this since about 2018, though for a lifetime’s work, one might worry about their longevity as products.

I study many of these methods from the viewpoint of intellectual history (and not just for my own use), so I’m happy to discuss them and their variations ad nauseam.

For this week, I’m recommending a feed reader—a different sort of feed reader: https://fraidyc.at/. Kicks Condor has designed an interface that you can sort by frequency/time as well as tag. It also encourages you to read content on the person’s site directly, so you get the web experience they chose rather than a more vanilla interface.

🎧Episode 539: Frustrated On Your Behalf | Core Intuition

Listened to Episode 539: Frustrated On Your Behalf by Manton Reece and Daniel Jalkut from Core Intuition

Manton and Daniel talk about payments from the Small App Developer settlement against Apple. Why does Manton refuse to accept free money, and are there valid reasons to opt out of the settlement? Then they reflect on the wave of opportunity from Twitter’s drastic downfall, and whether Manton and Daniel can “catch it”. Finally, Manton remembers the IndieWeb principles about plurality and monoculture, and they discuss how that might relate to Mastodon.

Replied to The ethics of syndicating comments using WebMentions by @edent@edent (Terence Eden’s Blog)
This blog uses WebMention technology. If you write an article on your website and mention one of my blog posts, I get a notification. That notification can then be published as a comment. It usually looks something like this: Screenshot of a comment showing that someone mentioned my post on their bl...
Not an answer to the dilemma, though I generally take the position of keeping everything unless someone asks me to take it down or that I might know that it’s been otherwise deleted. Often I choose not to delete my copy, but simply make it private and only viewable to me.

On the deadnaming and related issues, it would be interesting to create a webmention mechanism for the h-card portions so that users might update these across networks. To some extent Automattic’s Gravatar system does this in a centralized manner, but it would be interesting to see it separately. Certainly not as big an issue as deadnaming, but there’s a similar problem on some platforms like Twitter where people will change their display name regularly for either holidays, or lately because they’re indicating they’d rather be found on Mastodon or other websites.

The webmention spec does contain details for both editing/deleting content and resending webmentions to edit and/or remove the original. Ideally this would be more broadly adopted and used in the future to eliminate the need for making these choices by leaving the choice up to the original publisher.

Beyond this, often on platforms that don’t have character limits (Reddit for example), I’ll post at the bottom of my syndicated copy of content that it was originally published on my site (along with the permalink) and explicitly state that I aggregate the replies from various locations which also helps to let people know that they might find addition context or conversation at the original post should they be interested. Doing this on Twitter, Mastodon, et al. is much harder due to space requirements obviously.

While most responses I send would fall under fair use for copying, I also have a Creative Commons license on my text in an effort to help others feel more comfortable with having copies of my content on their sites.

Another ethical layer to this is interactions between sites which both have webmentions enabled. To some extent this creates an implicit bi-directional relationship which says, I’m aware that this sort of communication exists and approve of your parsing and displaying my responses.

The public norms and ethics in this area will undoubtedly evolve over time, so it’s also worth revisiting and re-evaluating the issue over time.

This I’m recommending:

And all three for their kindness and thoughtfulness in technology spaces.

@jimgroom@social.ds106.us I’ve not seen the admin UI, but is there a toggle for what appears on the /explore page of an instance? I notice that some smaller instances have pages of people to check out (opted in by each user in the settings), eg: https://hcommons.social/explore. Did social.ds106.us specifically opt out of this for its instance?
Listened to Mark Bernstein on Tinderbox by Jorge ArangoJorge Arango from The Informed Life

Mark Bernstein is chief scientist of Eastgate Systems, Inc. He’s been writing hypertexts and developing hypertext authoring software since the late 1980s. Mark is the creator of Tinderbox and other tools for thinking that “harness the power of the link.” In this conversation, we discuss thinking through connected notes.

Some subtle insights here.

representational talkback; the design of taking notes in the present when you’re not sure how they’ll connect to ideas in the (imagined) future; The Tinderbox Way; by force, all research is bottom up.

Bookmarked Indxd (indxd.ink)
Filling up notebooks is great - but what happens when you need one obscure factoid that's stashed somewhere among dozens of notebooks? Searchability is Analog's Achilles heel.

Introducing Indxd
I wanted a simple, searchable index of all the topics in all my notebooks. So I built it, and you can use it too. Indxd lets you quickly enter notebooks and their topics, then search and browse everything.
INDXD is a digital, web-based index tool for your analog notebooks.

Ostensibly allows one to digitally index their paper notebooks (page numbers optional). It emails you weekly text updates, so you’ve got a back up of your data if the site/service disappears.

