Chris Aldrich is reading “One Tumblr User Sent Her Pinky Toe to Another Tumblr User Because That’s Tumblr”

Read One Tumblr User Sent Her Pinky Toe to Another Tumblr User Because That’s Tumblr (Select All)
Tumblr continues to be the weirdest social network.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Why It’s OK to Share This Story Without Reading It”

Read Why It's OK to Share This Story Without Reading It (MediaShift)
The Washington Post recently published an article about social media metrics with an alarmist headline: 6 in 10 of you will share this link without reading it, a new, depressing study says This story then predictably made the rounds in the blogosphere, from Gizmodo to Marketing Dive. The headline reads like self-referential clickbait, daring readers to click on the provocative …

Chris Aldrich is reading “Maybe the Internet Isn’t a Fantastic Tool for Democracy After All”

Read Maybe the Internet Isn’t a Fantastic Tool for Democracy After All by Max Read (Select All)
Fake news is the easiest of the problems to fix.

…a new set of ways to report and share news could arise: a social network where the sources of articles were highlighted rather than the users sharing them. A platform that makes it easier to read a full story than to share one unread. A news feed that provides alternative sources and analysis beneath every shared article.

This sounds like the kind of platforms I’d like to have. Reminiscent of some of the discussion at the beginning of This Week in Google: episode 379 Ixnay on the Eet-tway.

I suspect that some of the recent coverage of “fake news” and how it’s being shared on social media has prompted me to begin using Reading.am, a bookmarking-esqe service that commands that users to:

Share what you’re reading. Not what you like. Not what you find interesting. Just what you’re reading.

Naturally, in IndieWeb fashion, I’m also posting these read articles to my site. While bookmarks are things that I would implicitly like to read in the near future (rather than “Christmas ornaments” I want to impress people with on my “social media Christmas tree”), there’s a big difference between them and things that I’ve actually read through and thought about.

I always feel like many of my family, friends, and the general public click “like” or “share” on articles in social media without actually having read them from top to bottom. Research would generally suggest that I’m not wrong. [1] [2] Some argue that the research needs to be more subtle too. [3] I generally refuse to participate in this type of behavior if I can avoid it.

Some portion of what I physically read isn’t shared, but at least those things marked as “read” here on my site are things that I’ve actually gone through the trouble to read from start to finish. When I can, I try to post a few highlights I found interesting along with any notes/marginalia (lately I’m loving the service Hypothes.is for doing this) on the piece to give some indication of its interest. I’ll also often try to post some of my thoughts on it, as I’m doing here.

Gauging Intent of Social Signals

I feel compelled to mention here that on some platforms like Twitter, that I don’t generally use the “like” functionality there to indicate that I’ve actually liked a tweet itself or any content that’s linked to in it. In fact, I’ve often not read anything related to the tweet but the simple headline presented in the tweet itself.

The majority of the time I’m liking/favoriting something on Twitter, it’s because I’m using an IFTTT.com applet which takes the tweets I “like” and saves them to my Pocket account where I come back to them later to read. It’s not the case that I actually read everything in my pocket queue, but those that I do read will generally appear on my site.

There are however, some extreme cases in which pieces of content are a bit beyond the pale for indicating a like on, and in those cases I won’t do so, but will manually add them to my reading queue. For some this may create some grey area about my intent when viewing things like my Twitter likes. Generally I’d recommend people view that feed as a generic linkblog of sorts. On Twitter, I far more preferred the nebulous star indicator over the current heart for indicating how I used and continue to use that bit of functionality.

I’ll also mention that I sometimes use the like/favorite functionality on some platforms to indicate to respondents that I’ve seen their post/reply. This type of usage could also be viewed as a digital “Thank You”, “hello”, or even “read receipt” of sorts since I know that the “like” intent is pushed into their notifications feed. I suspect that most recipients receive these intents as I intend them though the Twitter platform isn’t designed for this specifically.

I wish that there was a better way for platforms and their readers to better know exactly what the intent of the users’ was rather than trying to intuit them. It would be great if Twitter had the ability to allow users multiple options under each tweet to better indicate whether their intent was to bookmark, like, or favorite it, or to indicate that they actually read/watched the content on the other end of the link in the tweet.

In true IndieWeb fashion, because I can put these posts on my own site, I can directly control not only what I post, but I can be far more clear about why I’m posting it and give a better idea about what it means to me. I can also provide footnotes to allow readers to better see my underlying sources and judge for themselves their authenticity and actual gravitas. As a result, hopefully you’ll find no fake news here.

Of course some of the ensuing question is: “How does one scale this type of behaviour up?”

