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”?

I’m curious if anyone has tried building a digital public zettelkasten on WordPress in general or using using the Slippy plugin in particular?

I’m thinking it may be an interesting experiment, particularly using it in combination with the Webmention plugin to get replies/responses for crosslinking with others’ ideas on the web. This could allow one not only to communicate with other their own slip box, but slip boxes to communicate with each other.

Read Matt Mullenweg Identifies GoDaddy as a “Parasitic Company” and an “Existential Threat to WordPress’ Future” by Sarah Gooding (WP Tavern)
On Thursday Matt Mullenweg responded to an inquiry on Twitter from Jeff Matson, a Pagely employee, about whether Automattic’s Newspack platform had all open open source components or some pro…
WordPress open source or WordPress.com? Recall that Automattic is a VC backed company now and Matt has a big dog in the hunt.
Replied to a thread by John-Mark Gurney, Dan McDonald, and Seth Wright (Twitter)
I’m pretty sure that many within the IndieWeb space have got this working with a variety of software, particularly using Bridgy for the responses. Here’s an outline of how I do it with WordPress https://boffosocko.com/2018/07/02/threaded-conversations-between-wordpress-and-twitter/

I’m always curious to see other implementations.

Replied to a tweet by Andrew Wetzel (Twitter)
There are some additional details for making themes IndieWeb friendly here: https://indieweb.org/WordPress/Themes
Several of us can give you help and guidance if you want to take a crack at it: https://chat.indieweb.org/wordpress/
 
Replied to a thread by Phil Windley, Jon Udell, Matt (Twitter)
There are still many in the (dare I use “old school”?) education space like @CogDog and @JimGroom who still do blog to blog conversations via comment sections.

I’ve seen a growing group of others who are using and displaying Webmentions for site-to-site conversations. If you use WordPress, there’s the Webmention plugin for the notifications part and the Semantic Linkbacks plugin for the display part. (One day the two will merge, we hope.)

Plugins and modules exist for a number of other systems if they’re not already built in.

I’m using all these on my site to have site-to-site conversations with others. I’m also using Brid.gy to bridge the gap between WordPress and Twitter (and others). If you prefer, you could read all this on my site.

Happy to help others set this up for themselves, should they need help.

An Index for My Digital Commonplace Book

In reading about the history of commonplace books, I figured it’d be nice to have a full listing of all the categories and tags on my website for public reference. So I’ve now added an Index page.

I must admit that with a tiny amount of research and set up, I’ve now got something that even John Locke could be jealous of.

For my future self or others interested, I’m using Multi-column Tag Map which has a variety of short codes for implementing various forms of output. Sadly it wasn’t tagged with the word index, so it took some time to find it.

I’ve always had my own administrative interface for this data as well as search and even programmatic tag completion which makes writing and posting easier. However since a lot of what I do is in the public, perhaps it will be useful for readers to have access to the same full list instead of the abbreviated ones that appear as tag clouds or in various sidebars on the site?

Currently I’ve got over 9,000 different tags on the site. Perhaps displaying them publicly will help motivate me to curate and manage them a bit better. I already see a handful of repeated versions based on spelling, spacing, or typos that could be cleaned up. Let’s go crazy!

Slides for A Twitter of Our Own from OERxDomains 2021

As promised at the conference, you can find the slides with convenient links and other resources for my talk A Twitter of Our Own at OERxDomains21 on Google Slides.

They are also embedded below:

Replied to WordPress of One's Own: Or, thinking through creating a not intimidating menu of options for domain installs by AlanaCallanAlanaCallan (Reclaim Hosting Community)

Hey there,

New and just wading in here :blush: I work at Fleming College in our Learning Design and Support team/department

Our medium sized college has always offered our students and faculty a choice in terms of the platform they choose to use: Wordpress, tumblr, weebly, medium, etc., mostly because we didn’t have anything else to offer them other than the LMS that was supported by the institution.

This past September our communication courses for first year have been using wordpress.com (mostly) as they were encouraged by the teaching faculty who were also using wordpress.com sites for their own writing. The redesigned communication courses have the students learning to write, give and receive feedback, and loop through this cycle several times for an authentic audience. First semester focuses on personal writing, the second focuses on professional writing.

