Reply to Vika on permashort citations

Replied to a tweet by  Vika Vika (Twitter)
“For people who read this on Twitter: if the link is in (), you don't need to click on it. If the link is not in (), you'll see more content when you click on the link!”
In case you’ve missed it, there has been some work in this area which may mitigate this issue:
https://indieweb.org/permashortcitation

Reply to What is Emoji ID? by Doug Belshaw

Replied to What is Emoji ID? by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (MoodleNet project)
Some more details about a proposed solution for MoodleNet that could solve some problems around decentralised identity.
Doug, the sound of this is interesting, but it seems to be a lot harder than it might need to be, not to mention the pitfalls of being assigned emojis one wouldn’t want representing them in addition or the centralized nature of the provisioning source.

It also sounds very much like Kevin Marks’ Distributed Verification scheme using the rel=”me” attribute on web pages for which he built a chrome browser extension to actually implement it. Kevin also recently reported that Mastodon now actually supports this verification scheme in one of their most recent updates which should be used by instances that are regularly updating. The benefit is that this scheme already exists, is relatively well supported, there are parsers available for it, and it’s actually working on the open web. It’s also truly distributed in that it doesn’t rely on any central provisioning authorities that require ongoing maintenance or which could provide a monopoly on such a service.

Reply to Don’t let your online strategy become a conversation about which LMS to use by Tannis Morgan

Replied to Don’t let your online strategy become a conversation about which LMS to use by Tannis MorganTannis Morgan (Explorations in the EdTech World)
Here’s the short of it. LMS’s do some things really well and are not going to go away. We still use an LMS at our institution, and while I would really like the vendor to invest some of our hard earned license fees into making it a more user friendly tool, we still need an LMS. However, I’ve tried really hard to make sure our online strategy does not start and finish with the LMS, and yes, it is an ongoing battle.
This article presents an excellent point. I also see a lot of what I would call IndieWeb philosophy bubbling up within this argument, and perhaps the edtech space could benefit from some of their ideas, set up, and design?  If you like, we could take the analogy IndieWeb:Social Silos::Educational Technology:Learning Management Systems and extend it.

Much like the demise of the innovation on the web and within the blogosphere as the result of the commodification of social media by silo corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and others around 2006, the technology space in education has become too addicted to corporate products and services. Many of these services cover some broad functionality, but they have generally either slowed down or quit innovating, quit competing with each other, are often charging exorbitant prices, and frequently doing unethical things with the data they receive from their users. The major difference between the two spaces is that Big Social Media is doing it on a much bigger scale and making a lot more money and creating greater damage as a result.

Instead, let me make some recommendations to thought leaders in the space for more humanistic and holistic remedy. Follow the general philosophies and principles of the IndieWeb movement. Dump (or at least gradually move away from) your corporately built LMS and start building one of your own. Ideally, open source what you build so that others can improve it and build upon it. In the end, you, your classes, your departments, and your institutions will be all the stronger for it. You can have more direct control over your own data (and that of your students, which deserves to be treated more ethically). You can build smaller independent pieces that are interchangeable and inter-operable. The small pieces may also allow new unpredictable functionalities when put together. You can build to make better user interfaces, better functionality, and get what you’d like to have instead of just what you’re given.

Sure, doing this may be somewhat uncomfortable in the near term, but many hands over many institutions, building and crafting a variety of solutions will result in a much better and more robust product–and one that we all can “own” and benefit from. By open sourcing, many hands will make light work. Imagine what the state of online learning, Open Educational Resources (OER), and open pedagogy would look like if the hundreds of institutions had put all of their LMS related funding over the past decade into even a handful of open source programmers instead of corporately controlled interests?

Already within the article, there is a short list of potential solutions one could look to as LMS replacements. Those that are open source are literally crying out to not only be used, but to be improved upon so that everyone can benefit from those improvements. Other related options might include

For solid examples of what can be accomplished, we can also look toward individual developers like Stephen Downes and projects like gRSShopper or Alan Levine and his many open source repositories. There are also individuals like Greg McVerry, who is using free and opensource content management systems like WordPress and WithKnown to push the envelope of what is possible with classroom interactions using simple internet protocols like Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and bleeding edge readers using MicroSub, and Robin DeRosa, who is creating her own OER materials. These are just a few of thousands of individuals hacking away at small, but discrete problems and then helping out others.