References

[1]
M. Gabielkov, A. Ramachandran, A. Chaintreau, and A. Legout, “Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read on Twitter?,” SIGMETRICS Perform. Eval. Rev., vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 179–192, Jun. 2016 [Online]. Available: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2964791.2901462
[2]
C. Dewey, “6 in 10 of you will share this link without reading it, a new, depressing study says,” Washington Post, 16-Jun-2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/06/16/six-in-10-of-you-will-share-this-link-without-reading-it-according-to-a-new-and-depressing-study/. [Accessed: 06-Dec-2016]
[3]
T. Cigelske  , “Why It’s OK to Share This Story Without Reading It ,” MediaShift, 24-Jun-2016. [Online]. Available: http://mediashift.org/2016/06/why-its-ok-to-share-this-story-without-reading-it/. [Accessed: 06-Dec-2016]

Chris Aldrich is reading “Instant View, Telegraph, and Other Goodies”

Read Instant View, Telegraph, and Other Goodies (Telegram)
Meet Instant View, a elegant way to view articles with zero pageload time. To try it out, use Telegram version 3.14 to share a link to a Medium post or a TechCrunch article. This will get you an Instant View button that immediately shows a native page, saving you time and data.

Chris Aldrich is reading “New blogging app Telegraph is super simple and anonymous, but there’s a catch”

Read Telegram's blogging platform Telegraph is super simple and anonymous (mashable.com)
With platforms such as Wordpress or Tumblr, starting a blog has never been easier, but in most cases, you still have to go through a simple registration process before you can start publishing. Now, messaging platform Telegram has made it even simpler with Telegraph, the blogging platform that doesn't require any kind of registration.

Chris Aldrich is reading “The Simplest (and Most Performant) Way to Offer Sharing Links for Social Media”

Read The Simplest (and Most Performant) Way to Offer Sharing Links for Social Media | CSS-Tricks (CSS-Tricks)
This past summer, I wrote The Essential Meta Tags for Social Media about how developers can prepare web pages to optimize their appearance when shared on s

Chris Aldrich is reading “Rescuing my tiny videos from Vine”

Read Rescuing my tiny videos from Vine by Marty McGuireMarty McGuire (martymcgui.re)
Ah, Vine. I loved the idea of a platform for sharing tiny video moments. It was truly a platform for some really amazing things.Personally, I didn't make ver...

There are some additional methods and discussion here.

Chris Aldrich is reading “My Favorite Books of 2016”

Read My Favorite Books of 2016 (gatesnotes.com)
Bill Gates shares his list of best books he read in 2016. The list includes “String Theory” by David Foster Wallace, “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, “The Gene” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, “The Myth of the Strong Leader” by Archie Brown, and “The Grid” by Gretchen Bakke.

“The Gene” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, “The Myth of the Strong Leader” by Archie Brown, and “The Grid” by Gretchen Bakke all sound the most interesting.

I’ve heard there was a lot of dubious science discussed in Mukherjee’s book when it came out, but Gates doesn’t mention any of the controversy in his review. The last two books I listed above are lesser known, and I hadn’t heard about them previously. I’ll have to take a look at them over the coming holidays.

Chris Aldrich is reading “3 Methods To Create Your Own Searchable Twitter Archive”

Read 3 Methods To Create Your Own Searchable Twitter Archive (makeuseof.com)
If you want to secure your tweets against any issues that might happen to Twitter and its servers, consider backing up your Twitter shares. If you use Twit

👓 Woman Convinces Husband She’s ‘Adopted’ A Coyote, Hilarity Ensues | Scary Mommy

Read Woman Convinces Husband She’s ‘Adopted’ A Coyote, Hilarity Ensues (Scary Mommy)
A woman tricked her husband into thinking she “adopted” a coyote and it’s the best series of texts you’ll ever see.

Someone forced me to read this. It was funny.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Service Worker, what are you? – Mariko Kosaka”

Read Service Worker, what are you? by Mariko Kosaka (kosamari.com)
In order to better define what a service worker is, Mariko analogizes it to an alien in the web browser universe.

I’ve been meaning to dig into these recently and just came across this delightful little definition of what they are.

[h/t Jeremy Kieth]

Chris Aldrich is reading “Moving Toward SSL”

Read Moving Toward SSL (WordPress News)
We’re at a turning point: 2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available. Just as JavaScript is a near necessity for smoother…

Chris Aldrich is reading “Decentralisation considered harmful”

Read Decentralisation considered harmful by Amy Guy (rhiaro.co.uk)
How are the decentralised technologies we're working on going to make people more vulnerable?

Chris Aldrich is reading “Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast”

Read Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast (nytimes.com)
The president-elect’s unfiltered exchanges prompted the White House to urge him to seek the State Department’s expertise in his encounters with foreign leaders.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Trump and Carrier: How a Modern Economy Is Like a Parking Garage”

Read Trump and Carrier: How a Modern Economy Is Like a Parking Garage (nytimes.com)
It’s a constant state of flux, with jobs being created or lost. The challenge is to have a business climate in which you have more of the former.