This could potentially be used by those who have analog zettelkasten practices, but want the digital search and some back up of their system.


sgtstretch in @Gaby @pimoore so a good friend of mine makes INDXD which is for indexing analog notebooks and being able to find things. I don’t personally use it, but I know @patrickrhone has written about it before. ()

Cosma by Arthur Perret et al seems to be just the sort of interoperable, open, & standards-based tools for thought app that Friends of the Link will appreciate
@flancian @JerryMichalski @MathewLowry @Borthwick @dwhly @An_Agora @ZsViczian
https://cosma.graphlab.fr/en/docs/user-manual/
On hand held objects and material culture

Should we view it as a coincidence or not that the information management carrier of the early 20th century is the same size and scale as the carrier at the opening of the 21st century?

The humble index card and the cellular phone have more in common than we might expect.

Read The Quest for a Memex 2022-07-31 by Kevin MarksKevin Marks (kevinmarks.com)
This week John Borthwick put out a call for Tools for Thinking: People want better tools for thinking — ones that take the mass of notes that you have and organize them, that help extend your second brain into a knowledge or interest graph and that enable open sharing and ownership of the “knowl...
I got stuck over the weekend, so I totally missed Kevin Marks’ memex demo at IndieWebCamp’s Create Day, but it is an interesting little UI experiment.

I’ll always maintain that Vannevar Bush really harmed the first few generations of web development by not mentioning the word commonplace book in his conceptualization. Marks heals some of this wound by explicitly tying the idea of memex to that of the zettelkasten however. John Borthwick even mentions the idea of “networked commonplace books”. [I suspect a little birdie may have nudged this perspective as catnip to grab my attention—a ruse which is highly effective.]

Some of Kevin’s conceptualization reminds me a bit of Jerry Michalski’s use of The Brain which provides a specific visual branching of ideas based on the links and their positions on the page: the main idea in the center, parent ideas above it, sibling ideas to the right/left and child ideas below it. I don’t think it’s got the idea of incoming or outgoing links, but having a visual location on the page for incoming links (my own site has incoming ones at the bottom as comments or responses) can be valuable.

I’m also reminded a bit of Kartik Prabhu’s experiments with marginalia and webmention on his website which plays around with these ideas as well as their visual placement on the page in different methods.

MIT MediaLab’s Fold site (details) was also an interesting sort of UI experiment in this space.

It also seems a bit reminiscent of Kevin Mark’s experiments with hovercards in the past as well, which might be an interesting way to do the outgoing links part.

Next up, I’d love to see larger branching visualizations of these sorts of things across multiple sites… Who will show us those “associative trails”?

Another potential framing for what we’re all really doing is building digital versions of Indigenous Australian’s songlines across the web. Perhaps this may help realize Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly’s dream for a “third archive”?

[[wikilinks]] and #hashtags as a portal to cross site search

[[wikilinks]] and could act as snippets for custom searches on various platforms. I’d like to be able to either click on a link or possibly right click and be presented with the ability to search that term (or nearby terms) on a variety of different platforms or trusted websites. This could be a useful form of personal search that allows me to find things within a much smaller space of knowledge I’m aware of. Sometimes the serendipity from the wisdom of the crowd via major search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, or Bing may suffice, but shouldn’t I be able to more easily search a trusted personal group of hand curated sources?

Platforms like Wikipedia and Twitter already have these patterns as links to resources within themselves, but why couldn’t/shouldn’t a browser or browser plugin allow me an option when clicking on them to go to other resources outside of the expected (narrow) search provided? Perhaps I’m in my own wiki and a redlink [[wikilink]] obviously doesn’t exist on my site. Why shouldn’t I be able to click on it to go to another source like Wikipedia to find it?

These search resources can still be larger platforms like Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter, but could be subspecialized to include Twitter users I follow, smaller wikis I use (including my own), websites of people I follow in my feed reader or social reader (by searching on categories/tags or even broad text search). I should be able to easily define a multitude of resources for each custom search using common standards. This affordability could give me a much more refined and trusted set of search results, particularly in a post-fact society.

One could go further still and highlight a word or words on one’s browser screen and use these as a custom search query.

If built properly, I ought to be able to create “playlists” of sites and resources to search for myself and be able to share these with other friends, family, and colleagues who may trust those sources as well.

I’m curious what others think of this idea. What should the UI look like to make it clear and easy to use? What other things might one want to search on beyond plain text, hashtags, and wikilinks? Am I missing anything? What downsides or social ills might this pattern potentially entail?