At the higher end we can see broad movements like A Domain of One’s Own (DoOO), which empowers students students and faculty by giving them their own domain names and hosting as well as web-based tools to leverage these benefits. (I often look at the DoOO movement as IndieWeb for Education, but without as much emphasis on building for oneself.)

There are even ethical companies like Reclaim Hosting who are doing some excellent and tremendous work in the DoOO space. The benefit of the way these systems are built and maintained however, is that should Reclaim cease offering their excellent support, benefits, and add-ons, individuals or institutions could relatively easily take all of their data and applications and move them to another provider. This provides a massive incentive for service companies to continue iterating and improving on their work as well as the services they offer. Sadly, some of these mechanisms don’t exist this way within much of the corporate LMS space. But they certainly could and should.

For those who are interested, feel free to do some research into some of these areas and tools. Join the DoOO or IndieWeb.org communities. Build your own tools, give feedback to developers of opensource projects to help them improve. Give them some of your time and resources to make these communities and spaces better and stronger over time. Feel free to join the IndieWeb chat to meet folks virtually and discuss these ideas, or use the IndieWeb wiki (the IndieWeb for Education page is an excellent place to start) to not only read, but to contribute back ideas, tools, links, and resources for others. (The wiki has a CC0 license.)

I’m always happy to help people begin to find their way in some of these resources if they need it to get started.

👓 Still coming to terms with the fact that my ears produce more hair than seems necessary. | Colin Devroe

Replied to a post by Colin Devroe (cdevroe.com)
Still coming to terms with the fact that my ears produce more hair than seems necessary.
I am Spartacus!

Reply to Watched E-learning 3.0 Graph #el30 by Greg McVerry

Replied to Watched E-learning 3.0 Graph by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
Thinking about knowledge as a graph. In social analysis strength of connection represents authority? Is same true of knowledge? The more connections the truthier something is. 
Interesting. I got a refback from this post to my WordPress and IndieWeb presentation. Did you have a link to it on the page originally Greg and then delete it, or is it a spurious glitch? Very curious…

For a more on-topic comment, have you read Richard Dawkins‘ original conception of the neologism “meme” in his book The Selfish Gene (Oxford, 1976)? He’s got some interesting early examples that touch on connections and spread of information.

I’ve also recently finished reading Linked: The New Science of Networks by Albert-László Barabási which also has some interesting pieces and underlying theory (without all the heavy math) which are broadly applicable to some of these questions.

 

Reply to Greg McVerry about academic samizdat pre-print server

Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
Then we also make a 12/31/2019 to have published first issue of a academic samizdat POSSE Journal about blogging research from any discipline. I wanna bring back some lightning talks like BlogCon 2003-2006., but first we do the journal.
I like that idea. Perhaps between the models for news.IndieWeb.org and Kicks Condor’s indiweb.xyz, we could create a syndicatable (pre-print) academic journal that allows sorting by top level academic disciplines.

I don’t recall though, are either of them open source, or do we need to re-build by hand?

👓 Does anyone else keep their own knowledge wiki? | Lobsters

Replied to Does anyone else keep their own knowledge wiki? by nikivi (lobste.rs)

I’ve been extending and improving my personal wiki for 1 year now and it has been one of the best things I’ve done. I found writing blog posts was too high friction and very often didn’t finish things because there is so much you can talk about in any given article. But a wiki is just a living document containing your notes and thoughts on things. I also use it as my public bookmark manager as I collect interesting to me links under each topic.

For my wiki, I render everything to the web first with GitBook. And I have a macro I run that automatically commits any changes I’ve made with Sublime Text on the mac and Ulysses on the phone so everything is super easy to edit and publish.

Does anyone else keep their own wiki here? Or you think a blog is enough for you?

I’ve been considering starting a personal wiki after reading The Garden and the Stream: A Technopastoral by Mike Caulfield a while back. His article has some great set up and philosophy about the wiki versus blog. I’ve been using my own website/blog as a commonplace book for quite a while now to collect everything from what I’m listening to to what I read and even what I’ve highlighted/annotated online. I’ve documented a lot of the pieces I use to create/customize it. (Not everything I write is public either.)