(just wanted to provide some context for my reply - they had to go with wordpress.com as there was no plan or budget to do a local install or have it hosted for the college)

Feedback from the faculty teaching team after teaching for almost 8 weeks is how to template and simplify space for students to use, here is a direct quote: “could we create dedicated blog page for students that would be a pre-made, fool-proof template? When a student’s WordPress blog does not work and we can’t fix the problem, it is very frustrating to be helpless beside an exasperated student.”

I am inclined to suggest freeing up the expectation that the student’s use wordpress and that they instead use a platform that they may already be familiar with (like tumblr etc.,) and create a space AND use categories/titles that are consistent so that the faculty can go in and review, comment, provide feedback etc., easily.

Many students may choose to use wordpress either way but…

One thing that we do here that may help the conversation is that our library holds workshops to assist students in creating their online presence, creative commons, attribution etc.,

I’m interested in any thoughts or feedback on how to approach the our communication faculty request… am I heading in the right direction??

Thanks!!

Alana

There may be a bit of a path forward here that some might consider using that has some fantastic flexibility.

There is a WordPress plugin called Micropub (which needs to be used in conjunction with the IndieAuth plugin for authentication to their CMS account) that will allow students to log into various writing/posting applications.

These are usually slimmed down interfaces that don’t provide the panoply of editing options that the Gutenberg interface or Classic editor metabox interfaces do. Quill is a good example of this and has a Medium.com like interface. iA Writer is a solid markdown editor that has this functionality as well (though I think it only works on iOS presently).

Students can write and then post from these, but still have the option to revisit within the built in editors to add any additional bells and whistles they might like if they’re so inclined.

This system is a bit like SPLOTs, but has a broader surface area and flexibility. I’ll also mention that many of the Micropub clients are open source, so if one were inclined they could build their own custom posting interface specific to their exact needs. Even further, other CMSes like Known, Drupal, etc. either support this web specification out of the box or with plugins, so if you built a custom interface it could work just as well with other platforms that aren’t just WordPress. This means that in a class where different students have chosen a variety of ways to set up their Domains, they can be exposed to a broader variety of editing tools or if the teacher chooses, they could be given a single editing interface that is exactly the same for everyone despite using different platforms.

For those who’d like to delve further, I did a WordPress-focused crash course session on the idea a while back: Micropub and WordPress: Custom Posting Applications at WordCamp Santa Clarita 2019 (slides).

Later today at 9:05 AM PST / 12:05 PM EST / 5:05 PM BST I’ll be making a live presentation on A Twitter of Our Own at the OERxDomains 2021 Conference hosted by the Association for Learning Technology and Reclaim Hosting.

Come join me to see how we can extend our domains to use social readers and enable website-to-website communication to improve our online experience.

[Note: I’d previously been scheduled for a much longer workshop session, but due to changing conference time constraints, my talk will be a 20 minute demonstration. I’ll schedule some time early next month to do the longer hands-on portion of the original workshop to help people add the technology to their own websites.]

My slides for the talk, including a number of links to helpful resources, will be available later today.

Cartoon television with metal antenna on top showing a rainbow colored test pattern and the words OER x Domains 21

Watched Using WordPress Multisiste during a Pandemic from OERxDomains 2021 (YouTube)

Apr 21, 4:15 AM 28 min

This discussion focuses around the ways in which various campuses experienced the impact of pandemic on the various tools and platforms they supported on campus with a specific focus on WordPress Mutlisite, although it proves to be a broader conversation around the challenges of shifting not only online, but from synchronous to asynchronous ways of imagining teaching and learning.

Read OERxDomains21’s Headless Program by Jim GroomJim Groom (bavatuesdays.com)
It’s the day before OERxDomains21 and I am blogging, that’s a good sign, I think….regardless, it’s happening! And, given I still have a blog, I have the distinct pleasure to share with you my favorite part of the conference thus far—the TV Guide -inspired program.

to re-phrase a famous line from Zach Davis, “Behind every EDUPUNK is a frazzled web developer.” 

Annotated on April 20, 2021 at 11:17AM