Ultimately, I think that either way, having a solid search functionality becomes important regardless of which direction one chooses.

👓 IndieWeb and the Log Lolla theme | More Themes Baby

Replied to IndieWeb and the Log Lolla theme (More Themes Baby)
Lately I found myself posting a lot about IndieWeb, and thinking about how useful it could be for the next versions of the Log Lolla theme.
I ran across this article today as the result of a refback of all things (hooray for old web infrastructure!). The site had reposted a few IndieWeb related articles I wrote in the past year.

Since they don’t support webmention and don’t seem to have comments on their site open, I’ll say “Hello!” by syndicating to Twitter. I hope you haven’t given up on the idea of what the IndieWeb stands for and are still thinking of making your Log Lolla theme directly compatible with how the IndieWeb works with WordPress. There are a bunch of us out here who’d love to give you any help and support you need as we’d all love to see more IndieWeb friendly themes in the WordPress repo. Feel free to join us in the #IndieWeb chat or the #WordPress chat to say hello.

Reply to It’s time for a new branch of public media by Ben Werdmüller

Replied to It's time for a new branch of public media by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967, which established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Previously, an independent public broadcaster had been established through grants by the Ford Foundation, but Ford began to withdraw its support. Here's what he said: "It...
I’ve been thinking very similarly along these lines for six months or more, but with a particular slant at journalistic enterprises. I’ve specifically been considering what would happen if small local newspapers and other journalistic outlets were running IndieWeb-esque platforms for their local communities. This would potentially help to moderate and encourage local conversations and consumption of local grown content and journalism and potentially improve the toxicity of general social media or massive issues like those that Facebook is facing with genocidal effects of their platform in Myanmar where they didn’t have any local presence or moderation much less people in-house who had language capabilities to even begin to deal with these issues. This type of mission could better empower entities to improve both local journalism by binding it to a different substrate as a financial model  and fix many of the issues we see with social media simultaneously.

This general idea also isn’t too dissimilar from Greg McVerry’s idea of having local libraries allow patrons to “check out” (aka set up) their own domains and social presences/identities using their library cards.

The difficulty I see is that as the world moves toward increased specialization, that looking for newspapers or even municipalities to oversee and maintain such infrastructure may be difficult. I already see issues with smaller outlets building and maintaining their own publishing platforms with simple out-of-the-box CMS solutions that are relatively easy-to-use and modify with simple plugins. (In a recent inventory of my local news sources, I’ll note here that nearly 100% of the local online news sources for my community are running on WordPress, but not all of them have a huge amount of technical knowledge about what and how they’re doing it in those spaces). The growth of content management systems like Ghost, which has a journalistic bent, also indicates that there isn’t a “perfect solution” to the CMS problem, much less the issues of running IndieWeb-like platforms/clusters based on simpler platforms like WordPress or even Known. There’s certainly a lot of space out there for third party companies to help grow and expand in both of these areas (community-based social platforms as well as journalism platforms and admixtures thereof.)

If local institutions or even governments did move in this direction, then their users are at the potential mercy of third-party businesses which may not necessarily be aligned with local values.  An example of something akin to this was covered recently in The Daily on their episode Taking Over Local News. I’m also reminded about of my poor experiences  with un-moderated third party platforms like Nextdoor.com can be.

Another microcosm to look at is how hundreds of thousands of public libraries are interfacing with the four or more media suppliers of e-books and what that financial model looks like as, if taken, I would suspect a similar trajectory for local social public media. Similarly looking at how municipalities interface with cable franchising can reveal some pitfalls to avoid moving forward with respect to monopolies and competition.

Certainly some additional thought about how to solve these issues at the smaller local and personal levels is welcome. Thanks for dipping into and expanding my surface area of thinking Ben.

Replied to a tweet by Kevin Hodgson (Twitter)
The words “digital exhaust” also come to mind…

Reply to Ton Zijlstra about microformats in WordPress

Replied to Better Blending of Micro Formats with WordPress Themes by Ton Zijlstra (zylstra.org)
Earlier this week I discussed microformats with Elmine. Microformats make your website machine readable, allowing other computers and applications to e.g. find out where my contact information is, and the metadata from my postings. It was a discussion that branched off a conversation on online repre...
Ton, one of the best “crash courses” I’ve seen for working toward adding microformats to a pre-existing WordPress theme is David Shanske’s GitHub repo forking of the WordPress TwentySixteen Theme. If you follow the list of commits in chronological order from the oldest, you’ll get a good idea of what could and should be done and even how to do it.

Naturally, keep in mind that some themes may also have a few already implemented while others may have them implemented poorly (and sometimes even wrong).

Reply to Taylor Jadin about planet functionality for education

Replied to a tweet by Taylor JadinTaylor Jadin (Twitter)
It was a pretty productive Open Domains Lab for me. Got my sort "funnel" site set somewhat set up using FeedWordpress. http://taylor.jadin.me/
I’m curious to hear your thoughts after using it. It sounds like it has a lot of functionality overlap with Press Forward (for WordPress). Planet-like functionality is commonly requested in the education and technology space. Are there others? Stephen DownesgRSShopper perhaps?

 

 

Reply to Weekend Reading – Rediscovering Blogging Edition by Lee Skallerup Bessette

Replied to Weekend Reading – Rediscovering Blogging Edition by Lee Skallerup BessetteLee Skallerup Bessette (ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Blogs are back! At least, they seem to be making a resurgence as we try to disentangle ourselves from the predatory social media platforms that took all the words many of us used to write on blogs. I’ll admit, I started my own tinyletter in part because I wanted to find an audience again that was a little more personal that what gets lost in the algorithmic facebook feed and the firehose that is Twitter. My blog (which is my domain) is kind of an experiment in long-form writing now. I’m working at another Domains school, so we are thinking about how students are using their domains, owning their own data, and writing publicly.
Lee (t), thanks for the mention in Profhacker. I’ve only just seen it thanks to an old Web ~0.4 technology called Refback. You’ve done a great job of calling out the recent blogging renaissance, some of which is being powered by the Domain of One’s Own and the IndieWeb movements.

There are a bunch of us who are happy to help out anyone who’d like to jump in with both feet.

Reply to Ben Werdmuller on social media resharing

Replied to a tweet by Ben WerdmullerBen Werdmuller (Twitter)
“The single change social networks could make that would have the most positive impact is to remove all kinds of resharing. Force people to speak in their own voices or not at all. Using other peoples' language to express yourself forces you to evaluate the world on their terms.”
I’ve been awaiting the percolation of your prior thoughts. For additional reference Manton Reece may have some thoughts as this lack of repost functionality is relatively central to how micro.blog works.

👓 Civix Releases New Online Media Literacy Videos | Hapgood

Replied to Civix Releases New Online Media Literacy Videos by Mike Caulfield (Hapgood)
I worked with Civix, a Canadian non-profit, to do a series of videos showing students basic web techniques for source verification and contextualization. I had boiled it down to four scripts runnin…
As I read this and tinker around a bit with some of the resources, including one for canadafactcheck.ca mentioned within one of the videos and add the “Wikipedia” to the Omnibar or try the “-site:” trick, the results there aren’t very solid themselves. Similarly a search for NewsWise.ca is rough because there are dozens of similar products with the same name which makes me think about the phrase “Doctor heal thyself.”

On the idea of the “-site:xyz.com” trick, perhaps one could create a browser extension or a bookmarklet that would use javascript to take the URL in the browser bar and massage it to return the requisite string and then execute the appropriate search so that with a simple click of a button, anyone can “remember” how to do it?

Similarly with searching for the root URLs of particular outlets by clipping off the longer paths of URLs one could use a browser bookmarklet to accomplish this with a simple click and save the seconds involved with highlighting and pasting? The more dead simple and quicker it can be, the better off we are. I’ve documented a browser bookmarklet on my site that trims news article URLs down to the base URL: https://boffosocko.com/2017/03/27/to-amp-or-not-to-amp-that-is-the-question/

As an example of this type of functionality, albiet probably with a lot more programming and manual work, Brill’s company NewsGuard has developed a Chrome browser extension that is meant to provide visual indicators on pages and in search for levels of fact checking: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/newsguard/hcgajcpgaalgpeholhdooeddllhedegi?hl=en